Plague: The Black Death

RaM

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I do a scatter rally on bikes most years the Round Britain Rally,
on this over the years I have visited a few Plague Stones, like a
old bird bath or just a block of stone with a shallow hollow on
top, if a village or district had plague they would fill the hollow
with vinegar thought to kill disease and put the money for goods
in it, the seller would take the money from the vinegar and leave
the goods. Some churches have a small slit window were someone
with plague or other nasty could stand outside but still see the alter
and service.
 

Cochise

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Bubonic plague is not necessarily the same as the Black Death. it might be. Then again it might not.

Sorry, I'm getting old and I can't remember where I read it, but apparently there is doubt over the two being one and the same. There are other medieval medical scourges that seem to have died out and which we are no longer sure about as well. Not being myself up on the methods medicos use to investigate these ancient diseases I haven't looked in to it further, my interest is more in European medieval history from a political / cultural angle.
 
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There are other medieval medical scourges that seem to have died out and which we are no longer sure about as well.
I think there was a mysterious 'Sweating Plague' that historians can't identify. It'll be interesting to google into this later today. :skull:
 

Xanatic*

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There was also an odd sleeping disease, which caused people to become lethargic and basically starve to death due to sleeping all the time. Is there a good book collecting these lost diseases?
 

catseye

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And now for something... maybe not all that different, after all:

Facebook will die out ‘like the bubonic plague’
Giant social networking sites spread like an infectious disease but people are now becoming immune, researchers say
By Padraic Flanagan
12:22AM GMT 24 Jan 2014

Facebook will lose 80 per cent of users within three years before eventually dying out “like the bubonic plague”, according to US scientists.
Researchers at Princeton University say the giant social networking site has spread like an infectious disease but users are slowly becoming immune to its attractions.
They forecast that the site will be largely abandoned by 2017 after comparing the growth curve of epidemics like the plague to those of online social networks.

Facebook, which celebrates its 10th birthday on February 4, has outlasted rivals such as MySpace and Bebo but the experts claim it will lose 80 per cent of its users within the next three years.

Researchers John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term. They discovered that Facebook searches peaked in December 2012 and have begun to tail off.

"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models," the authors report in a paper entitled ‘Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics’.
"Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other”, they say, adding that users “ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of 'immunity' to the idea."

Facebook is due to update investors on its latest traffic numbers at the end of the month. Its most recent figures, released in October, showed nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users.

But the company’s chief financial officer David Ebersman admitted on an earnings call with analysts that during the previous three months: “We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.

Web experts said that the decline in desktop traffic to Facebook may be partially explained by the fact that many people now only access the network via their mobile phones.

According to estimates, 870 million people use Facebook via their smartphones each month, which could explain the drop in Google searches. Users accessing the site no longer do so by typing the name of site into Google.

Despite the grim forecast, investors appear to be untroubled. Facebook’s share price reached record highs this month, valuing the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg at £85 billion.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/f ... lague.html
Anyone else still waiting? According to this article, Facebook will be 'abandoned' by 2017... wonder if he feels a bit of an idiot now?
 
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Anyone else still waiting? According to this article, Facebook will be 'abandoned' by 2017... wonder if he feels a bit of an idiot now?
I just went back on FB yesterday! I was off it for 3 1/2 years. I just intend to use it for accessing groups and maybe a couple of friends. Just sent one friend request so far.

I'm too active on Twitter to keep both going at full steam.
 

RaM

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There was also an odd sleeping disease, which caused people to become lethargic and basically starve to death due to sleeping all the time. Is there a good book collecting these lost diseases?
There was maybe still is Sleeping Sickness spread by the bite of the Tsetse Fly
maybe what got sleeping beauty.
 

Cochise

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Anyone else still waiting? According to this article, Facebook will be 'abandoned' by 2017... wonder if he feels a bit of an idiot now?
It is a lot less active than it used to be. Less idiots telling you when they are going to the loo or what they had for breakfast. it is the nature of modern technology that after a while people get bored and move on - predicting the actual time scale is more difficult. 30 years ago we were all using BBS's.
 

catseye

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I
It is a lot less active than it used to be. Less idiots telling you when they are going to the loo or what they had for breakfast. it is the nature of modern technology that after a while people get bored and move on - predicting the actual time scale is more difficult. 30 years ago we were all using BBS's.
It's certainly not less active in the circles I move in!
 

Kingsize Wombat

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An Ancient Case of the Plague Could Rewrite History

The troublesome teeth belonged to a woman buried in Sweden. She lived 4,900 years ago, and she died young. Only when scientists reexamined DNA from two of her teeth last year did they notice something shocking: Her DNA was in there all right, but so were genetic sequences from Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. The plague is known to have swept through Europe in later times—most infamously as the Black Death during the Middle Ages. But scientists thought the disease had originated thousands of miles away in Asia. What was it doing this far west, in Sweden, this long ago?

“It was really unexpected,” says Nicolás Rascovan, a genetics researcher at Aix Marseille Université. The answer, he and his co-authors suggest in a new study, is that the plague actually originated in Europe. And the bacteria from the woman’s teeth might be the earliest evidence of a continent-wide epidemic, one that explains a sudden and mysterious collapse in the European population.

