Black Plague selective killer

A new study of nearly 500 skeletons in a London plague cemetery proves that many of the victims had weaker immune systems when they died than normal, leading experts to believe that most who succumbed were old, sick or poor.

“Even something as clearly deadly as the Black Death is still selective,” said Sharon N. DeWitte, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor of anthropology at the State University at Albany. The Black Death, she continued, is comparable in some ways to various emerging diseases of today like Ebola or SARS, and studying it “gives us some insight into who might be at highest risk for these new diseases.”