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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Lecture 1 Plagues and People -Professor C. Barakat-Haddad Office BV 500, 8-10am Wednesdays -Considers the origins, antiquity and impact of plagues on human societies from cultural, evolutionary, and ecological perspectives. -Aim: to understand why plagues emerge and how their occurrence is intimately linked to behaviour -Human activities have a huge impact on plagues and its useful to understand the cause and effect of these issues -Goal: to provide insight into the struggles of attaining disease control and challenges of forecasting emerging plagues -What causes the diseases, how are they classified and general information about plagues -What major effect did they have, understanding the effects of these plagues while looking at different perspectives, emerging factor of certain plagues Lecture 2- plagues Parasites organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism and that does not contribute to the survival of its host, only considered parasites if it inflects harm Virus ultimate micro-parasite smaller than bacteria; neither cells not organisms; can only reproduce within their host Macroparasites composed of many cells; does not multiply in host, instead cycles through transmission stageseggs and larvaewhich pass into the external environment, their size differs Transmission - movement of a parasite from host to host, sharing cups, needles Incubation period the interval of time required for development of a disease, between exposure and development of disease, shows symptoms/signs at the end of the period, Latent period - seemingly inactive period between exposure to an infection and subsequent illness, after which disease may occur, dormancy period Parasite virulence - capacity of a parasite to cause disease Zoonotic infections - animal infections that can be transmitted to humans 3 components that must be present for a disease to occur, Host- immunity, genetics and nutrition, eg. person Agent- Biological, physical, chemical , psychosocial, rate of growth, persistence, eg. Bacterium. Environment- promote exposure, eg.contaminated water - Direct occurs through direct contact, e.g. from person to person - Indirect through a common route / vector, e.g. contaminated air / water, mosquito Portal of entry: Dermal through the skin, e.g. fungi Ingestion through the mouth, e.g. E.coli in water Inhalation during respiration, e.g. particulate matter Exposure without infection- typhoid Mary, Mary Mellon, 1906, became cook for wealthy New York Banker, she was actually a carrier of Typhoid germ, no infection, signs/symptoms, eventually people go stick, sanitary expert was hired and deduced that she was a carrier of typhoid virus, 3 years in confinement, was released, lost track of where she went, posed as a different person, Mrs.Brown, maternity hospital, she was a cook, went to 25 differnt doctors/nurses until people recognized her, put her away for 23 yeras and died in confinement, after her death New York State stated that other people were also under surveillance, sub-clinical diseases, Rabies affects central nervous system, transmitted through saliva, severe to fatal, Measles common skin rash, transmitted from Tuberculosis infectious disease that most commonly attacks the lungs Three main types Endemic usual occurrence of a given disease within a given geographical area Epidemic occurrence of a disease in excess of normal expectancy in a defined region Pandemic worldwide epidemic Herd immunity resistance of a group to an attack by a disease to which a large proportion of the members are immune; important for immunization programs For measles estimate that 94% of the population must be immune Incubation period interval from receipt of infection to the time of onset of clinical illness Attack rate ratio of the number of people at risk in whom a certain illness develops to the total number of people at risk In the past, all disease outbreaks were referred to as plagues Derived from Latin word plaga which means to strike a blow that wounds. Today, we refer to such a disease outbreak as an epidemic, comes from Greek word epi (among) and demos (the people). Acceptable definition of plague: highly infectious, usually fatal epidemic disease. Plague is a serious, potentially life-threatening infectious disease that is usually transmitted to humans by the bites of rodent fleas, comes from medical definition Belief that our ancestors hunter-gatherers were healthy Throughout human history, a lot of changes to lifestyle and diets, ancestors were believed to live up to 18-23 age, vegetarians only, eventually parasites increased however life expectancy also increased, human population remained really small People started to evolve and change, settled to one place, increase of terms in diseases, but since population was small, nothing really happened, birth rates were fairly low 1750- 800 million people in world, since then, it has grown, 2000 6 billion mark, currently is around 6.6 billion. Technological growth and tools Agricultural growth- domesticate plants and animals, change in climate that favoured agriculture, surplus of food, people settled, feces on soil, increased transmission of certain diseases, animals brought certain parasites to cross species barrier and affect surroundings Mesopotamia- current Iraq, undisputed first city in the world Transportation has increased over the years, efficiency of transporation is fairly modern factor that has impacted the diseases worldwide, advances of technological + scientific advances, Legionnaires Disease- 1976, veteran ww2, Peter Turner, attending convention in Philedelphia, few days later died, 200 people attended, 33 died, Legionnella, people who spent a lot of time in lobby contracted the bacteria and died, this legionnaire bacteria likes to live in misty conditions Toxic shock syndrome- traced to UCLU teach assistant, Mary Benton, died at age 24, linked to certain type of tampon with absorbency, favourable environment for that bacteria to grow, cost her life SARS pandemic- efficiency of transportation, Chinese medical doctor, HK to attend rd th wedding, nurse died 3 , 4 was Chinese businessman who brought to Canada, 800 death in 27 countries, high varilance, easy to transport because of efficiency of transportation Predicting epidemics- pretty much impossible, transportation has made it easy to transmit bacteria throughout the world, herd immunity has big impact, Lecture 3- Plagues Page 270-278, assigned reading for tuberculosis Internet Explorer for online quizzes to avoid problems Predominant diseases during hunter-gatherer society
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