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Long Island school’s ‘culturally insensitive’ photo of black students with monkey leads to lawsuit


The students said they were embarrassed and ashamed by the presentation.

A group of black high school students on Long Island claims their science teacher included racially insensitive images in a class presentation that referenced them as monkeys and now they’re planning to sue.

Longwood High School students Jahkeem Moye, Khevin Beaubrun, Gykye Murray and Desmond Dent Jr. said a white teacher presented a slideshow to the class that included a photo of them posing at the Bronx Zoo with the caption “Monkey Do” followed by an image of a gorilla.

The students said they were embarrassed and ashamed by the presentation, according to court documents filed this week. The families served a notice of claim Wednesday indicating their plans to sue Longwood Central School District for discrimination and emotional distress.

“I didn’t know that they were going to put [the photo] in that perspective and show us, compare us to monkeys,” Murray told reporters Wednesday.

In the same press conference, Beaubrun said he was threatened by school administrators to delete a Snapchat video that showcased the slideshow presentation or face suspension.

“I said they had used us like slaves. I posted it on Snapchat, on social media, and he asked me to take it down,” Beaubrun said, referring to his advanced zoology teacher.

Their attorney claims teachers “deliberately persuaded, tricked and cajoled” them into posing together near a Bronx Zoo gorilla exhibit during a class trip in November. The teacher captured the picture and included it in the class presentation about a month later, according to their attorney.

The teacher, identified only as Mr. Heinrichs, allegedly placed the photo in a slideshow between an image of monkeys with the caption “Monkey See,” and an image of a gorilla “thereby misusing the pidgin expression, ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ for racially discriminatory and offensive purposes,” according to the notice of claim.

The families plan to sue for $12 million, accusing the school of discriminating against the students and violating their civil rights.

The Longwood School District declined to identify the teacher and would not say if he had been disciplined. The district called the images “culturally insensitive” and attributed the situation to a “lapse of judgement.”

“The photo was an unfortunate lapse of judgment,” Superintendent of Schools Michael Lonergan said in a statement Wednesday. “Without the intent of doing so, the photo was taken without fully understanding the sensitivity or the hurt it may have caused and reminds us that we must be more aware of the feelings of our multi-cultural population.”

But the students’ attorney, John Ray, said the teacher involved was still teaching as of this week.

“These students are deeply wounded and shamed,” Ray said. “This is institutionalized racial superiority. … There can’t be any question about what they meant.”

“Remember, this is a zoology class, evolution is taught,” he added.



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Tulane black medical students share ‘powerful’ photo at plantation


15 Tulane medical students pose in front of the slave quarters at the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana.

The image of 15 black Tulane University medical students standing tall in front of the slave quarters of a Louisiana plantation has captured the attention of social media. 

Russell Ledet, who came up with the idea to take the photo — one of a few taken that day by Abedoyin Johnson at the Whitney Plantation — wants it to capture the attention of children in classrooms worldwide. 

The photo is well on its way. It’s been shared thousands of times across Instagram and Twitter since Ledet shared it with the caption, “We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.” 

“The reality of it is, this is a representation that we’re here,” Ledet, a 33-year-old second-year medical student at Tulane, told USA TODAY on Thursday. “We’re present. We’re unapologetically black and present. In white coats. You need to be able to look at that photo and take that in, accept it and be alright with it.”

‘Life-altering’ donation:UCLA medical school gets an extra $46 million from impresario David Geffen

Ledet said he got the the idea to visit the plantation with his classmates after first seeing the plantation over the summer with his daughter, who said it was “amazing” to see a black doctor in America. She added, “We’ve come a really long way,” Ledet said. 

Sydney Labat, a fellow second-year medical student who also shared photos from the day, said the point was to show younger generations that what she and her classmates are doing is possible for them, too. 

15 Tulane medical students pose in front of the slave quarters at the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana.

“This is your future in every way, shape and form,” Labat said. “You can do this. Hopefully, going through their heads is something like, ‘These people look like me.’ I think we know it’s not a secret that there aren’t, in classrooms, very many pictures of black people doing substantial things, besides being an athlete.

