bubonic plague

18 Stories

Source of London's Great Plague Is Found in Boneyard

'Yersina pestis' also responsible for the Black Death

(Newser) - Scientists finally know what killed 100,000 people in the Great Plague of London, or a quarter of the population, more than 350 years ago—and it would've been familiar to anyone around 300 years before that. An examination of 20 of the 3,500 skeletons found last year... More »

Oregon Teen Is Latest Plague Victim

That brings the total to 16 cases in the US this year

(Newser) - A teen in Oregon is the 16th person in the US to contract the bubonic plague this year. The girl fell ill on Oct. 21 while on a hunting trip in Morrow County and was hospitalized a few days later, officials say, adding she likely acquired the infectious disease "... More »

Michigan Gets First-Ever Case of Bubonic Plague

Patient probably got it on a trip to Colorado

(Newser) - Michigan doctors have an unwanted first on their hands: a patient with bubonic plague. It sounds a lot worse than it is, however. The unidentified patient is recovering and has a form of the plague that isn't contagious, reports MLive . And Michigan residents will be happy to learn that... More »

Colorado Already Has 2 Plague Deaths This Summer

Officials believe the victims were infected by fleas

(Newser) - A Colorado resident died of the plague Tuesday, likely after being infected by fleas from a dead animal. The unidentified adult becomes the second person to die from the infamous disease this year. A 16-year-old star baseball player died of the plague in June. Both victims likely had a rare... More »

Skeletons Under Railroad Could Tell Us About Plague

London excavation to unearth thousands of bones with possible bubonic clues

(Newser) - They came from every parish of London, and from all walks of life, and ended up in a burial ground called Bedlam. Now scientists hope these centuries-old skeletons can reveal new information about how long-ago Londoners lived—and about the bubonic plague that often killed them. Archaeologists announced yesterday that... More »

True Root of Black Death: Giant Gerbils?

Climate fluctuations suggest the plague entered European harbors from Asia

(Newser) - Much-maligned black rats and their fleas have long been blamed for spreading the Black Death that claimed millions of lives in Europe over the course of a few hundred years, but scientists now have a new critter they think was at fault. By studying tree rings to learn about precise... More »

NY Subway Has Bubonic Plague

Study maps DNA of New York City storied subway system

(Newser) - Like riding the subway in New York? You're not alone: so do countless bacteria including bubonic plague, anthrax, and E. coli, the Wall Street Journal reports. A new study maps out the subway system's DNA, revealing an underground world packed with microbial diversity. "People don’t look... More »

China Seals Off City After Plague Death

Extreme response puzzles experts

(Newser) - Parts of a city in northwest China have been sealed off after a death from bubonic plague, according to state media, but some Western experts aren't sure we're getting the full story. Reports from China say the city of Yumen, population around 100,000, was split into quarantine... More »

The Black Death Had a Silver Lining

'Strong force of natural selection' left behind a much healthier population

(Newser) - If you can find an upside to the decimation of tens of millions of Europeans, a new study has it, per the BBC : It seems that the Black Death, which killed some 30% to 50% of Europe's population between 1347 and 1351, had the accidental effect of leaving survivors... More »

Black Death 'Revelation' Is Totally Bogus

The plague was bubonic, and rats were involved

(Newser) - This week you may have seen stories from news sites like this one touting "new findings" about the Black Death, suggesting that it was not a bubonic plague spread by fleas on rats, but a pneumonic one spread via human coughing. Almost all these stories are sourced from this... More »

Black Death Wasn't Actually Bubonic Plague

Researchers think it spread in an airborne manner

(Newser) - A fascinating sidebar to the news that some of the skeletons dug up in London during excavation for a train line last year are indeed the remains of Black Death victims : The Observer zeroes in on a new theory as to how the disease spread, and according to researchers, we... More »

Plague, Black Death Were Different, and That's Bad News

A new strain could rise up that's just as deadly: scientists

(Newser) - The Plague of Justinian and the Black Death arose from separate bacteria strains, researchers say—and that's not a good thing, because if distinct plagues have ravaged the human population before, they could come up again, LiveScience reports. A group of researchers came to this conclusion by digging up... More »

Bubonic Plague Returns to 2012's Worst-Hit Country

20 died last week in remote Madagascar village

(Newser) - Experts have detected the bubonic plague in a Madagascar village where at least 20 people were confirmed to have died last week. Though the disease is rare today, the Red Cross warned of a Madagascar outbreak in October, and 60 people in the country died from the disease last year,... More »

Stunned Couple Gets the Bubonic Plague

Husband slips into coma for nearly 90 days

(Newser) - Cases of bubonic plague aren't exactly common these days. But when Lucinda Marker and her husband John Tull fell ill on a trip to Manhattan—and realized it might not be the flu—they were smart to go see a doctor. It turned out that plague-infected fleas had bitten... More »

Girl Gets the Plague After Playing Near Dead Squirrel

Sierra Jane Downing recovering after some medical sleuthing

(Newser) - Another case of bubonic plague is making headlines in the US, this one involving a 7-year-old girl who contracted it after encountering a dead squirrel on a camping trip in Colorado. Animal lover Sierra Jane Downing wanted to bury the squirrel, and disregarded her parents' instructions to leave the animal... More »

Plague Making a Comeback— Among the Rich

It's catching on among affluent New Mexicans

(Newser) - The Black Death appears to have gotten a toehold in an unlikely community: affluent New Mexicans. That's the conclusion of a new report studying reported cases in the US since 1976, and it's a pretty surprising one, given that the plague has historically cropped up among impoverished people... More »

Wimpy Cousin of Black Death Still Around

Medieval plague shares gene sequence with modern version

(Newser) - The version of the bubonic plague kicking around today is indeed related to the one that wiped out a third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages, researchers have confirmed, after DNA testing on 109 ancient skeletons buried in a mass victims' grave in London revealed a shared gene... More »

Peru Hit by Bubonic Plague

Dozens infected in outbreak in northern province

(Newser) - The disease that decimated much of Europe in the Middle Ages is alive and well in Peru, where health officials say an outbreak in the north has killed a 14-year-old boy and infected at least 30 other people. Twenty-five of the cases are bubonic plague, which is spread by fleas,... More »

18 Stories