Sent in by Gary. At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6546689/Humans-NOT-rats-blame-sp… … where we learn that research by Oslo University into an outbreak of bubonic plague in Glasgow back in 1900 was not spread by rats – or fleas on rats. It is suggested that human fleas were to blame – accusing the Glaswegians of the period of poor sanitation. It is of course a theory but one that will probably stick like glue as it involves the occupants of tenements in the Gorbals. Were they Scots fleas – or Irish fleas. As the Catholic church was consulted at the time one might suppose the latter.
What is interesting is to learn that a bubonic plague pandemic broke out in 1855 in China and quickly spread to India and thousands if not millions of people died in the process – even moving on to such localities as Madagascar (with seafaring links to both China and India), Hawaii, Australia, Portugal, and San Francisco. Why it broke out in Glasgow and nowhere else in the UK is not mentioned but the implication appears to be that the Gorbals tenements were slums and rife with germs. They certainly had their share of rats it would be seem – but health authorities trapped and killed 326 rats and found no trace of the plague in them (fleas or otherwise). This is why the new study ruled out contagion by way of rats fleas – and this is sure to provoke somebody else to pour accross accounts of the Black Death which is said to have been spread by rats and their fleas. Was it?