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Lecture 5

PHSC 401 Lecture 5: Great Pox

Public Health Science
Course Code
PHSC 401

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PHSC401: The Great Pox 2/13/17
Greece: birth of naturalistic explanations
o Humoralism: balance, imbalance causes disease/illness
o Church: mix of natural/supernatural
o Black Death: challenge to humoral model, social order
Name two public health innovations associated with the Black Death/plague?
o Quarantine
o Pest houses
o Health magistrates
What is a lazaretto?
o A quarantine building/hospital
What is the renaissance, when did it happen?
o Humanistic revival in the arts, literature, learning, etc. in the 14th century to 17th century
New Diseases: Challenge to humoral model
Humoral Model:
o Most diseases arise internally, from imbalance
o External factors are secondary:
Spiritual, astrological, seasonal, meteorological, and other conditions in
immediate environment
Combine with internal factors in non-specific ways, often at distance by
ifluee rather tha otat
Responses to new diseases:
o Truly no new diseases: ancients knew about them
Ancient texts w/ descriptions that fit novel conditions
o Ne diseases: aiets did’t ko aout the, ut proided ethods to uderstad
Ancient texts to identify these methods: empiricism, case studies
People trusted the ancients
Great Pox:
Caused a rethink of classical/medieval models of disease and treatment
o Contemporary in its onset w/ plague
o Transmitted from person to person
Columbian Exchange: what was transmitted from old world to new
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