“Just showing them that you can be academically excellent. You can choose to enter the path of medicine with your academic excellence. You can be smart, you can be beautiful and you can be black all at the same time.” 

Dr. Lee Hamm, Tulane University School of Medicine dean and senior vice president, called the pictures “powerful.” 

“Our students are our greatest strength and we applaud their sense of purpose, community and service,” Hamm said in a statement to USA TODAY. 

“Powerful” is what the students were aiming for, Labat said. 

Grappling with the history of slavery:The blueprint for dealing with it? Some say Brown University





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Hair Dyes And Straighteners Linked To Higher Cancer Risk, Especially For Black Women : Shots


Hair dyes and straighteners contain chemicals that are being studied for their health effects.

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Hair dyes and straighteners contain chemicals that are being studied for their health effects.

Srdjanpav/Getty Images

New research raises concern about the safety of permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners, especially among African American women. The study was published Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer.

Previous research in animals has found links between certain chemicals in hair dye and straighteners and cancer. But findings from other human studies on the association between hair dyes and straighteners and cancer have been inconsistent. This large, prospective study provides firmer evidence of a link.

Researchers analyzed data from an ongoing study called the Sister Study, looking at medical records and lifestyle surveys from 46,709 women between the ages of 35 and 74. Women answered questions about their use of hair dyes and straighteners. While earlier studies on hair dye and cancer risk included mostly white women, the new study includes 9% African American women.

Researchers found that women who used permanent hair dye or chemical straighteners were at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

“The association was notably higher among black women,” says epidemiologist Alexandra White, study author and an investigator with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who studies environmental risk factors for breast cancer.

After eight years of follow-up, White found permanent hair dye use was associated with about a 7% higher risk of developing breast cancer among white women, “whereas in black women that risk was about 45 percent.”

That risk was even higher among black women who dyed their hair frequently, every one or two months.

Researchers don’t know which ingredients in the products might be of concern. The study did not look at the specific ingredients in the products women were using, only at whether they had used the product and whether they developed breast cancer.

All women in the Sister Study were already at high risk for breast cancer since they had a sister who had breast cancer.

Researchers note that in the United States, breast cancer incidence remains high for all women and appears to be increasing for non-Hispanic black women, who also are more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive forms of the disease and more likely to die from it.

Hair products contain more than 5,000 chemicals, according to researchers, including those with mutagenic and endocrine-disrupting properties such as aromatic amines, which can raise cancer risk, according to White.

When it came to chemical straighteners, risk didn’t vary by race. Both black and white women who used hair straighteners were about 30% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t use the products. However, black women are more likely to use them, with about 75% of black women in the study reporting they straighten their hair.

“For the chemical straighteners one of the big concerns there is formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen,” says White. She notes that in the early 2000s just before the study began, Brazilian keratin treatments came on the market. This new treatment, commonly called a Brazilian blowout, contains formaldehyde, while earlier hair straightening treatments did not.

The study findings should be understood in context, says Dr. Otis Brawley, a medical oncologist with Johns Hopkins University. The actual risk found for use of these hair treatments is quite low, he adds, especially compared with other known carcinogens like tobacco or radiation. “This is a very weak signal that these things might be causing cancer in the population,” he says.

Much more research is needed, he says, to know for sure how risky these products are. For example, long-term clinical trials with a control group and placebo would be more definitive, but this type of study “would be difficult if not impossible to do.”

“Sometimes science just cannot give us the answers that we want it to give us,” says Brawley.

In the meantime, Brawley says, there are certain lifestyle factors that have stronger evidence of a link to cancer and are more important for women to focus on. “It is for certain that obesity, consuming too many calories and lack of exercise is a risk factor for breast cancer, a definite risk factor,” he says, while the findings of this study only add up to a “perhaps” when it comes to risk.

Dr. Doris Browne, a medical oncologist and former president of the National Medical Association, suggests women start a conversation with their doctor about their risk for breast cancer.

