Black Death-type bacteria found in trash

May 7, 2007

Bacteria from the same family as the Black Death was recently found inside British trash cans that are only emptied once every two weeks.

A health hazards study found among some of the trash cans collected every 14 days, a strain of bacteria eerily similar to that of the one that killed 75 million people during the Middle Ages, The Daily Mail said Monday.

The study found some of the bacteria found in the receptacles were from the exact family from which the yersinia pestis strain originated centuries ago.

Such troubling findings were included in the study's report, which suggested garbage collection in certain areas of Britain be increased to prevent potential health hazards.

"As we endeavor to drive the population to meet national and local recycling targets with a system of biweekly curbside collection, the potential biohazards associated should not be overlooked," the report from the University of Northampton's SITA Center said.

The Daily Mail said that the center recommended more stringent garbage collection procedures, as well as advancements in refuse containment and deposition.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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