Medicine: The Black Death Is Here

All over the West last week members of the U.S. Public Health Service and State agencies shot rabbits and ground squirrels, trapped mice, dug dead prairie dogs from their burrows. They took their catches in tight-woven bags to trucks outfitted as laboratories, parked in the shadows of mountains. They combed the rodents for fleas, then slit the carcasses to remove certain viscera and tissues. In many viscera the bacteriologists found what they feared would be there: the oval bacteria of Pasteurella pestis—the plague, the Black Death.

Their researches highlight an ominous fact; the U.S....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!