Oepidus and Antigone - The Plague of Thebes. Charles Jalabert (1842) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gizmodo: The Plague Is More Likely Now Thanks to Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A new study suggests that climate change is increasing the risk of humans contracting the plague. But the risk factors identified, even if the study is right, seem entirely manageable.

The Plague Is More Likely Now Thanks to Climate Change


Molly Taft
November 20, 2021 at 8:50 am

The risk of the plague spilling over from humans to animals in the western U.S. has increased since 1950 thanks to climate change, a new study has found. Importantly, the research gives valuable insights into how this deadly disease has historically moved and developed in the U.S., which can help us understand more about its future.

Yersinia pestis is the bacteria that causes plague — including that plague, the medieval Black Death, which killed around 25 million people over the course of four years in the 1300s. The bacteria is spread to humans from animals, most infamously rats, which carry plague-infested fleas on them. Scientists have theorised that the plague, like many other infectious diseases, will probably increase its spread to humans as the planet warms and people come into increasingly closer contact with wild animals. 

But there’s not a lot of research out there on what historically are the best conditions for the plague to develop and get out of control. As a result, there are still a lot of big questions about the plague — like why it hasn’t spread to certain geographic areas, or why human cases don’t always overlap with where animals are carrying the disease — that remain unanswered. 

The study found that rodent communities in certain areas at higher elevations were up to 40% more likely to harbour the disease, which the researchers say is attributable to warming since 1950. That, in turn, means that the risk of the plague spreading from rodents to humans also increased, albeit more slightly.

“It’s a big, messy, tangled system, and there’s a lot of different levers controlling the ecology of the disease,” Carlson said. “But as we start to identify the big ones, we can look at how the key variables have changed since 1950, and it turns out — more and more of this region is starting to match the conditions that allow plague to hang out in animals, and increasingly, to make the jump into people.”

Read more: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/11/the-plague-is-more-likely-now-thanks-to-climate-change/

The abstract of the study;

Plague risk in the western United States over seven decades of environmental change

Colin J. CarlsonSarah N. BevinsBoris V. SchmidFirst published: 18 November 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15966


After several pandemics over the last two millennia, the wildlife reservoirs of plague (Yersinia pestis) now persist around the world, including in the western United States. Routine surveillance in this region has generated comprehensive records of human cases and animal seroprevalence, creating a unique opportunity to test how plague reservoirs are responding to environmental change. Here, we test whether animal and human data suggest that plague reservoirs and spillover risk have shifted since 1950. To do so, we develop a new method for detecting the impact of climate change on infectious disease distributions, capable of disentangling long-term trends (signal) and interannual variation in both weather and sampling (noise). We find that plague foci are associated with high-elevation rodent communities, and soil biochemistry may play a key role in the geography of long-term persistence. In addition, we find that human cases are concentrated only in a small subset of endemic areas, and that spillover events are driven by higher rodent species richness (the amplification hypothesis) and climatic anomalies (the trophic cascade hypothesis). Using our detection model, we find that due to the changing climate, rodent communities at high elevations have become more conducive to the establishment of plague reservoirs—with suitability increasing up to 40% in some places—and that spillover risk to humans at mid-elevations has increased as well, although more gradually. These results highlight opportunities for deeper investigation of plague ecology, the value of integrative surveillance for infectious disease geography, and the need for further research into ongoing climate change impacts.

Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.15966

The plague is treatable with modern antibiotics, though it still kills a handful of people in the USA every year – antibiotic treatment has to be started very quickly when plague is suspected, for a good chance of survival. Regions where plague is endemic maintain vigilance against outbreaks.

I learned something new about plague – the study suggests it can persist in soil, like anthrax, allowing it to re-emerge sporadically and infect local wildlife even if all living carriers are eliminated, though plague is sensitive to soil chemistry – only some soils are suitable.

I think the biggest weakness with the study is in my opinion the study does not delve deeply enough into why modern plague distributions are tied to a small number of species. Plague can famously infect a very broad range of mammals. The study briefly mentions this issue, but I would have like to see more depth on why modern plague is so restricted.

