HLTB21H3 Lecture 3: week 3 - Plagues of Antiquity

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8 Dec 2011

Document Summary

Move to agriculture and the emergence of epidemic diseases. Characterised by parasites with long lived transmission stages. Nile valley of egypt agriculture and irrigation. Snail fever or blood fluke disease / endemic hematuria / schistosomiasis. Identity of this plague - unknown to this day. Identity of the plague not known likely to be the first record of smallpox. Originated in ethiopia, moved to egypt, then to the roman colonies of north africa. Raged europe, north africa and the middle east until 757. 1 million people died in 5 years period. By 600 ad, mortality at 100 m in western europe. Second pandemic (green): 1346 until 1352 black death". Blue third pandemic- 1860s in the yunnan region of china. Theory of contagion girolamo fracastoro (1478 1553) 1898 plague linked to fleas on rats. Infection - from the bite of a flea that previously fed on an infected rodent. Bacteria spreads to lymph nodes which swell (called bubo)