“I think it’s important for women, particularly African American women, not to panic every time a study comes out,” she says. “But it should raise questions for our primary care providers.”

For example, Browne suggests doctors and patients discuss the use of hair products like dyes and straighteners along with other aspects of a “social history” like alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity and living near environmental contaminants.

According to Browne, the key lesson from this study for both doctors and patients is that “when we are aware of a new association (of breast cancer risk) we need to increase our surveillance” to include this potential risk factor in doctor-patient discussions.

For both races, there was no increased risk for women who used semi-permanent or temporary dyes, the kind that eventually wash out with shampooing. To reduce risk, researcher White says women might want to choose these products instead.



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Factbox: Quotes from shoppers as they scour for the best deals on Black Friday


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shoppers headed out to stores across the United States in a quest to score the best Black Friday discounts on everything from handbags to 4K TVs, with early promotions marking the start of a condensed holiday shopping season.

People wait in line to pay for purchases at Best Buy during a sales event on Thanksgiving day in Westbury, New York, U.S., November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The following are quotes from shoppers and store managers in the midst of America’s biggest shopping day:

DICK DOYLE, 76, RETIRED, SHOPPING AT MODELL’S SPORTING GOODS IN VIRGINIA:

“I will come to the mall, look at prices and go back and check them online. Prices and discounts online are competitive to what’s available in stores.”

MARIAH BERRY, 22, UNIQLO TRAINEE SUPERVISOR, CHICAGO

“We tend to have more deals in-store, so people come in rather than go online … The only problem today is we didn’t expect how slow it would be. It’s the same with Macy’s and all the others, but that’s been surprising.”

ANTHONY WRIGHT JR, 26, ENGINEERING PHD STUDENT, SHOPPING AT BEST BUY (BBY.N) IN CHICAGO:

“We literally drove by at 2 o’clock after looking at YouTube videos of people sleeping outside. There weren’t really a lot of people so we went back home and came back around six.”

EVAN HOUSER, 22, ELECTRONICS SALESMAN AT TARGET (TGT.N) IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO:

“It’s slow now because we had a big, big rush last night – we had a line around the block from like 4:30.”

SERGE MENENG, 48, ENGINEER, SHOPPING AT COSTCO (COST.O) IN VIRGINIA:

“I came in to Costco this morning, hoping to get a good deal on a Canon camera I have been wanting to buy and I checked the price online versus in-store and it was better here.”

MONYETTA MONK, 30, WORKS IN EMERGENCY AT A HOSPITAL, SHOPPING AT TARGET (TGT.N) IN VIRGINIA:

“We are doing some Christmas shopping and for some birthdays between now and the end of the year. We came out this morning for a popular LOL toy and were able to save $30. Target is very competitive when it comes toys.”

Reporting by Melissa Fares, Andrew Kelly and Shannon Stapleton in New York, Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles, Richa Naidu in Chicago and Nandita Bose in Washington; Additional reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Susan Sarandon reveals shocking black eye after falling over and fracturing her nose


Susan Sarandon has revealed the shocking extent of the damage caused by a fall she suffered earlier this week. 

The 73-year-old actress shared a selfie which shows her eye surrounded by a deep purple bruise on Instagram, days after explaining that she had fractured her nose and been diagnosed with concussion after “a little slip.” 

Next to the picture, Sarandon, who is supporting Bernie Sanders’ bid for the US presidency, took the chance to hit out at the States’ private healthcare system. 

Certain residents in the US are entitled to Medicare – a federal health insurance programme – when they are aged over 65. 

Explaining that she felt “lucky” that Medicare could “cover my visit to ER [the emergency room]”, Sarandon wrote: !Everyone deserves the same, not access, not pathway to, not option. 

“M4A [Medicare4All] saves $. Nobody loses their home because of cancer, no rationing insulin. You know, like the rest of the free world. #bernie2020.” 

The fall meant Sarandon had to pull out of Sanders campaigning event earlier this week. 

Apologising for not being able to make it, Sarandon shared the speech she had planned to give on Instagram.

She said the US is facing an “emergency”, citing climate change fears, the opioid crisis gripping the country and gun violence in schools across the country.

