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Articles on Bubonic plague

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A 19th-century engraving depicts the Angel of Death descending on Rome during the Antonine plague. J.G. Levasseur/Wellcome Collection

How 3 prior pandemics triggered massive societal shifts

Societies and cultures that seem ossified and entrenched can be completely upended by pandemics, which create openings for conquest, innovation and social change.
Crinolines, by design, made physical contact nearly impossible. Hulton Archive/Stringer via Getty Images

The fashionable history of social distancing

In the past, maintaining physical distance was an important aspect of public life – and clothes played a big role.
Body temperature scans are one tool to interrupt the spread of disease by travelers. Tatan Syuflana/APImages.com

Does screening travelers for disease and infection really work?

Travelers may undergo screenings at airports to control the spread of coronavirus. Research shows that these efforts have little to no effect on slowing the spread of disease.
What happened to make plague able to cause devastating epidemics, as in this depiction from 1349? Pierart dou Tielt/Wikimedia

Plague was around for millennia before epidemics took hold – and the way people lived might be what protected them

People caught and died from plague long before it caused major epidemics like the Black Death in the middle ages. Could what scientists call cultural resistance be what kept the disease under control?
It’s the ability of our immune system to remember past infections, and pass this memory on to our kids, that allows us to survive infectious diseases. from www.shutterstock.com

How we’ve evolved to fight the bugs that infect us

With so many microbes capable of hijacking and destroying us, how are we, as a species, still enduring?
Uncollected rubbish provides food and shelter for rodents which can spread plague if they pick up the bacteria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Explainer: understanding plague in the 21st century

Plague, one of the deadliest diseases in the world, has been reported in several African countries in the past decade.
A model of the bubonic plague bacterium, which is known as Yersina pestis. Tim Evanson/Flcikr

Explainer: what is the plague?

Cases of plague have been reported in the Chinese city of Yumen, where a man has died of the disease. Control measures taken by the authorities include travel restrictions in and out of the city, and 151…

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