Human Fleas and Lice Spread Black Death

Black Death ‘spread by humans not rats’ – study reveals

But the Black Death, which was thought to have spread by rats, may have actually been triggered by humans. a new study suggests.

"Our results support that human ectoparasites were primary vectors for plague during the Second Pandemic, including the Black Death", the authors write. For example, the models in the current study did not account for local conditions that could affect disease transmission, such as war, famine, immunity and public health interventions, they said.

Plague or Black death has taken millions of lives in the 12th century and lasted until the initial period of 19th century.

Pneumonic plague is more virulent or damaging and is an advanced form characterized by a severe lung infection. So basically, as the rodents carry the bacterium, therefore, rats were accountable for the deaths in Europe, assumptions claims.

The disease may have spread from person to person through human-feeding parasites, including fleas and lice, claims a new study.

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In the mid-14th century, the plague wiped out a stunningly not-inconsequential 75 to 200 million people in Europe and Asia, supposedly spread by rodents and the fleas they so generously carry around with them like a disgusting organic bus.

Researchers from Oslo University created a mathematical model for how people would have died if rats were the villains.

The study was published online January 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The plague really transformed human history, so it's really important to understand how it was spreading and why it was spreading so fast", Dean tells National Geographic. The researchers found that there was a familiar similarity between the outburst and the human model while compared with the other two alternatives in seven of the cases.

It was previously suggested that rodents, whose fleas can also transmit the bacteria behind the plague, were the main culprits behind Europe's second pandemic of the disease that saw a string of outbreaks occur in succession.

However, according to scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway and the University of Ferrara in Italy human "ectoparasites", such as body lice and human fleas, might be more likely to have caused the epidemic. The study is the significant challenge for the previous fact which says that rats were responsible for plague in Europe. Humans were infected with the disease when bitten by fleas infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and it has generally been believed that rats played a key role in spreading these fleas.

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