“This is not the time for a ‘pathway’ to or ‘framework’ for incremental change,” she said.

“Emergencies require bold, visionary leadership. Senator Sanders believes in us and that together a better world is possible.

“He has been fighting for social, racial and economic justice his entire life, long before running for President, often before it was acceptable. Now it’s time for us to fight for him.”



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Support for Impeachment Collapses Among Black, Hispanic Voters



Support for impeaching President Donald Trump has collapsed among Hispanic and black voters—a situation that could doom Democrats in 2020.

A recent national poll released by Emerson College indicates that black Americans, a key constituency of the Democrat Party, narrowly opposes Trump’s impeachment. The poll found that 38 percent of black voters are opposed, while 37 percent are in favor, with 25 percent unsure.

Hispanic voters, meanwhile, were only narrowly in favor of impeachment, 48 percent to 41 percent, with 11 percent unsure. The Emerson poll also found 48 percent of white voters nationally were opposed to impeaching Trump, while 44 percent were supportive.

The results are starkly different from those recorded nationally by Emerson in October. At the time, 58 percent of black voters were in favor of impeaching Trump compared to only 27 percent against and 15 percent unsure. Likewise, 73 percent of Hispanics favored the president’s impeachment in October, while 24 percent were opposed and only 3 percent.

Overall, between the two surveys, support for impeaching Trump dropped 20 percent among black voters and 25 percent with Hispanics. The drops have been accompanied by nearly double digit increases among voters from the two communities telling pollsters they were unsure if Trump’s impeachment was the best recourse.

The polling seems to indicate the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which began televised public hearings this month, has backfired tremendously. When the inquiry first launched, Democrats were eager to prove Trump committed an impeachable offense by suggesting the government of Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings within the country.

Right out of the gate, though, the effort was hamstrung by the unwillingness of Democrat leadership, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), to grant Republicans equal questioning time and subpoena power. With Democrats unwilling to give Republicans appropriate say in the proceedings, the vote formalizing the inquiry was conducted on party lines, thereby dooming any hopes of bipartisan respectability.

Congressional Democrats were further hampered by their own star witnesses, nearly all of whom admitted under oath that Hunter Biden’s wheeling and dealing in Ukraine had the appearance of a conflict of interest for his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.

One of the witnesses, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, even admitted on the opening day of the inquiry that he was so troubled by the younger Biden’s decision to join the board of Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma —while his father was overseeing Obama-era policy in the region—that he felt compelled to reach out to the former vice president’s office about the matter in 2015.

The televised hearings seemed to have the exact opposite impact Democrats were hoping to achieve when they first launched the inquiry. Although the Emerson poll did not ask why black and Hispanic voters had changed their minds on impeachment, the rates at which they were following the inquiry hearings could pose an answer.

According to the poll, black Americans were more intently following the impeachment hearings unfolding on Capitol Hill than either whites or Hispanics. Of the black voters surveyed, 73 percent told pollsters they were “watching” the impeachment hearings, compared to only 27 percent who said they were not. Similarly, 70 percent of whites said they were following the hearings, while 29 percent were not. Among Hispanics, the figure was slightly lower, with 60 percent saying they were watching the hearings and 40 percent admitting they were not. The lower level of viewership could be the reason why Hispanics overall still tend to narrowly approve of Trump’s impeachment.

Regardless of the reasoning support for impeachment has dropped, the end result could prove dire for Democrats heading into next year’s presidential election.

In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received 88 percent of the African American vote, as shown by exit polling data from the race. The numbers, although impressive, were significantly lower than the 93 percent Obama garnered in his successful 2012 reelection campaign. Political scientists have attempted to explain the discrepancy by pointing out that overall turnout among black voters was lower in 2016 than 2012. Few, however, have mentioned that Trump’s share of the African American vote was greater than Romney’s, as denoted by the Roper Center for Public Opinion at Cornell University. In fact, the 2016 GOP ticket headed by Trump garnered the highest percentage of black voters since 2004.

