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Questions tagged [disease]

Questions related to the history of medical or botanical abnormal conditions which are not due to injuries, that negatively affect living organisms.

12
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1answer
210 views

Do we know anything in detail about the effect of the black death on Sub-Saharan Africa?

When I was in school 20-odd years ago, historians were still unsure about whether or not the black death traveled through Sub-Saharan Africa to any large degree, in large part because the vector (...
-4
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1answer
132 views

Are there any famous people who died from cancer before 1800? [closed]

Cancer was described by the ancient Egyptians by 1600 BC and, much later, by Hippocrates and then Celsus during the early empire. Cases were diagnosed but there is no mention of people who were famous....
5
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1answer
297 views

When was the deadliest year in human history in absolute terms?

The global mortality rate has been falling for quite some time. It's gone down from about 17.7 deaths per 1000 people in 1960, to 7.7 in 2016. Less discussed is absolute mortality, which I've ...
2
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2answers
352 views

Did nutmeg really prevent infections during the Bubonic Plague?

Not sure if this comes under biology or history. Years ago, a chemistry professor gave us a short lesson on the history of nutmeg. He said, the priests in Europe wore pouches around their neck ...
4
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3answers
265 views

Smallpox in the New World - were there efforts made in the 19th century to inoculate the natives?

I live in British Columbia and it is well known that, in the late 19th century, there was a massive crash of our Indian population. Up to 90% in some particularly unfortunate areas (Haida Gwaii, for ...
5
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1answer
233 views

When were the first deaths from the Spanish Flu Pandemic?

I've found information about the first newspaper articles featuring information about the Spanish Flu Pandemic from this link but one of the quotations from the newspaper says: “The epidemic is of ...
5
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1answer
604 views

How did England react to the arrival of the Black Death?

For an assignment, I need to be studying the Black Plague, and different people's reactions to it. I know about England when the Black Plague hit it. However, were people in England aware of the fact ...
21
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2answers
4k views

Did germophobia exist in classical antiquity?

I know nothing of the cleaning habits of the Greeks, but about Rome Mary Beard (2015) says that doctors knew that going to the public baths with an open wound would likely result in gangrene, so it ...
6
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1answer
160 views

What did people die of in 1665 London?

Wikipedia has an example Bill of Mortality from 1665, listing the causes of death for the London area. Many of the terms in it are unfamiliar, though, eg. "Kings Evill", "Rupture", "Livergrown". In ...
12
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2answers
726 views

Why did physicians recommend curing the “dancing plague” with more dancing?

The Dancing Plague of 1518 was an event in which nearly 400 people in Strasbourg danced for days on end, some even dying of exhaustion or other causes. One section of the Wikipedia article has me ...
34
votes
2answers
8k views

‘Avoid sleeping on your back’ & ‘breathe in toilet smells’ were seen as precautions against the Black Death. Why did doctors think these would work?

Browsing a school book, Medieval Britain by Brenda Williams, I came across three precautions recommended by doctors to help people avoid going down with the plague. These were: cover windows avoid ...
8
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2answers
513 views

Did the dramatic improvement in survival rates of scurvy in the Royal Navy significantly affect British port cities?

I've been reading about James Lind and scurvy in the Royal Navy, and how, through the efforts of Lind and others, survival rates improved dramatically after the introduction of orange/lemon juice, ...
6
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1answer
413 views

To what extent did the 1793 yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia influence the process of relocating the capital to Washington DC in 1800?

Yellow fever outbreaks were frequent in the southern US in the late C18th. The 1793 Philadelphia epidemic was one of the most severe outbreaks of infectious disease in US history, killing 10% of the ...
10
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1answer
216 views

What was the penalty for disobeying flu safety regulations in the 1918 epidemic?

I've been researching the 1918 flu epidemic and its effects in Oregon. Businesses had to close at 3:30, flu masks had to be worn, public gatherings were prohibited, and households infected with the ...
18
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2answers
1k views

What were the effects of the Black Death in the Muslim world?

What were the effects of The Black Death in the Muslim world? Both Wikpedia's page on The Black Death's migration and The Black Death have information regarding the effects of Black Death in the ...
3
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1answer
508 views

When was it considered fact that rats caused the Black Death?

Although Numerous sources now consider other factors or dismiss the idea that the Black Death was carried by rats, the CDC continues this claim. That issue is not not my interest, but a historical ...
10
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4answers
1k views

How was the Black Death stopped?

I came to understand that the Black Death was transmitted through rats. But I can't find how it ended. Was it the lack of people and a reduction of the trading system between countries that made it ...
5
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2answers
207 views

Has scurvy occurred on land outside the Russian Far East?

