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Thread: bubonic plague

  1. #1 bubonic plague 
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    ive been researching about the black plague after the little girl in colorado was infected. whats the probability of it runing rampant in our modern world. do you think the plagues return could kill us as efectiveliy as in 13th century eurasia?
    Id like to hear any thoughts relating to this topic.


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    Not necessarily the plague itself. And controlling the insect and rodent vectors is a) well understood, b) easily done by modern quarantine and eradication techniques.

    We've had a couple of near misses with flu mutations. Apart from the 1918 mass killer, we've managed to mostly dodge the bullet of simultaneous changes in both virulence and transmission between humans. The really deadly ones of more recent years haven't been directly transmitted human to human. Our luck will run out some time. And then it'll be a race between the spread of the virus and the spread of vaccination and the enforcement of quarantine provisions.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    I think the Black Plague is very easily cured by modern methods, so does not pose any threat.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    Sanitary conditions. Sanitary conditions. Sanitary conditions.

    When we can eat our food from every surface in our dwellings and grow our food in organic soil immediately around our dwellings, then we are in with a chance. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Sanitary conditions. Sanitary conditions. Sanitary conditions.

    When we can eat our food from every surface in our dwellings and grow our food in organic soil immediately around our dwellings, then we are in with a chance. westwind.
    Mrs. Pants: But what about the privies?
    Blackadder: Um, well, what we are talking about in privy terms is the latest in front wall fresh air orifices combined with a wide capacity gutter installation below.
    Mrs. Pants: You mean you crap out the window?
    Blackadder: Yes.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    pyoko, when did you say your week was up? westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    pyoko, when did you say your week was up? westwind.
    What week? o.O"
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    I thought you were going to a re-habilitation situation for a couple of years. Guess I've been misinformed. All's well that ends well. We will not create a stink about it. Suffice to say good hygeine never hurt anyone and it makes lift travelling so much more pleasant. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    I thought you were going to a re-habilitation situation for a couple of years. Guess I've been misinformed. All's well that ends well. We will not create a stink about it. Suffice to say good hygeine never hurt anyone and it makes lift travelling so much more pleasant. westwind.
    I'm not sure what you are talking about, really. You have me mistaken with someone?
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    It took you just under 2 minutes to come back. I was running a test to see what the quickest response might be. Yes, an honest mistake when I was reading about the Bubonic Plague.

    Did you realise that the childrens schoolyard song. "Ring a ring a rosy", something about a Posie, and "They all fall down dead". Was a description of those who had the Black Death? westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Did you realise that the childrens schoolyard song. "Ring a ring a rosy", something about a Posie, and "They all fall down dead". Was a description of those who had the Black Death? westwind.
    It turns out that this is an urban legend.
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    John I would have bet my left elbow that this was a Medievial English junior schoolyard song and circular dance performed by girls, and the lyrics were a fall out from the Black Death or Bubonic Plague. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Plague interpretation

    Illustration by L. Leslie Brooke (1862–1940) for "All Tumble Down" from Anon,Ring O' Roses (1922)


    The rhyme has often been associated with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before the Second World War make no mention of this;[14] by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom. Peter and Iona Opie remark:
    The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, and posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and "all fall down" was exactly what happened.[15][16]
    The line Ashes, Ashes in colonial versions of the rhyme is claimed to refer variously to cremation of the bodies, the burning of victims' houses, or blackening of their skin, and the theory has been adapted to be applied to other versions of the rhyme.[17] In its various forms, the interpretation has entered into popular culture and has been used elsewhere to make oblique reference to the plague.[18] (For "hidden meaning" in other nursery rhymes see Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, Little Jack Horner, Cock Robin, and meanings of nursery rhymes.)

