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INVESTIGATION LIBRARY

TEXT 1: THE PLAGUE TEXT 2: THE SPREAD OF THE PLAGUE AND TRADE ROUTES TEXT 3: THE PLAGUE AND MARTYRDOM TEXT 4: THE PLAGUE AS CONTAGION TEXT 5: THE PLAGUE AND PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES TEXT 6: BOCCACCIO ON THE PLAGUE TEXT 7: THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ON INFLUENZA TEXT 8: COUGHS AND GERM TRANSMISSION TEXT 9: THE SPREAD OF INFLUENZA TEXT 10: U.S. TROOPS GO TO FRANCE TEXT 11: INFLUENZA IN THE PACIFIC TEXT 12: INFLUENZA IN INDIA TEXT 13: ESTIMATES OF DEATH FROM PLAGUE AND INFLUENZA

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TEXT 1

THE PLAGUE
Gabriele deMussis worked as a lawyer in Piacenza, Italy, and remained there throughout the plague years. He later wrote an account of the plague, Historia de Morbo, from which this excerpt is taken. In 1346, in the countries of the East, countless numbers of Tartars4 and Saracens5 were struck down by a mysterious illness which brought sudden death. Within these countries,cities, towns and settlementswere soon stripped of their inhabitants. An eastern settlement under the rule of the Tartars called Tana, which lay to the north of Constantinople and was much frequented by Italian merchants, was totally abandoned.The Christian merchantswere so terrified of the power of the Tartars that they fled in an armed ship to Caffa, a settlement in the same part of the world which had been founded long ago by the Genoese. The dying Tartarsordered corpses to be placed on catapults and lobbed into the city. What seemed like mountains of dead were thrown into the city, and the Christians could not hide or flee or escape from them. As it happened, among those who escaped from Caffa by boat were a few sailors who had been infected with the poisonous disease. Some boats were bound for Genoa, others went to Venice and to other Christian areas. When the sailors reached these places and mixed with the people there, it was as if they had brought evil spirits with them: every city, every settlement, every place was poisoned by the contagious pestilence, and their inhabitants, both men and women, died suddenly.
Footnotes 4 Tartar is a word used in older historical texts to refer to Turkic and Mongolian peoples. 5 Saracen is a word used to refer to Muslims. Source Rosemary Horrox, The Black Death (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1994) 16-18.

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TEXT 2

THE SPREAD OF THE PLAGUE AND TRADE ROUTES

Source Robert Tignor, Jeremy Adelman, Stephen Aron, Peter Brown, Benjamin Elman, Stephen Kotkin, Xinru Liu, Suzanne Marchand, Holly Pittman, Gyan Prakash, Brent Shaw, Michael Tsin, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010) 414-415.

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TEXT 3

THE PLAGUE AND MARTYRDOM


Ibn al-Wadi was a Muslim living in Aleppo, in Palestine, when he wrote Essay on the Report of the Pestilence, probably in 1348, from which this excerpt comes. He died of the Black Death in 1349. The plague is for the Muslims a martyrdom6 and a reward, and for the disbelievers a punishment and a rebuke. When the Muslim endures misfortune, then patience is his worship. It has been established by our Prophet, God bless him and give him peace, that the plague-stricken are martyrs. This noble tradition is true and assures martyrdom. And this secret should be pleasing to the true believer. If someone says it causes infection and destruction, say: God creates and recreates. If the liar disputes the matter of infection and tries to find an explanation, I say that the Prophet, on him be peace, said: who infected the first? If we acknowledge the plagues devastation of the people, it is the will of the Chosen Doer. So it happened again and again. I take refuge in God from the yoke of the plague. Nothing prevented us from running away from the plague except our devotion to noble tradition. Come then, seek the aid of God Almighty for raising the plague, for He is the best helper. Oh God, we call You better than anyone did before. We call You to raise from us the pestilence and plague. We do not take refuge in its removal other than with You. We do not depend on our good health against the plague but on You. We seek your protection, oh Lord of Creation, from the blows of this stick.
Footnote 6 A martyr is someone who is willing to die for his or her religious beliefs. Source John Aberth, The First Horseman: Disease in Human History (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007) 42-43.

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TEXT 4

THE PLAGUE AS CONTAGION


Lisan al-Din Ibn al-Khatib was a Muslim living in Loja, near Granada, in Spain, when he wrote A Very Useful Inquiry into the Horrible Sickness between 1349 and 1352, from which this excerpt comes. The existence of contagion7 has been proved by experience, deduction, the senses, and observation, and by unanimous reports. And it is not a secretthat those who come into contact with [plague] patients mostly die, while those who do not come into contact survive. Moreover, disease occurs in a household or neighborhood because of the mere presence of a contagious dress or utensil; even a [contaminated] earring has been known to kill whoever wears it and his whole household. And when it happens in a city, it starts in one house and then affects the visitors of the house, then the neighbors, the relatives, and other visitors until it spreads throughout the city. And the safety of those who have gone into isolation is demonstrated by the example of the ascetic, Abu Madyan. He believed in contagion, and so he hoarded food and bricked up the door on his family (and his family was large!), and the city was obliterated by the plague and not one soul [except Abu Madyan] was left in that whole town. And reports were unanimous that isolated places that have no roads to them and are not frequented by people have escaped unscathed from the plague. Although the intent of divine law is innocent of harm, when a prophetic statement is contradicted by the senses and observation, it is incumbent on us to interpret it in a way that fits reality. And the truth of this matter is that it should be interpreted in accordance with those who affirm the theory of contagion.
Footnote 7 A type of disease that is spread person to person by close contact. Source John Aberth, The First Horseman: Disease in Human History (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007) 44-45.