Given some of the species of known reservoir animals are protected species, I strongly suspect the reason why plague is still endemic in some regions of the USA, is nobody has baited and eradicated the reservoir animals. If an unacceptable threat to human life emerged, an intensive culling programme which included protected species which are known carriers would likely quell the threat, regardless of any climatic factors.

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Paul S.
November 20, 2021 2:07 pm

“Everything gives you Cancer, There’s no cure, there’s no answer” Joe Jackson

Reply to  Paul S.
November 20, 2021 2:55 pm

I couldn’t believe his future wife was really going out with him.

Anyway, there are antibiotics like streptomycin that are effective in treating the plague, of course, with side effects.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2021 3:16 pm

Mild death is a known side effect when not administered promptly.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 20, 2021 3:29 pm

If mild, that’s a relief.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 20, 2021 3:30 pm

Hmmm … I always thought it was “mild to sever death”.

John Larson
Reply to  Rory Forbes
November 20, 2021 4:21 pm

Depends on Who you know, rumor has it ; )

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  John Larson
November 21, 2021 2:14 am

Maybe Dr. Fauci could be tempted to study this….

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 21, 2021 3:03 am

how much money and fame is in it for him?

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 20, 2021 11:59 pm

Life!!! A sexually transmitted disease which is ultimately fatal!!! It’s the most deadly disease known to Mankind!!!

John Tillman
November 20, 2021 2:09 pm

Lots of unendangered species harbor plague.

One sylvan reservoir which I studied in college during the early ’70s was squirrels in the hills around Daly City, San Mateo County, on the SF Peninsula.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
November 20, 2021 3:22 pm

Once while spelunking in lava tubes at Lava Beds National Monument in northern California, we dropped down into a small hole in a flat area. We came out of an entrance on a well used trail a couple of hours later. As we looked back at where we had just come out, there was a sign warning not to enter because the local ground squirrels carried the plague. It was about the same period of time.

November 20, 2021 2:13 pm

Seems there is huge battle going on between psychopaths,sociopaths,opportunists and narcissists.
” Who can pull the biggest fearporn scenario out of their butts”

The winner will either get the nobel prize or the poolitzer.
Anything goes since the hardgore fantasy movie “An inconvenient truth” turned science into politics .

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  SxyxS
November 20, 2021 3:21 pm

I resent the implication that there was ANY science in “An Inconvenient Truth”.

But I do get your point!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 20, 2021 3:33 pm

They have no use for science … too much uncertainty.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 20, 2021 3:55 pm

Maybe my English sucks,
but by calling Al Gores propaganda piece a fantasy movie i tried to imply that there is no science at all in the movie
and by saying that his movie turned science into politics implies that this movie was the major milestone into transforming science into politics by successfully selling politics as science.

Reply to  SxyxS
November 20, 2021 4:45 pm

Your message was accurate.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  SxyxS
November 20, 2021 4:50 pm

Your message came across loud and clear.

Reply to  SxyxS
November 21, 2021 2:49 am

The winner will either get the nobel piss prize or the poolitzer.


Keith Rowe
November 20, 2021 2:18 pm

It’ s not like the US does not have states that are further south or those in Mexico that have warmer temperatures to check against to consider if this might be true. Making claims without much consideration is annoying. Surely they could try harder.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Keith Rowe
November 20, 2021 3:24 pm

They are trying as hard as they can — to scare the public!

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Keith Rowe
November 21, 2021 2:19 am

They are trying as hard as their limited abilities allow.

November 20, 2021 2:18 pm

Yep, there’s a plague is at the door.

Gordon A. Dressler
November 20, 2021 2:37 pm

This is just one more thing that we’ll have to watch out for (Lions! Tigers! And bears! Oh, my!) as humanity travels down the yellow brick road to the Oz of STOPPING CLIMATE CHANGE.

And pay no attention to those politicians behind the curtain.

November 20, 2021 2:50 pm

The study found that rodent communities in certain areas at higher elevations were up to 40% more likely to harbour the disease, which the researchers say is attributable to warming since 1950.