James Gibson's "Feeding the Russian Fur Trade" mentions episodes of scurvy occurring during the expansion into the Russian Far East (Northern Siberia and Okhostk Seaboard). These lands were inhabited, ...
5
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1answer
423 views

Impact of the spread of disease from non-Europeans to virgin populations in the Old World

It is well known that Europeans brought a host of different diseases to the Americas. This led to catastrophic declines in the indigenous populations. I am looking for documentation of non-Europeans ...
-3
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3answers
513 views

Why did leaders seem to overlook diseases in their campaigns?

During military campaigns in the 19th century many soldiers died of diseases. Why did the military leaders not seem to pay as much attention to the importance of supply to the army? Let me give some ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Has a plague ever caused a civilization to collapse?

It is a fairly common trope in apocalyptic fiction to imagine a plague to cause modern civilization to completely collapse. (c.f. Stephen King's "The Stand" ). But has this ever actually happened in ...
-2
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1answer
385 views

Was Black Death a weaponised disease? [closed]

There has been many attacks/accidents involving diseases that have been purposefully used with a sole purpose to kill people. In history there has been many examples of mass deaths caused by an ...
3
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1answer
159 views

Why was there a perceived high rate of AIDS infection among Haitians?

In the early days of AIDS, the disease was referred to by the CDC as the 4H disease, due to their high infection among hemophiliacs, homosexuals, heroin users, and Haitians. The first three groups are ...
98
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7answers
38k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
2
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0answers
171 views

Was malaria worse on Hainan Island than elsewhere in south China?

I’m reading William Skinner’s “Chinese Society in Thailand” (1957). He notes that of the various speech-groups from different parts of south China that came to live in Siam, the Hainanese were one of ...
6
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4answers
10k views

When was acne first recorded in human history and how did it develop?

When was acne first recorded in human history? I have seen some youtube videos from Japan people who said that acne was non-existing many years ago (in Japan) but now it is prevalent. Are there any ...
92
votes
7answers
155k views

Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

The featured image of the Wikipedia page for the Black Death is a gif showing the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe. There are a few places where the plague never spread to, including the ...
2
votes
0answers
370 views

Historical Death Toll due to Disease [closed]

I am trying to calculate the number of deaths due to pestilence from 1750-1800,1800-1850,1850-1900,1900-1950,1950-2000, and 2000-2014. Wikipedia has good information on many: http://en.wikipedia.org/...
20
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2answers
24k views

Is there any evidence of STD's in ancient times?

Are there any ancient texts that show or imply that their authors knew that certain diseases were spread through sexual activity? It seems like sexual contagion was recognized in the 16th century ...
1
vote
1answer
760 views

What are some of the influences of the Black Plague and its aftermath on the period of Renaissance? [closed]

The period of Renaissance in Europe kicked off after the Black Plague started disappearing. How did the the plague help in igniting the fire of rebirth?
4
votes
2answers
146 views

How are historical epidemiological studies done?

While growing up we were told in school that plagues, carried over by the Europeans, decimated the Native American population. We were also taught about the black plague in Europe and a few other ...
6
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2answers
658 views

Is there support for the theory that the 1918 influenza resulted from churning up microbe-laden French soil?

Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 contains the following: In the first years of the peace, fresh afflictions fell on European society: the influenza epidemic (...
2
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1answer
274 views

When is the first recorded plague?

In history there have been many accounts of plague, either from disease, famine, or war. When was the first ever plague? I'm writing a paper on the history of medicines and I'm trying to figure out ...
12
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2answers
2k views

How was King Henry VIII able to get syphilis?

How did King Henry VIII get this disease when syphilis was a disease originating from the Americas?
5
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1answer
1k views

When did the incident happen when bounty on rats led people to farm rats?

Sorry for the title but don't know how to phrase it exactly. I once read an article about a period (in France I think but I'm not sure) when the cities were growing and people strted to have issues ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

Early instances of bacteriological warfare

Via The Straight Dope, I came across this page which claims that Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the Brits in America seriously considered distributing blankets infected with small-pox to ...
8
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1answer
351 views

1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic - Experience

From the spring of 1918 to the early months of 1919, the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the world, killing an estimated 50 million to 100 million people. It came in three waves, with the last wave ...
7
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3answers
832 views

Plagues in Pre-European Americas?

Are there any historical accounts that those living in the Americas encountered a plague or plagues that proved to be as devastating on the population as that of the Bubonic (black) plague in Europe? ...