Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historical Populationsby Susan Scott, Christopher J. Duncan
Pub. Date: 03/28/2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The threat of unstoppable plagues, such as AIDS and Ebola, is always with us. In Europe, the most devastating plagues were those from the Black Death pandemic in the 1300s to the Great Plague of London in 1665. For the past 100 years it has been accepted that Yersinia pestis, the infective agent of bubonic plague, was responsible for these epidemics. This book combines modern concepts of epidemiology and molecular biology with computer-modeling. Applying these concepts to the analysis of historical epidemics, the authors show that they were not, in fact, outbreaks of bubonic plague. Biology of Plagues offers a completely new interdisciplinary interpretation of the plagues of Europe, and establishes them within a geographical, historical, and demographic framework. This fascinating detective work will be of interest to readers in the social and biological sciences, and lessons learned will underline the implications of historical plagues for modern-day epidemiology.
- Cambridge University Press
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Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. Epidemiological concepts; 3. The biology of bubonic plague; 4. The Great Pestilence; 5. Case study: the plague at Penrith in 1597–98; 6. Pestilence and plague in the 16th century in England; 7. Plagues in the 16th century in northern England: a metapopulation study; 8. Plagues in London in the 17th century; 9. Plagues in the provinces in the 17th century; 10. Plague at Eyam in 1665–66: a case study; 11. Continental Europe during the third age of plagues: a study of large-scale metapopulation dynamics; 12. The Plague at Marseilles, 1720–22: an outbreak of bubonic plague? 13. Conclusions; References; Index.
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