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Die geskiedenis van die pes: elke groot epidemie

Die geskiedenis van die pes: elke groot epidemie


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Kyk hoe die builepes deur die geskiedenis heen teruggekeer het en miljoene tot in die moderne tyd doodgemaak het.


Pes, moderne geskiedenis

Pes is 'n baie gevreesde siekte wat miljoene mense sedert die Middeleeue doodgemaak het. Dit word veroorsaak deur die bakterie Yersinia pestis, wat deur knaagdiere gevoer word, en die sterftesyfer is meer as 50% as die siekte nie behandel word nie. Die derde plaagpandemie strek tot in die twintigste eeu en stimuleer navorsing oor die oorsaak en oordrag van die siekte.

In die Verenigde State was daar jare lank geen ernstige plaagepidemies nie, alhoewel daar in die suidwestelike state soms gevalle voorkom. Wêreldwyd word jaarliks ​​van 1 000 tot 3 000 gevalle by die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie (WGO) aangemeld, waarvan die meeste in Afrika, Suidoos -Asië en Latyns -Amerika voorkom. Dit is moontlik nie moontlik om pes uit te wis nie, maar uitbrake kan voorkom word deur die aantal knaagdiere te verminder. Voortdurende waaksaamheid met betrekking tot pes is ook nodig omdat dit 'n mate van potensiaal het as agent vir 'n bioterroriste -aanval.


Die geskiedenis van die pes: elke groot epidemie - geskiedenis

AFDELING 6
Man en siekte: die swart dood


Mense, plekke, geleenthede en terme om te weet:

Hoë Middeleeue
"Klein ystydperk"
Arno -rivier (Florence)
Hongersnood van 1315-1317
Builepes
Swart Dood
Endemies
Epidemie
Patogeen
Yersinia Pestis
Alexandre Yersin
Rotvlooi (Xenopsylla Cheopis)
Vector
Bubo (s)

Longplaag
Marmotte
Sy pad
Kaffa
Cantacuzenus
Genua
Thucydides
Bordeaux
Bevolking
De-verstedeliking
Boccaccio, Die Decameron
Doodsengel
Dood van die dood
Vier ruiters van die apokalips


I. Inleiding: Europa voor 1347 CE

Europa het gedurende die Hoë Middeleeue (1050-1300 nC), maar die ouderdom van groei het sy limiet bereik in die latere deel van die dertiende eeu (laat 1200's). Teen daardie tyd is goeie landbougrond oorwerk, en nuwe velde was maar effens produktief. Namate die bevolking die vermoë van die land om sy inwoners te voed begin oorskry, was hongersnood op hande.

Erger nog, die klimaat van Europa was om redes wat nog onduidelik in 'n afkoelfase kom. Terwyl in die hoë Middeleeue 'n warm, droë klimaat oorheers het, het wêreldwye weerpatrone teen die begin van die veertiende eeu verander vir die kouer en natter. Wetenskaplikes vind vandag bewyse van hierdie sogenaamde & quotKlein ystydperk, & quot in pool- en alpiene gletsers wat die data toon, het op hierdie tydstip begin vorder. Boonop bevestig historiese rekords van die dag dat die winter van 1306-7 ongewoon ysig was, die eerste so 'n langdurige koue snap wat Europa in byna drie eeue verduur het.

Hoewel die daling in die globale temperatuur gemiddeld nie meer as een graad was nie, was dit genoeg om 'n beduidende impak op die landbou te hê. Graan- en graanproduksie moes byvoorbeeld in Skandinawië gestaak word, en wingerdbou (wynproduksie) het in Engeland onmoontlik geword, soos dit nog steeds is. Nie net koeler nie, maar ook natter, die klimaatverandering het toenemende reënval meegebring, wat ander probleme veroorsaak het, soos oorstromings. In die besonder, die Arno rivier wat deurvloei Florence (Sentraal -Italië) het baie brûe met die krag van sy waters meegesleur.

Maar die eerste werklike pan-Europese katastrofe as gevolg van die aanvang van die "Klein ystydperk" was 'n wydverspreide mislukking van gewasse. Vanaf 1315 was die weer so reënerig dat die meeste korrels wat in die grond gesaai is, wortelvrot opgedoen het, as hulle enigsins gewei het. Die gebrek aan son, hoë humiditeit en koeler temperature beteken ook dat water teen 'n stadiger tempo verdamp het, wat die produksie van sout laat daal het. Minder sout het dit moeiliker gemaak om vleis te bewaar, en dit, tesame met die verliese in die landbou, het teen die einde van die jaar tot hongersnood gelei.

Toe dieselfde weer gebeur in 1316 en dan weer in 1317, moes die boere hul saadkorrels eet. Met min hoop op herstel, selfs al verbeter die weer, het wanhoop oor die vasteland versprei. Om te oorleef, het mense katte, honde, rotte geëet en, volgens sommige historiese verslae, hul eie kinders. Soms word die aankondiging van 'n misdadiger se teregstelling as 'n uitnodiging vir ete beskou.

Later gebrandmerk die Hongersnood van 1315-1317Hierdie ramp was die begin van 'n afname in die Europese bevolking wat langer as 'n anderhalf eeu sou duur. Baie stede is swaar getref, byvoorbeeld, in Ieper (Vlaandere) sterf 'n tiende van die bevolking in ses maande en in Halesowen (Engeland) het die bevolking gedurende hierdie tydperk met vyftien persent gedaal. .

Tog kon hierdie uitgeteerde siele nie geweet het dat erger, veel erger, op die horison skuil nie. 'N Holocaust van ongekende woede het hulle en hul kinders agtervolg. Buite in die binneland van Asië was daar 'n biologiese bedreiging, 'n roes wat die gesig van Europa vir ewig sou verander. builepes.


II. Die Swart Dood (1347-1352 CE)

Die Swart Dood is die grootste siekte tot nog toe in die Westerse beskawing, 'n ware en letterlike plaag. Die woord plaag kom van 'n antieke Griekse mediese term pl & ecircg & ecirc dit beteken 'slag' dit verwys na die spoed waarmee die siekte sy slagoffers laat val, en hierdie plaag was 'n ware doodslag vir die Middeleeuse Europa. Die Swart Dood, of eenvoudig "The Plague," het so vinnig en kragtig op sy slagoffers gekom en met so 'n afbrekende ontwrigting van die fasiliteite, het dit in die dag vir die kykers gelyk asof die persoon deur 'n onsigbare mag geraak is.

Tog was dit in werklikheid nie die eerste keer dat builepes 'n kwaai hand na Europa gebring het nie. So ver terug as 664 nC toe dit bekend was as die "Paleis van Cadwalader's Time", het hierdie siekte die kontinent getref. Maar in daardie tyd was daar baie minder mense in Europa en dit het baie stadiger beweeg van plek tot plek, aangesien daar min handel of reis was na die ineenstorting van Rome (sien hoofstuk 8). Die meer goed verbonde en lewensbelangrike Europa van die jare na die hoë Middeleeue was 'n baie beter gasheer vir hierdie plaag.

A. Die aard van bobiese plaag

Verwoestend aangesien die Swart Dood in die veertiende eeu vir die mensdom was, is dit belangrik om 'n sentrale kenmerk van hierdie siekte te onthou. Gewoonlik woon dit nie onder mense nie. Pes is endemies —'n Grieks-gebaseerde woord wat "aanhou" in 'n bevolking onder knaagdiere regoor die wêreld beteken, veral die rotte van Sentraal-Asië, waar dit op 'n lae vlak bestaan ​​en nie wyd vernietigend is nie. As dit om een ​​of ander rede in ander biologiese groepe uitbreek, kan dit word epidemie ("teen 'n bevolking").

Al met al is die builepes fundamenteel 'n rotsiekte, aangesien dit nie lank aanhou in menslike gemeenskappe waar rotte afwesig is nie. Rotte is egter nie die oorsaak van Pest nie patogeenNet soos menslike gashere is hulle die slagoffers van die siekte. Die werklike patogeen is 'n basil ('n vorm van bakterieë pl. Basille) wat genoem word Yersinia pestis, wat in 1894 die eerste keer geïsoleer en geïdentifiseer is deur die Franse bakterioloog, Alexandre Yersin, na wie dit vernoem is. Vir al die vernietiging Yersinia pestis Mense ten tyde van die Swart Dood het nooit geweet dat hierdie basil die oorsaak van die plaag was nie. Sy onsigbare meganismes gekombineer met die buitengewone spoed en geweld waarmee dit aangeval het, het dus baie bygedra tot die terreur en sielkundige skade wat dit aan die laat Middeleeuse Europa aangerig het.

