Re: Black Death timeline

On Tue, 11 Nov 2008 00:39:47 +1100, SolomonW
<SolomonW@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:

In article <6iheh4tuuvvdru9pg4fe9h2s18u07dr06u@xxxxxxx>,
eric.stevens@xxxxxxxxx says...
On Sun, 9 Nov 2008 22:34:39 +1100, SolomonW
<SolomonW@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:

In article <BbOdnZIotbp32YvUnZ2dnUVZ_oWdnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
pj@xxxxxxxxxx says...

"Peter Jason" <pj@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

"SolomonW" <SolomonW@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote in message
In article <gf4q1k$4ph$13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
gans@xxxxxxxxx says...
SolomonW <SolomonW@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:
In article
pj@xxxxxxxxxx says...
Plague is transmitted from rodent to humans by the
bite of
an infected flea vector.

Several problems with the speed of the spread of black
death might be
explained if birds could be a carrier too. Say if the
plague could be
transmitted from a bird to a flea, human or rodent.

Then as you say by fleas using rodents and humans.

One must be careful here. The disease spread at the
of human travel. No problem there at all.

Birds would simplify some of the mysteries of how quickly
it spread and
some of the locations.

Many fleas can live off many different hosts including
particularly if they are desperate. So I do not see it as
a big ask.

Please do a google search on birds fleas and diseases.

This book maybe interesting too.

What about cats? They're always about.


Interesting. Dogs can also spread plague. A flea can live off many
different animals.

What I find so interesting about birds is they can travel great
distances across the sea fast.

One thing which cannot be ignored is that the flea which psreads the
plague is already dying from a choked gut. From first contact, leading
to its own infection, the flea has only a short window of opportunity
to infect by biting before it dies. The spread of the disease by flea
requires a steady supply of fresh uninfected fleas.

How long is that short window?

There is no simple answer. You will find more information at

In any case, the flea as vector hypothesis does not really fit the
evidence. Not only did the plague make some enormous jumps at speeds
which were unattainable to man in those days but, in some places the
plague just stopped, as though turned off by a switch. This is not
typical of the spread of a disease which has at least three separate
mechanisms for transmission: that they all stopped working at once.

Quarantine was the only successful method to work in medieval times, yet
how could quarantine work if rats were carriers?

Eric Stevens

Eric Stevens