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Bubonic Plague in the 20th century

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slimjim | 14:46 Mon 21st Aug 2006 | History
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A question I had on Trivial Pursuit recently was "What plagues a Sussex town in 1910?". The answer was "The Black Death or bubonic plague". I can find no reference to this on the internet. Does anyone know more details?


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Hi, the last outbreak of plague ( any number anyway) was actually 1918 where six people were affected. I'll try and track down your 1910 outbreak:)
Are you sure it wasn't SUFFOLK?

The last British plague epidemic occurred in 1910. This epidemic centred on Latimer Cottages at Freston near Ipswich. Between 13 and 29 September 1910 there were four fatalities.

Expanding on the Suffolk outbreak(s)...

The four fatalities in Latimer Cottages, Freston are attributed to pneumonic plague. In 1918 there were two more fatalities to this form of plague in nearby Warren Lane Cottages in Erwarton.

The four fatalities attributed to bubonic plague were actually in the village of Trimley St. Martin near Felixstowe. The outbreak started on 19th Dec. 1909 and ended in January 1910. search=%22uk%20bubonic%20plague%201910%22
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The TP card definitely says Sussex but this could be a mistake. Wikipedia says no occurences of the plague in Europe after the 19th century, so this really intrigued me. Why didn't this one spread beyond 4 people?
Both pneumonic and bubonic plague are caused by pasteurella pestis, now Yersinia. There arent very many black rats around rattus rattus, now, which is why it is rare.

Pneumonic usually occurs at the end of an epidemic, when the PPestis has been rendered more pathogenic on account of passage through humans, and is direct through sputum, and the lungs and inhalation.

WHy did it kill only 4 ? Why does any epidemic end ?

Oh, and by the way, when you talk of the last cases, I am sure you mean in the UK. Plague was described in Vietnam in the sixties. - about 100 deaths.

In modern terms, it looks as though plague is just about as infectious as anthrax, In therecent outbreak in the US, I dont think there were any humna-human contact cases.

I hope all the would be terrorists are reading this (and thinking of giving up)
I've lived in Sussex for decades of my life , my parents were involved with the Sussex Archaeological Trust and I never heard anything about bubonic plague in the county in 1910 until I played Trivial Pursuit. I'd guess the TP question is simply wrong. They probably research their questions and answers reasonably well but perhaps not as assiduously as University Challenge or Mastermind, where many nerds can complain about mistakes immediately.

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