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The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

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  • The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

    The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

    ICE Case Number 147, August 2005
    by Cara Murphy


    1. Abstract

    The Black Death reached the shores of Europe in 1348, carried there on merchant ships on the backs of rats stowed away as cargo amongst the spices destined for the European market. By 1334, the plague had destroyed two thirds of China?s population and successive waves of the plague after 1348 took the lives of roughly one third of Southern Europeans. Including at least four variants; the plague was caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis which lived in the stomach of fleas who, as scientists believe, became sick, their digestive tract blocked, regurgitating numerous bacilli into the bloodstream of their rodent host, thereby causing the flea to move onto a new host upon the death of their rodent host. Unfortunately for the Middle Ages, this host became man. This is how, in 1630, the Venetian Republic, again ravaged by another onset of the plague, began its descent towards its ultimate downfall in 1797 lead by the Ottoman Turks and completed by Napoleon Bonaparte. Tragically, up until this period, Venice had enjoyed the glory of being a commercial center of Europe. From the exploration of the Venetian Marco Polo into China (1271-1295), Venetian merchants followed his route eastward to the Orient seeking the riches of the silk and spice trade--and the riches did come for the Venetian Republic. In a letter from Petrarch dated 1362 who came to see the wonders of Venice, he describes the love of the Venetians for the sea and adventure. The Venetian commercial prosperity, which rivaled that of other sea powers in Renaissance Northern Italy (like Genoa) reached its most powerful in the XIV and XV centuries. If only the merchants could have imagined the horror that lie hidden between their boxes of precious goods that they shipped back to their beloved Venice--for the plague knew no social class distinctions and attacked all social strata, rich and poor, powerful and weak alike.

    2. Description

    A city of enormous wealth and prosperity due largely to its success in trade and shipping, Venice was devastated by the plague in 1630. While many European cities were hit hard by the plague, Venice is an important case study for several reasons.

    First, Venice, being a port city, built its economy on its maritime trade routes. Despite fierce competition with the city-state of Genoa, the Venetians had become the mercantile power in the Adriatic through government lead efforts to ensure the wealth of the Republic (efforts which included signing treaties for peace in the region, as well as building up the military fleet to protect its mercantile interests). At the time, doctors and scientists were unable to trace the cause of the plague back to the ships that were bringing the very livelihood to the city. However, as mentioned, it was these same ships that were carrying the plague in the form of rats and fleas. Venice was more impacted than cities that were inland and protected from the transportation of these disease-bearing animals. It was actually Venice?s great success with ships carrying precious spices and materials that actually brought about its ravage.

    Second, the political structure of Italy was different than others of Europe at the time. Composed of city-states, each city was left to manage with the devastation of the plague on its own. While they often attempted to work together, the loss of life had a much greater impact on each city than it did on centrally organized nations such as France. In Venice, eighty thousand lives were lost in just seventeen months. On the 9 th of November, for example, five hundred and ninety-five died. These enormous fatalities greatly affected the city. Even the Doge, Nicol? Contarini passed away, leaving the new Doge, Francesco Erizzo to rule in his place. With limited numbers left to fight and defend its territories, in 1669, Venice lost the island of Crete to the Ottoman Turks and in 1716 Morea also fell to the Ottoman Turks. Not more than a century later, in 1797, Venice surrendered sovereignty to Napoleon?s invading French army, which ended 1,070 years of republican government.

    The plundering of the plague can thus be seen to have brought about the beginning of the downfall of the reign of power of the Venetian Republic. While the Venetian military attempted to ensure the protection of the all important shipping routes, its weakened state left the shipping lines open for attack. Rich and poor, powerful and weak alike all had their lives claimed by the Black Death. As prominent figures died, the infrastructure of the city began to slowly crumble, as did the military might. Even the Doge Nicol? Contarini, in the name of the Senate, before his death, made a solemn vow to build a church to the Madonna of Good Health, if only the Virgin would free the city from the disease. Moreover, he promised that every year, on the 21 st of November, the day of Mary?s Presentation in the Temple, he would follow a procession to the church. After his death, the Doge Francesco Erizzo fulfilled the vow, demonstrating the depth of the city?s dread of the disease that they did not understand and could not control. By the time that the plague had run its course, politics in Venice had been forever altered.

