Author Topic: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.  (Read 14185 times)

Offline Yonkey

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2006, 06:05:19 AM »
Is it just me, or does the "Sweating sickness" sound more like an elevated fever than anything else? :P In those days, they didn't have anti-biotics so in order to combat sickness, the body elevates its core temperature to "kill off" unknown bacteria.  Obviously, the higher your core temperature elevates, the more sweaty, fatigued, and delerious you get. 8)

Anyway, it makes the most sense for the Black Death / Bubonic Plague to have been spread by rats, or more specifically rats infested with fleas that harbored the bacteria Y. pestis, since it is able to thrive in flea anatomy:

Quote
Pathogenicity of Y. pestis is due to two anti-phagocytic antigens, named F1 and VW, both required for virulence.[1] These antigens are produced by the bacterium at 37°C: this is why insects—such as the flea—harbor non-virulent bacteria.
(Reference: Answers.com)

As for how the fleas got infected with bacterium, you'd have to read the papers people have published on Y. pestis (since they aren't free :P) but I would assume it was produced by the offspring of one flea containing half the bacteria and the other flea containing the other half. :scholar:
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 06:21:44 AM by Yonkey »
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Offline Baggins

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2006, 10:02:36 PM »
Well the thing is Bubonic wasn't the only type of plague recorded in ancient history, or known by modern scientists. There are several other kinds of Pestis bacterium that are spread by other means, that can cause other kinds of plagues. Yersinia pestis can actually cause 3 types of plagues.

Some of the stuff that was called Bubonic plague was actually had symptoms from other plague types that Bubonic plague itself doesn't have.

Some of those other symptoms can also be caused by other things besides different kinds of "pestis" bacteriums.

Thus why historians debate on if there was more than one type of plague going on during the "Black Death" and some of the other great plagues.

Also certain kinds of pestis varieties can also be transmitted through physical contact with soil that harbored the bactyeria, fecal matter, saliva, or physical contact with those that were already infected. We are talking about a time when people dumped their feces right into the street.

So their were other means of transmission, not to mention different varities of pestis plague.

To quote Wikipedia, these are statistics for deaths during the "Black Death" for the various kinds of plagues;

Quote
The bubonic plague was the most commonly seen form during the Black Death, with a mortality rate of thirty to seventy-five percent and symptoms including fever of 38 - 41 °C (101-105 °F), headaches, aching joints, nausea and vomiting, and a general feeling of malaise. The pneumonic plague was the second most commonly seen form during the Black Death, with a mortality rate of ninety to ninety-five percent. Symptoms included slimy sputum tinted with blood. As the disease progressed, sputum became free flowing and bright red. Septicaemic plague was the most rare of the three forms, with mortality close to one hundred percent. Symptoms were high fevers and skin turning deep shades of purple due to DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation).

Plus some of the symptoms are shared with other kinds of diseases, so there is the chance that some died of something else, but since it shared symptoms with the various pestis plagues, it was documented as being part of the Black Death.


The question is not of if rats with fleas spread the disease, since its largely believed rats were one of the culprits. The real question is how much did the rats or fleas spread the disease, and how much was transmission originated from other causes.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 10:10:03 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Yonkey

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2006, 05:17:31 AM »
Some of those other symptoms can also be caused by other things besides different kinds of "pestis" bacteriums.

Thus why historians debate on if there was more than one type of plague going on during the "Black Death" and some of the other great plagues.
Oh definitely.  In fact, if you read the entire webpage I referenced, you'll notice that it says that Y. pestis is a culprit in many of the plagues that Europe experienced.  Due to the nature of viruses, it's completely possible that certain strains evolved from Y. pestis producing different plagues, symptops and whatnot.

On the bright side, there is an antidote to this bacteria, so everyone who's completely scared by this thread doesn't need to me. :P
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2006, 08:21:32 AM »
On the bright side, there is an antidote to this bacteria, so everyone who's completely scared by this thread doesn't need to me. :P
Aw. :'( *thinks this thread is about to die...:'(* IT DESERVES TO LIVE!! :P
 
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Offline Shades2585

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2006, 10:02:54 AM »
On the bright side, there is an antidote to this bacteria, so everyone who's completely scared by this thread doesn't need to me. :P
Aw. :'( *thinks this thread is about to die...:'(* IT DESERVES TO LIVE!! :P
LOL
Don’t worry I’m sure it will pop up when/where it’s least expected.
I just read about an outbreak of Ebola that killed some 400 gorillas.
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Offline Baggins

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2006, 10:36:02 AM »
Ya well certain symptoms of actual pestis plague are shared by things such as Ebola, and other types of viruses, bacterium, and in some cases even Anthrax, heh.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 11:06:21 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Deloria

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2007, 12:22:35 PM »
Revived, as I maintained it should live, it shall! :P

Anyone want to discuss the Spanish Flu? :P
 
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Offline tessspoon

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2007, 12:28:34 PM »
Sure. Uhh, how's it different from other flus? ;P

Offline Petra Rocks

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2007, 12:36:00 PM »
Sure. :D IIRC, Spainish flu was a plague that ravaged the France and Spain in the Early modern period sometime, but I could well be wrong.  :P

Offline Shades2585

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2007, 03:54:44 PM »
Sure. Uhh, how's it different from other flus? ;P
Sure. :D IIRC, Spainish flu was a plague that ravaged the France and Spain in the Early modern period sometime, but I could well be wrong.  :P

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Offline Gilgamesh

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2007, 04:01:49 PM »
Whoot nice thread.

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Offline tessspoon

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2007, 05:00:19 PM »
Thought it was gone? Think again!
Take a look here: Discovery
Never would have thought a virus could cause someone to drown to death.

Offline Shades2585

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2007, 05:21:14 PM »
Thought it was gone? Think again!
Take a look here: Discovery
Never would have thought a virus could cause someone to drown to death.
There are several if IIFC though i can't think of their names right now, Petra might thought, but I didn't know this was one of them until that article. :(
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Offline Delling

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2007, 09:26:19 PM »
Firstly, I love the name of this thread...

Secondly, I missed this topic so I didn't get to bring this up then...

In regard to the sweating sickness, the initial phases (apprehension, shivers, giddiness, headache) all seem to point to a neurological illness :( while the later phases (sweating and fever and the symptoms following those) indicate the body had purged most of its nutrients and fluids through its sweating. Finally, heart palpitations, continued pains, and exhaustion and collapse support the idea that the loss of nutrients and certainly any damage from the fever (and whatever infection caused the onset in the first place) had simply worn the body out past its ability to recover. It seems to me that the cause of the illness reacted with the body in such a way as to make the body practically destroy itself.
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Offline tessspoon

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2007, 10:54:04 AM »
That's a lot of mice!

Offline koko_99_2001

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2007, 01:16:33 PM »
ewwww!
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Offline Yonkey

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2007, 01:40:30 PM »
That's disgusting! :X
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2008, 09:39:19 AM »
Another happy subject! Europe's now war-razed state:



*spam*
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 10:10:02 AM by Deloria »
 
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Offline Shades2585

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2008, 11:41:44 AM »
Another happy subject! Europe's now war-razed state:



*spam*
LOL That's Great. I wish I could actually read it. That looks funny.
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Rats, fleas, the Black Death and other happy subjects.
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2008, 12:26:59 PM »
It is a pity. :-\
 
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