Friday, 7 March 2014

From China: Sepia Saturday 218

I was struggling to find a picture and a link to this weeks theme.

The picture shows " the areas in Sydney affected by the outbreak of Bubonic Plague in 1900" and the suggestions for a topic are " fences, back yards or bubonic plague." Well, I have no interesting pictures of backyards, or of fences and I didn't think I had anything I could connect to bubonic plague either. However, having always been interested in things medical, I started to research around the topic of bubonic plague, or 'The Black Death' .
According to research "The first outbreak of plague occurred in China more than 2,600 years ago before reaching Europe via Central Asia's "Silk Road" trade route" and then went on to kill around one third of the population of Europe in the middle ages.  It's a zoonotic disease, meaning it's caught from animals, and in this case rats and fleas. Without treatment, the bubonic plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within four days.
So here is my link to the old pictures of China, maybe with or without Bubonic Plague:
European Gardens Shanghai
I can't find any reference to these gardens in modern times and my guess is they were removed as part of the cultural revolution in China.
Hankow Road, Shanghai

However Hankow road still exists but looks rather different now!

Picture Wikki commons
A Chinese houseboat

And this Chinese houseboat may well have attracted the odd plague infected rat!
I learned about the Black death at school but thought it had died out, but apparently a case was reported as recently as 2012 in China, and also in parts of Africa and South America. I remember this nursery rhyme I learned at school
Ring a ring o' roses
A pocketful of posies
A tishoo A tishoo
We all fall down
We thought it was sweet but it is supposedly about the Black Death.
For more on this theme go to Sepia Saturday