    3. Duration

    4. Location
    Continent: Europe

    Region: Southern Europe

    Country: Italy (Venice)

    5. Actors

    The Venetian Republic was greatly impacted by the plague. However, other Northern Italian city-states also suffered from the plague of 1630; Milan and Tuscany were hit hard by the plague in 1630 causing the city dwellers to try to escape to the countryside to avoid catching the deadly illness. As they traveled southward, the plague was carried to the areas of Naples, Rome and Genoa (1656-1657). During this new wave of the plague, it is believed that nearly seventy percent of the population of Northern Italy and Tuscany succumbed to the disease, making the plague of 1630 an Italian epidemic. Historical accounts also point to the plague ravaging the city of London in 1630 (while indications suggest that the plague of 1665 was more devastating to the city than that of 1630) other records show the plague reaching as far as the port city of Boston in 1636.

    The link between port cities and the plague cannot be discounted. Had the plague not been able to travel with the rats on board merchant ships from port to port, it probably would not have spread in the manner that it did and perhaps would not have been as devastating. The fact that the Italian city-states of this period were so successful as sea traders presents a clear correlation to their infection with the disease.

    But while Northern Italy was suffering from the Black Death, the Ottoman Turks were continuing their attacks upon the Venetian Republic. How did the Turks avoid such a similar fate? The plague is believed to have originated in China in the early 1330s, reaching Baghdad and Alexandria by 1347. Thus, the illness was not unknown to the Turks by 1630. Some historians theorize that the Middle East had been so depopulated by the death caused by the disease and by the flight of the villagers as they sought refuge in the countryside from the contagious city-dwellers, that perhaps the illness simply subsided in the region. It is also possible that the rats that are thought to have carried the disease either died out in the Middle East or were replaced by another type of rat that did not carry the plague-bearing fleas. Whatever the reason, the Ottoman Turks of this period were not suffering from the plague as were their Venetian adversaries, enabling them to overtake the Venetians in battle.

    II. Environment Aspects

    How can a plague affect the downfall of the Republic of Venice? It is difficult to imagine the illness as being the direct cause for the wars between the Venetians and the Ottoman-Turks. The Turks did not capitalize on the illness and weakness of the city-state to attack the empire, as they began their attacks prior to 1630. However, one must not discount this important factor in the Turks military strategy, as they surely had learned of the great illness that befell the Venetians, and many other port cities of the period. But did the plague affect the Turks themselves? According to historians, after the initial plague infection in the Middle East, it was not until 1831 that a flood and plague devastated Baghdad, which allowed the Ottoman sultan, Mahmud II, to reassert Ottoman sovereignty over Iraq (a part of the Ottoman empire). Therefore, the plague of the 1630s did not seem to have greatly affected the Turks.

    Since the plague is not a natural resource, per se, that may be fought over (such as oil or water), one probably would therefore consider the plague as having an indirect impact, as a result of more general issues. In this case, the general issues concerned are land and territory disputes, as the Turks fought to gain a foothold in the European continent, as well as control over key trade routes that the Venetians occupied. Another area, upon which the plague indirectly impacted, was the economic prowess of the Venetian Republic. A port city, the plague struck the Republic?s trading capacity, due to the death of important merchants and their employees as well as fears to trade with a city fraught with illness. ?The economy underwent abrupt and extreme inflation. Since it was so difficult (and dangerous) to procure goods through trade and to produce them, the prices of both goods produced locally and those imported from afar skyrocketed.? A city riddled with economic problems also had problems funding a war, and sought peace with the Turks if only to preserve their commercial pursuits (a single war in Candia cost the Venetians twelve million Ducati--the Venetian gold coin).

    Thus, Venice suffered from scarcities, both economically as well as militarily due to the loss of life and destruction that the plague brought about indirectly with its ravages upon all walks of life, from the very rich to the very poor.

    6. Type of Environmental Problem

    Health ? During the Venetian Plague, the most evident Environmental Problem was the loss of human life in the city of Venice itself. The plague, as previously mentioned, is thought to have been carried by rats and fleas on boats from port town to port town, which is why Venice, a significant mercantile city-state of the time, was hit so hard by the plague.

    7. Type of Habitat

    Temperate ? Venice is located in Northern Italy. Temperatures in Venice range from 0.45?C to 29.6?C. Rainfall in Venice varies from 87.0 to 363.0 (mm/month).

    The city itself is built upon over 100 low-lying islands in a salt-water lagoon. The lagoon is sheltered from the Adriatic Sea by the Lido (a sandbank) and other small strips of land. However, because the city is built upon such low-lying and muddy islands, the Venetians invented techniques unique to Venice to fortify their city structures. Using timber and stone, the Venetians drove piles into the islands. Upon these piles, they then built a structure of wood, followed by brick and then stone for each house or building. While susceptible to fires, some of these structures have stood for over 400 years.

    Another characteristic of Venice, due its construction upon such low-level islands, is flooding. With heavy rainfall in Spring and Fall, it is common to have flooding in many of the streets and squares throughout the city, called "Acqua Alta", although it is believed that the flooding occurs more in correlation with the astronomical tides than due to these heavy rains.

    8. Act and Harm Sites:

    As previously mentioned, the plague is believed to have originated in China and to have worked its way westward to Europe along the Venetian and Genovese trade routes. The Republic of Venice was never able to fully recover from the destruction that the plague brought upon the city-state.

    III. Conflict Aspects

    Up until the 14 th century, Venice was the leading power in the Mediterranean. However, with its occupation of Gallipoli, the Ottoman-Turks attained their first strong-hold in Europe as they sought to expand their empire, and from that point on, were not to be stopped in their advancement westward, until they reached Vienna in 1683.

    In 1384, a Turkish embassy was established in Venice, because as one Venetian stated; ?Since we are merchants we cannot live without them?. At the court of Murad I, promises were exchanged for peace and friendship between the two powers, and the Treaty of 1406 allowed for Venetians to circulate freely within the Turkish Empire without an increase of the taxes that they were subject to as merchants.

    The conflict began between the Venetians and the Turks on March 29, 1416 after the Turks devastated Eubea and Cicladi. The Turks then proceeded to take island after island (Rodi in 1522, Chio in 1566, and Cypress in July 1570) from the Venetians, until the arrival of the plague in Venice in 1630. With an already demoralized military and mercantile fleet, the plague was the final blow to the Venetian Republic.

    The island of Crete was attacked by the Turks in August of 1645, beginning the War of Candia (1645-1669). While the plague of 1630 left 80,000 Venetian civilians and soldiers? alike dead, the War of Candia resulted in the loss of 108,000 Turks and 29,088 ?Christians? (generally Venetians, Greeks, and French volunteers who came to the aid of Venice).

    After the loss of Crete to the Turks, the Venetians continued to fight for their honor and territory, despite the peace treaty which was signed at the end of the War. However, with such a great cost to Venetian lives, the wars with the Turks continued to diminish the Venetian Republic both in size and in strength. The close succession of the battles also did not leave enough time for the society to regenerate after the plague and previous battles. The military power was simply being drained out. Moreover, without a strong military protecting them, the merchants of Venice, who were the backbone of the Venetian economy, struggled to trade, and the merchants too, suffered from the loss of lives during the plague.

    Between the economic and military defeats, Venice was a weakened city-state. As Venice continued to battle with the Turks, more lives were lost in military campaigns up until Napoleon?s order to Maggior Consiglio to abolish the Venetian Constitution on May 12, 1797.

    In all of this military conquest, it is important to remember who was the real enemy of the Venetians however. Without a face or King to parlay with, the plague silently took the lives of seventy percent of the Northern Italian population during the plague of 1630. With no cure and no real understanding of how the disease was transmitted or could be contained, the Venetians were truly at the mercy of the Black Death, for their losses would not be purely economic or loss of rule; with the plague, Venetians spoke in terms of loss of a population.

    9. Type of Conflict

    10. Level of Conflict
    Interstate - High

    11. Fatality Level of Dispute (military and civilian fatalities)

    It is difficult to know the exact numbers of those who lost their lives during the Venetian and Ottoman-Turk battles. However, to begin to have any idea, it is known that in the War of Candia alone, 108,000 Turks and 29,088 "Christians" (Venetians, Greeks, and French volunteers who came to the aid of Venice) perished.

