Black Death

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Scientists May Have Solved a Mystery of the Plague
Black Death May
Have Started Here

Black Death May Have Started Here

Researchers believe 700-year-old teeth point to what is now Kyrgyzstan

(Newser) - Researchers say they've discovered "when and where the single most notorious and infamous killer of humans began." They're referring to the Black Death, or bubonic plague, which is thought to have wiped out tens of millions of people in Europe, Asia, and North Africa during...

Doubt Cast on Death Toll From the Black Plague
Doubt Cast on Death Toll
From the Black Plague

Doubt Cast on Death Toll From the Black Plague

Researchers analyzing ancient pollen deposits are skeptical it killed half of Europe

(Newser) - "It may still be the 'mother of all pandemics,' but what we think the Black Death was is changing," according to researchers, who are calling into question the widely reported claim that the bubonic plague pandemic from 1346 to 1353 wiped out half of Europe's...

Couple Eats Raw Rodent Meat, Dies of Bubonic Plague

6-day quarantine declared in Mongolia

(Newser) - A Mongolian couple who took part in a supposed "folk remedy for good health," per the BBC , ended up dying of bubonic plague. The couple ate raw marmot meat and kidney and came down with the highly contagious plague, and on May 1, 118 people who had come...

American Child Gets Disease That Killed Half of Europe

It's Idaho's first human case in 26 years

(Newser) - An Idaho child has come down with a rare illness that once tormented medieval Europe. Details are scant, but the child contracted bubonic plague in Idaho or on a recent visit to Oregon and is recovering with antibiotics, per the Idaho Statesman and Oregonian . Where the child lives, in Elmore...

In Case of Black Death, Rats May Be Innocent
Don't Blame Rats for
Europe's Black Death

Don't Blame Rats for Europe's Black Death

Human-carried parasites might be true culprits: study

(Newser) - Those poor, misjudged rats? According to infectious disease experts in Norway and Italy, rats aren't to blame for the spread of the Black Death, which has previously been referred to as the species' most infamous crime. In fact, humans might've been directly involved, reports the CBC . While studying...

Plague Finds its Way to Fleas in One US State

Arizona county is warning residents to leash their dogs and de-flea all pets

(Newser) - The bacterium that wiped out millions in Europe in the Black Death pandemic of the 1300s lives on, and officials say it's resurfaced in fleas in Arizona. Navajo County public health officials warn on Facebook that Yersinia pestis, better known as the plague, can be transmitted to humans and...

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...

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...

Africa Fights Ebola With Black Death Tactic

Enforced boundary around infected area being put in place

(Newser) - The Ebola outbreak is spreading so fast that governments are putting into place "cordon sanitaire"—a tactic once used to contain the Black Death, the New York Times reports. The idea is to draw a boundary around the infected area and not allow anybody out. In this case,...

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...

Black Death 'Revelation' Is Totally Bogus
 Black Death 
 'Revelation' Is 
 Totally Bogus 
Bad Science Dept.

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...

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...

Skeletons Reveal Black Death Secrets

Victims led hard lives before dying, scientists say

(Newser) - Skeletons dug up in London last year are indeed the remains of people who died from the Black Plague—and who suffered a tough life before falling ill, the BBC reports. Forensic analysis shows that teeth taken from at least four of the 12 corpses discovered during excavation for a...

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...

Girl Gets the Plague After Playing Near Dead Squirrel
Girl Gets the Plague After Playing Near Dead Squirrel

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...

Oregon Man Hit With Plague Could Lose Fingers

Paul Gaylord contracted rare disease from cat bite

(Newser) - One look at Paul Gaylord's hands shows why the plague is referred to as "Black Death." The 59-year-old contracted the plague after trying to take a mouse from the jaws of a choking cat, which then bit him. Now the Oregon welder's once-strong hands have been...

Oregon Man Suffering From Black Death

He gets plague after grabbing mouse from stray cat

(Newser) - An Oregon man suffering from the Black Death is in critical condition. The rural Crook County resident, in his 50s, fell ill after he was bitten in the hand as he tried to grab a mouse from a stray cat. It's the fifth plague case in Oregon since 1995....

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