Plagued by doubt
TV & Satellite Week|November 14, 2020
Did fleas on rats really spread the Great Plague of 1665?
IAN MACEWAN, ELAINE REILLY, STEVEN PERKINS

The word ‘unprecedented’ has been bandied about a lot during the pandemic. However, as a new three-part series on Channel 5 reminds us this week, this isn’t the first time the UK has been ravaged by a deadly disease.

Presented by archaeologist Raksha Dave, journalist John Sergeant, and medic Xand van Tulleken, The Great Plague, showing across three consecutive nights, looks back at the deadly 17th-century epidemic of bubonic plague in the capital and beyond. The series tracks its progress, examines the symptoms and the attempts made to contain the disease, and discovers why infection rates differed greatly between rich and poor.

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