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TEXT 5

THE PLAGUE AND PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES


Pistoia is a city located in the Tuscany region of Italy, about 40 kilometers northwest of Florence. Ordinances Against the Spread of Plague from Pistoia, Italy 2 May 1348 1.  So that the sickness which is now threatening the region around Pistoia shall be prevented from taking hold of the citizens of Pistoia, no citizen or resident of Pistoia, wherever they are from or of what condition, status or standing they may be, shall dare or presume to go to Pisa or Lucca. No one shall come to Pistoia from those places. Penalty 500 pence. And no one from Pistoia shall receive or give hospitality to people who have come from those places. The same penalty. And the guards who keep the gates of the city of Pistoia shall not permit anyone travelling to the city from Pisa or Lucca to enter. Penalty 10 pence from each of the guards responsible for the gate through which such an entry has been made. But citizens of Pistoia now living within the city may go to Pisa and Lucca, and return again, if they first obtain permission from the common council who will vote on the merits of the case presented to them. 2. N  o one, whether from Pistoia or elsewhere, shall dare or presume to bring or fetch to Pistoia, whether in person or by an agent, any old linen or woolen clothes, for male or female clothing or for bedspreads; penalty 200 pence, and the cloth to be burnt in the public piazza of Pistoia by the official who discovered it. 3.  The bodies of the dead shall not be removed from the place of death until they have been enclosed in a wooden box, and the lid of planks nailed down. 5.  No one, of whatever condition status or standing, shall dare or presume to bring a corpse into the city whether confined or not; penalty 25 pence. 13.  So that the living are not made ill by rotten and corrupt food, no butcher or retailer of meat shall dare or presume to hang up meat, or keep and sell meat hung up in their storehouse or over the counter; penalty 10 pence.

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14.  Butchers and retailers of meat shall not stable horses or allow any mud or dung in the shop or other place where they sell meat, or in or near their storehouse, or on the roadway outside; nor shall they slaughter animals in the stable, or keep flayed carcasses in a stable or in any other place where there is dung; penalty 10 pence.
Source Rosemary Horrox, The Black Death (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1994) 194-196.

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TEXT 6

BOCCACCIO ON THE PLAGUE


Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 1375) is remembered as one of Italys greatest writers. He was born and raised in Florence, and, while he may not have been in Florence at the time of the plague, he did incorporate material about the plague into his most famous work, The Decameron. Some peoplemaintained that there was no betterremedy against the plague than to run away from it. Swayed by this argument, large numbers of men and women abandoned their city, their homes, their relatives, their estates and their belongings, and headed for the countryside. It was as though they imagined that the wrath of God would not unleash this plague against men for their iniquities8 irrespective of where they happened to be, but would only be aroused against those who found themselves within the city walls; or possibly they assumed that the whole of the population would be exterminated and that the citys last hour had come.
Footnote 8 Immoral acts or sins. Source Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron. Quoted in John Aberth, Plagues in World History (Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2011) 47.

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TEXT 7

THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ON INFLUENZA


Note: The existence of viruses was hypothesized in the late 19th century, long before technology was available to actually observe viruses with electron microscopes.

What causes the disease and how is it spread?


No matter what particular kind of germ causes the epidemic, it is now believed that influenza is always spread from person to person. The germs [are] carried with the air along with the very small droplets of mucus. They are expelled by coughing or sneezing, forceful talking, and the like by one who already has the germs of the disease. They may also be carried about in the air in the form of dust coming from dried mucus, from coughing and sneezing, or from careless people who spit on the floor and on the sidewalk. As in most other catching diseases, a person who has only a mild attack of the disease himself may give a very severe attack to others.

New York City mailman, December 1918, Seattle police, October 1918 Source Slightly modified from United States Public Health Service, Rupert Blue, Surgeon General, Spanish Influenza, Three-Day Fever, the Flu. Supplement No. 34 to the Public Health Reports, September 28, 1918 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1918) 3. Accessed 18 July 2012 <http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/6692202?n=1&i magesize=1200&jp2Res=.25&printThumbnails=no>. The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918, The National Archives and Record Administration, Accessed 19 July 2012 <http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/records-list.html>.

