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review 2013-04-26 03:38
The Great Mortality by John Kelly
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time - John Kelly

Some interesting tidbits:


- The term "Black Death" was not used until 1631. Fourteen century contemporaries called it the "Great Mortality."


- Prior to the Great Mortality, Europe was on the verge of Malthusian deadlock. Without intending to sound heartless . . . the epidemic actually helped control the population boom.


- There are two types of disease associated with the bacteria Yersinia pestis, bubonic and pneumonic. Bubonic plague, which is transmitted by rat fleas, is the most common form, while pneumonic plague is airborne and more fatal. (Bubonic plague can develop into pneumonic plague, though.) If you want to use the analogy of cancer, then bubonic plague is like malignant tumor and pneumonic is like metastasis.


- Two important factors in the dissemination of the plague are natural disaster (including the sudden change of weather pattern, which drove wild rodents away from their natural habitat and into contact with humans) and travel (trade and Mongol invasion).

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review 2012-08-24 00:00
Methods in Observational Epidemiology - Whittemore Evans Kelsey,Whittemore Evans Kelsey This has to be one of the boring books in epidemiology having said that it has some of the best information. It is also not a book that can give you easy answers but if you take your time and work your way through it the information is the really helpful.
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