Tog, met die wete van die lewensiklus van Yersinia pestis is noodsaaklik vir die moderne begrip van die impak daarvan op die menslike geskiedenis en die verloop van die siekte in die 1300's. Hierdie basil leef normaalweg as 'n lae graad infeksie in die bloedstroom van rotte. Dit beweeg van rot tot rot via vlooie, veral die rot vlooi (Xenopsylla cheopis), wat in mediese terme die vektor (& quotdraer & quot) van Pes. As 'n rotvlooi 'n besmette rot byt, drink dit soms in Yersinia pestis saam met die rot se bloed. As dit die geval is, bly die basil in die spysverteringskanaal van die vlooi waar dit geweldig begin voortplant totdat dit 'n vaste massa vorm en die vertering van die vlooi blokkeer.

Met sy spysverteringskanaal belemmer, begin die vlooi honger ly. Van honger spring hy van rat tot rot en byt hulle herhaaldelik, maar as gevolg van die dermblokkade wat veroorsaak word deur die stolsel basille in die ingewande, kan dit nie die bloed wat dit ingeneem het, insluk nie, sodat dit spoeg wat hy drink in die rot se bloedstroom. Saam met die gestorte bloed kom daar klonte van Yersinia pestis uit die maag van die vlooi ontsnap. Dit veroorsaak dat 'n onbesmette rot besmet raak, en as die immuunstelsel van die rot stadig reageer, oorval die vinnig vermeerderende patogeen die dier wat vrek. Maar as die immuunrespons van die rot vinnig is, kan dit die infeksie teenwerk en onderdruk. Die basil bly voort as 'n nie-dodelike parasiet wat in die bloedstroom van die rot woon, waar dit wag totdat 'n onbesmette vlooi dit toevallig inneem. En so die lewensiklus van Yersinia pestis gaan voort terwyl hy heen en weer vlieg tussen sy twee leërskare, die rot en die vlooi, en gebruik elkeen om die ander te besmet.

Onder normale omstandighede is hierdie siklus beperk tot rotte en vlooie, maar as 'n biologiese ontwrigting voorkom, kan die siekte uit sy normale beperkte nis versprei. As die rotpopulasie byvoorbeeld om een ​​of ander rede skerp afneem, sal vlooie gedwing word om na ander gashere, soos ander soorte knaagdiere, huisdiere of selfs mense, te verhuis. Terwyl rotte die voorkeurgasheer van Xenopsylla cheopisAs hongersnood te kampe kry, sal hierdie vlooi byna enige soogdier voed.

As besmette rotvlooie mense begin byt, waarvan die meeste nie weerstand teen pes het nie, kan die siekte epidemiese vlakke bereik. In hierdie geval sterf individue gewoonlik binne vyf dae vanaf die eerste simptome, in sommige gevalle oornag. Die menslike immuunstelsel word gewoonlik oorweldig Yersinia pestis wat voortplant in die bloedstroom van die slagoffer. Maar as dit vinnig genoeg reageer, is oorlewing moontlik. As dit die geval is, onthou die liggaam die infeksie en voorkom hy 'n tweede aanval. Baie min mense het ooit twee keer plaag opgedoen.

As gevolg van die terreur wat deur hierdie siekte geïnspireer is en die groot aantal mense wat geteister is, is die vordering van builepes tydens die slagoffers daarvan goed gedokumenteer. Begin met koors sodra die immuunstelsel die teenwoordigheid van 'n vreemde organisme opgemerk het, begin die limfknope van die slagoffer swel terwyl die liggaam die besmetting probeer uitspoel. Hierdie nodusse is in die nek, oksels en lies geleë en word sigbaar vergroot. Gebel boewe (sing. bubo), is geswelde limfkliere een van die mees kenmerkende en pynlikste kenmerke van die siekte en gee dit die naam 'quotububoniese' plaag.

Gewoonlik ervaar die slagoffer op die derde dag hoë koors, diarree en delirium, en begin swart kolle op die vel verskyn, veral op die punte van die vingers, die neus en oral waar daar 'n konsentrasie kapillêre is. Die rede vir die swart spatsels is dat die liggaam se kleiner bloedvate verstop raak met basille en breuk, en bloed so erg begin lek dat dit onder die epidermis sigbaar word. Dit word dikwels, hoewel verkeerd, gesê dat die uitbraak van die pes in 1347 die 'Swart dood' genoem word as gevolg van die verdonkering van die slagoffer se vel. Die 'swart' in die swart dood kom waarskynlik af van die Latynse woord atra, wat beteken "swart, verskriklik." Die dood volg gewoonlik kort daarna, meestal as gevolg van septisemie (bloedvergiftiging) as gevolg van massiewe interne bloeding, terwyl die bloedstroom met bakterieë oorlaai word.

Dit is egter nie die enigste manier waarop die siekte bekend is nie. Byvoorbeeld, die buboe van 'n slagoffer kan so swel dat dit deur die veloppervlak bars, meestal op die vyfde dag na infeksie. Hierdie proses is uitermate pynlik, en Middeleeuse mediese rekords vertel hoe pasiënte skynbaar naby die dood skielik uit die bed sou spring terwyl hulle bubbels bars, pus en besmetting uitspoeg. Vir al die trauma wat dit veroorsaak, is die bars van buboes egter glad nie 'n slegte ding nie. Vir die eerste keer is die oorlewing van die pasiënt so lank 'n goeie teken op sigself, en minstens die helfte van die slagoffers sterf gemiddeld voordat die buboe die kans kry om te bars en die uitskakeling van basille deur die barsende kliere, help ietwat om die infeksie skoon te maak.

Daar is nog erger. Daar is 'n nog meer virulente plaag wat direk van mens na mens kan oorgaan, sonder om vlooie as vektore te gebruik. In hierdie vorm genoem longplaagword die basille direk van een menslike gasheer na 'n ander oorgedra op deeltjies wat deur die besmette uitgeasem word. Aangesien die longe ontwerp is om materiaal wat deur die lug gebore word, doeltreffend in die bloedstroom in te voer, is longontsteking veral vinnig besig om sy slagoffers aan te val en is dit byna altyd dodelik. Diegene wat longontsteking opdoen, is geneig om skielik in duie te stort, bloed te hoes en te sterf, soms binne enkele ure.

Daar was geen geneesmiddel vir builepes in die Middeleeue nie, inderdaad niks tot die ontdekking van antibiotika in die moderne tyd nie. In die lig van hierdie onbekende en onherstelbare aanslag, het die Middeleeuse mense die siekte aan verskeie faktore toegeskryf: 'slegte lug', 'hekse', astrologie en 'n seldsame belyning van planete. Die voorkoms daarvan het in werklikheid die ergste in alle groepe en klasse gebring. Moslems blameer Christene, Christene blameer Moslems, en almal blameer die Jode.

Die Swart Dood was dus nie net vernietigend vir die fisiese welstand van die Middeleeuse Europa nie, maar ook vir die algemene geestesgesondheid, 'n situasie wat net soveel te doen gehad het met die tydsberekening van die begin daarvan as met enigiets anders. Op die hoogtepunt van die hoë Middeleeue was mense al geskok deur die verbrokkeling van die Kerk, die hongersnood van 1315-1317 en die uitbreek van die Honderdjarige Oorlog. Nadat die plaag uitgebars het en binne slegs vyf jaar 'n kwart tot 'n derde van die inwoners van Europa doodgemaak het, het nie net die bevolking nie, maar ook die moraal 'n rekord laagtepunt bereik.