Wait. Why would rodents living at higher altitudes where its colder have more plague than rodents living at lower altitudes where its warmer, if rising temperatures are the cause?

Hutches Hunches
Reply to  Doonman
November 20, 2021 4:07 pm

Another example of government funding meaningless studies to support the Global Warming Crisis narrative. Even so, aren’t they reaching a bit too far to resurrect a completely defeated disease as another horror that humanity faces as a result of Man Made Global Warming?

Rud Istvan
November 20, 2021 2:53 pm

A little fast research goes a long way…

From the above PR: “Not a lot of research out there on historically best conditions”
From the above abstract: “new method for detecting the impact of climate change [on plague].”
And their conclusion: global warming at higher elevations becomes the plague problem.

All three assertions are false according to CDC.gov (search western US plague).

Per CDC, plague is endemic in many semiarid western US rodent populations (ground squirrels, rock squirrels, prairie dogs, field mice, chipmunks…).

The disease is usually enzootic, circulating at low levels without a lot of host mortality.

But occasionally it becomes epizootic, with many infected animals and deaths. The deaths cause infected fleas to seek new hosts such as cats and dogs, which bring infected fleas to humans even if humans are not out in the wild to get fleas directly. Human risk is mainly during epizootic episodes because of the hungry flea behavior.

Epizootic episodes are more likely during COOLER summers after WETTER winters, because the more plentiful summer food supply increases the host rodent populations significantly, enabling epizootic conditions.

CDC says the exact OPPOSITE of the new paper new method nonsense. Cooler summers and wetter winters are the opposite of conventional ‘climate change’ predictions ‘caused by anthropogenic CO2’.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 20, 2021 3:35 pm

When I lived in Vermont, I had a large angora cat. This was before flea collars were invented. The cat used to sleep on a throw rug at the foot of our bed. We had been gone on vacation in the Fall for about a week with the heat turned off. We got home late and decided to turn in for the night. As I walked naked across the hardwood floor, stepping on the throw rug, I suddenly felt something on my ankles. I looked down to see what appeared to be black bands around both ankles — fleas! I got into the shower to wash them off, and then sprinkled DDT on the rug before going to bed. The fleas were obviously hungry and attracted to the warmth of my body.

November 20, 2021 2:54 pm

Hey, if there’s no natural epidemic, clearly China can engineer one and create some freaky viruses and bacteria.

Reply to  Pauleta
November 20, 2021 4:51 pm

Bought and paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Scissor
November 21, 2021 2:23 am

And with the invaluable assistance of Dr. Fauci.

John in Oz
November 20, 2021 2:57 pm

If an increase in the global average temperature is the cause of more plague, why are all current areas with higher than average temperatures not plagued with the plague??

Rud Istvan
Reply to  John in Oz
November 20, 2021 3:06 pm

That is a FAR too logical question for warmunist believers.

November 20, 2021 3:11 pm

Social, political, scientific, religious climate change? Liberalism (i.e. divergence), dysfunctional orientations, non-sterilizing “vaccine(s)”, symptom suppression and silent spread, planned parent/hood (“wicked solution”), mandates without cause or reflection unmasked.

Clyde Spencer
November 20, 2021 3:15 pm

Hanta virus is also endemic in the US southwest, but it seems to be more prevalent in areas where homes are not sealed well against deer mice. That is often housing on Indian reservations. Therefore, factors such as poor quality housing, lack of running water, and perhaps a cultural bias in favor of dogs instead of cats, may contribute to diseases where mice, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs are the main host to fleas. It is probably more important than the minuscule warming that has taken place in the last 50 years. I suspect that the correlation with altitude is spurious because the average elevation west of the Mississippi River is higher than in the east.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 20, 2021 5:05 pm

White tailed deer east of the Mississippi seem to have been infected at high rates with COVID-19, e.g., 67 percent of samples (113) in Michigan and over 30% in Pennsylvania (199).

