Return of the Black Death; IN THE MIDDLE AGES IT KILLED 23M PEOPLE IN EUROPE & ASIA..BUT ARE WE ABOUT TO SEE THE

The Mirror (London, England), May 24, 2004 | Go to article overview

Return of the Black Death; IN THE MIDDLE AGES IT KILLED 23M PEOPLE IN EUROPE & ASIA..BUT ARE WE ABOUT TO SEE THE


Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

THE Black Death, which killed 23 million people in the middle ages, could be lying dormant and may strike again, researchers said yesterday.

Their claim is based on the theory that the pandemic was triggered not by bubonic plague but by another virus.

The theory is outlined in a new book by Professor Christopher Duncan and Dr Susan Scott of Liverpool University.

The Black Death is thought to have caused the deaths of up to 200 million people worldwide over the past 1,500 years.

In the 14th century alone, around 23 million people are thought to have died after the disease ravaged much of Asia and Europe.

Globally the disease still affects between 1,000 to 3,000 people a year. However, if caught early it can be cured with antibiotics.

As part of their research, Professor Duncan and Dr Scott studied original parish records, wills and diaries to create a profile of the killer disease.

They examined witness statements as well as accounts by several famous figures who escaped infection, including Henry VIII and William Shakespeare.

This research led them to conclude that the deaths were not caused by bubonic plague but by some other viral disease.

Professor Duncan said the virus may still exist somewhere in the world. …

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