Black Death ‘spread by humans not rats’ 黑死病“由人類而非老鼠傳播”

Dirty humans

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據一項研究顯示,老鼠並非傳播黑死病這場瘟疫的罪魁禍首。人們曾經普遍認為,在15到20世紀歐洲爆發的一系列疾病是由嚙齒動物及鼠蚤大範圍擴散而導致的。然而,來自挪威奧斯陸和意大利費拉拉市部分大學的研究團隊發現,黑死病肆虐其實另有原因。

Scientists used historical records from plague outbreaks in nine European cities, building a picture of how the disease spread.

They then compared the actual spread to three computer-simulated outbreaks: One where the disease was transmitted by rat fleas, one where it was airborne and another that modelled the transmission by fleas and lice that live on humans and their clothes.

Their conclusion: human lice caused the pandemic because this model mimicked the actual spread of the Black Death much more closely than the others.

科學家們利用九個歐洲城市的瘟疫爆發歷史記錄再現了該病在當時傳播的過程。

接著,他們把實際的傳播過程與計算機模擬生成的三類爆發情況做了比較。這三類爆發分別是由鼠蚤傳播、經空氣傳播以及依靠人類身上寄生的跳蚤和虱子傳播的模擬情況。 

這組科學家給出的結論是:由於該模型模擬生成的黑死病實際傳播情況要比其它研究更加仔細,所以他們認為人類身上的虱子才是導致這場流行病的原因。

1. 詞彙表

historical records 歷史記錄、記載
outbreaks(疾病)爆發
computer-simulated 由計算機模擬的
transmitted 被傳染、被傳播
airborne 借空氣傳播的
modelled 模擬了,以…建立了模型
pandemic(大範圍的)流行病
mimicked 模仿了

2. 
閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題

1. True or false? Researchers illustrated how the Black Death disease spread by painting a picture.

2. How many outbreaks of the disease did researchers get the computer to simulate?

3. Name somewhere mentioned in the report where fleas and lice lived on humans.

4. Why do experts think this research gives a more accurate explanation about who spread the disease?

3.
答案

1. True or false? Researchers illustrated how the Black Death disease spread by painting a picture.
False. The term ‘building a picture’ used in the report means ‘developing a better understanding’.

2. How many outbreaks of the disease did researchers get the computer to simulate?
Researchers compared the actual spread to three computer-simulated outbreaks.

3. Name somewhere mentioned in the report where fleas and lice lived on humans.
A computer simulation looked at fleas and lice that live on humans and their clothes.

4. Why do experts think this research gives a more accurate explanation about who spread the disease?
This model mimicked the actual spread of the Black Death much more closely than other models.

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