    Many folklore scholars regard the theory as baseless for several reasons:
    1. The explanation appeared very late.[14]
    2. The symptoms described do not fit especially well with the Great Plague.[16][19]
    3. The great variety of forms makes it unlikely that the modern form is the most ancient one, and the words on which the interpretation are based are not found in many of the earliest records of the rhyme (see above).[17][20]
    4. European and 19th-century versions of the rhyme suggest that this "fall" was not a literal falling down, but a curtsy or other form of bending movement that was common in other dramatic singing games.[21]
    [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_o'_Roses#Plague_interpretation"]Ring a Ring o' Roses - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    However, I too believed it.
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  15. #14  
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    However, I too believed it.
    Whaddya know! We have the answer from the most impeccable source of all - I'm watching QI. The Ring a Rosy song was first written down in America in 1881, but it was known as a child's play song for several years before that.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    I love QI!
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    I was taught in College level English literature that the Plague connection was correct for Ring Around Rosey. I will require serious referrances to abandon that belief since it is consistent with history and with the pattern of things too painful or politicaly dangerous surviving as children's rhymes. Humpty Dumpty being political critism, for example. I have read the wiki opinion and I am not convinced. Also the coughjing was the finall syptom of the most virulent form of the plague , the pnuemonic plague. It is only when plague switches from being rat /flea transmitted to being droplet transmitted that it really takes off as a human illness.
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    Pneumonic plague is a different disease. The coughing starts almost straight away - and it is much more lethal than the bubonic version. It can kill in less than 2 days, and you spend most of them coughing up blood.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Plague is an infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The bacteria are found mainly in rats and in the fleas that feed on them. People and other animals can get plague from rat or flea bites. Historically, plague destroyed entire civilizations. In the 1300s, the "Black Death," as it was called, killed approximately one-third of Europe's population. Today plague is uncommon. This is largely due to better living conditions and antibiotics.
    There are three forms of plague:
    • Bubonic, which causes the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus to become inflamed. Symptoms include fever, aches, chills and tender lymph glands
    • Septicemic, in which bacteria multiply in the blood. It causes fever, chills, shock and bleeding under the skin or other organs
    • Pneumonic, in which the bacteria enter the lungs and cause pneumonia. People with the infection can spread this form to others. This type could be a bioterror agent
    Treatment for plague is a strong antibiotic. There is no vaccine for plague.
    NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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    lets say that a handful of people in a handful of states contracted pneumonic in around the same time. whats the probability that it would get out of control?
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    minimal because antibiotics cure plague easily. But... rats are the natural repository of the disease organism and rats are exposed to the antibiotics we dump into food animal feed, and a antibiotic resistant strain of yersinia pestis could develop.
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    I don't know whether Yersinia Pestis is a bacteria that could acquire antibiotic resistance via horizontal gene transfer like some of the emerging nasty multi resistant pathogens. It can be transmitted directly, person to person - pneumonic plague - and that combination could be problematic. But mostly it's transmitted from rats via fleas - bubonic plague - and controlling rats and fleas is still the crucial element to controlling and containing the spread of the disease. Knowledge is power.

    Whether the ongoing explosion of knowledge about the biochemical processes of disease - genetics included - will provide powerful alternatives to antibiotics remains to be seen. It seems likely however it takes ongoing R&D. Major drug companies are dropping out of antibiotics research and, commercially, favour development in areas that have large demand - chronic and common ailments that represent large market potential and yield bigger returns on investment than cures for infectious diseases.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; November 9th, 2012 at 06:39 PM. Reason: A rewrite
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    I love QI!
    I do too. I especially enjoy counting up the errors they make in each edition. ..... and Alan Davies.
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  24. #23  
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    I enjoy QI too. It has actually been good at homing in on those widely held beliefs that are actually completely wrong. Besides being a clever format to let some great comedians loose!
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    ... and Alan Davies.
    It turns out that the QI format was more or less his idea. The initial proposal was for a two-hander with Fry and Davies. Davies thought that it would pretty quickly become boring with Fry always right and him always wrong. The fact that they were both clever and witty wouldn't save it. So they did some more work on it and QI is the result.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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