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2021 8:42 pm

Yes, I also saw that recently. There are a lot of unanswered questions about how they got infected when deer are exceptionally good at ‘social distancing’ humans. Was it airborne? What is the rate of false positives in tests designed for humans and used on deer? Is it a recent variant, or the original alpha variant? Are they spreading it to smaller mammals that they tolerate if they aren’t threats? Can COVID be found in their feces? How do they get the deer to stand still long enough to put swabs up their noses?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 21, 2021 3:10 am

only thing I can figure is them drinking water, where the so called treated effluents been released into rivers

Reply to  Scissor
November 21, 2021 3:09 am

seeing as the pcr isnt exactly good as discerning covid from flu or a cold…is what theyre finding the animal covid which is if like the canine version more a GUT issue for dogs afflicted, the vaccines for that have been around a fair while but are NOT that good acc to my vet

Leo Smith
November 20, 2021 3:18 pm

The plague first appeared at the end of the mediaeval warm period. The end…

John Tillman
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 21, 2021 7:35 am

Its spread was facilitated by the larger population due to centuries of warmth.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 21, 2021 1:01 pm

The Justinian plague of the 540ies is also attributed to Yersinia pestis..

John Tillman
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 22, 2021 8:32 am

Pretty much for sure.

Walter Sobchak
November 20, 2021 3:20 pm

Of course if you keep your house clean and free of rats, you chances of catching plague are much lower.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 21, 2021 2:25 am

It also helps to keep a few cats as pets.

Howard Dewhirst
November 20, 2021 3:34 pm

The world warmed during the 20th century, half had already happened by 1943, ie before 1950, the rest between 1978 and 1998. Since then CO2 has risen higher and higher but temperature has not, and if CO2 does not cause warming, it can’t cause climate change. So I guess we are saved from the plague?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
November 20, 2021 4:08 pm

But not from the plague of bad alarmist papers, as evidenced here.

Stephen Skinner
November 20, 2021 4:06 pm

Malaria used to exist in the British Isles but died out around the end of the 19th century. This disease would have been around during the Little Ice Age when Britain experience particularly cold Winters,
The Plague also spread through Europe during the LIA and even if the outbreaks occurred during warm periods, the spread was northwards, towards cooler climates. If this disease ‘likes’ warmer temperatures then it should move north, but remain south. Unless temperature has nothing to do with it?

Don Perry
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 20, 2021 6:02 pm

If you live in houses with thatched roofing and the temperature gets colder, would not rats and mice seek out the warmth of those grassy roofs?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Don Perry
November 20, 2021 8:45 pm

Yes, and people might wonder where the ‘water’ was coming from when it wasn’t raining outside.

Howard Dewhirst
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 20, 2021 11:54 pm

THE plague in the UK seems to have been compounded by anthrax as many victims died quickly and sans bubos

Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
November 21, 2021 3:12 am

2 variant blood and lungs the lung version apparently doesnt cause the buboe lumps

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 21, 2021 12:52 am

Malaria is a socio-economic disease whereby wealthier regions had fewer incidences of it. Sadly, thanks to all those old black & white war movies people think it only happens in hot tropical type climates in the Far-East. As said before, the Ague is mentioned in the works of Shakespeare a dozen or so times, it’s the Old English word for Malaria, & back then it was supposed to be a lot colder than today, Ague was the Old English word for Malaria!!! Worst known/recorded outbreak was back in the mid 1920s, in a place called Archangel, well inside the Arctic Circle, thousands died!!! I understand that immediately after the arbitrary banning of DDT based on limited Malthusian “scientific” evidence, cases of Malaria began to rise globally, although I also understand that the Humanity loving United Nations/Club of Rome old boys club, kept its use going discretely for several years afterwards, because they didn’t want to be too obvious about mass slaughter in the Third World, (as it used to be called)!!! I maintain my belief that Human Beings are wonderful, as soon as one Malthusian section of it invents/creates a problem, another more benign section of Humanity comes up with a solution to it, which the former group detest & find terribly irritating to say the least!!! It’s a another beautiful sunny blue-sky morning here in the South-West of UK, must be Global Warming causing it I guess!!!