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TEXT 8

COUGHS AND GERM TRANSMISSION

An unimpeded sneeze sends 2,0005,000 bacteria-filled droplets into the air. Image copyright by Prof. Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology. (http://www.rit. edu/~andpph)
Source Bernd Sebastian Kamps and Gustavo Reyes-Tern, Influenza, The Influenza Report. 2008-2009, Accessed 18 July 2012 http://www.influenzareport.com/ir/overview.htm

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TEXT 9

THE SPREAD OF INFLUENZA

Source The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, ESWI Flucentre, 2012. Accessed 18 July 2012 http://www.flucentre.org/media-library/p/detail/picture-the-1918-spanish-flu-pandemic

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TEXT 10

U.S. TROOPS GO TO FRANCE


A military cable from France to Washington on October 8, 1918, reported high levels of influenza among American troops. American troops in Brest, France, had 1,541 cases of influenza and 1,062 cases of pneumonia. The troopship Leviathan had recently landed. Six hundred men had the flu, over 100 men had pneumonia, and 67 were dead. On recent troop convoy had left Brest with 24,488 men. When the convoy arrived, 4,147 of the men were sick, 1,357 needed immediate hospitalization, and over 200 had died.

Points of embarkation in America and debarkation in Europe for American troops in World War I

Source This text was adapted from Alfred Crosby, Americas Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989) 124. Albert Gleaves, A History of the Transport Service: Adventures and Experiences of United States Transports and Cruisers in the World War (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1921) 97.

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TEXT 11

INFLUENZA IN THE PACIFIC


No peoples on earth suffered more severely during the influenza pandemic of 1918 than the aboriginal inhabitants of the small Pacific islands. Alfred Crosby, Americas Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989) 231.

Influenza Statistics for Three Pacific Islands


U.S. Ship Left Arrived Date of Arrival Deaths Mortality

Logan Navua Talune Talune Talune

Manila

Guam

Oct 26 Nov 16

800 500600 5,000

4.5% of pop 10% of pop 3% of pop 20% 10%

San Francisco Tahiti New Zealand Fiji Samoa Fiji Western Samoa Tonga

Nov 7

7,542 1,0001,600

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The locations of Guam, Fiji, and Tonga relative to Australia and New Zealand

Source Statistics and facts for this table taken from Alfred Crosby, Americas Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989) 231-236. Pacific Islands Climate Prediction Project. Commonwealth of Australia 2012, Bureau of Meteorology. Accessed 7 August 2012. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/pi-cpp/.

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TEXT 12

INFLUENZA IN INDIA
the one part of the world that seems to have suffered the most from the pandemic was India, where recent estimates place its death toll at close to 20 million. If we accept a figure of 50 million for flu deaths around the world, then Indias share alone would account for 40 percent of that total. The Indian experience with influenza illustrates a strong connection between the disease and poverty. Lower castes of Indian Hindu society suffered disproportionately compared to the higher castes. This was probably due to their poorer nutrition and lack of good nursing care. In addition, India shows how a place far removed from the front of World War I and not mobilizing on a grand scale for war could nonetheless suffer tragically during the pandemic. In Indias case, influenzas spread seems to have been greatly facilitated by the railroad network installed by the British and by overcrowded conditions in the cities.
Source This text was adapted from John Aberth, Plagues in World History (Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2011) 117.

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TEXT 13

ESTIMATES OF DEATHS FROM PLAGUE AND INFLUENZA


Plague deaths, 1347
Researchers generally used to agree that the Black Death swept away 2030 percent of Europes population. However, up to 1960 there were only a few studies of mortality among ordinary people, so the basis for this assessment was weak. From 1960, a great number of mortality studies from various parts of Europe were published. These have been collated and it is now clear that the earlier estimates of mortality need to be doubled. No suitable sources for the study of mortality have been found in the Muslim countries that were ravaged. The data is sufficiently widespread and numerous to make it likely that the Black Death swept away around 60 per cent of Europes population. It is generally assumed that the size of Europes population at the time was around 80 million. This implies that that around 50 million people died in the Black Death. This is a truly mindboggling statistic. As a proportion of the population that lost their lives, the Black Death caused unrivalled mortality.

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Influenza deaths, 1918 pandemic


Continent Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania Estimated total influenza deaths (world) Estimated range of total deaths Estimated Deaths ~2,375,000 ~1,540,000 ~26,000,00036,000,000 ~2,300,646 ~85,000 >48,798,000* ~50,000,000100,000,000*

*Note: Estimates in the final two rows are estimates by the authors of the study. The numbers in the column do not add up because the authors have made adjustments based on the their estimates of underreporting of the disease in some areas and lack of data for other areas.

Source Ole J. Benedictow, The Black Death: The Greatest Catastrophe Ever. Ole J. Benedictow describes how he calculated that the Black Death killed 50 million people in the 14th century, or 60 per cent of Europes entire population. History Today 55.3 (2005): 42ff. General OneFile. Web. 25 July 2012. Chart created from statistics from P.A. Niall, S. Johnson, and Juergen Mueller, Updating the Accounts: Global Mortality of the 19181920 Spanish Influenza Pandemic, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 76, 2002: 110-114. Accessed 21 July 2012 http://www.birdflubook.org/resources/NIALL105.pdf

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