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knocker

Black Rats off the hook

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Gerbils and other rodents in places like Kazakhstan still harbour the plague virus. However, gerbils are exclusive to the desert (unless in a plastic box with a wheel) and wouldn't have got on ships to Europe, so IMO the rats were more likely to be responsible for spreading it, even if they caught it from the gerbils.

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Gerbils and other rodents in places like Kazakhstan still harbour the plague virus. However, gerbils are exclusive to the desert (unless in a plastic box with a wheel) and wouldn't have got on ships to Europe, so IMO the rats were more likely to be responsible for spreading it, even if they caught it from the gerbils.

Where there are rats there are people, must apply for gerbils as well? There must have been a transmission, due to a passer by? And in them days the poor done a lot of walking and 'camping' till they reach their desired location, so transmission of this highly virulent deadly disease seems credible from this. It only takes one infected flea.

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Has London ever had a large population of giant gerbils?

Indeed, it's a pretty wacky story and can hardly explain a spread through Europe where Gerbils are practically unknown and certainly don't live in close contact with humans.

Seems to be an attempt to imply climate change must be bad because it will cause spreading of plague presumably. 

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Indeed, it's a pretty wacky story and can hardly explain a spread through Europe where Gerbils are practically unknown and certainly don't live in close contact with humans.

Seems to be an attempt to imply climate change must be bad because it will cause spreading of plague presumably. 

 

Does it really. The study states:

 

 

Our findings support a scenario where climate fluctuations that positively affect tree-ring growth in the juniper trees in the Karakorum mountains range also affect climate in a larger region in a way that can promote and synchronize plague outbreaks among the rodent populations of Central Asia (11, 14). When the climate subsequently becomes less favorable, it facilitates the collapse of plague-infected rodent populations, forcing their fleas to find alternative hosts . Such large-scale wildlife plague outbreaks in Asia would, during the time of the second plague pandemic, frequently result in the arrival of plague in European harbors with a delay of 15 ± 1 y (Fig. 3)

 

And if you think climate change isn't bad try studying the history of the 17th century.

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