Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Scientists examine evidence from medieval times to recent outbreak in Madagascar

The Black Death in the 14th Century was the most devastating pandemic in human history. Untold millions died from the rapidly spread disease. For centuries, the plague had been blamed on rodents, whose fleas carried bubonic plague. However, 25 skeletons discovered by railway engineers beneath London suggest the Black Death was even more lethal than previously thought.

The skeletons, by and large, were poor people. Many of the skeletons showed signs of malnutrition consistent with the 'Great Famine' that struck Europe 30 years before the Black Death.

The skeletons, by and large, were poor people. Many of the skeletons showed signs of malnutrition consistent with the "Great Famine" that struck Europe 30 years before the Black Death.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/1/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Bubonic plague, skeletons, United Kingdom


LOS ANGELES, ca (Catholic Online) - After analyzing the teeth of the corpses, scientists believe the bubonic plague mutated into a more virulent strain that passed easily from human to human.

The "pneumonic" form of plague infected the lungs of sufferers. The disease could be easily spread by merely coughing. In medieval Europe's crowded, packed cities this proved to be unavoidable. It also had a much lower survival rate and could kill within 24 hours.

No child need ever go to bed hungry -- go here!


It's estimated that the lives of around 75 million people were claimed by the plague in the 14th century. The researchers say only the more contagious strain can explain why so many died.

In the new BBC documentary, "Secret History: Return of the Black Death," the telecast will focus on the Crossrail project where 25 skeletons were discovered while workers dug 26 miles of tunnels beneath the capital.

Discovered close to Smithfield Market last year, the skeletons were found in neat rows on two levels sealed under a layer of clay. Thousands of bodies are thought to have been interred at an emergency burial site there.

Teeth from 12 of the skeletons were sent for analysis and four tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the deadly bacteria responsible for both bubonic and pneumonic plague. Researchers concluded that the bubonic strain could not have had the devastating impact seen during the Black Death.

"As an explanation for the Black Death in its own right, [bubonic plague is] simply not good enough," Dr. Tim Brooks, an expert in infectious diseases at Public Health England, said.

"It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics."

"In a small number of people the organism will spread to their lungs and they will then develop a pneumonia. It is that critical switch, that if there were enough people in contact with "hem, that allows it to spread as a pneumonic plague.'

Fellow researcher Don Walker, of the Museum of London Archaeology, said the pneumonic form was "more lethal," adding, that "There was no chance of recovery."

Archaeologists, historians, microbiologists and physicists worked together to apply techniques from several scientific disciplines to the discovery.

The skeletons, by and large, were poor people. Many of the skeletons showed signs of malnutrition consistent with the "Great Famine" that struck Europe 30 years before the Black Death. Many had back injuries suggesting lives of hard labor.

Archaeologists were surprised to discover that the skeletons lay in layers and appeared to come from three different periods: the original Black Death epidemic in 1348-1350, and later outbreaks in 1361 and the early 15th century.

"It suggests that the burial ground was used again and again for the burial of plague victims," Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Europe

Archaeologists find a very different type of 'treasure' - a 2,000-year-old toilet seat Watch

Image of Discovered at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accustomed to finding priceless coins, artwork and historical artifacts, archaeologists in Great Britain have found an altogether different type of treasure - one that was desperately needed in ancient times - a wooden toilet seat, believed to be 2,000 years ... continue reading


Over 1,400 girls raped and abused by Muslims in English town Watch

Image of For more than 12 years a large community of Pakistanis living in England have enjoyed sexually abusing girls while officials turned a blind eye a new report reveals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over a 12 year period, hundreds of children were systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town, and the government commissioned report on the incident reveals that it is still going on today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Guilty? Corruption case moves forward against the head of International Monetary Fund Watch

Image of Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, who is facing charges currently in France.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and one of the most powerful women in the world, has been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as a French finance minister. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scandalous details come to light over defrocked nuncio's abuse of young boys Watch

Image of Shoeshine boys int he Dominican Republic say that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual acts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Loathsome details have come to light over defrocked Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Shoeshine boys say that Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual ... continue reading


Archbishop appeals his defrocking for sexual abuse allegedly committed in Dominican Republic Watch

Image of If found guilty in a criminal trial, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, from Poland, is accused of child sex abuse while he served in the Dominican Republic. He has since appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, according to the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING: Are there more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for British military? Watch

Image of Many young men facing poor job prospects in the U.K. find the IS narrative of defending Islam hard to resist.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a shocking figure that has many questioning immigration laws. Britain's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. In a momentous slap to the West - and ... continue reading


British Archbishop demands Muslim leaders enforce discipline on youth or face the consequences Watch

Image of George Carey, a former Archbishop recently spoke on the dangers of the Islamic State, as well as the British Muslims who go overseas to fight for it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for Britons that are fighting for the Islamic State to be banished from Britain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lord George Carey of Clifton said that Muslims must  discipline their young people, or see them ... continue reading


Pontifical Council Statement on the Violence in Iraq Watch

Image of Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis:

By Vatican Radio

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious ... continue reading


British rapper makes 14-year-old girl post sex video online Watch

Image of The girl, who can't be named for legal reasons, accepted a friend request from rapper Logik, whose real name is Kyle Burns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a sick incident that highlights what's going on around the eyes and ears of semi-attentive parents. A British rapper who goes under the stage name of "Logik" asked a 14-year-old girl to pose an indecent 60-second video of herself to which he promised ... continue reading


A new tomb may be the burial place of Alexander the Great Watch

Image of This road leads up to a newly discovered tomb which could hold the remains of one of Alexander the Great's generals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered an immense tomb that they believe may be connected with Alexander the Great, whose conquests stretched from Greece to India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This tomb, which dates to around 300 BC, may have held the body ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter