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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 In-class Notes [Syphilis]

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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-1494 King Charles VIII of France invades Italy
-Outbreak of a new epidemic in Naples
-Following year mysterious affliction reported in England, France, Germany...
-Columbus return from the New World to Europe
-1530 (Pope Julius II) described Syphilis. Was contagious, happened when a man was with
unclean woman. Rash all over body
1) Intorudce to Europe by Christopher Columbus and his men upon returning from the new
2) Was endemic in Africa and made its way up to the Mediterranean, became wide spread and by
the 16th century, 25% of Europe was infected.
Origins of the term ‘Syphilis’
-Girolamo Fracastro (1478-1553)
-Venetian physician
-1530 epic - Syphilis sive morbus gallicus (“Syphilis or The French Disease”)
-Poem about a shepherd boy named Syphilus who insulted a God and was punished by that god
with a horrible disease
Other terms for Syphilis
-“The French Disase”, “Italian disease”, “Spanish disease”, “great pox”....etc depend on location
-John Hunter (1728 - 1993) Founder of sugergy
-Undertook flawed self-experimentation by injecting himself with material taken from a patient
with gonorrhea
-He developed the signs of syphilis and concluded the two infections were the same
-He eventually died of heart problem (tertiary syphilis)
-Philippe Licord (1799 - 1889)
-Demonstrated that gonorrhoea and syphilis were different disease
-Determined the 3 stages - primary, secondary, and tertiary - of syphilis
-Rudolph Virchow (1821 - 1902)
-Established that syphilis was spread through the body by blood, explaining the known
cardiovascular, muscular, and psychiatric complications.
-Historians believe that many famous people suffered from the symptoms of tertiary sphylis
such as, blindness, insanity and a shuffling walk (e.g. Hitler, Beethoven)
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
- a study to see what the disease does to human body by autopsy
-Mostly African American
-Racism and unethical behavior in medicine
Lecture 5 - Syphilis (the great pox) Feb 3, 2010
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