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 21, 2021 4:04 am

Agreed. Human Beings are wonderful.
The late Jacob Bronowski said this:
“Among the multitude of animals which scamper, fly, burrow and swim around us, man is the only one who is not locked into his environment. His imagination, his reason, his emotional subtlety and toughness, make it possible for him not to accept the environment, but to change it. And that series of inventions, by which man from age to age has remade his environment, is a different kind of evolution—not biological, but cultural evolution. I call that brilliant sequence of cultural peaks The Ascent of Man. I use the word ascent with a precise meaning. Man is distinguished from other animals by his imaginative gifts. He makes plans, inventions, new discoveries, by putting different talents together; and his discoveries become more subtle and penetrating, as he learns to combine his talents in more complex and intimate ways. So the great discoveries of different ages and different cultures, in technique, in science, in the arts, express in their progression a richer and more intricate conjunction of human faculties, an ascending trellis of his gifts.”

He also said this in response to those that blamed science for the atrocities of WW2 (from the TV series ‘The Ascent of Man’)
“It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.”
I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”

I have read the WEF book ‘COVID-19: The Great Reset’ and it is a dystopian nightmare that thinks it is good if we reduce social contact.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 21, 2021 5:57 am

One of the greatest documentaries I ever saw as a teenager!!! You won’t get the BBC making those kind of educational, thought provoking, programmes these days, they aren’t frightening or anti-Humanity enough for the BBC!!!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 21, 2021 12:18 pm

Or, as Mark Twain observed, “Man is the only animal the blushes. Or needs to.”

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
November 21, 2021 3:11 am

malaria was reduced by the poms draining the swamps around major towns etc

Alan the Brit
Reply to  ozspeaksup
November 21, 2021 6:00 am

AND guess who want to re-introduce wetlands all over the place & have started to do so??? The Greenalists of course, because wetlands are ideal breeding grounds for Malarial mosquitos helping to spread the scary stories of increased disease etc. The Greenalists/Malthusians don’t care how many people have to die to achieve their objectives, just as long as it isn’t them or their own!!!

Lurker Pete.
November 20, 2021 4:21 pm

If you want to read about plague, this is an elegant hypothesis, and some nice writing with some really interestng twists…


November 20, 2021 5:14 pm

The lefts environmentalism has become a cacophony of white noise, directed to furthering what has become starkly obvious, nothing more than a coercive financial scam flying under the umbrella of science.
Everyone connected is making money hands over fists. The “scientist”, the environmentalist, the corporate world, and politicians. The only people not profiting from today’s environmentalism is the taxpayer, who are funding the collapse of their hard-won energy security through tax-dollar paid government largess. So, I’d say the analogy of a cancer is spot on.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Philip
November 21, 2021 12:58 am

Isn’t one supposed to “cut-out” a cancer??? Only saying!!!

November 20, 2021 5:31 pm

Umm this particular plague started 25 or so years after the start of the Little Ice Age – when it was colder.

Joel O'Bryan
November 20, 2021 6:48 pm

The plague causative agent is a bacterium called Yersinnia pestis. Y.pestis is transmitted by fleas carried mainly in urban areas by rats. When the rats get too numerous and then start ot die off, the risk of humans being bitten by these infected fleas increases dramatically.

So Yes there are lots of rats now in urban areas, because almost all Western urban areas are run by DemoRats. Birds of feather, so to speak.

In this case, correlation is causation.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 21, 2021 1:00 am

Curiously, that’s why in the UK we had licencing for dog ownership, (just another tax raising system), yet cats were not licenced, because they hunted Rats & Mice which were considered vermin!!!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 21, 2021 12:22 pm

Weren’t rat terriers bred to do the job better than cats? The best rodent killer I ever had was a Rhodesian ridgeback. She was better than any of my cats. One bite to crush the bones, and she would swallow the critters whole.

