Plague: The Black Death

Ringo

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#91
Death by Bubonic Plague isn't as "rare" as you would imagine.

Given, there aren't thousands of people being thrown into pits anymore but there is on average one death each year in mainland USA and a few more scattered over Europe and Asia.

Here's something from Huffington Post: Bubonic Plague still kills thousands
 
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#92
China bubonic plague death: Town of 30,000 placed in quarantine after man dies sparking 'Black Death' outbreak fears

The man contracted the disease from a marmot, state media said
ADAM WITHNALL Author Biography Wednesday 23 July 2014

An entire Chinese town of 30,000 people has been quarantined off from the rest of the country after a man living in a nearby village died from bubonic plague.

Police have now had the old town of Yumen city in Gansu province sealed off for more than a week, the Xinhua state media agency said, after a patient died in a local hospital.

All movement between the centre of Yumen and the wider suburban area has been banned, with officers manning 10 checkpoints around the sealed-off district.

According to Xinhua, no one inside the city is currently believed to have contracted the plague, though 151 people who may have come into contact with the man have been placed under direct observation.

Investigators said they think the villager was herding in his fields when he killed a marmot - a small rodent - to cut up and feed to his dog.

He suffered a fever and was admitted to hospital in Yumen, but died last Wednesday. Police initiated the process of locking down the city, as well as the man's home village and town and the fields where he had been working. ...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 22375.html
 
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#93
An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 40 people and infected almost 80 others, the World Health Organization has said.

The WHO warned of the danger of a "rapid spread" of the disease in the capital, Antananarivo. The situation is worsened by high levels of resistance among fleas to a leading insecticide, the WHO added.

Humans usually develop the bubonic form of the plague after being bitten by an infected flea carried by rodents. If diagnosed early, bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics.

But 2% of the cases in Madagascar are the more dangerous pneumonic ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30152979
 
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#94
The gerbils did it.

Most would choose the cuddly gerbil over the much-maligned rat. But the latter's bad reputation may not be fully deserved. Central Asian rodents, not rats, prospering under warm variations in climate, could have been to blame for the arrival of the Black Death in Europe in 1347 and for repeated outbreaks of plague over the next four centuries that killed millions of people.

The plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium, which is carried by fleas and mostly affects rodents. Plague has hit Europe a number of times, but the second pandemic – the one that caused the Black Death – remains the most notorious today. Believed to have originally come to Europe from Asia via the Silk Road trading route, it was thought that the repeated plague outbreaks that followed the Black Death epidemic were caused by rodent reservoirs in Europe – bacteria-infested fleas hiding out in rats.

But Nils Christian Stenseth at the University of Oslo, Norway, and colleagues say that instead of rats, it is their furry counterparts in central Asia that are to blame. The team analysed 4119 historical records of post-Black Death plague outbreaks and found that the vast majority were probably caused by similar outbreaks nearby. But they were able to identify 61 outbreaks that took place in 17 harbour areas, including London, Hamburg, Barcelona and Dubrovnik, that were likely to have been caused by maritime imports from Asia. ...

http://www.newscientist.com/article...lk-road-to-blame-for-plague.html#.VO3hTvmsWug
 

Frideswide

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#97
in the original V, the eating-rodent-jaw-dislocation scene..... well, as you can tell, it's never left me.
 

Ulalume

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#99
I admit, when I first heard the gerbil story on the radio, the volume was low and I thought the announcer had said "Germans" instead of "gerbils".

Was horribly embarrassed for a moment there. :eek::oops:
 

Swifty

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I went on an educational school trip to Eyam (back before kids didn't have to be escorted by at least three hi-vis jacket wearing enhanced CRB checked members of staff) ..... Eyam was the plague village where they all decided to be martyrs, isolate themselves and then die ... (I've probably spelled Eyam wrong) ..
 
