Rats Cleared in "Black Death" Case?

A new study claims that rats were not the culprits in spreading the Black Plague throughout 14th century Europe. The reputation of rats everywhere has long been sullied by belief that they were the culprits in spreading the plague throughout 14th century Europe, but a new study may clear them. University professor Chris Duncan and social historian Sue Scott have produced a book, The Return of the Black Death, which claims that humans and not rats carried the deadly hemorrhagic plague virus, not bubonic as once believed. The pair studied parish records, diaries and wills to track the spread of the disease and its symptoms, and concluded that this form of the illness could not have been carried by rat fleas.

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comment passed from Marilyn Tacoma PN - aka Pheng of the Merigol

I'm a little confused about your comment about the black rats. To which diease were they not resisitant? Bubonic plague was known in Europe else St Rocco would not have been the patron saint of it's sufferers because of hi survival. 7-21 (okay 23 days) is a fairly common incubation period for virial infections. Is Hemorrhagic Plague the same as Pnuematic Plague or yet another variation--there aren't you glad you opened this discussion? (P)

Black rats

According to this study, the disease was not bubonic plague but hemorrhagic plague which apparently isn't carried by the fleas on black rats. They also pointed to the fact that the fleas would have been killed by the cold weather and yet the plague continued in winter. I don't claim to be any kind of scientist so I'll just point you back to the original story which you can get to by clicking on the story header.