Black Death Might have been an Ebola-like virus

For many years and in all history books the Black Death was know to be caused by the bubonic plague which is a bacterial infection. However recently there has been thought that the Black Death was not spread by the plague but by a disease similar to Ebola. Both of my articles have many different reasons as to why this theory could be true. One of the problems with plague is how fast is spreads, on average the plague spreads at 100 yards a year which is much below the rate of spread of the Black Death which was around 30 miles every two or three DAYS. Also “Dr. Duncan and Dr. Scott argue that the breakneck rate that the Black Death tore across Europe could not be sustained by a flea-borne plague” (Paoli). In the ABC article the author explains how closer to the end of the Black Death the people did find ways of preventing the disease from spreading. Quarantining the infected families for 40 days helped stop the spread. However, if the plague is spread from rats and fleas then quarantining families would not have been a way to stop the spread because rats and fleas would still find their ways out into the public again.

With these articles the one issues that is raised about history is how hard it can been to figure out what disease caused these death and to be certain about it. They had no photos, much documentation was lost, and the existence of bacteria not being know for another 300 years and the existence of viruses for another almost 700 years poses problems for determining the disease. It seams that no know disease is an exact match for what could have caused the Black Death and it could of been a variation of Ebola or the plague that dose not exist now and had different transmission vectors and different symptoms.

This is important to Minnesotans because when it come to learning about diseases no place is safe from the issue and it could pop up anywhere. It is good to know background knowledge about these diseases and the historical impact they have on the world.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/viruses101/could_the_black_death_actually

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117310&page=1

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