November 20, 2021 8:24 pm

Using our detection model,

There’s that word… “…model…” “Say the secret woid and win a hundred dollars!” So once again, someone created a computer game, and declared the results were data, and published a paper. “All models are wrong. Some are useful.” I’d be willing to bet this is not one of the useful ones.

Ulric Lyons
November 20, 2021 8:48 pm

This is shocking, it was during a centennial solar minimum:

590 A.D. In Italy, there were great floods from tempest; followed by a plague.

Rain fell in the months of September and October incessantly for many days and raised such floods in all rivers and lakes in Italy, as to overflow their banks and drown an infinite number of people and cattle.
The rain was accompanied by tremendous tempest of thunder and lightning. The river Tiber swelled so high that all the fields, which were not hilly and mountainous, were overflowed. Many people believed it was a second great flood. In Rome, Italy, the Tiber swelled so high that in some places it reached to, and in other places overflowed the cities high walls. And the water rushed in with such fury that is spoiled
and defaced the greatest part of the buildings that were near the river. When the floods ceased, the fields were so soft and covered with slime and mud, that they could not be tilled or sown, hence a general famine. The flood not only demolished many stately buildings and ancient monuments, but also got into the church granaries, and carried away many thousand measures of wheat. After the flood, the river brought down innumerable multitude of serpents, and among them a monstrous great one as big as a great beam. All these serpents were swimming down the river into the sea, where they choked, and their carcasses being cast on the shore. There they rotted and by the stench of the slime and mud and excessive moisture, and the air was so corrupted, that a most desolating plague ensued over all Italy, Spain and France. The plague raged and laid waste to many towns. In many 2/3 of the people died. It was most severe at Rome, followed by Liguria and the Venetian territories, both by floods, famine and plague.

page 21:

John Tillman
Reply to  Ulric Lyons
November 21, 2021 7:50 am

Justinian’s Plague was brought to the Byzantine Empire on ships by Egyptian mice.

The Black Death came to Western Europe from steppes rats on ships leaving a besieged Black Sea city.

November 21, 2021 12:19 am

See :
¨On the basis of a 14th-century account by the Genoese Gabriele de’ Mussi, the Black Death is widely believed to have reached Europe from the Crimea as the result of a biological warfare attack.¨
This is as far as I know the first use of organized biological warfare. The Golden Horde carried the plague from Mongolia. They catapulted still alive warriors with the pest into besieged Caffa in the Crimea.
Today the US alone runs 25 biological warfare labs around the world. The Wuhan hysterical noise might have something to do with that.

Reply to  bonbon
November 21, 2021 12:47 am

The horrific description of what happened at Caffa in the original Italian at the NIH page is grueling to read.
Not a word about climate.

November 21, 2021 12:27 am

The Plague Is More Likely Now Thanks to Climate Change Gain of Function Research

Reply to  stinkerp
November 21, 2021 12:50 am

Lawyer and bioweapons expert Francis Boyle stated in 2007 that Fort Detrick’s mandate includes “acquiring, growing, modifying, storing, packing, and dispersing classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens for offensive weapon programs.”

Mike Edwards
November 21, 2021 1:26 am

I think that it has now been established that the main vectors spreading the disease amongst humans are actually human parasites like fleas and lice. Our improved hygiene in recent times has suppressed such parasites and so make plague much less of a problem than it used to be.

That’s not to say that humans can’t pick up plague from other animals, since we can be targets for parasites also infesting those other animals (fleas, ticks, etc), just that this does not mean that plague will transmit amongst humans in this way. If temperature is a real factor in all this, then presumably plague should be much more prevalent in tropical locations, which is not obvious when looking at the WHO maps relating to the disease.

The number of cases and the number of deaths in the USA are both pretty small ( <20 per year cases). Compare with another tick-borne disease – Lyme disease – CDC indicates that ~300k people get infected every year in the USA with perhaps 25 to 30 deaths per year.

Peta of Newark
November 21, 2021 2:17 am

Some of us would suggest that:
a/ They have cause & effect muddled up
b/ That the plague is already here.

Some may call it Obesity or diabetes but that’s far too limited.
Sugar is the beast in question. It is a poisoning on truly epic and global scale.