Trump’s improved margins among African American voters in heavily urban areas played no small part in his victory. Data from the Michigan secretary of state’s office indicate Trump received 15,000 more votes in Wayne County—where Detroit is located—than Romney in 2012. Even though Trump still lost the county by a substantial margin, the increase helped him eke out a win over Clinton statewide by more than 10,000 votes.

A similar situation played out with Hispanic voters in 2016, but to a lesser degree. Trump won 29 percent of the Hispanic vote on his way to the White House, rising higher than Romney’s 27 percent in 2012. The result shocked many in the media establishment, especially as Trump had run hard on cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were to move forward with impeachment, Trump’s numbers with the minority voters could surpass his 2016 margins, provided the findings of the Emerson poll hold. In that instance, Democrats would forfeit any opportunity of pulling states like Michigan back into their column and could even jeopardize their chances in jurisdictions with heavy Hispanic populations, like New Mexico and Colorado.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), the vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, likely had this notion in mind on Monday when suggesting the House abandon its push to impeach Trump and settle for “censure.”

“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence told a local Michigan radio station. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”



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Black Death in China: A history of plagues, from ancient times to now


Finally — for many of them — came death.

Today, many of us think of the plague as something confined to the history books — a grim symbol of the medieval period, before doctors knew about the existence of viruses or bacteria.

But this month, three people in China were diagnosed with two different forms of plague, highlighting that while the plague is not as serious an issue as it once was, it’s also not entirely a thing of the past.

Neither is debate about the cause of the disease, how it spread, and even where it came from.

Plagued by questions

For a disease that has impacted humans for centuries, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the plague.

Humans have been hit by three major plague pandemics over the past 2,000 years, resulting in nearly 200 million deaths. The first pandemic was in the 6th century, during the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian I. The second — which was known as the Black Death — swept through medieval Europe, starting from the 14th century. The third pandemic began in China in the 19th century, and spread to other parts of Asia and the United States.
In the Middle Ages, many thought the disease had been sent by god as punishment for their sins. By the 20th century, scientists were pretty sure that all three pandemics were caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which is found in small mammals and fleas. They knew that there were a number of varieties of Yersinia pestis, the most common of which are pneumonic and bubonic — the type that causes large sores.
14th-century plague of Florence as described by Giovanni Boccaccio.

But starting in the 1970s and 1980s, historians and biologists began pointing out that the second pandemic didn’t act like the third pandemic in a significant way: it killed many more people. That prompted people to posit that another disease had caused the Black Death, said historian Winston Black, who is writing a book that busts a number of plague theories.

“They’re often called the ‘plague deniers’ — they’re denying that the medieval Black Death was the bubonic plague,” Black said. “They’ve proposed anthrax, (and) something like an early Ebola.”

The turning point came in the 2000s, when scientists developed the ability to extract ancient DNA — including from medieval skeletons.

When scientists analyzed the skeletons of plague victims, they found fragments of Yersinia pestis, said Black. But that only led to another question: if the disease wasn’t genetically different, then why was the second pandemic so deadly?

In the past, that’s been attributed to the poor hygiene and close living quarters of people during the medieval period. But Black says that still doesn’t completely explain it, as others have lived in similarly bad conditions and not experienced such a rapid and deadly plague.

And there are other questions and misconceptions that remain over the Black Death.

Although the nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie” is widely thought to be about the plague, Black said that was an incorrect theory created decades after the song was first sung. And the popular notion that doctors wore beaks — supposedly to protect them from infection — during the Black Death was also wrong, Black said — the mask wasn’t invented for hundreds of years after the second pandemic.

A world map that is believed by some to have been compiled by Zheng He(1371-1435), China's most famous navigator.
About a decade ago, some scientists argued that the plague could have originated in East Asia over 2,600 years ago. The second pandemic could have started in China, they said, and been brought to Europe through the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that connects China to Europe. They also posited that the disease could have been brought to Africa by Zheng He, a Chinese explorer who traveled around the world in the 15th century, and who has drawn comparisons with Italian explorer Marco Polo.
But scientists have since found DNA evidence that the plague could have existed much further back than previously thought — there’s evidence it existed in Europe some 5,000 years ago.