It’s a lot to conclude from just a few ancient teeth.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/12/4900-year-old-case-plague-sweden/577315/
 
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The Black Death travelled far and wide.

In the 14th century, the Black Death swept across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, killing up to 50% of the population in some cities.

But archaeologists and historians have assumed that the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, carried by fleas infesting rodents, didn't make it across the Sahara Desert. Medieval sub-Saharan Africa's few written records make no mention of plague, and the region lacks mass graves resembling the "plague pits" of Europe. Nor did European explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries record any sign of the disease, even though outbreaks continued to beset Europe.

Now, some researchers point to new evidence from archaeology, history, and genetics to argue that the Black Death likely did sow devastation in medieval sub-Saharan Africa. "It's entirely possible that [plague] would have headed south," says Anne Stone, an anthropological geneticist who studies ancient pathogens at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe. If proved, the presence of plague would put renewed attention on the medieval trade routes that linked sub-Saharan Africa to other continents. But Stone and others caution that the evidence so far is circumstantial; researchers need ancient DNA from Africa to clinch their case. The new finds, to be presented this week at a conference at the University of Paris, may spur more scientists to search for it. ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2019-03-06&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2701860
 

Tribble

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According to a report in the Siberian Times on Friday, "the Mongolian authorities have confirmed the deaths of a husband and wife in the country's western Ulgii district," a spokesperson for the district's emergency management said that "preliminary test results show that bubonic plague likely caused the deaths of the two people."

The couple, a 38-year-old man and his 37-year-old wife, reportedly fell ill after eating contaminated marmot. The consumption of Marmots, a particularly large variety of squirrel, is prohibited in Mongolia and clearly for good reason. According to the Siberian Times, the man died on 27 April and his wife three days later. They leave four children.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdof...-flight-and-causes-border-chaos/#43704e521e0b
 

Yithian

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Mongolian couple die of bubonic plague after eating marmot
Six-day quarantine declared in region, preventing tourists from leaving

A Mongolian couple have died of the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot kidney, triggering a quarantine that left tourists stranded in a remote region for days.

The ethnic Kazakh couple died on 1 May in Mongolia’s westernmost province of Bayan-Ulgii, which borders Russia and China.

A six-day quarantine was declared in the region, preventing nine tourists from Russia, Germany and Switzerland from leaving.

CONTINUED:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ple-die-of-bubonic-plague-after-eating-marmot
 

Mythopoeika

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Mongolian couple die of bubonic plague after eating marmot
Six-day quarantine declared in region, preventing tourists from leaving

A Mongolian couple have died of the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot kidney, triggering a quarantine that left tourists stranded in a remote region for days.

The ethnic Kazakh couple died on 1 May in Mongolia’s westernmost province of Bayan-Ulgii, which borders Russia and China.

A six-day quarantine was declared in the region, preventing nine tourists from Russia, Germany and Switzerland from leaving.

CONTINUED:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ple-die-of-bubonic-plague-after-eating-marmot
Who on Earth in their right mind does that? It really is tempting fate in so many ways.
 

maximus otter

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I wonder why they did? Is this an extreme poverty kind of situation, maybe. Couldn't afford the meat so they killed what they could find? It's hard to picture that people would actively eat less desirable local wildlife if they could avoid it.
They’d probably think the same way about eating rabbit. Maybe marmot kidney is a traditional local delicacy, like tripe and onions.

*gag*

maximus otter
 
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They’d probably think the same way about eating rabbit. Maybe marmot kidney is a traditional local delicacy, like tripe and onions.

*gag*

maximus otter
Tripe and drisheen with onions is a Cork delicacy, though not as popular as it used to be. Didn't lead to any Black Death breakouts afaiaa.
 

bugmum

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Ah, Yersinia pestis, my favourite microorganism... I worked in conjunction with Dstl on genome sequencing of Y. pestis, we have a couple of papers out on it with regards to looking for essential genes that can be targeted for new drugs. It's a clonal variant of the much less virulent Y. pseudotuberculosis that picked up 3 plasmids across the millennia, which basically turned it into one of the biggest killers in human history. All the ancient DNA testing keeps pushing back the presence of Y. pestis in Europe further and further, but it seems quite conclusive that it originated in the Tibetan plateau and keeps re-emerging at intervals. Three pandemics and counting...

And in case no-one answered the earlier question, Y. pestis causes all three forms of plague - bubonic, pneumonic and septicaemic. It's a serious multi-tasker.
 

bugmum

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So, will we see another?
I think that technically we're still in the third, although it has obviously been limited by modern medical techniques - unless you're in Madagascar, anyway. But once the antibiotic resistance takes hold, I'm sure it will be back in force. As Bill Bryson points out, this is the bacteria's planet and they just let us live here.
 

Mythopoeika

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I think that technically we're still in the third, although it has obviously been limited by modern medical techniques - unless you're in Madagascar, anyway. But once the antibiotic resistance takes hold, I'm sure it will be back in force. As Bill Bryson points out, this is the bacteria's planet and they just let us live here.
This might be the way the population level 'corrects' itself. Medicine fails and we're back to how things used to be.
 
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