    One might also consider that the plague of 1630 took the lives of 80,000 Venetian civilians and soldiers.

    Thus, including both Venetians and Turks, one might estimate that the fatality level of dispute was 1 or perhaps upwards of around 300,000 lives lost.

    Today, Venetians still remember their historic past when they celebrate Carnival each year. Dressing up in masks and costumes, a popular mask is that of the Doctor, who can be seen in the above photo wearing round glasses with a long pointed nose. Thought to imitate the breathing devise that they used to hold vinegar in, the doctors hoped to ward off the plague, or at least the bad odors of the sick and dying. The doctors also carried a long stick in order to touch the sick with, to avoid contaminating themselves with the disease.

    IV. Environment and Conflict Overlap

    12. Environment-Conflict Link and Dynamics:

    Indirect (Disease)

    Inverse relations ? A rise in Variable A (plague) causes a decline in Variable B (financial/economic resources) in Venice.
    Variable B could be considered a ?level (total) variable? while Variable A would be considered an ?auxiliary variable (used to consider other types of impacts)?.

    13. Level of Strategic Interest

    Regional ? the Venetian plague occurred at a time when many other Northern Italian city-states were also being re-affected by the plague. Moreover, when the plague had finally run its course, the Venetian Republic was so decimated that its trade and military forces never recovered from the losses suffered in 1630. The Ottoman-Turk Empire benefited from the Venetian downfall in the region by taking over strategic shipping islands. The final blow to the Venetian Republic was dealt by Napoleon in 1797. All of these conflicts occurred in the Mediterranean Region.

    14. Outcome of Dispute:

    Yield ? On the 12 th of May 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte delivered to the Venetians the ?Pasque veronesi? (the Veronese Easters), which abolished the Venetian constitution.

    August 2005

  • #2
    Re: The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

    population of Venice in thousand:

    1548 :158
    Last edited by gsgs; May 4, 2007, 11:22 AM.
    I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
    my current links: ILI-charts:


    • #3
      Re: The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

      <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" width="90%"><tbody><tr><td>Mass Plague Graves Found on Venice "Quarantine" Island

      </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Maria Cristina Valsecchi
      for National Geographic News
      </td> </tr> <tr> <td> August 29, 2007 </td> </tr> <tr><td> </td></tr> <tr> <td> Ancient mass graves containing more than 1,500 victims of the bubonic plague have been discovered on a small island in Italy's Venetian Lagoon.

      (See photos of the mass graves.)

      Workers came across the skeletons while digging the foundation for a new museum on Lazzaretto Vecchio, a small island in the lagoon's south, located a couple of miles from Venice's famed Piazza San Marco (see a map of the Venetian Lagoon).

      The island is believed to be the world's first lazaret?a quarantine colony intended to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

      The lazaret was opened during the plague outbreaks that decimated Venice, as well as much of Europe, throughout the 15th and 16th centuries A.D.

      Its presence may have helped Venice recover more quickly during the devastating outbreaks.

      (Related: "Bubonic Plague Traced to Ancient Egypt" [March 10, 2004].)

      "When plague struck the town, everybody sick or showing any suspect symptom were restricted on the island until they recovered or died," said Luisa Gambaro, an anthropologist of the University of Padua.

      Gruesome Discovery

      Workers digging the foundation for Venice Town's Museum on the eastern side of the island came across the well-preserved human skeletons three years ago.

      "We were called to attend the excavations, study the site, and rescue remains and artifacts," said Vincenzo Gobbo, an archaeologist of the University Ca' Foscari of Venice working with the Archaeological Superintendence of Veneto.

      "In the last three years we collected more than 1,500 corpses and 150 boxes of artifacts," he added. "We estimate there are still thousands of skeletons buried beneath every meadow in Lazzaretto Vecchi."

      Researchers found the mass graves arranged in several layers. The oldest ones, dating back to the end of the 15th century, are long rectangular trenches. The skeletons inside are carefully lined and wrapped in sheets.

      Later graves are nothing more than large holes where monatti, or corpse carriers, hastily unloaded their carts.

      "Plague outbreaks in the 16th century were far deadlier than the earlier ones," Gobbo said. "About 500 people a day used to die in Lazzaretto Vecchio. Monatti simply had no time to take care of the burials."

      The remains belong to men, women, and children alike. Some show Asian or African features, evidence of the cultural diversity that stemmed from the Republic of Venice's role as one of the most important commercial ports in Europe.

      "Nobles or lower class didn't make any difference," Gambaro said. "All the sick were forced to stay on Lazzaretto Vecchio, and if they died, they were buried together."

      Among the skeletons, the archaeologists also found common artifacts such as pottery, coins, combs, and jewelry.

      First Lazaret

      The concept of a lazaret began in 1485, when a devastating plague outbreak hit Venice and killed even the doge, or the head of state, at the time, Giovanni Mocenigo.

      Venice's government built a public hospital on Lazzaretto Vecchio to isolate the infectious and curb the disease's spread.

      At the time the island was named Santa Maria di Nazareth, but people also called it Nazarethum or Lazaretum. The second name prevailed and eventually gave rise to the modern word "lazaret."

      But conditions in Lazzaretto Vecchio during plague outbreaks were far from modern hospital's standards.

      "It looked like hell ... The sick lay three or four in a bed," wrote the 16th-century Venetian chronicler Rocco Benedetti.

      "Workers collected the dead and threw them in the graves all day without a break. Often the dying ones and the ones too sick to move or talk were taken for dead and thrown on the piled corpses."

      The lucky ones who survived and recovered spent their convalescence on the near island of Lazzaretto Nuovo.

      Thanks to this policy, Venetians were able to curb the damage as the plague struck Europe again and again during the Renaissance.

      Revealing Find

      As workers continue working on the museum, scheduled to open on 2010, skeletons and artifacts will finish their journey by being cataloged and stored on Lazzaretto Nuovo.

      Researchers from across Italy will study the remains to learn more about society and everyday life in medieval and Renaissance Venice.

      "By analyzing teeth and bones it may be possible to know what they used to eat and what kind of diseases affected them," Gambaro, of the University of Padua, said.

      "Then part of the remains will be put on display in the new museum on Lazzaretto Vecchio," archaeologist Gobbo added. "The archaeological area will be open to visitors too."
      "In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man (or woman, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it then costs nothing to be a patriot."- Mark TwainReason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Thomas Paine


      • #4
        Re: The Bubonic Plague and the Impact on Venice

        This was a link on the story above...

        Bubonic Plague Traced to Ancient Egypt

        Cameron Walker
        for National Geographic News

        March 10, 2004

        <!-- leave the z-deck alone! --><!--- startbody --->The bubonic plague, or Black Death, may have originated in ancient Egypt, according to a new study.
        "This is the first time the plague's origins in Egypt have been backed up by archaeological evidence," said Eva Panagiotakopulu, who made the discovery. Panagiotakopulu is an archaeologist and fossil-insect expert at the University of Sheffield, England.

        While most researchers consider central Asia as the birthplace of the deadly epidemic, the new study?published recently in the Journal of Biogeography?suggests an alternate starting point.

        "It's usually thought that the plague entered from the East," said B. Joseph Hinnebusch, a microbiologist at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. The new study suggests that North Africa could also be the source of the epidemic, he said.

        The bacteria-caused plague is more than a grim historical footnote today.

        The African island of Madagascar experienced outbreaks in the late 1990s, and some worry about the plague's potential use as an agent of bioterrorism.

        Information about past epidemics could help scientists predict where new outbreaks would occur and better understand how the disease spreads, Hinnebusch said.

        Plague in Europe

        The most famous plague outbreak swept through Europe in the 1300s. Dubbed the Black Death, the disease killed more than 25 million people?one-fourth of the continent's population. The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosy" is traced to the plague's rose-colored lesions and deadly spread.

        Earlier outbreaks also decimated Europe. The Justinian Plague claimed as many as a hundred million lives in the Byzantine Empire during the sixth century A.D.

