Lecture 2 Notes.docx

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Published on 20 Aug 2012
School
UTSC
Department
Health Studies
Course
HLTB21H3
Introduction
During hunter-gatherer society predominant diseases were those with high transmission
rates, macro parasitic diseases (did not require vectors for transmission), and sexually
transmitted diseases
With move to agriculture - conditions favoured the emergence of epidemic diseases
Emergence of cities (technology) - urban life; Uruk in Mesopotamia (3500 BC)
Plagues of Antiquity
Know existance from fossil records
5000 BC to 700 AD
Characterised by parasites with long lived transmission stages (e.g. eggs, larva, ...)
Person to person contact from population growth.
The Pharaoh’s Plague
Evidence that it dates back to 1900 BC
Thought to first have appeared in the Nile Valley of Egypt (overflooding the nile which helped
people cultivate food)
Emerge from Agriculture, the inundation of the Nile, eventually irrigation (seasonal) created
favourable conditions that promoted the spread of the disease
Disease now known as snail fever or blood fluke disease / endemic hematuria /
schistosomiasis: transmitted dermal from snails due to wet environment
European invasion of Egypt (1799 1801) resulted in the first European experience with the
disease
Symptoms: swelling abdomin, children disease, regular bathing in contaminated water, using
contaminated water in general
The Plague of Athens
430 BC, epidemic started in Ethiopia, moved into Egypt, and was brought by ships to Athens (not
a lot of crop area, but grew oil and wines rich, wealthy and built strong naval (boats)
The plague was blamed for the defeat of the Athens by the Spartans in a war that started in 431
BC and lasted 27 years
Almost one fourth of Athenians died including their leader ``Pericles``
Identity of this plague is unknown to this day
The Roman Fever
Roman Empire was established 27 BC - series of colonies developed
Vast trade network emerged in empire along with diseases
Malaria became prevalent
Thought to result from the ‘bad air’ due to vapors released from marshes in the summer
Epidemics occurred every 5 to 8 years
In some areas, life expectancy was
reduced to 20 years (compared to
40 - 50 years)
The Antonine plague
AD 166 - brought to the Roman Empire by Roman troops from Mesopotamia along with
development
Made its way to Europe
Symptoms: high fever, inflammation of the mouth and throat, thirst, diarrhea, postules that
appeared after 9 days
Identity of the plague not known likely to be the first record of smallpox
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Document Summary

During hunter-gatherer society predominant diseases were those with high transmission rates, macro parasitic diseases (did not require vectors for transmission), and sexually transmitted diseases. With move to agriculture - conditions favoured the emergence of epidemic diseases. Emergence of cities (technology) - urban life; uruk in mesopotamia (3500 bc) Characterised by parasites with long lived transmission stages (e. g. eggs, larva, ) Person to person contact from population growth. Evidence that it dates back to 1900 bc. Thought to first have appeared in the nile valley of egypt (overflooding the nile which helped people cultivate food) Emerge from agriculture, the inundation of the nile, eventually irrigation (seasonal) created favourable conditions that promoted the spread of the disease. Disease now known as snail fever or blood fluke disease / endemic hematuria / schistosomiasis: transmitted dermal from snails due to wet environment. European invasion of egypt (1799 1801) resulted in the first european experience with the disease.

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