INTST101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Dwarfism, Millennium Development Goals, Scrapie

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CHAPTER 9: HEALTH
Some developing countries' citizens have lifespans longer than of the United States' despite
the gap in wealth, power, and technology
oHealth is linked to broader issues of politics and policy
Western culture: health defined by medicine
Ex. Costa Rica doesn’t have the US wealth/technology but its citizens have a
greater lifespan
oHealth is defined in different ways
oHow nations perceive health issues depends on cultural backgrounds (big impact on
how govt ensures citizen’s health)
How human accidentally give rise to/amplify diseases (ex BSE)
Multiple reasons for the infectious diseases returning:
1. Emerging diseases sprang from agricultural practices (health conditions are related to
food)
Ex. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)/mad cow diseases: disease that
attacked the brain
First appeared in Britain in mid 1980s
No known treatments, and the appearance was a mystery
First victims of mad cow disease in Europe were recipients of growth hormone
for pituitary dwarfism
Kuru (the only known outbreak of a similar disorder): Fore people of New
Guinea acquired disease in a ritual cannibalism where they consumed the
brains of their dead
Outbreak vanished when authorities suppressed cannibalism among fore
people LOL
In both Britain and New Guinea, cannibalism was apparently the key to the
emergence of the diseases
Current theory why BSE spread
BSE is spread by a prion: mutant protein that contains no DNA
oMost likely spread throughout European herds because slaughtered animals were
being processed into cow’s food
oCattle had been infected by scrapie agent in feed additives, forcing them to eat
meat and bone meals (MBMs) (cannibalism) made from slaughterhouse and
processed plant waste
Cows didn’t like it, but soon accepted it when small quantities were mixed in
with their food
Cows were made into involuntary cannibals (reason this epidemic became
possible)
Cows were drooling, mad, quivering and dragged to the slaughterhouse to be
fed to humans
2. Other aspects of modern agriculture facilitate the spread of diseases
Massive quantities of antibiotics are fed to livestock and chickens
oIncrease problem of antibiotic resistance
Ex. Illness called SARS from China
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oBegan when cats were housed in small cages and buyers would purchase them
as food
Corporations raise chickens in dense populations of tens of thousands of birds to a
building
3. Adoption of High-fructose corn syrup (1970s): key step in global diabetes epidemic
Non-communicable disease
oObesity
oCardiovascular disease
oInfluenced by lifestyles
1. Smoking
2. Diet
4. Infectious diseases emerged because of evolution
Antibiotics were extremely effective for a decade
oWith misuse and time, resistant strains on bacteria
Iatrogenic disease: disease created by modern medicine itself
oBSE from growth hormone for dwarfism
oHIV retrovirus
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus, and creates AIDS (Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
oHIV is a descendent of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), a disease that
infects primates
oSIV could have been transformed into a pathogenic form that affects humans
through vaccine needles or blood transfusion
oHuman behaviour such as saving leftover medicine to self-treat other illnesses can
aggravate the problem
5. New diseases emerged because of ongoing changes to the earth’s environment
(many caused by humans)
Kyasanur Forest Diseases (KFD): form of tick-borne encephalitis, emerged in South
India in the late 1950s
Changes in forest cover led to outbreak
the first instance of the epidemic followed the construction of a cashew plantation
omonkeys lose their homes in the natural forest, thus, spend more time on the
ground where they become increasingly exposed to the vector
Structural inequities (rules of the world giving rise/sustaining global health inequities)
(Ex. Indonesia and influenza vaccines, Sweet Wormwood, artemisinin)
1. Sweet Wormwood (plant)/Artemisia annua: breakthrough treatment for malaria
Standard treatment for malaria
Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is giving major grants to poor
countries to purchase this medication while asking these countries to move away
from some older drugs
GOOD THINGS FROM TREATMENT
Helped return malaria as a treatable disorder
Created an industry (large amounts of Sweet wormwood are needed to produce the
drug)
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