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GeorgeP

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I went on an educational school trip to Eyam (back before kids didn't have to be escorted by at least three hi-vis jacket wearing enhanced CRB checked members of staff) ..... Eyam was the plague village where they all decided to be martyrs, isolate themselves and then die ... (I've probably spelled Eyam wrong) ..
I went there too on a school trip. Didnt really understand the importance of it all back then though. For me it was a day away from school :)
 

Swifty

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I went there too on a school trip. Didnt really understand the importance of it all back then though. For me it was a day away from school :)
Me to .. we just pricked about at the youth hostel at the top of the hill ..

 

Swifty

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That brings back memories :)
I couldn't have give two shits about history (like you) back in the time we visited .. we were just trying to get off with girls who were trying to get off with us .. the only Fortean twist I can add is a moment when we'd got back up to the top of the hill and fellow school mates ran up to us afterwards looking scared .. out of breath .. and said they'd run because they'd seen a large black panther .. that was the first time I'd ever heard of ABC's ... is there an Eyam ABC 'thing'?
 
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GeorgeP

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Well, when we where soon to leave - near the bus, some of us decided to run along a open field and back. One of the "top" lads called Bennett stopped near the far end with fright over something. Has he ran back we like sheep followed. Spooky reading your bit as it left me thinking of this. Dont know what he saw but Id never seen him act like that in front of us. I think he bricked it worrying about the bus but Im not too sure.

Thinking about school outings - I think the teachers treated it in a similar way to we did - a day off :)
 
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On 8th July, 2014, a middle-aged man from Colorado was hospitalized with pneumonia after developing a severe fever and a cough.

The hospital to which the man had been admitted initially identified Pseudomonas luteola as the bacteria responsible for his illness using an automated diagnostic system, but as the man's symptoms worsened, further testing conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) found a bacteria calledYersinia pestis was the cause - a form of pneumonic plague.

An investigation conducted by the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) involving interviews with the man's family revealed that on June 24th, the man's dog - a 2-year-old male American pit bull terrier - fell severely ill with fever and shortness of breath and was coughing up blood. The dog was euthanized the following day.

The dog's liver and lung tissues were tested for presence of Y. pestis after its owner became ill. The results were positive, confirming that the man had contracted pneumonic plague from the animal - the first report of such an incidence in the US.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/293383.php
 
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Plague existed during the Bronze Age, and infections were common in humans 3,300 years earlier than previously thought, says research published in Cell.

DNA tests on teeth show that plague existed in the Bronze Age, which is earlier than previously believed.
Image credit: Rasmussen et al./Cell 2015
But it took at least 1,000 more years for the bacterium to undergo key genetic changes that enabled the disease, Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), to spread via fleas and evade the host immune system.

Y. pestis was the notorious culprit behind the 6th century's Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, which killed 30-50% of the European population in the mid-1300s, and the Third Pandemic, which devastated China in the 1850s. A small number of cases occur every year in the US, mostly in the rural west.

The Plague of Athens, nearly 2,500 years ago, and the 2nd century's Antonine Plague, have been linked to the decline of Classical Greece and the undermining of the Roman army.

However, it was not known whether Y. pestis was responsible for these early epidemics, because there was no direct molecular evidence for this bacterium from skeletal material older than 1,500 years.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301351.php
 
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17th century plot to use plague hats as bioweapons revealed

DON’T try on that fez. During the world’s longest siege, a 17th-century scientist hatched an ambitious plan – to weaponise the bubonic plague by painting it onto hats.

The plot, which has just come to light, was discovered by Eleni Thalassinou at the University of Athens in Greece and her colleagues in six letters sent between 1649 and 1651. During that time, the town now known as Heraklion in Crete was under Venetian control but besieged by Ottoman troops.

Michiel Angelo Salamon, a doctor in what is now Croatia, had an idea. The letters, sent between the rulers of the Venetian empire and the governor of a Croatian outpost, detail Salamon’s scheme for harnessing the plague, the deadly infection that swept across Europe in 1348 and had been circulating there ever since.

