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Controversial new research suggests that contrary to the history books, the "Black Death" that devastated medieval Europe was not the bubonic plague, but rather an Ebola-like virus.
History books have long taught the Black Death, which wiped out a quarter of Europe's population in the Middle Ages, was caused by bubonic plague, spread by infected fleas that lived on black rats. But new research in England suggests the killer was actually an Ebola-like virus transmitted directly from person to person.
The Black Death killed some 25 million Europeans in a devastating outbreak between 1347 and 1352, and then reappeared periodically for more than 300 years. Scholars had thought flea-infested rats living on ships brought the disease from China to Italy and then the rest of the continent.
But researchers Christopher Duncan and Susan Scott of the University of Liverpool say that the flea-borne bubonic plague could not have torn across Europe the way the Black Death did.
The debate stems largely from the difficulty of identifying a disease based on the few medieval descriptions of the Black Death that have survived.
Now two researchers from the University of Liverpool are presenting a new theory. In ''Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historic Populations,'' published in March, the authors argue that a hemorrhagic virus, like Ebola, probably caused the Black Death and most of the smaller epidemics that struck Europe for the next three centuries, not bubonic plague.
The authors, Dr. Susan Scott, a demographer, and Dr. Christopher J. Duncan, a zoologist, say their theory answers many lingering questions about the rapid spread and virulence of the Black Death. Their argument is based in part on reports that the disease was transmitted from person to person.
They also observe that bubonic plague is a disease of rodents but that Europe had no rodent species that could harbor the disease between outbreaks.
The rats that passed the plague through fleas to humans during epidemics all died, so the plague would have perished with them, Dr. Scott and Dr. Duncan say.
Dr. Samuel K. Cohn, a professor of medieval history at the University of Glasgow, maintains that many other diseases are better candidates for the Black Death and its subsequent outbreaks through the early modern period than Yersinia pestis.
For the 2011 book, “The Black Death in London”, author Barney Sloane, an archaeologist who worked on medieval sites for the Museum of London and is now attached to English Heritage, documents the 1348-49 epidemic that killed two thirds of the city could not have been bubonic plague, because “The evidence just isn't there to support it.”
“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.”
originally posted by: MGaddafi
This may be an easy answer. But how do the fleas survive with such a deadly virus. Are they immune if so isnt there a way we could revese engineer their immunity for a cure (Though theres a natural one readily available already.)
In the wake of the first outbreak, Europeans learned that quarantining infected families for 40 days was effective in stopping the spread. Such a measure would not have worked if the disease were transmitted by rats which are the popular theory on how the disease was spread.
Also, the 40-day period was enough time to ensure the disease finished its incubation period. One of the difficulties in controlling the Ebola virus is that its symptoms start to appear only about five to 22 days after exposure. Therefore people who appear perfectly healthy could be carrying the lethal disease.
It may not be popular to propose this now, but 666 years ago a 40 day observation period helped stop the spread of the plague. 666 years later we watch and wait for the 22 days of incubation and hope for the best.
It is also interesting to note that 666 years ago when people were dropping like flies some of the first clowns were seen in the streets of Europe. The clowns were actually a commentary on the outrageous features that were seen on plague victims.
The clown face of course was pale, with enlarged red fat lips and exaggerated tassels or buttons that looked very much like the purple and reddish buboes on the body. The clown was a comical form of the corpse like victim that had the plague. This may be why many people associate the clown with death. That is because 666 years ago there were troupes of clowns that were being trained by the various parishes to entertain the dying and to create a way to laugh at the plague rather than worry about it.
It is also interesting to point out that 666 years ago there was also some concern about whether or not a Comet passing near earth was also responsible for the outbreak of the plague.
Comet Negra appeared in 1347, 666 years to the month Comet ISON appeared in 2013. The earth was also subjected to a bombardment of fireballs from space during the 14th century and that this may very well have been not only the cause of the January 25th, 1348 earthquake, but also the cause of the Black Death.
The earth is regularly hit by extraterrestrial objects and many of the impacting bodies explode in the atmosphere as happened in Tunguska and with the Chelyabinsk meteor in Central Russia leaving no craters or long-lasting visible evidence of a body from space.
But just because there is no long-lasting evidence doesn’t mean there is no significant effect on the planet and/or its inhabitants! These impacts or atmospheric explosions may produce earthquakes or tsunamis without any witnesses being aware of the cause.
They have been shown to bring with them building blocks for life and other Scientists have theorized that they may also bring with them diseases from space.
Long before ISON fizzled before our eyes we were warned that passing through what was left of its tail and with the solar maximum on the way and we could see the triggering of cosmic plagues. The idea at the time sounded a bit too Mediaeval to comprehend.
Panspermia is a hypothesis proposing that microscopic life forms that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophiles, become trapped in debris that is ejected into space after collisions between planets and small Solar System bodies that harbor life. Some organisms may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary disks. If met with ideal conditions on a new planet's surfaces, the organisms become active and the process of evolution begins. Panspermia is not meant to address how life began, just the method that may cause its distribution in the Universe.
n 1014 AD a swarm of cometary debris struck the Americas
it is thought to have ended the Aztec empire
it caused a tsunami in England
1014 + 333 = 1347
There was also a comet in 1014