Salient to Investors:
- The Justinian Plague and the Black Death were caused by distinct strains of the bacterium Yersinia Pestis.
- The Justinian Plague strain was an “evolutionary dead-end” and became extinct but the Black Death-causing pathogen has evolved and mutated and still kills today.
- David Wagner at Northern Arizona University said it is unlikely we would see another plague as deadly because the public health response would be quick and very concentrated to shut it down, though the strains today are just as deadly.
- Hendrik Poinar at McMaster University said the disease can continue to emerge and cause nasty epidemics, and frequent global travel could quickly help spread future strains.
- Helen Donoghue at University College London said it is impossible to know if the plague could re-emerge on a mass scale but is very unlikely because humans are only accidental hosts it is rodents and the animals that eat them (like fleas). Donoghue said it is only when fleas are starving or run out of rats or other rodents – due to heavy rains or failed harvests – that they seek alternative hosts: there are so many rodents in the world that there is no need to look for other hosts.
Read the full article at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25916296
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