Salamon appears to have devised a method for distilling the essence of plague. “He availed himself of the presence here of the plague to distil a liquid expressed from the spleen, the buboes and carbuncles of the plague stricken,” wrote the governor of Zara (Historical Review, doi.org/9fs).

The governor proposed painting this liquid onto goods that besieging Turks were likely to buy – such as hats known as Albanian fezzes ...

https://www.newscientist.com/articl...gn=twitter&cmpid=SOC|NSNS|2015-GLOBAL-twitter
 
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A single strain of plague bacteria sparked multiple historical and modern pandemics
A single entry of the plague bacterium into Europe was responsible for the Black Plague of the mid-14th century. This same strain sparked recurrent outbreaks on the continent over the following four centuries before spreading to China, where it triggered the third plague pandemic in the late 19th century. The wave of plague that traveled to Asia later became the source population for modern-day epidemics around the globe. The bacterium's routes over time were revealed by genome analyses published in Cell Host & Microbe.

"Our study is the first to provide genetic support for plague's travel from Europe into Asia after the Black Death, and it establishes a link between the Black Death in the mid-14th century and modern plague," says first author Maria Spyrou of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

The plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, is one of the deadliest pathogens in human history, sparking three major pandemics: the Plague of Justinian, which struck the Roman Empire during the 6th and 8th centuries; the second plague pandemic, which first erupted in Europe in the mid-14th-century Black Death and continued to strike the continent in recurrent outbreaks until the mid-18th century; and the third plague pandemic, which emerged in China during the late 19th century. ...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/310852.php
 
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It hasn't gone away you know. Even in the US people die from the Plague and now the fleas which carry the Plague bacterium now infest squirrels and prairie dogs in the US South West.

The return of the plague
Why some diseases are hard to eradicate

Jul 5th 2017



BUBONIC plague brought terror to medieval Europe. Over a third of its population perished from the “Black Death” in the 14th century, hastening the end of the feudal system. As a bacterial disease, the plague these days is generally treatable with modern antibiotics. Nonetheless, it persists beyond the grim chapters of history. On June 26th health authorities in New Mexico, in the south-western United States, announced that three people had been diagnosed with the disease in the previous month alone. This is a marked uptick for a country that records around seven cases a year nationwide, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. ...

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/07/daily-chart-1
 
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More on the Plague in Arizona. Campers etc beware.

Fleas are testing positive for the plague in parts of Arizona
By MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN Aug 12, 2017, 1:03 PM ET

Officials in two Arizona counties are warning the public after fleas in the region tested positive for the plague, the infamous infectious disease that killed millions during the Middle Ages.

Navajo County Public Health officials confirmed on Friday that fleas in the area have tested positive for the rare disease. The public health warning follows a similar notice from Coconino County Public Health Services District in Arizona warning of the presence of plague in fleas found there too.

Both counties are situated in the northern part of Arizona.

"Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals," the public health warning states. "The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal." ...

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fleas-testing-positive-plague-parts-arizona/story?id=49177920
 
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Nine countries and overseas territories in the African region have been warned to prepare for a plague outbreak which has killed more than 120 people in Madagascar.

There are fears the infectious disease could spread via air and sea travel from the island in the Indian Ocean as hospitals in places popular with Irish tourists have been told to expect new cases there.
The epidemic in Madagascar has killed 124 people since August, with the island's two main, densely populated cities being hit the hardest, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Irish tourists travelling to the region have already been warned to take precautions against the plague, known as the "Black Death" for high death rates through the centuries.

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/plague-warning-nine-countries-including-11409719
 

cpm82

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How hasn't this made the BBC etc? As of yesterday it was The Sun (!?) amongst a few others with the story about plague in Madagascar
 

escargot

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I was wondering why Irish people were being warned about it - do more Irish visit there than tourists of other nationalities? - until I spotted the name of the website, the Irish Mirror. Durr. Someone's on the ball, and they're Irish! Good work!
 
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