B. Die verloop van die Swart Dood

Daar kan min twyfel bestaan ​​dat die Swart Dood begin het voordat die eerste historiese verslae sy teenwoordigheid aangeteken het, maar waar of hoe dit onduidelik is. Tog bied die geskiedenis 'n paar opwindende vooruitsigte. By die ondersoek na die oorsprong daarvan, is dit goed om 'n sentrale kenmerk van builepes te onthou: dit is nie 'n menslike siekte nie, maar 'n siekte wat gewoonlik deur rottebevolkings versprei word. Die waarskynlikheid is dat die Swart Dood dus voor 1347 begin het met 'n soort versteuring in knaagdiergemeenskappe, waarskynlik in Sentraal -Asië, aangesien alle historiese gegewens daarop dui dat dit die geografiese oorsprong daarvan is.

As 'n mens mettertyd vorentoe beweeg na die eerste verskyning van Pest in Europa in 1347, word die prentjie beter, as dit nog vaag is. Om een ​​of ander rede het die siekte op groot skaal versprei na die marmotte van Sentraal -Asië, 'n soogdier wat lyk soos 'n houtkapper of 'rockchuck'. Dit is redelik om aan te neem dat hierdie diere min weerstand teen plaag het, wat veroorsaak dat hul bevolking vinnig begin vrek in hul massas. Rond die middel van die 1340's het Asiatiese trappers wat marmotte vir hul huide gejag het, baie dooies gevind, 'n skynbare seën, maar met 'n vreeslike prysetiket daarby. Onbewus van die gevaar wat hulle in die gesig staar, het die vangers die diere gevlek, hul huide opgepak en aan handelaars verkoop.

Hierdie kleinhandelaars stuur dan die marmotvelle in geslote houers na die beroemde Sy pad, wat dwarsdeur Asië loop, tot by China, deur Saray en Astrakhan, noordwes van die Kaspiese See, tot Kaffa Dit is 'n hawe op die Krim -skiereiland aan die noordelike oewer van die Swart See en was destyds een van die belangrikste poorte tussen Oos en Wes. Peste kon dus nie in beter omstandighede beland het weens die verspreiding daarvan nie: 'n hawedorp vol mense, diere en vrag, waarvan baie na alle eindes van die bekende wêreld onderweg was. Teen daardie tyd het die nuus inderdaad die Moslems in die Nabye Ooste bereik dat 'n verwoestende siekte die marmotvangers van Sentraal -Asië en die handelaars wat hul goedere verkoop het, doodgemaak het, maar hierdie verslae word oor die algemeen in die Weste geïgnoreer. Dit is welbekend dat handelaars nie net eksotiese goedere dra nie, maar ook skinderbekke.

Toe die houers met die marmotvelle in Kaffa oopgemaak word, is die rotvlooie wat daarin vasgekeer is, in 'n wesenlik weerlose bevolking vrygelaat. Dit het ongetwyfeld begin met die aftakeling van die plaaslike rotte, maar dit het waarskynlik nie in die historiese rekord gekom nie en kort daarna het die infeksie en die dood van baie ander soorte soogdiere gevolg, nie een met 'n beduidende weerstand teen hierdie patogeen nie. Aangesien mense nie hoog op die lys was nie, omdat rotvlooie ander diere soos katte, honde en selfs beeste bo mense verkies, het dit 'n rukkie geneem voordat die epidemie ons spesie getref het.

Hierdie aanvanklike vertraging was 'n belangrike rol in die ernstige vordering van die siekte. Dit het verseker dat Plague homself aan boord kon vestig op die vele skepe wat Kaffa elke dag verlaat. Hier begin uiteindelik historiese dokumentasie van die builepes as 'n menslike siekte ontstaan. Teen die einde van 1347 is daar bewyse van sy teenwoordigheid in Konstantinopel, en kort daarna Genua in Italië en Messina op Sicilië. Die Bisantynse keiser Cantacuzenus kyk hoe dit sy eie seun besmet en verteer en, soos die ou Griekse historikus Thucydides, 'n patologie aangeteken, 'n verslag van die mediese verloop daarvan.

Uit vrees vir die pes, het die Genoese tot hul blywende diskrediet buitelandse skepe van hul hawe afgedraai, wat nie net die verspreiding van die siekte versnel het nie, maar niks om Genua te spaar nie. As 'n reël het pogings om pes in die Middeleeue te beperk, hoofsaaklik daartoe bygedra dat dit meer wyd versprei is, aangesien middeleeuse kwarantines die besmetting in 'n gebou verwyder het. Dit het net rotte, vlooie, mense en basille, die noodsaaklike bestanddele in Pes, in die omgewing gedwing. Soos die Geneesers van hierdie dag die betekenis daarvan geken het, maar nooit heeltemal verstaan ​​het nie, kan rotte van besmette skepe swem en sodoende vlooie en buikplaag saamneem.

Kort daarna verskyn die Swart Dood in Pisa (Italië) en Marseille (aan die suidelike kus van Frankryk). Dit het ook nie die Moslemwêreld gespaar wat die eerste keer sy verwoesting in Alexandrië (Egipte), hul groot hawestad, gesien het nie. Van daar het dit ooswaarts na Damaskus en Beiroet verhuis, en ook weswaarts na Marokko en Spanje. Maar die skoner en oor die algemeen meer rotvrye omgewings van Islamitiese gemeenskappe, waar medisyne en gesondheid destyds baie meer gevorderd was as in die Weste, het die verspreiding van Pes ooswaarts verhinder en dit het relatief min slagoffers daarheen geneem, ten minste in vergelyking met Wes-Europa .

Vroeg in 1348 het die siekte 'n skeidingslyn weswaarts in Frankryk begin afsny en verder toegesak Bordeaux, 'n hawe in die Aquitaine -streek in die suidweste van Frankryk, bekend vir die uitvoer van wyn. Op 'n skip vol klaret bereik Pest Engeland laat dieselfde jaar. In 1349 is 'n ander skip, hierdie een wat Engelse wol na Skandinawië vervoer het, 'n paar dae opgemerk nadat dit sy tuishawe verlaat het, doelloos voor die Noorse kus. Die inwoners het geroei om dit te sien en sy bemanning is dood, maar sy vrag was ongeskonde. Hulle het gelukkig die wol geneem en saam met hierdie skat besmette vlooie.

Asof daar uit 'n gedeelte in die Ou Testament getuig van die agtste gebod, "jy mag nie steel nie," het Pes met wraak in Skandinawië uitgebreek. Van 1350 tot 1352 het dit vinnig voortgegaan en Denemarke, Duitsland, Pole en uiteindelik Rusland verwoes. Nadat hy 'n vyfjarige stroombaan van Europa met die kloksgewys in Europa gemaak het, het dit uiteindelik teruggekeer na dieselfde afgeleë Asiatiese agterland waaruit dit oorspronklik ontstaan ​​het en verdwyn het. Die Swart Dood self was verby, maar die ergste het nog voorgelê, die herinneringe aan sy onstuimigheid en die verlammende, misselike vrees dat dit eendag sou terugkeer, soos dit in die komende eeue sporadies gebeur het.


III. Die negatiewe gevolge van die Swart Dood

Die gevolge van die Swart Dood op die kultuur van laat -Middeleeuse Europa is onmeetbaar en, nodeloos om te sê, meestal negatief. Op sigself is die afname in bevolking die aangesig van die Westerse beskawing vir ewig verander en die totale bevolking van Europa sou eers na 1300 en 'n half eeue voor die 1347-vlakke oortref om te herstel van wat begin het toe 'n half dekade van menslike ondergang die impak van hierdie siekte tot sy reg laat kom perspektief. In terme van bloedbad alleen, het geen oorlog selfs naby die vlak van langtermyn verwoesting gekom nie.

Gegewe die dag en ouderdom, is dit moeilik vir historici om betroubare, selfs redelike bevolkingsgetalle te lewer. Dit help ook nie dat baie plaaslike regerings voor die Swart Dood ineengestort het ná die Groot Hongersnood van 1315-17 en die uitbreek van die Honderdjarige Oorlog (1337-1453). Tog is dit waarskynlik veilig om te sê dat iets in die orde van 'n kwart tot 'n derde van die bevolking van Europa tydens die Swart Dood gesterf het, tot soveel as twintig miljoen mense. Waar die getal ongevalle met enige sekerheid bereken kan word, byvoorbeeld, in stedelike sentra soos Parys, is dit duidelik dat die Swart Dood en herhaling van Pes tussen 1348 en 1444 die bevolking met die helfte verminder het, indien nie meer nie.

