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Lecture 2

ANTC68H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Syndemic, Drug Resistance, Inq Mobile


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTC68H3
Professor
R Song
Lecture
2

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ANTC68 Lecture 2: Epidemics in Human History
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Important Challenges
-are health implications feasible to a specific infrastruct./cult. context (you can throw money at
a problem but if there is no means for transport. or sanitation/clean water - sometimes the basic
things have to be addressed first) e.g. Ebola - infrastructure is poor in parts of Africa so isolation
and control rooms and all the quarantine we expect in N.A. is not feasible there; money needs
to go to basic hygiene: more gloves/masks, bleaches, hand sanitizer, more beds
Biocult. Anthro. and Epidemics
-when biocult. anthro’s see epidemics they see evidence of some sort of adaptive problem:
humans are good at adapting cult./phys./bio. generally
-when we see flare-ups/epidemics/incidence cases go up - something changed n the enviro.
for humans to adapt to that enviro. b/c before they were adapting well before
Environment
-biotic: living; includes food, prey, predators and the pathogens themselves - the adaptability
and behav. of them
-phys. enviro.: non-living phys. enviro. - climate, water, sunshine, natural disasters that test
human commun’s abil. to adapt
-soc./cult. enviro.: man-made, tech., interrelat’s w/ e/o, pop. dynamics
-all three interact with our genetics/innate bio. and physio. of ourselves - determine our
phenotype/overall end health status
Infectious Disease and Human History
-our disease experiences changed not b/c genetics have changed but b/c of interact. w/ e/o
and w/ enviro.
-group size/dynamics etc. have changed:
-at first hunter gatherers using diff. resources at diff. times of the year, eating seasonally
with feast and famine periods, very mobile, small groups of people; small group and moving
around limited our disease interact’s and disease experience b/c there are less people to
interact with even if we’re meeting more pathogens they’re not very virulent
-earliest communities in the near east (Turke/Iraq/iran): farmers/Neolithic
evolution/agriculturalists/first epidemiologic transition; a/f agric. there is more communicable
diseases, large amount of peoples will die from these vs. say yaws or chicken pox community
size increase, diseases that get selected for over time are infectious, and can cause mortality
(crowd diseases: highly infect., acute disease, causing morbidity but also large morality)
*zoonosis: animal bourne diseases; helman: worms, yaws: related to syphilis but a skin
condition - these die off with the small community so that diseases that survive are the low-
virulent ones that don’t kill but are chronic
Epi. Transitions and Ineq.
-first: 10-15 thous. years ago marked by cult. event: adop. of agric. through grains and plant
foods and domest. animals/farming controlling the prod. of nature and animals = much more
stable food supply
-settlements now b/c they have to farm spots; now they have more kids b/c you’re stationary,
have more food to feed them, need them to help n farming
-changes happen to the landscape now e.g. digging huge canals for irrigat.; now coming into
contact w/ new ecosystems and thus new diseases
The First Epi. Transition
-other stationary groups you will meet up with through trade for example and for longer
periods; whereas before you wouldn’t stay long and were always moving
-stratification begins (occupant.); everyone now has diff. jobs and some get more prioritized
than others
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