Skip to comments.New study sheds light on survivors of the Black Death
Posted on 05/30/2014 6:37:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
A new study suggests that people who survived the medieval mass-killing plague known as the Black Death lived significantly longer and were healthier than people who lived before the epidemic struck in 1347.
Caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, the Black Death wiped out 30 percent of Europeans and nearly half of Londoners during its initial four-year wave from 1347 1351...
The findings have important implications for understanding emerging diseases and how they impact the health of individuals and populations of people...
She says the Black Death was a single iteration of a disease that has affected humans since at least the 6th century Plague of Justinian...
To better understand those human factors DeWitte has spent the last decade examining the skeletal remains of more 1,000 men, women and children who lived before, during and after the Black Death. The skeletons, maintained in the archives of the Museum of London, were excavated from a handful of well-documented London cemeteries, including St. Mary Spital, Guildhall Yard, St. Nicholas Shambles and St. Mary Graces...
DeWitte's analysis has revealed several important findings. Most notably that:
the 14th-century Black Death was not an indiscriminate killer, but instead targeted frail people of all ages;
survivors of the Black Death experienced improvements in health and longevity, with many people living to ages of 70 or 80 years, as compared to pre-Black Death populations;
improvements in survival post-Black Death didn't necessarily equate to good health over a lifespan, but revealed a hardiness to endure disease, including repeated bouts of plague; and
the Black Death, either directly or indirectly, very powerfully shaped mortality patterns for generations after the epidemic ended.
DeWitte says she was surprised by how much of a change she estimated between the pre- and post-Black Death periods...
(Excerpt) Read more at sc.edu ...
DeWitte has analyzed the skeletal remains of more than 1,000 men, women and children who lived before, during and after the Black Death.
She could do whatever she wants with my skeleton...
“She could do whatever she wants with my skeleton...”
Is that a portion of your skeleton in the box behind her left arm?
I’m apparently one of those people who can survive anything. That doesn’t mean its always fun.
But, do you reallllly want to find out what Laz does with a hard old boner?
Stop it, you guys! Dammit y’all crack me up! LOL!
Our country will be a lot better off once our current crop of seniors are feeding the worms. "Gimme, gimme, gimme! Pay me 'til I tell you to stop."
This world has never seen so much unproductive protoplasm.
People of European descent, whose ancestors survived the black death, commonly have a particular immune system variation that is only found rarely in other races. It is thought that this particular variation helped those ancestors survive. That variation could be the basis of the hardiness that Dr. DeWitte has observed.
Perhaps the survivors would have lived even longer had they not contracted the plague.
Mr. Mataz had better take a number.
As a former archaeologist, I’d just like to say, “I’d like to check her bones”.
However, I read these same conclusions decades ago when the first studies on the bodies of the plague victims were matched against those of the survivors.
The survivors also improved the gene pool which was flushed out by the plague’s killing the weaker population.
However, in this day and age of political correctness, do we have to change the name of the Black Plague (known in America as President Obama and Mooschelle) to something less racist, such as the “Dark Plague” or the “Not White Plague?
Is it still allowable to put a “plague on your house” curse on someone or do we have to say “May a flock of deadly fleas infest your abode”?
Just asking. Late Friday night. Work is done. Tomatoes to plant tomorrow, cats stomaches to scratch, and fresh Mulberries to eat right from the tree.
Carney - GONE
Shinseki - GONE
OBAMA - WHEN?
Well, you gotta admit... after all he’s been into...that dude is hard to kill.
One of the guys that survived was Nostradamus.
Course it made him kind of weird.
The Black Death helped kill feudalism is western Europe - that alone had to have improved the survivors lives.
Maybe it’s the genetic legacy enjoyed by the survivors of the plague that’s made the US...Canada...Europe...Australia so prosperous.
“Black Death” is racist. The correct term is Unwhite Distress.
Years ago, I was researching my late husband’s ancestors. Some, I found lived during that time. One of the things that really stood out was that whole towns died and no one was left to bury them. I love history and that brought it to life. A very sad time.
I think DeWitte got more than her share of Neanderthal genes.
Nearly incomprehensible figures.
But in all seriousness, I have read among us "global warming" skeptics that the Black Death corresponded with the end of the Medeival Warm Period. A series of colder winters and colder summers led to reduced crop yields and poorer health conditions. The reduced food resources could not support a the population that had grown large during the warm period. Hungry and already weakened by disease, the Black Death cut down the weaker ones.
Just another thing to keep in mind when talking to the AGW crowd.
Interesting. People create super strains of bacteria by using antibiotics. Bacteria creates super strains of people by causing plagues.
You are speaking about the Delta-32 mutation, which affects (now) about ten percent of the population.
It yields white blood cells that have a variation of the membrane that make it impossible for yersina (or hiv) to infect them.
No doubt it was increased by the plague, but I doubt that was the only factor.
Wasn’t Nostradamus already famous for the fact that as a doctor most of his patients survived the Black Death even though his immediate family did not?
His reputation as a prognosticator came only later.
Seems to me that I’ve read reports somewhere that the native American populations were a very healthy looking lot compared the Europeans that first came to the new world.
However, much of the Indian populations of north central and south America —were simply wiped out by new diseases brought over by the Europeans. further the die off so preceded the Europeans that with rare exceptions like in Mexico during the 1530 and 1560’s the Europeans had no knowledge of what happened. and how really big the Indian populations of the Americas were before they were wiped out by disease.
That this complete wipe out never happened in any parts of Africa or Asia. apparently because these populations already had been exposed to European diseases.
She looks a bit frail herself...maybe a checkup is perhaps in order?
I was gonna say ...
You’re funny:) A writer per chance?
SO that’s what the kids are calling it now...
The Americas had at least four PreColumbian era population spikes, when the number of people approached the levels of circa 1900 AD; each was followed by a catastrophic falloff. This could have been due to climate, or could have been due to periods of transoceanic contact, or both. What it could *not* have been is the artificial and imaginary “over-specialization” argument that used to be dominant.
Your nickname isn’t “Lucky” by any chance? ;’) Glad you’re still with us.
Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down.
I think I read somewhere that the American indian dying off in large numbers is not the case and has been disproven
I'm not certain whether that is the mutation I was speaking about. I seem to recall reading that there is a variant in one of the proteins within the MHC II complex which is enriched in populations with European ancestry (descendants of the black death survivors). This was published a few months or maybe a year or so ago. I tried to do a Google search, and found a more recent publication discussing a polymorphism within the TLR2 protein that is also associated with survivors of the black death, but I cannot access the article at home. I have access at work, but whether I'll remember to look at the article is questionable.
It really is not surprising that a pandemic would select for certain gene variants. Evolutionary forces are constantly shaping us.
Except for food poisoning, I have not been sick in years. I watched both husband and son sniffle, sneeze, and cough with something a couple months ago, but I did not get sick. I think my immune system must have a very long memory for every virus I've ever encountered.
>>Survival of the fittest is a good thing.
Yah, particularly when observed to be survival of the smartest, eh.
Back in the day when I was studying the Middle Ages I read a study or a chapter in a book about the plague and how certain communities apparently had immunities that protected their people.
I remember one of the pockets without any plague deaths was an area in Bavaria and/or the Balkans as well as a township or two in England.
It occurred to me that the immunity might be the result of some specific genetic strain that was handed down in those isolated pockets from generation to generation.
“Wasnt Nostradamus already famous for the fact that as a doctor most of his patients survived the Black Death even though his immediate family did not?”
Yes. A lot claim it was his ‘rose pills’ but I go more with the theory of his insistence on hygienic practices, ie; hand washing...but also the use of garlic and aloe is interesting. Then there is the 4 thieves story (following link).
“He followed the advise taught by his great-grandfather, he suggested to bury corpses very deep, between layers of quicklime (Lime has a sterilization action). He also advised to burn trash (food for rats and their infecting fleas). Also he asked to everybody to have a scrupulous cleaning of hands, to change clean dresses often, filtraiting masks, etc.
His potion of Garlic and Aloe that he recommended as ointment for massages and also for ingestion got an excellent reputation for defending from plague infection. (Actually, scientist have widely proven the excellent antibacterial action of Garlic (website) and the immune stimulating effect of Aloe).”
Four thieves story and formula:
Well done and thanks.
Nope: guess I am just to stubborn (or to stupid) to lay down and give up the ghost.
Remember those never give up cartoons; the one I liked best was the frog strangling the stork on his way down it’s gullet.
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