Sugar is a very sophisticated poison because its victims actually enjoy being poisoned, they encourage others to partake and, genuinely believe it is Good For Them

what do you do, what can you say

Joao Martins
November 21, 2021 2:41 am

My comment is, the Americans are paying too much taxes and so their government has lots of money to throw away in the “scientific playground” where so-called “researchers” spend their time in ludic activities such as making “studies” like this one…

Dale Baranowski
November 21, 2021 2:56 am

The truth is that Bubonic Plague was ravaged Europe during both the Dark Ages Cold Period as well as the Little Ice Age which started in the late 1300s while the Medieval Warm Period saw relatively little Plague activity. Reason was that during cold periods there were crop failures, low crop yields and people’s health was compromised as well as their immune systems at a low level. Thus, diseases such as TB, the sweating sickness, smallpox, dysentery, typhoid, influenza, mumps and gastrointestinal infections could and did kill. Historically cold periods were curses while warm periods brought economic prosperity, good eating and resulting health.

Reply to  Dale Baranowski
November 21, 2021 10:33 am

The way I see it the cold also had people spending more time in their abodes where they were more likely to be exposed to the rats that were the hosts of the flea vectors.

I personally suspect that most likely it was the rats that often infested ships in large numbers during that period that were the primary transporters of the disease from the east into Europe initially and more than likely also in the several different waves that hit the various regions of Western Europe at different times.

November 21, 2021 3:02 am

if youre suggesting rounding up rarer animals to cull them then it would be as easy to round em up and eartag them with a pesticide tag as is used in Aus for cattle etc up north where ticks etc are an issue
the tick/fleas dont bite no spread and youd have the protected species alive

November 21, 2021 6:29 am

BS! But even if I am wrong there is an effective vaccine and treatments. A while back I read where a poster here claimed there was no vaccine for plague because the infection can be adequately treated with modern antimicrobials. He is correct about the Bubonic form of the infection being easily treatable but apparently does not know about the pneumonic form of the infection.

Some facts:

  1. There is a vaccine for the plague and I received the series in the mid 80s.
  2. The pneumonic form of the disease has a much higher mortality than the bubonic form and damage to the respiratory system starts just before the onset of the signs and symptoms.
  3. Pneumonic plague infection advances much more quickly than the bubonic form. Mutiple contemporary accounts from the time of the “Black Death” indicate people often died in about 24 hours after the first signs they were sick.
  4. Successful treatment of pneumonic plague will NOT reverse the damage done to the respiratory system.
  5. The more people that are vaccinated, and thus the fewer that must be treated with antibiotics, the less likely there will be a form of Y. Pestis develop that is resistant to the existing antimicrobial treatment protocol.
Nicholas Harding
Reply to  rah
November 21, 2021 7:01 am

Seems to me the vaccine for this disease has been widely administered. My Army shot record shows that I received a course of the vaccine while I was in the service, 1966-1975. I cannot have been the only person to be treated. Someone really, really needed to get published; not even a scary story, unless we do gain of function research on this. This is so 1300s.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas Harding
November 21, 2021 12:38 pm

I was in the service during the same period. I remember walking down a line and being hit in both shoulders with air injectors, probably more than once. I’d have to dig through my papers to find my old vaccination record to see just what I was being vaccinated against. It seems like they were trying to cover all the possibilities. I’m actually surprised at all the ‘antivax’ sentiment in the country. Generally, we were glad to have the Army take preemptive measures to keep us from getting sick. However, the one thing they missed caused most of us in Basic Training at Ft. Bliss (TX) to have what appeared to be ‘Walking Pneumonia.’ In retrospect, I think what we had was a fungal infection called Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis).

November 21, 2021 6:37 am

The only cause of increased disease in the world is the stupidity of leftards.

Alasdair Fairbairn
November 21, 2021 7:52 am

Another expensive offering for the bin. Mind there were bits in it which made me curious.

November 21, 2021 1:43 pm

The plague is from policy. It’s not personal–until it is.

