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Plague: illness spread FOUR TIMES faster during London’s 1665 epidemic than during the 1348 outbreak

The Great Plague of 1665–6 saw disease spread some four times faster in London than it did at the peak of the Black Death in 1348, a study has concluded. Pictured: the Great Plague
The Great Plague of 1665–6 saw disease spread some four times faster in London than it did at the peak of the Black Death in 1348, a study has concluded. Pictured: the Great Plague

The 'striking acceleration' in disease transmission, the researchers said, was a consequence of the increase in people living close together in cramped conditions. Pictured, London's East Smithfield cemetery, which was built in 1348 during the time of the Black Death
The ‘striking acceleration’ in disease transmission, the researchers said, was a consequence of the increase in people living close together in cramped conditions. Pictured, London’s East Smithfield cemetery, which was built in 1348 during the time of the Black Death

The Great Plague of 1665–6 saw disease spread some four times faster in London than it did at the peak of the Black Death in 1348, a study has concluded. Pictured, the changing death rates
The Great Plague of 1665–6 saw disease spread some four times faster in London than it did at the peak of the Black Death in 1348, a study has concluded. Pictured, the changing death rates

Experts from Canada analyses thousands of pages of historical records (like pictured) and personal documents to determine that the plague picked up speed over the centuries

The Black Death is estimated to have wiped out more than a third of the population of Europe during the 14th Century. Pictured right: the outfit of a European Plague doctor. The beak-like mask was filled with aromatic items incorrectly thought to help ward off the disease

Experts from Canada analyses thousands of pages of historical records (like that pictured left, for example) and personal documents to determine that the plague picked up speed over the centuries. The Black Death is estimated to have wiped out more than a third of the population of Europe during the 14th Century. Pictured right: the outfit of a European Plague doctor. The beak-like mask was filled with aromatic items incorrectly thought to help ward off the disease

The findings could help scientists to better understand how other diseases — such as COVID-19 — spread today. Pictured, the Danse Macabre, inspired by the Black Death
The findings could help scientists to better understand how other diseases — such as COVID-19 — spread today. Pictured, the Danse Macabre, inspired by the Black Death

'From genetic evidence, we have good reason to believe that the strains of bacterium responsible for plague changed very little over this time period — so this is a fascinating result,' said paper author and anthropologist Hendrik Poinar. Pictured, the Yersinia pestis bacteria responsible for the plague
‘From genetic evidence, we have good reason to believe that the strains of bacterium responsible for plague changed very little over this time period — so this is a fascinating result,’ said paper author and anthropologist Hendrik Poinar. Pictured, the Yersinia pestis bacteria responsible for the plague

'It is an astounding difference in how fast plague epidemics grew,' said paper author and epidemiologist David Earn, of the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Pictured, a map showing the routes by which the Black Death spread across Europe in the 14th Century
‘It is an astounding difference in how fast plague epidemics grew,’ said paper author and epidemiologist David Earn, of the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Pictured, a map showing the routes by which the Black Death spread across Europe in the 14th Century

THE CAUSE BEHIND EUROPE’S BUBONIC PLAGUES

Written by Daily Mail

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