        The bacterium that causes bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, lives inside the gut of its main carrier, the flea. The plague likely spread to Europe on the backs of shipboard black rats that carried plague-infested fleas.

        "It's the plague's unholy trinity," said Michael Antolin, a biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, who studies bubonic plague in black-tailed prairie dogs.
        Inside the flea, bacteria multiply and block off the flea's throat-like area. The flea gets increasingly hungry. When it bites?whether rat or human?it spits some bacteria out into the bite wound.

        People can contract several forms of the plague. The main form, bubonic, often starts out with fever, chills, and enlarged lymph nodes. But if the bacteria make their way into the lungs, a deadlier form, called pneumonic plague, can be spread from person to person. Pneumonic plague occurs in about 5 percent of those infected with bubonic plague.

        Several researchers have suggested that Europe's Black Death spread too fast and killed too many to be attributed to bubonic plague. But plague experts Hinnebusch and Antolin said that the pneumonic plague form could have been responsible for the quick-spreading epidemic.<!--- deckend --->

        "If you inhale it, you're pretty much dead," Antolin said.

        Pharaohs' Plague

        Panagiotakopulu came upon clues to the plague's presence in ancient Egypt by accident. She had been looking at fossil insect remains to learn about daily life more than 3,000 years ago.

        "People lived close to their domestic animals and to the pests that infected their household," Panagiotakopulu said. "I just started looking at what diseases people might have, what diseases their pigs might have, and what diseases might have been passed from other animals to humans."

        The researcher used a fine sieve to strain out remains of insects and small mammals from several sites. Panagiotakopulu, who is conducting similar work on Viking ruins in Greenland, said that looking at insects is a key way to reconstruct the past. "I can learn about how people lived by looking in their homes and at what was living with and on them," she said.

        In Egypt Panagiotakopulu combed the workers'-village site in Amarna, where the builders of the tombs of Egyptian kings Tutankhamun and Akhenaton lived. There, the researcher unearthed cat and human fleas?known to be plague carriers in some cases?in and around the workers' homes. That find spurred Panagiotakopulu to believe that the bubonic plague's fleaborne bacteria could also have been lurking in the area, so she went in search of other clues.

        Previous excavations along the Nile Delta had turned up Nile rats, an endemic species, dating to the 16th and 17th century B.C. The plague's main carrier flea is thought to be native to the Nile Valley and is known to be a Nile rat parasite.

        According to Panagiotakopulu, the Nile provided an ideal spot for rats to carry the plague into urban communities. Around 3500 B.C., people began to build cities next to the Nile. During floods, the habitat of the Nile rat was disturbed, sending the rodent?and its flea and bacterial hitchhikers?into the human domain.

        Egyptian writings from a similar time period point to an epidemic disease with symptoms similar to the plague. A 1500 B.C. medical text known as the Ebers Papyrus identifies a disease that "has produced a bubo, and the pus has petrified, the disease has hit."

        It's possible that trade spread the disease to black rats, which then carried the bacteria to other sites of plague epidemics. Panagiotakopulu suspects that black rats, endemic to India, arrived in Egypt with sea trade. In Egypt the rats picked up plague-carrying fleas and were later born on ships that sailed across the Mediterranean to southern Europe.

        Present-day Plague

        "Most people think of the plague as a historical disease," said Hinnebusch, who conducts plague research for the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "But it's still out there, and it's still an international public health issue."

        During the last ten years bubonic plague reappeared in Madagascar, which now has between 500 and 2,000 new cases each year.

        According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization tallies as many as 3,000 plague cases each year around the world. Research interest in bubonic plague has been growing as, like anthrax, it could be used as a deadly bioterrorism agent (especially in pneumonic form).

        While antibodies can be extremely effective against early stages of the plague, scientists are trying to learn more about how it works to be able to predict outbreaks and counteract the bacterium's scrambling of the immune system.

        "There are so many unanswered questions about the plague," Hinnebusch said.

        The plague will sleep for decades, even centuries, reemerge, and then seem to vanish again.
        Panagiotakopulu said she wants to continue to track the evidence for the plague in Egypt and elsewhere to expand understanding of the still-mysterious epidemic.

        <!--- deckend --->
        "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation