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Guide to Lecture 3

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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Plagues of antiquity (past)
Egyptian civilization – recent
Predominant diseases during hunter-gatherer society
Vector not required for transmission, goes through stages – egg, larva, etc.
Move to agriculture and the emergence of epidemic diseases
Disease occurred because of agricultural revolution
Emergence of cities – urban life
New diseases related to crowding
Plagues of Antiquity – 5000BC to 700AD
Characterized by parasites with long live transmission stages
oMove around from person to person contact
Pharaoh’s Plague
Dates back to 1900BC
First appeared in the Nile Valley of Egypt – agriculture and irrigation started
Created a situation that promoted certain diseases to occur
Snail fever or blood fluke disease
Transmission stages -> ingested by water
It wasn’t until 1799-1801 Europeans invade Egypt
Currently, 1 million deaths annually

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Plague of Athens
Vines and olive trees, production of wine and oil
Interested in shipping and commercial transactions
By the end of the dark ages, two powerful states emerged
In 431BC a war emerged between the two cities, Spartan forces were greater than
Athenians, outcome of the power was impacted by the plague of Athens
430BC – Route: Ethiopia, into Egypt, then Athens
High death rates including β€œPericles”
Identity of this plague- unknown to this day
The Roman Fever
Roman empire established in 27BC
Relied heavily on agriculture, changes to the composition of the soil (soil erosion,
deforestation), created environment for certain vectors
Malaria became prevalent
Thought to result from the β€˜bad air’
Epidemics every 5 to 8 years
Reduced life expectancy
The Antonine Plague
AD 166
Brought over from Mesopotamia
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