Die resultate van hierdie besmetting was egter nie net in sterftes alleen nie, maar ook in demografie en sielkunde. Grimmige ervaring het mense vinnig geleer dat Plaag stede swaarder verwoes het as plattelandse gemeenskappe. Die rede hiervoor was dat die bacillus afhanklik is van vlooie wat rotte as die belangrikste vektor dra en die vergruis en vuilheid van die stadslewe het baie bygedra tot die verspreiding van builepes, maar dit was nog nie bekend nie. Die gevolg was dat mense in groot getalle uit die stede van Europa gevlug het. Selfs klein dorpies is ontvol gelaat, wat 'n neiging tot de-verstedeliking baie meer katastrofies as die gevolg van die verbrokkeling van Rome 'n millennium tevore. En daardie, moet ons onthou, het die Middeleeue versnel.

Hierdie golf van de-verstedeliking en die gepaardgaande rampe daarvan word goed bewys in die kuns en literatuur van die dag. Waarskynlik die bekendste literêre werk van daardie tyd, Die Decameron deur Boccaccio, 'n versameling Middeleeuse verhale en folklore, speel af op die Italiaanse platteland, waar aristokrate wat vlug uit die plaag terwyl dit Florence verwoes, sonder hul gewone vermaak gestrand is. Om die tyd deur te bring, vertel hulle mekaar verhale, waarvan Boccaccio 'n ryk stoorkamer met tradisionele vertellings gekry het. Die Decameron dien later as die grondslag vir baie ander Renaissance -werke, waaronder verskeie van Shakespeare se toneelstukke. Dit is dus geen wonder dat soveel van sy dramas fokus op die dood en die donkerder kant van die menslike lewe.

Die visuele kunste van die dag het selfs meer direk gefokus op die gevolge van die Swart Dood. 'N Makabere fassinasie met die dood en die sterwensproses vervul skilderye en beeldhouwerke uit die veertiende en vyftiende eeu. Hieruit het baie van die doodsbeelde ontstaan ​​wat vandag bekend is: die Doodsengel, die & quotdans van die dood, & quot en Albrecht D & uumlrer se beroemde ets, & quotDie vier ruiters van die apokalips. & quot Kunstenaars se klem op die demokratiese aard van die dood, wat ryk en arm, edelman en boer, heidene en priester wegneem, het die deur wyd oopgemaak vir 'n algemene bevraagtekening van die kultuur waarop die Middeleeuse sintese berus het, soos die goddelike reg van konings en die klassekonstrukte wat diensknegte aan die land vasgemaak het. Hierdie postulate het min gekry om hulp en baie minder verduideliking of vertroosting.

Dit het ook die weg gebaan tot uiterste gedrag. Baie mense het hul sterflikheid afgestaan ​​en het aan skandelikheid en ontheiliging oorgegee, terwyl ander hulle tot godsdiens en uiterste vroomheid gewend het. Ten spyte van die wydverspreide verwoesting van beide geestelikes en gemeentes, het die Kerk ironies genoeg ryker geword as ooit. Meer as een persoon in 'n desperate poging om die Engel van die Dood af te weer, het alle wêreldse besittings aan die Kerk oorgegee. Toe hierdie biddende geskenke nutteloos was, het die kerk en die pousdom in Rome veral 'n geldsak en dade oor die hele Europa gehou. Die mislukking van die Kerk om goddelike barmhartigheid vir sy mense te verkry, was dus een van die grootste bulmarkte ooit, 'n ironie wat nie heeltemal verlore geraak het nie.

En oral waar die kreet van & quotPlague! & Quot gehoor is, manifesteer wanhoop nie net in kuns en letterkunde nie, maar ook in bisarre sosiale verskynsels, waarvan een was flagellante. Professionele selfmartelaars wat van stad tot stad gegaan het, die flagellante het hulself teen 'n vergoeding gesmeer om God se guns te bewys aan 'n gemeenskap in die hoop om die builepes te voorkom, volgens die Middeleeuse logika, was die Swart Dood 'n straf vir sonde en die versoening daarvan moet in werklike, fisiese terme betaal word —vlaggelante dien dan as 'n manier waarop mense daardie kwytskelding van sonde kan koop teen die prys van migrerende seuns. Siektes en dood van elke aard, het dit gelyk, volg vinnig op mekaar in 'n spiraal van eindelose wanhoop.


IV. Die positiewe gevolge van die Swart Dood

As die plaag bedaar, word die verkeer erger. (Onbekende satirikus)

Met dit alles lyk dit moeilik om te glo, maar daar was ook positiewe gevolge vir die Swart Dood. Hoofsaaklik, mannekrag was skielik van veel groter waarde as wat dit voorheen was. Boere was vir die eerste keer in eeue nie in groot getalle beskikbaar nie en edeles het gesukkel om die arbeidsmag te bekom wat nodig was om hul lande te saai en hul oeste te oes. So het die laat -Middeleeuse boer hom redelik onverwags en ongeëwenaard in aanvraag gevind, 'n verskuiwing wat die Europese samelewing tot in sy kern geskud het.

Konings en hertogte moes nou met hul arbeiders onderhandel oor werksomstandighede, en die onderklasse kon beter vergoeding vir hul dienste eis. Lone het gestyg, op sommige plekke verdubbel dit in slegs een jaar. Terselfdertyd het pryse gedaal omdat daar minder mense was om goedere te koop. Dus, tussen die stygende produksiekoste en die dalende inkomste, het die middelklasheren probeer om 'n prysstop te dwing, en toe hulle nie kon nie, het baie moed opgegee en hul boedels verkoop.

Die gevolglike sosiale omwenteling versnel tendense in sosiale evolusie wat reeds voor die verwoesting aan die gang was. In die besonder het die Swart Dood beëindig diensbaarheid in Europa —diensknegte was virtuele slawe, kleinboere wat na die land gebring is en verplig was om in sekere gebiede te boer sonder om 'n ander rede as wat hulle voorouers gehad het, die impak van die plaag op die samelewing is duidelik sigbaar as 'n mens die plekke vergelyk waar dit swaar getref het met diegene wat dit nie gedoen het nie ' t. In Rusland, byvoorbeeld, waar die siekte nooit so vernietigend was nie, het die diensbaarheid tot in die negentiende eeu as 'n sosiale instelling voortgegaan. As sodanig het Plague sommige dinge ten goede verander.

Die groei van werkersregte was op sy beurt die stimulus vir ander sosiale verandering in Europa, terwyl arbeiders oor die hele vasteland vir hul regte begin veg het. In 1358 het Franse werkers byvoorbeeld gesamentlik die Jacquerie, het in opstand gekom in 'n poging om beter werksomstandighede vir boere te skep. Twee dekades later in 1378 volg die Italiaanse werkers in Florence die voorbeeld, en in 1381 doen die Engelse baie dieselfde in die Boereopstand. As hierdie omwentelinge tot niks meer as verwoesting en plundering gelei het nie, bewys dit net dat werkers en hul leiers nog nie gereed was om die verantwoordelikhede van die bestuur van die lewe in die hoofstroom op te neem nie, nie dat hul strewe na onafhanklikheid en selfbestuur onregverdig was nie. Daar is geen twyfel dat hierdie pogings om algemene regverdigheid en ordentlikheid in die werkplek te bewerkstellig, die ontwikkeling van moderne vakbonde voorspel. Die Swart Dood het dus 'n verandering ten goede gebring, ten minste onder die van die werkersklas wat die aanslag daarvan oorleef het.

Aangesien die landbou -georiënteerde herinneringsisteem wat die lewe gedurende die hoë Middeleeue oorheers het, stadig misluk het, bedryf gestyg het, nog 'n voordeel in die nasleep van die Swart Dood. Toe die groot impak van die siekte nie meer gevoel is nie, het die dorpe in Europa vinniger herbevolk as kleiner gemeenskappe op die platteland. Hierdie nuwe, verstedelikte Europa het die weg gebaan vir 'n samelewing en ekonomie wat op verskillende beginsels gebaseer is, wat die grondslag gelê het vir die moderne lewe, 'n era waarin stede, nywerheid en handel oorheers het bo boerdery en om in die land te woon.

En 'n ander positiewe gevolg van die builepes was die ontwikkeling van medisyne as 'n wetenskap in die Weste. Terwyl Islamitiese dokters in die laat Middeleeue eeue lank verstandige maatreëls soos algemene netheid en die waarde van die bestudering van anatomie bepleit het, was Westerse genesers voor 1347 nog steeds beswaard deur die Middeleeuse minagting van die liggaam en antieke mediese dwalings soos die teorie van humors. Maar toe Pest bykans al die dokters in Europa uitwis, net soos die geestelikes, soos priesters, die sterwendes versorg het, en dit in 'n hoër tempo blootgestel is aan die meer virulente pneumoniese vorm van Pes, het dit 'n neerslag gehad. verandering in sowel personeel as voorskrif. Ironies genoeg is moderne Westerse medisyne danksy baie te danke Yersinia pestis, een van die gruwelikste mislukkings daarvan.


V. Gevolgtrekking: Die einde van die bobbes?

DNA is nie die lot nie --- dit is die geskiedenis. . . . Iewers in u genetiese kode is die verhaal van elke plaag, elke roofdier, elke parasiet en elke planetêre omwenteling wat u voorouers kon oorleef. (Sharon Moalem, Oorlewing van die siekstes )

A. Die nadoodse dood van die Swart Dood

Die aanval van die plaag op die Weste het nie met die Swart Dood geëindig nie. Lank na 1352 het buboe steeds tussen Europa in 1369, 1374-5, 1379, 1390, 1407 en so tot en met 1722 onderbreek, maar die siekte het die moderne wêreld nooit weer getref met die krag wat dit in 1347 gedoen het nie. Alhoewel besondere uitbrekings in 1665 in Londen en so laat as 1896 in Bombay (Mumbai) aangeteken is, het die infeksiesnelheid en die persentasie van die bevolking wat gedood is, altyd gestop voordat hulle die vlak bereik het wat dit in die middel van die veertiende eeu gehad het, en meer Dit was belangrik dat herhalings altyd gelokaliseer is. Dit laat 'n belangrike vraag ontstaan: waarom het Pest nie weer so erg getref as toe dit die Swart Dood geloods het nie?

Geskiedkundiges en dokters het 'n raaisel oor hierdie aangeleentheid gehad, en alhoewel baie antwoorde voorgestel is, het niemand 'n algemene erkenning gekry nie. Een daarvan is dat die generaal higiëne van die Europeërs het verbeter na die Middeleeue, maar hoewel mense na die veertiende eeu eintlik meer begin bad het, het rotte en vlooie wat sentraal is by die verspreiding van pes, nie beter gesondheidstandaarde aanvaar nie. Fleas were certainly a persistent factor in human life until quite recently, so hygiene is not likely to be the reason Plague has never reappeared in as devastating a form as it was in the 1300's.

Since rats are crucial in spreading Plague, other explanations have centered on them. Some scholars, for instance, have cited the relatively recent spread of brown rats across Europe—brown rats tend to live away from humans—as opposed to black rats which were more predominant earlier and usually live in or around human communities. This theory, however, does not hold up either, since the areas of Europe infested with brown rats do not coincide with those which evidence a reduction in the scope and impact of Plague.

Another explanation centering on rats is that the European species, both brown and black, developed a resistance to Plague. But that, too, seems unlikely since immunological resistance in a population, especially one with as high a birth and death rate as rats have, tends to dwindle over time. So, even if at some point their immunity to the disease increased, European rats should have become susceptible to Plague again fairly quickly.

A scientist named Colin McEvedy has proposed a new theory which seems to have some merit. According to McEvedy, the failure of Yersinia pestis to reappear in as virulent a form as it had in the fourteenth century depended on a change in the microbial world, not in humans or any mammalian species. Whether his thesis is right or wrong, it makes sense to look below the surface of visible life, since this disease operates principally on a microscopic, not macroscopic, level.

Respecting the durable dictum of pathology, that a "less virulent parasite will replace a more virulent parasite over time," McEvedy has suggested that after the Black Death European rats became less susceptible to Plague because Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, a bacillus closely related to Yersinia pestis but considerably less virulent, appeared in their environment. Exposure to this pathogen would have provided rat communities with some immunological resistance to Plague. That means, when Yersinia pestis re-appeared after the 1350's, the European rat population didn't die off as catastrophically as they had before, because some rats had acquired resistance to bubonic plague bacteria from having dealt with its milder, less often fatal counterpart, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

While humans were not exposed to this bacillus in any significant way and thus its appearance provided our species with no direct benefit, a growing immunity among rats to Yersinia pestis made the disease's journey from city to city more difficult. That is, too many rats across Europe had gained resistance to Plague for the pathogen to build up the momentum necessary to launch an all-out epidemic like the Black Death. And so while it continued to flare up on occasion, bubonic plague failed to sweep the continent ever again the way it did in the mid-fourteenth century.

With that, it would seem we have finally reached the end of the history of the Black Death, but in fact we have not. For one, though controlled by antibiotics and much suppressed, bubonic plague is still a factor in human life. Even today, it remains endemic in Uganda, the western Arabic peninsula, Kurdistan, northern India and the Gobi desert, and lately there have been ever increasing numbers of cases documented in the United States, particularly among hunters of rockchucks in the American West. Moreover, the possibility always exists that through some mutation Yersinia pestis could once again rampage through rats and other mammals and, if it gains the ability to resist antibiotics, devastate the human population as well.

At the moment, however, that seems unlikely, and the work of modern medical researchers centers more on the plagues which threaten and ravage the world today: AIDS, Ebola, Dengue fever, avian flu and the like. These, for the most part, stem from viruses, not bacteria, and draw attention toward the effort to find cures for viral infections. Recent research, however, has shown that the barrier between the world of the virus and the bacillus is not as impermeable as it might seem. Statistical analysis of AIDS mortalities has turned up an intriguing connection between the diseases plaguing us today and the one our Eurasian predecessors endured. To wit, data suggest that people whose ancestors come from those areas of Europe which suffered most heavily during the Black Death coincide with populations today which exhibit lower rates of mortality from AIDS.

If this thesis is correct, it means that the exposure of their ancestors to Plague enhances the possibility that certain peoples will in general be able to resist AIDS more effectively. Thus, the past indeed has great bearing on the present—and the future!—and as the report about this theory says, "it will add to a growing recognition among scientists of the importance of epidemics in shaping human evolution." That's something all competent historians, no matter their ancestry, could have told you long ago.


The History of the Plague: Every Major Epidemic - History

Scientists Use DNA in Search for Answers to 6th Century Plague

By THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Staff Writer

By the middle of the 6th century, the Emperor Justinian had spread his Byzantine Empire around the rim of the Mediterranean and throughout Europe, laying the groundwork for what he hoped would be a long-lived dynasty.

His dreams were shattered when disease-bearing mice from lower Egypt reached the harbor town of Pelusium in AD 540. From there, the devastating disease spread to Alexandria and, by ship, to Constantinople, Justinian's capital, before surging throughout his empire.

By the time Justinian's plague had run its course in AD 590, it had killed as many as 100 million people -- half the population of Europe -- brought trade to a near halt, destroyed an empire and, perhaps, brought on the Dark Ages. Some historians think that the carnage may also have sounded the death knell for slavery as the high demand for labor freed serfs from their chains. Justinian's plague was a "major cataclysm," says historian Lester K. Little, director of the American Academy in Rome, "but the amount of research that has been done by historians is really minimal."

Little is hoping to do something about that. In December, he brought the world's plague experts together in Rome to lay the groundwork for an ambitious research program on the pandemic. A book resulting from the meeting will be published this year.

Modern techniques for studying DNA have begun answering long-standing questions about the evolution of the plague bacillus, how it infects humans and what can be done to counteract it.

While a 6th century plague might seem an esoteric subject, Little and others think that it has great relevance in a modern world that is continually threatened by emerging diseases. A second pandemic of plague struck Europe in the Middle Ages -- the so-called Black Death -- killing 25 million people and once more producing widespread social disruption.

A third pandemic began in China in the late 19th century and spread to North America, where a large reservoir of the disease remains active in animals throughout the Southwest.

An outbreak occurred in Los Angeles in 1924-25, but was contained.

Plague could become a tool of bioterrorists. Russian experts have long argued that plague is a much more frightening prospect than anthrax. As part of their germ war efforts during the Cold War, Soviet scientists developed strains of plague resistant to antibiotics used to cure infections. Unleashing such organisms could potentially have a devastating effect on modern society.

Understanding Justinian's plague could also lead to insights into other types of disasters, man-made and natural, adds UCLA historian Michael Morony.

"People were dying faster than they could be buried," he said. "I find myself wondering how society survived. That's a relevant question to try to understand."

Plague is caused by a bacillus called Yersinia pestis, identified in 1894 by the Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. The bacterium once killed more than half the people it infected but is now routinely controlled by such antibiotics as streptomycin, gentamicin or tetracycline.

About 2,000 deaths from plague are still reported worldwide every year, a handful of them in the United States. Naturally occurring strains resistant to antibiotics have been observed recently, however, and scientists fear that their spread could lead to large outbreaks.

Y. pestis is carried by rats and other animals. It can be transmitted to humans by direct exposure to an infected animal. Most often, however, it is carried by fleas that bite the infected animals, then bite humans.

People bitten by such fleas develop agonizingly painful, egg-sized swellings of the lymph nodes -- called buboes -- in the neck, armpit and groin. Hence the name bubonic plague.

Some authorities recognize two other forms of plague, one called pulmonary or pneumonic, in which the lungs are affected, and one called septicemic, in which the organism invades the bloodstream, but all are the same disease, Little said.

Because of its possible use in bioterrorism, researchers have been actively studying the plague organism. In October, a British team from the Sanger Center in Cambridge reported that they had decoded the complete DNA sequence of Y. pestis, a feat that could help to control outbreaks.

"The genome sequence we have produced contains every possible drug or vaccine target for the organism," said Dr. Julian Parkhill, the team's leader.

Genetics shows that the closest relative of Y. pestis is a gut bacterium called Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which is transmitted through food and water and which causes diarrhea, gastroenteritis and other intestinal problems, but is rarely fatal. Y. pseudotuberculosis may be the immediate ancestor of Y. pestis, but it is not transmitted by fleas. Last month, researchers apparently discovered why.

Bacteriologist B. Joseph Hinnebusch and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana reported that the key is a gene called PDL, which is carried by the plague bacterium, but not by the one that causes diarrhea.

Although they do not yet know how it works, PDL allows Y. pestis to survive in the gut of the rat flea. Artificially produced strains of the bacterium without the gene are destroyed in the flea's gut and thus cannot be transmitted to humans.

Hinnebusch and his colleagues believe the bacterium acquired the gene from other soil bacteria by a process called horizontal transfer, somewhat akin to a form of bacterial sex. The transfer probably took place 1,500 to 20,000 years ago, they said, setting the stage for full-scale epidemics of plague. "Our research illustrates how a single genetic change can profoundly affect the evolution of disease," Hinnebusch said.

Some scholars have argued that Y. pestis was not the cause of the Black Death and, by implication, of Justinian's plague as well. Jean Durliat, a French expert on the Byzantine Empire, argued in the 1980s that contemporary literary accounts of Justinian's plague were overblown and exaggerated, and not supported by archeological evidence.

Last year, British historians Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan published "Biology of Plagues," arguing that death spread through Europe much too rapidly in the 14th century to be caused by Y. pestis.

They believe that the Black Death must have spread through human-to-human contact and argue that it might have been caused by the Ebola virus or something similar.

Anthropologist James Wood of Pennsylvania State University made a similar argument last month at a meeting in Buffalo, N.Y.

"This disease appears to spread too rapidly among humans to be something that must first be established in wild rodent populations, like bubonic plague," Wood said. "An analysis of monthly mortality rates [among priests] during the epidemic shows a 45-fold greater risk of death than during normal times, far higher than usually associated with bubonic plague."

But molecular biology may be on the brink of answering questions that history cannot. One unique feature of the plague virus is that it accumulates inside the teeth of its victims, where its DNA can be protected for centuries, or perhaps even longer.

Molecular biologists Michel Drancourt and Olivier Dutour of the University of the Mediterranean in Marseilles, France, reported in 1998 that they had identified Y. pestis DNA in human remains dating from 1590 and 1722. Two years later, they reported a similar finding in remains dating from 1348.

That evidence is "pretty impressive," said Little, and indicates that Y. pestis at the very least played a role in the Black Death.

The Marseilles team is continuing to study other remains from the period to document how widespread the infections were. Meanwhile, archeologists are searching for plague cemeteries from the time of Justinian to perform similar studies.

Archeologist Michael McCormick of Harvard University has already identified eight mass graves in the Gaza Strip, Turkey and Italy where he expects to find human remains dating from the 6th to the 8th centuries. Remains have yet to be exhumed, however.

Some researchers speculate that a particularly virulent form of Y. pestis was responsible for Justinian's plague or the Black Death, just as an unusually pathogenic form of the influenza virus caused the worldwide flu pandemic in the early 20th century. Analysis of human remains could yield clues.

Theoretically, McCormick said, if DNA is found in the remains, it could be possible to grow the organisms in the laboratory and see if it is, in fact, more virulent.

One of the "major social issues" arising from the great mortality of the plague "is that it tends to raise the value of labor," Little said. "There are not enough workers around anymore. You can't find servants and, when you do find someone, they tend to charge outrageous amounts."

Little and others believe that this increased premium on labor was the final blow to slavery during the Justinian plague and that it similarly brought an end to serfdom during the Black Death.

Historians obviously still have a lot to learn about these pandemics, but valuable first steps have been taken, Little said. With the increasing assistance of molecular biologists, he added, the final pieces of the puzzle may now fall into place.


Why we're so fascinated by the plague

Centuries on from the Black Death, people around the world continue to be transfixed by the plague in a way they're not by other diseases.

These days, the plague is hardly the biggest health risk facing many countries. In 2017 alone, 219 million people caught malaria and 435,000 people died of the disease. By contrast, between 2010 and 2015, 584 people died of the plague worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

While the plague can be deadly if untreated, patients can easily be treated with antibiotics. After the plague diagnosis in China, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there was an extremely low risk of it spreading, state media China Daily reported.

But even if the disease isn't a major threat for most countries, it still interests scientists and historians, who are continuing to make discoveries about the Black Death, despite it occurring hundreds of years ago.

Greatrex, from Hong Kong University, said the plague continued to be haunted by its history. "You hear of the plague, and instantly you think of Black Death which ravages Europe, it has that enormous historical baggage," he said. "It's where lots of our ideas about what it means to have an epidemic comes from."

Black, the historian, said the fascination with the Black Death comes from a deep cultural memory in the Middle East and Europe, where the disease was written about for centuries.

However, he said other diseases — such as malaria and Ebola — should be of greater concern.

"It's so central to Western identity," he said. "It's part of our past, where something like malaria, which is so much more devastating in the last century, it doesn't interest us."


Epidemics

Epidemics can bring devastation to a community. But past epidemics have taught us valuable lessons about how to deal with infectious diseases and about the communities that experienced them.

An infectious disease reaches epidemic proportions when it spreads to a large number of people in a relatively short amount of time. Humans have experienced epidemics for as long as they have lived together in communities. But once people started to travel around the world in significant numbers, they carried infectious diseases with them and epidemics became pandemics—disease outbreaks on global proportions.

The Black Death, as the plague was called in the 1200s, was one of the earliest pandemics that we know about. In many ways it defined how people would respond to large-scale outbreaks of disease in the future. Some of the measures developed to fight the plague are still used today. The world experienced two subsequent plague pandemics.

Smallpox is another epidemic disease that has existed in communities for centuries. But it has a unique place in the history of epidemics as the only infectious disease to be totally eradicated from all human populations.

The story of smallpox is intimately related to the story of vaccination, the technique developed by William Jenner to prevent people catching smallpox. Vaccination has been hugely successful in preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases but since its earliest days vaccination has caused controversy.

At the start of the 1900s, most infectious diseases were in decline, but incidents of poliomyelitis (polio) began to rise, reaching epidemic proportions by mid-century. Working out why this previously rare disease of childhood (also known as infantile paralysis) was on the rise and impacting whole communities was a true medical detective story.

