Black Death study lets rats off the hook
Now, what disease do you suppose could possibly spread that fast, and that far, in autumn to early spring?
Very efficient human to human spread, and very high mortality, it's all very interesting, and disturbing to not know the answers.
Quote from www.guardian.co.uk
"The evidence just isn't there to support it," said Barney Sloane, author of The Black Death in London. "We ought to be finding great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites but they just aren't there. And all the evidence I've looked at suggests the plague spread too fast for the traditional explanation of transmission by rats and fleas. It has to be person to person – there just isn't time for the rats to be spreading it."
He added: "It was certainly the Black Death but it is by no means certain what that disease was, whether in fact it was bubonic plague."
As the disease gripped – in October 1348 rather than the late summer others suggested, reaching its height in April 1349 – the numbers of wills soared as panic-striken wealthy citizens realised their deaths were probably imminent.
Mortality continued to rise throughout the bitterly cold winter, when fleas could not have survived, and there is no evidence of enough rats.
(hat tip crofsblog)
Quote from GHGoonette
"Always" as in how long?
Well, according to your Wikipedia article, since 1967! I was born in 1976, and took micro and patho in the mid-90s, so for me it has always been Yersinia! All I ever knew of the Pasteurella genus is pretty much covered here:
Last edit by TLCfromSC on Aug 20, '11
: Reason: add link