They changed the world.
It has happened that a terrible epidemic, which at different times have afflicted humanity had serious consequences for history. Although the most obvious effects of the disease became, of course, reducing population size and genetic diversity, sometimes epidemic brought a very unexpected effect. In this review, the historical facts about how the disease changed the world.
1. The influenza of 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles
The flu in 1918 (known as the “Spanish flu”) have devastated the world (died about 100 million people) and infected one third of the population. In addition, this strain has damaged the brain cells, thus affecting the ability to function, and could even lead to psychosis. In April 1919, Woodrow Wilson, who was at that time President of the United States, contracted the flu. It is worth noting that Wilson has played an important role in the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles, in particular, strongly disagreed with the Prime Minister of France Georges Clemenceau, who wanted to eliminate Germany. When Wilson was recovering from the flu, many officials from the White house noted the change in his behavior. The President looked very sluggish, tired and often expressed a strange idea. After that Wilson abandoned many of his ideas about the agreement, which untied the hands of Clemenceau. Many argue that the harshness of the Versailles Treaty led to disaster for Germany, have harmed the German economy and played a role that came to power Hitler. And all of this could be the result of illness of Woodrow Wilson.
2. Tuberculosis and resettlement to the West
During the tuberculosis outbreak of 1900 years, and the incidence at that time the theory of miasma, many believed that the disease was caused by bad air and pollution. The spread of this idea was promoted by Edward Trudeau, a physician from new York who was infected with tuberculosis, and after moving to the Adirondacks noticed an improvement in their condition. He began to spread rumors that a panacea steel fresh air and nature. Hearing this, thousands of Americans moved West to “get healthy.” People infected with tuberculosis, migrated in large numbers, along with pioneers and discoverers.
3. Cholera and the growth of epidemiology
In 1854 John snow and his discovery of contaminated water column, in fact, created an entire industry of medicine. Snow was a physician during the cholera epidemic in London, and studied how to spread the disease. He rejected the theory of miasma and watched as new foci of cholera began to appear among people who have used the same water column. In the end, he managed to find the infected pump handle, which helped to reduce the spread of infection during an epidemic. In addition, he was the first to use epidemiological methods to combat the spread of the disease.
4. Nematodes and economic development
Nematodes are parasites that live in the intestines of humans and can be transmitted through feces. Nematodes can cause a rash and diarrhea, and hookworm, which can lead to a much greater number of chronic symptoms. In the South during the early 1900’s, the infection with nematodes slowly rose to epidemic proportions and has led to the fact that a lot of people have experienced lethargy, iron deficiency and growth retardation. Over time, symptoms caused by nematodes, has led to the creation of stereotypes about southerners as lazy lethargic people. After this epidemic was discovered and efforts were made to prevent the spread of infection in the South a lot more children began to go to school and get an education, and adults began to work more actively.
5. The impact of tuberculosis on fashion
At the end of 1800-ies in the U.S. and Europe swept the epidemic of tuberculosis – an infectious lung disease. As the disease prevailed for a very long time and killed people very slowly, its symptoms began to be romanticized in the Victorian era. In Vogue pale, almost translucent skin and fragile anemic physique. Moreover, popular was the disease itself. When scientists learned more about the disease in 1900-ies, they had one of the first major campaigns in public health in the United States. Womens dresses and skirts became shorter to prevent picking up on a long robe tubercle bacilli in the street. Also started to shave beards and mustaches because of the possibility that bacteria can live in the hair on the face.
6. The bubonic plague and the Catholic Church
Bubonic plague came in the fourteenth century a handful of people, devastated half of Europe. Even the Catholic Church has lost considerable support of the parishioners, that died a great number of people. Many people asked the priests about why the plague kills so quickly, and what can be done to stop it. Because the Church was unable to give explanations or help, many people began to doubt his faith in God. This led to the fact that religion has come to exert less influence on people’s lives. As a result, it has made possible innovative inventions in medicine.
7. Tuberculosis and sanatoriums
Because of the TB epidemic continued in the end of 1800-ies, widely spread theory that the best cure are fresh air and nature. This led to the construction of resorts, which were designed in order to provide supportive care for TB patients and provide them rest and fresh air (no other treatment simply do not know). Patients lived in health resorts for many years, which has created a whole subculture. After discovered antibiotics, the demand for spas anymore.
8. Smallpox and Colombia exchange
Smallpox can be spread through contact with bodily fluids or contaminated objects. Today it is the only mass disease, which managed to win. In 1500-ies, during the Columbian exchange between Europe and the New world smallpox almost completely destroyed the native Americans, killing up to 90 percent of the local population. Because the indigenous population had no immunity to diseases that the Europeans brought with them was destroyed the entire civilization, and with them culture, art forms and languages that are now lost forever.
9. Yellow fever and the Louisiana purchase
Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes that live in tropical climate. In the early 1800s years this disease has played a very important role in the Louisiana purchase, because it weakened the French army. Napoleon at that time planned to extend the influence of France around the world. French troops were stationed in Haiti when there was the uprising of Haitian slaves, who were able to win the French professional soldiers. This was due to the fact that a large part of the French troops were sick with yellow fever and was unable to fight back. Eventually Napoleon sold to the United States French territory in North America (2.1 million square kilometers).
1. The Athenian plague
The Athenian plague – a terrible disease that struck in 400 BC Athens, killing a quarter of the population of this city. Modern scholars believe that this disease could be smallpox or typhus. The plague claimed the life of Pericles, the leader of the Athenians, which had a negative the battle of Athens with Sparta in the Peloponnesian war. Another factor in the defeat of Athens was a significant decrease in population because of the plague of Athens.
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