Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Was the Black Death Bubonic Plague?

Or was it a viral hemorrhagic fever?

Forget what you think you know. The Black Death didn't have symptoms of Bubonic Plague. It didn't spread in the way Bubonic Plague does. (Among other things, there weren't enough rats in Medieval Europe.) It spread far, fast; was transmitted by human-to-human contact; and could be defeated only by quarantine (none of which are true for Bubonic Plague).

There's every possibility that a) we don't really know what caused the Black Death, and b) we have no idea how to cure it. Neither is especially comforting.