Bubonic plague: the first pandemic

The impact of the bubonic plague epidemics of the past still echo across the centuries, reminding us of the devastation that disease can inflict on whole communities.

Smallpox and the story of vaccination

Smallpox and vaccination are intimately connected. Jenner developed the first vaccine to prevent smallpox infections. And the success of his vaccine led to the global eradication of smallpox and the development of many more life-saving vaccines.

Polio: a 20th century epidemic

While many infectious diseases began to decline by the end of the 1800s, incidents of polio increased to epidemic proportions. What was going on?

The iron lung

This coffin-shaped contraption was used for the most dangerous forms of polio, when the disease paralysed the lungs. It saved the lives of thousands of polio victims who couldn't breathe on their own.

Epidemiology: the public health science

Epidemiology is the science dealing with the spread and control of diseases and other factors relating to health in populations and other groups.


An Epidemic Every 100 years: Plague of 1720, Cholera of 1820, Spanish Flu of 1920, Coronavirus of 2020 – Is it Just a Coincidence!

There is a theory that every 100 years a pandemic erupts on the planet. It might be a coincidence, but the chronological accuracy is troubling.

In 1720 there was a plague, in 1820 – cholera, and in 1920 – Spanish flu…

Many researchers say that the current coronavirus epidemic resembles the events of previous centuries.

The logical question arises: what if these pandemics were artificially staged by some sinister force? Maybe a secret organization?

In 1720, there was the last large-scale bubonic plague pandemic, also called the great plague of Marseille. The catastrophic plague led to the death of 100,000 people. It is assumed that the bacteria are spread by flies infected with this bacteria.

The first cholera epidemic occurred on the centenary of the 1720 pandemic. It has affected Asian countries – the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. Interestingly, about 100,000 people were killed in this epidemic. The pandemic is said to have started with people who drank water from lakes contaminated with this bacteria.

The Spanish flu appeared 100 years ago, at a time when people were battling the H1N1 flu virus, which had undergone a genetic mutation, which made it much more dangerous than the normal virus. This virus infected 500 million people and killed more than 100 million people in the world, this pandemic was the deadliest in history.

It seems like history repeats itself every 100 years, is it just a coincidence?

Today, China faces a major pandemic and has spread to South Korea, Iran, Italy, and other countries. More than 77,000 have been infected, over 2,000 have died. But every day the situation gets worse.

The worst part is that air travel and modern technology are accelerating the spread of the virus worldwide. And how it will end, only God knows …


Sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911)

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera
Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.


4 America

Then came the disease epidemics of the Americas. Smallpox first arrived in the colonies of Florida, Carolina, and Virginia in 1519 and devastated the native population after being brought by the colonizing Europeans. [8] It reached Massachusetts in 1633. Due to the fact that the so-called New and Old Worlds were so far removed, the Native Americans had little, if any, immune resistance to the viruses of Europe, like measles, plague, and especially smallpox.

Smallpox was particularly brutal and spread to Central and South America as well, greatly infecting the Aztec Empire. In just 100 years, half the time of the Plague of Justinian, it wiped out 90 percent of the Aztec population, a drop from 17 million people to only 1.3 million. These diseases killed so many that only an estimated 530,000 Native Americans were left alive by 1900. This makes the American plagues some of the worst of recorded human history.


Pandemics and the Shape of Human History

Outbreaks have sparked riots and propelled public-health innovations, prefigured revolutions and redrawn maps.

What’s often referred to as the first pandemic began in the city of Pelusium, near modern-day Port Said, in northeastern Egypt, in the year 541. According to the historian Procopius, who was alive at the time, the “pestilence” spread both west, toward Alexandria, and east, toward Palestine. Then it kept on going. In his view, it seemed to move almost consciously, “as if fearing lest some corner of the earth might escape it.”

The earliest symptom of the pestilence was fever. Often, Procopius observed, this was so mild that it did not “afford any suspicion of danger.” But, within a few days, victims developed the classic symptoms of bubonic plague—lumps, or buboes, in their groin and under their arms. The suffering at that point was terrible some people went into a coma, others into violent delirium. Many vomited blood. Those who attended to the sick “were in a state of constant exhaustion,” Procopius noted. “For this reason everybody pitied them no less than the sufferers.” No one could predict who was going to perish and who would pull through.

In early 542, the plague struck Constantinople. At that time, the city was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, which was led by the Emperor Justinian. A recent assessment calls Justinian “one of the greatest statesmen who ever lived.” Another historian describes the first part of his reign—he ruled for almost forty years—as “a flurry of action virtually unparalleled in Roman history.” In the fifteen years before the pestilence reached the capital, Justinian codified Roman law, made peace with the Persians, overhauled the Eastern Empire’s fiscal administration, and built the Hagia Sophia.

As the plague raged, it fell to Justinian, in Procopius’ words, to “make provision for the trouble.” The Emperor paid for the bodies of the abandoned and the destitute to be buried. Even so, it was impossible to keep up the death toll was too high. (Procopius thought it reached more than ten thousand a day, though no one is sure if this is accurate.) John of Ephesus, another contemporary of Justinian’s, wrote that “nobody would go out of doors without a tag upon which his name was written,” in case he was suddenly stricken. Eventually, bodies were just tossed into fortifications at the edge of the city.

The plague hit the powerless and the powerful alike. Justinian himself contracted it. Among the lucky, he survived. His rule, however, never really recovered. In the years leading up to 542, Justinian’s generals had reconquered much of the western part of the Roman Empire from the Goths, the Vandals, and other assorted barbarians. After 542, the Emperor struggled to recruit soldiers and to pay them. The territories that his generals had subdued began to revolt. The plague reached the city of Rome in 543, and seems to have made it all the way to Britain by 544. It broke out again in Constantinople in 558, a third time in 573, and yet again in 586.

The Justinianic plague, as it became known, didn’t burn itself out until 750. By that point, there was a new world order. A powerful new religion, Islam, had arisen, and its followers ruled territory that included a great deal of what had been Justinian’s empire, along with the Arabian Peninsula. Much of Western Europe, meanwhile, had come under the control of the Franks. Rome had been reduced to about thirty thousand people, roughly the population of present-day Mamaroneck. Was the pestilence partly responsible? If so, history is written not only by men but also by microbes.

Just as there are many ways for microbes to infect a body, there are many ways for epidemics to play out in the body politic. Epidemics can be short-lived or protracted, or, like the Justinianic plague, recurrent. Often, they partner with war sometimes the pairing favors the aggressor, sometimes the aggressed. Epidemic diseases can become endemic, which is to say constantly present, only to become epidemic again when they’re carried to a new region or when conditions change.

To this last category belongs smallpox, dubbed the speckled monster, which may have killed more than a billion people before it was eradicated, in the mid-twentieth century. No one knows exactly where smallpox originated the virus—part of the genus that includes cowpox, camelpox, and monkeypox—is believed to have first infected humans around the time that people began domesticating animals. Signs of smallpox have been found in Egyptian mummies, including Ramses V, who died in 1157 B.C. The Romans seem to have picked up the pox near present-day Baghdad, when they went to fight one of their many enemies, the Parthians, in 162. The Roman physician Galen reported that those who came down with the new disease suffered a rash that was “ulcerated in most cases and totally dry.” (The epidemic is sometimes referred to as the Plague of Galen.) Marcus Aurelius, the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, who died in 180, may also have been a smallpox victim.

By the fifteenth century, as Joshua S. Loomis reports in “Epidemics: The Impact of Germs and Their Power Over Humanity” (Praeger), smallpox had become endemic throughout Europe and Asia, meaning that most people were probably exposed to it at some point in their lives. Over all, the fatality rate was a terrifying thirty per cent, but among young children it was much higher—more than ninety per cent in some places. Loomis, a professor of biology at East Stroudsburg University, writes that the danger was so grave that “parents would commonly wait to name their children until after they had survived smallpox.” Anyone who made it through acquired permanent immunity (though many were left blind or horribly scarred). This dynamic meant that every generation or so there was a major outbreak, as the number of people who had managed to avoid getting infected as children slowly rose. It also meant, as Loomis rather cavalierly observes, that Europeans enjoyed a major advantage as they “began exploring distant lands and interacting with native populations.”