And the idea that the second pandemic, the Black Death, could have started in China is unlikely, Black said.

DNA evidence extracted from the skeletons of medieval plague victims, and genetic analysis of the bacteria, suggest that the outbreak probably originated in central Asia, and moved east into China, and west into Europe via trade routes, said Black.

Even if the second pandemic had come from China, the Zheng He theory isn’t feasible — as Black points out, if Zheng He’s ship was carrying plague-infested rats, the whole crew would most likely be dead before they reached Africa.

China’s brush with modern plague

But when it comes to the third pandemic, there are fewer questions. This time, scientists are sure it originated in China in the 19th century, in what is now the southwestern province of Yunnan.

That bubonic plague outbreak made its way to Hong Kong — then a British colony — and from there, spread via trade routes to other parts of Asia and the United States.

“It’s undeniable that there was this pathway of transmission from China to the outside world,” said Jack Greatrex, who is working on a PhD at Hong Kong University about the history of the plague in Hong Kong.

Plague inspectors on a street of Hong Kong, around 1890.

That outbreak sparked the third global plague pandemic. But it was another plague outbreak that would help shape China’s future.

In the 1910s, there was another outbreak of plague in Manchuria — now northeast China. Thousands were killed by pneumonic plague, the most severe strand.

At the time, parts of China were occupied by foreign powers. Both the Russian and Japanese empires claimed they could manage the plague in Manchuria better than China, which showed China that disease could be a “security disaster” as it “legitimated colonial meddling,” said Miriam Gross, who studies public health in China and is a professor at the University of Oklahoma.

When the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong, came to power in 1949, he made disease control a priority. There were a number of reasons for that, but one was to show that China could handle its own affairs and didn’t need outside help, Gross said.

Chinese Cultural revolution poster about the so-called four pests: mosquitoes, rats, flies and sparrows.

So Mao put in place a number of measures to control the country’s rampant disease. One of his most famous and unusual proposals was the “Four Pests Campaign,” where Mao called for rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows to be eliminated. The rats were to be killed to control schistosomiasis, which is sometimes translated in English as “plague” although it is a different disease.

But the Four Pests Campaign led to the slaughter of millions of wildlife, which disrupted the country’s ecology and contributed to a mass famine during which millions of people died.

Ultimately, though, China did improve its overall health care across the country. Nevertheless, the plague — which had not been the main focus of the health push — has occasionally reared its ugly head. Yunnan was hit by another breakout between 1986 and 2005, and another case was diagnosed in Yunnan in 2016.

Why we’re so fascinated by the plague

Centuries on from the Black Death, people around the world continue to be transfixed by the plague in a way they’re not by other diseases.

These days, the plague is hardly the biggest health risk facing many countries. In 2017 alone, 219 million people caught malaria and 435,000 people died of the disease. By contrast, between 2010 and 2015, 584 people died of the plague worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
While the plague can be deadly if untreated, patients can easily be treated with antibiotics. After the plague diagnosis in China, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there was an extremely low risk of it spreading, state media China Daily reported.

But even if the disease isn’t a major threat for most countries, it still interests scientists and historians, who are continuing to make discoveries about the Black Death, despite it occurring hundreds of years ago.

Staff members from a local disease control center wear prevention clothes and masks before entering a plague surveillance lab in Sichuan Province of China in August 28, 2019.

Greatrex, from Hong Kong University, said the plague continued to be haunted by its history. “You hear of the plague, and instantly you think of Black Death which ravages Europe, it has that enormous historical baggage,” he said. “It’s where lots of our ideas about what it means to have an epidemic comes from.”

Black, the historian, said the fascination with the Black Death comes from a deep cultural memory in the Middle East and Europe, where the disease was written about for centuries.

However, he said other diseases — such as malaria and Ebola — should be of greater concern.

“It’s so central to Western identity,” he said. “It’s part of our past, where something like malaria, which is so much more devastating in the last century, it doesn’t interest us.”



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