|Jan11-09, 05:48 PM||#1|
Plague war and prosperity
A look at how plague and war made the west more prosperous.
|Jan12-09, 09:27 AM||#2|
The plague did not kill indiscriminately.
Anthropologists Dr Sharon DeWitte, of the University at Albany in New York and Pennsylvania State University's Professor James Wood say many perfectly healthy people were killed by the plague.
However, writing in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they say those already in poor health before the pandemic were more likely to have perished.
"A lot of people have assumed the Black Death killed indiscriminately, just because it had such massive mortality," DeWitte says.
"There's been a tradition of thinking that the Black Death was this unique case where no one was safe and if you were exposed to the disease that was it.
Recently the scientists Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan from Liverpool University have proposed the theory that the Black Death might have been caused by an Ebola-like virus, not a bacterium. Their rationale is that this plague spread much faster and the incubation period was much longer than the plagues caused by Yersinia pestis. (A longer period of incubation will allow carriers of the infection to travel farther and infect more people than a shorter one. When the primary vector is humans, as opposed to birds, this is of great importance.) Studies of English church-records indicate an unusually long incubation period in excess of 30 days which could account for the rapid spread, topping at 5 km/day. It also took place in completely ratless areas like Iceland. It was transferred between humans (which happens rarely with Yersinia pestis), and some genes that determine immunity to Ebola-like viruses are much more widespread in Europe than in other parts of the world.
|Jan24-09, 07:56 AM||#3|
I have seen the genetic study that does verify your post. I can't post a link, because its a subscription from my place of work.
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