November 21, 2021 2:54 pm

The insanity among climate alarmist scientists has surged beyond “Monty Python” levels. That a single degree of global warming over the past century, and the zero warming since the 1941 peak in the US, gets the blame for any increase in the plague, and that the huge development and population increase in the western US is completely ignored, shows that this isn’t a valid scientific paper but the rantings of fanatics.

Also ignored that previous plagues seemed to correspond with downturns in the climate. The so-called Dark Ages seemed to get a good start as early as the late 100s, early 200s when the Roman warm period seems to have petered out. And then there was the years of no summer, only rain, at the turn of the 1300’s, so that by the mid 1300s people were malnourished enough that the plague could take affect. In the latter Little Ice Age small pox was the big killer, and also it seems grain mold (growing like crazy in the damp cold conditions) was driving people batty, with thoughts of witches everywhere.

All that isn’t iron-clad proven, but a much better theory than 1°C being the all-purpose boogie man. And why not just kill the rats?! Much better than impoverishing the world by trying to take away the engine of prosperity that fossil fuels have been these past 2 centuries.

November 21, 2021 3:15 pm

Using the same logic as presented in the alarmist propaganda paper mentioned above, the warming of the past century is the cause for the huge drop in poverty, the iratication of various worldwide diseases like typhoid, diphtheria, polio, measles, small pox, etc. And the warmer temperatures must also be responsible for the huge increase in lifespan, regardless of social economic factors, of the whole population of our Big Blue Marble.

If the alarmists’ paper is even a tiny bit true then my little scribble is an axiom.

michael hart
November 22, 2021 1:54 am

We’ve already got a plague of climate “scientists”.

Andy H
November 22, 2021 2:03 am

A 30 second google search indicates that the great plague pandemics happened in 541, 1347 and 1894. The World war rather cool at those dates.

Anyway, we can cure plague with antibiotics.

Matthew Siekierski
November 22, 2021 6:39 am

I’m stuck on the first sentence of the article: “The risk of the plague spilling over from humans to animals in the western U.S. has increased since 1950

From humans to animals? I keep looking to see how we’re giving plague to cattle or something.

Andy Pattullo
November 22, 2021 8:38 am

As an infectious disease physician I am well aware of the plague history. The plague emerged and ravaged Europe during cold periods of climate, not warm. The study suggests the reservoir species in North America are primarily found at higher (colder) altitudes. None of this supports the contention that the risk will rise with global warming and I have no patience with those advocates who now want to ignore that “climate change” is actually supposed to be “global warming” according to all of their unfounded theories.

An important additional risk factor that appears to have fueled the plague events was malnutrition which in turn was partly precipitated by cold adverse climate with reduced crop success. As with many things the global warming fools predict, the bad outcomes will not come from natural climate change but from the adverse effects of the policies these fools promote. Get rid of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture and any number of infectious and nutritional diseases will ramp up rapidly and push us back into the dark ages.

November 22, 2021 6:33 pm

I think the biggest weakness with the study”

The biggest weakness is that it’s based on assumptions and models.

Instead of studying centuries of ‘Yersinia pestis’ plaques globally, they narrowly focused where ‘yersinia pestis’ plaques have been minor happenings.
Yellow fever was a major killer in North America. ‘Yersinia pestis’, not much at all.

Many folks contract ‘Yersinia pestis’ because they slept where rodents with infected fleas nested and left hungry fleas and abundant fecal matter.

Not from super populations of fleas on super abundant populations of rodents.
Nor during periods of cold clammy weather and famine.

Yersinia pestis’ infections have been solitary to a small handful.

in some regions of the USA, is nobody has baited and eradicated the reservoir animals.”

This isn’t just about Norwegian rats, (rattus norvegicus) and related rat pests.

Quite a few rodents, including ultra cute endangered and protected ones, from the Midwest to the Pacific have similar fleas that harbor and transmit ‘Yersinia pestis’.

Baiting and eradicating across large areas tends to eradicate rare species including rare predatory and carrion eating species more than it reduces the fecund rapid reproducing rodents.

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