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Chapter 3

Six Plagues of Antiquity and The Black Death -Ch.3 and 4.docx

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Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Prashanthan Sep/20/2012 Six Plagues of Antiquity and The Black Death Ch.3  As humans changed their way of life they’re relationship with infectious diseases became altered.  A population that had little or no exposure to new infections led to a time where epidemics were nonexistent.  Only diseases with high transmission rates only existed such as STD’s , and macro parasitic diseases  Agriculture contributed to the decline in the human health.  Urban health enhanced the transmission of certain diseases through air/water by vectors such as snails, mosquitoes, and flies. Blood Flukes Disease  Aka snail fever involves feces, urine, snails, and a flatworm  Today it is called schictomiasis or billarzia  Suspicions include humans aqquired the disease by eating infected snails or by drinking water infected by larvae  The piling up of egg blocks in the blood strea m results in death (read pg 49-53 for a better explanation) The plague of Athens  The inhabitants of the Nile/Tigris/Euphrates rivers were healthy but not immune to the diseases that were endemic to the region  The Peloponnesian war resulted in refugees from the country side to reside in Athens which overcrowded the city and an epidemic that was brought over from Egypt resulted in an epidemic that lasted 2 years killed one fourth of the Athenian population The Roman fever  the malaria epidemic began affected Egyptians 3000 years ago spreading from the Euphrates/ Tigris river areas  There are 2 kinds of malaria one with recurrent fevers every third day and another with fevers every 4 days which are called Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium malariae  The malaria then spread to Europe in and from that time onwards it plagued the Romans  When the Greeks were defeated, Rome became the master of the Italian peninsula, whose economy was based on its imports .  With such a large trading network the risk of infection increased causing the devastation of the Roman empire through malaria. For almost 2000 years rome was the center of Roman Fever  The epidemic returned every 5 to 8 years. Prashanthan Sep/20/2012  In some places life expectancy was only 20 years, whereas in places where it was absent life expectancy was as high as 40-50 years of age Plagues and the rise of Christianity  An epidemic- probably smallpox- struck the city in 65AD it was probably brought by roman troops campaigning in Mesopotamia, mortality was high and in some places half the population died.  Although Jesus preached for 3 years in Palestine, his many disciples spread across the Roman Empire preaching the pagan population.  The Christians were often blamed for the plagues in the area; however Christianity preached the care for the sick as a religious duty. Those who were helped felt gratitude and accepted the faith as their own which strengthened the Christian churches and spread the religion until eventually the Roman Emperor converted too. The Antonine Plague  Warlike people by the name of Huns marched south on horseback from Mongolia bringing new diseases to the Roman Empire but other infections such as the roman fever rebuffed them.  The emperor at t
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