Alfred W. Crosby, the historian who coined the phrase “the Columbian Exchange,” also coined the term “virgin soil epidemic,” defined as one in which “the populations at risk have had no previous contact with the diseases that strike them and are therefore immunologically almost defenseless.” The first “virgin soil epidemic” in the Americas—or, to use another one of Crosby’s formulations, “the first New World pandemic”—began toward the end of 1518. That year, someone, presumably from Spain, carried smallpox to Hispaniola. This was a quarter of a century after Columbus ran aground on the island, and the native Taíno population had already been much reduced. The speckled monster laid waste to those who remained. Two friars, writing to the King of Spain, Charles I, in early 1519, reported that a third of the island’s inhabitants were stricken: “It has pleased Our Lord to bestow a pestilence of smallpox among the said Indians, and it does not cease.” From Hispaniola, smallpox spread to Puerto Rico. Within two years, it had reached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, in what’s now Mexico City, a development that allowed Hernán Cortés to conquer the capital, in 1521. A Spanish priest wrote, “In many places it happened that everyone in a house died, and, as it was impossible to bury the great number of dead, they pulled down the houses over them.” Smallpox seems to have reached the Incan Empire before the Spaniards did the infection raced from one settlement to the next faster than the conquistadores could travel.

It’s impossible to say how many people died in the first New World pandemic, both because the records are sketchy and because Europeans also brought with them so many other “virgin soil” diseases, including measles, typhoid, and diphtheria. In all, the imported microbes probably killed tens of millions of people. “The discovery of America was followed by possibly the greatest demographic disaster in the history of the world,” William M. Denevan, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has written. This disaster changed the course of history not just in Europe and the Americas but also in Africa: faced with a labor shortage, the Spanish increasingly turned to the slave trade.

The word “quarantine” comes from the Italian quaranta, meaning “forty.” As Frank M. Snowden explains in “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present” (Yale), the practice of quarantine originated long before people understood what, exactly, they were trying to contain, and the period of forty days was chosen not for medical reasons but for scriptural ones, “as both the Old and New Testaments make multiple references to the number forty in the context of purification: the forty days and forty nights of the flood in Genesis, the forty years of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness . . . and the forty days of Lent.”

The earliest formal quarantines were a response to the Black Death, which, between 1347 and 1351, killed something like a third of Europe and ushered in what’s become known as the “second plague pandemic.” As with the first, the second pandemic worked its havoc fitfully. Plague would spread, then abate, only to flare up again.

During one such flareup, in the fifteenth century, the Venetians erected lazarettos—or isolation wards—on outlying islands, where they forced arriving ships to dock. The Venetians believed that by airing out the ships they were dissipating plague-causing vapors. If the theory was off base, the results were still salubrious forty days gave the plague time enough to kill infected rats and sailors. Snowden, a professor emeritus at Yale, calls such measures one of the first forms of “institutionalized public health” and argues that they helped legitimatize the “accretion of power” by the modern state.

There’s a good deal of debate about why the second pandemic finally ended one of the last major outbreaks in Europe occurred in Marseille in 1720. But, whether efforts at control were effective or not, they often provoked, as Snowden puts it, “evasion, resistance, and riot.” Public-health measures ran up against religion and tradition, as, of course, they still do. The fear of being separated from loved ones prompted many families to conceal cases. And, in fact, those charged with enforcing the rules often had little interest in protecting the public.

Consider the case of cholera. In the ranks of dread diseases, cholera might come in third, after the plague and smallpox. Cholera is caused by a comma-shaped bacterium, Vibrio cholerae, and for most of human history it was restricted to the Ganges Delta. Then, in the eighteen-hundreds, steamships and colonialism sent Vibrio cholerae travelling. The first cholera pandemic broke out in 1817 near Calcutta. It moved overland to modern-day Thailand and by ship to Oman, whence it was carried down to Zanzibar. The second cholera pandemic began in 1829, once again in India. It wound its way through Russia into Europe and from there to the United States.

In contrast to plague and smallpox, which made few class distinctions, cholera, which is spread via contaminated food or water, is primarily a disease of urban slums. When the second pandemic struck Russia, Tsar Nicholas I established strict quarantines. These may have slowed the spiral of spread, but they did nothing to help those already infected. The situation, according to Loomis, was exacerbated by health officials who indiscriminately threw together cholera victims and people suffering from other ailments. It was rumored that doctors were purposefully trying to kill off the sick. In the spring of 1831, riots broke out in St. Petersburg. One demonstrator returning from a melee reported that a doctor had “got a coupl’ve rocks in the neck he sure won’t forget us for a long time.” The following spring, cholera riots broke out in Liverpool. Once again, doctors were the main targets they were accused of poisoning cholera victims and turning them blue. (Cholera has been called the “blue death” because those suffering from the disease can get so dehydrated that their skin becomes slate-colored.) Similar riots broke out in Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Dublin.

In 1883, during the fifth cholera pandemic, the German physician Robert Koch established the cause of the disease by isolating the Vibrio cholerae bacterium. The following year, the pandemic hit Naples. The city dispatched inspectors to confiscate suspect produce. It also sent out disinfection squads, which arrived at the city’s tenements with guns drawn. Neapolitans were, understandably, skeptical of both the inspectors and the squads. They responded with an impressive sense of humor, if not necessarily a keen understanding of epidemiology. Demonstrators showed up at city hall with baskets of overripe figs and melons. They proceeded, Snowden writes, “to consume the forbidden fruit in enormous quantities while those who watched applauded and bet on which binger would eat the most.”

Eight years later, while the fifth pandemic raged on, one of the most violent cholera riots broke out in what’s now the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Scores of shops were looted, and homes and businesses were burned. The authorities in St. Petersburg responded to the violence by cracking down on workers accused of promoting “lawlessness.” According to Loomis, the crackdown prompted more civil unrest, which in turn prompted more repression, and, thus, in a roundabout sort of way, cholera helped “set the stage” for the Russian Revolution.

The seventh cholera pandemic began in 1961, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. During the next decade, it spread to India, the Soviet Union, and several nations in Africa. There were no mass outbreaks for the next quarter century, but then one hit Peru in 1991, claiming thirty-five hundred lives another outbreak, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1994, claimed twelve thousand.

By most accounts, the seventh pandemic is ongoing. In October, 2010, cholera broke out in rural Haiti, then quickly spread to Port-au-Prince and other major cities. This was nine months after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake had devastated the country. Rumors began to circulate that the source of the outbreak was a base that housed United Nations peacekeeping troops from Nepal. Riots occurred in the city of Cap-Haïtien at least two people were killed, and flights carrying aid to the country were suspended. For years, the U.N. denied that its troops had brought cholera to Haiti, but it eventually admitted that the rumors were true. Since the outbreak began, eight hundred thousand Haitians have been sickened and nearly ten thousand have died.

Epidemics are, by their very nature, divisive. The neighbor you might, in better times, turn to for help becomes a possible source of infection. The rituals of daily life become opportunities for transmission the authorities enforcing quarantine become agents of oppression. Time and time again throughout history, people have blamed outsiders for outbreaks. (On occasion, as in the case of the U.N. peacekeeping troops, they’ve been right.) Snowden recounts the story of what happened to the Jews of Strasbourg during the Black Death. Local officials decided that they were responsible for the pestilence—they had, it was said, poisoned the wells—and offered them a choice: convert or die. Half opted for the former. On February 14, 1349, the rest “were rounded up, taken to the Jewish cemetery, and burned alive.” Pope Clement VI issued papal bulls pointing out that Jews, too, were dying from the plague, and that it wouldn’t make sense for them to poison themselves, but this doesn’t seem to have made much difference. In 1349, Jewish communities in Frankfurt, Mainz, and Cologne were wiped out. To escape the violence, Jews migrated en masse to Poland and Russia, permanently altering the demography of Europe.

Whenever disaster strikes, like right about now, it’s tempting to look to the past for guidance on what to do or, alternatively, what not to do. It has been almost fifteen hundred years since the Justinianic plague, and, what with plague, smallpox, cholera, influenza, polio, measles, malaria, and typhus, there are an epidemic number of epidemics to reflect on.


Kyk die video: Die Dorslandtrek deel 1 (Julie 2022).


Kommentaar:

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  2. Vukree

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  3. Dazilkree

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  4. Shajinn

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  5. Edmon

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