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120

Europeans were introduced to at least one important disease from the Americas (syphilis), but far more Old World pathogens were introduced to the Americas than vice versa. There are several reasons for this imbalance. European agriculturalists lived in closer proximity to disease vectors than did most Native Americans. A number of important diseases started ...


104

Poland wasn't actually "spared", it was merely less affected than the rest of Europe. That graphic is incorrect (or rather, incomplete), since a substantial number of both Poland and Milan's population did in fact die of the plague. Their death rates were only "low" in comparison to the rest of Europe - if it happened today, it would be horrifying to us. ...


41

This cannot be answered comprehensively here. But a few key points might be revealed. The precautions mentioned in the question are by far not the only ones that were given, just mere examples. At the time, medical and lay authorities throughout Europe sought to give rational explanations for the virulent plague, which was clearly contagious. They issued ...


40

Several good answers have already been suggested, but there are a few very important points that are worth mentioning: Native Americans were badly unprepared for the emergence of epidemic disease among their populations, both genetically and culturally. According to this article from 2002, there was a major genetic component to it: far less immune system ...


33

What is germaphobia? It's an obsession, it "is a pathological fear of contamination and germs. " If we look for something similar in antiquity we just need to turn that onto its feet: this is about purity or impurity. Purity rules! As well for Greeks as for Romans also. The classical contribution to concepts of contagion and infection thus related ...


29

When Europeans discovered Americas they also imported plagues. These plagues were one factor of the collapse of the pre-columbian cultures. http://www.examiner.com/article/apocalypic-mysterious-plague-killed-millions-of-native-americans-the-1500s : The deaths of somewhere between 40 and 100 million people during a relatively short span of time was not ...


29

tl; dr At least some of the archers who fought at the Battle of Agincourt almost were almost certainly suffering from dysentery contracted at Harfleur. However, most of the worst affected had been shipped home to England before Henry left Harfleur for Calais. Is there any evidence in the chronicles of the time that some or most of the English & ...


26

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


25

There are three types of plague, Pneumonic, Bubonic, and Septicemic all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. People infected by fleas get the bubonic form of the plague. However, if the bacteria reaches the lungs, it becomes pneumonic plague which is more virulent spreading via person to person by coughing then no rats are needed since the ...


18

The currently accepted theory for this is that he didn't. Although there is some debate as to what his exact problem was, it doesn't appear to have been Syphilis. The theory that Henry suffered from syphilis has been dismissed by most historians. A more recent theory suggests that Henry's medical symptoms are characteristic of untreated Type II ...


18

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two; a full 55 years before Henry died in 1547. Henry was not known for his chaste ways, so it is quite conceivable that he would have been an early contractor of a new venereal disease. The most recent excavations at Pompeii have revealed remains two twin teen-aged sisters, apparently in a ...


13

Certainly some diseases are of New World origin. The Old World had more diseases and more deadly diseases simply because the population was much greater and in certain place more concentrated. It is likely that more New World natives were killed by disease than by violence. However, this is just as true in the Old World: many more have died of disease than ...


11

The answer to this is vast. Simply put, the mix of devastation to the population and the fact that we started to, as @noel1 put it, quarantine people helped. There is also a suspicion that that the bacterium killed off those people that were most susceptible to the plague, leaving those who were naturally immune or in better health. So between reduced ...


11

Obsessive compulsive disorders do not exist in a vacuum - you have to put them in their context. Mysophobia is stereotyped as excessively washing hands today, but it is not intrinsically about hand washing. It just so happens that in the modern world, clean flowing water and hand sanitisers are easily available for cleansing your hands of real or imagined ...


10

SHORT ANSWER The Black Death had a similarly devastating effect on the Muslim world as it did in Europe. Though we are less sure of the mortality rate compared to Europe, it was probably a little lower. The short-term effects described by contemporary and near-contemporary sources speak of labour shortages, unharvested crops, declining morals, a fear of ...


10

Theories about the causes and cures of dancing mania John Waller, Dancing Plague: The Strange, True Story of an Extraordinary Illness (2009) argues that the Strasbourg dancers were exhibiting extreme penitent behavior: The people of Strasbourg danced in their misery due to an unquestioning belief in the wrath of God and His holy saints: it was a ...


9

I'd say the syphilis was was quite a deadly illness contacted from the Native Americans. They were immune to it (wonder if they still are…). Although it is not 100 % historically proved that the syphilis originated from the New World, it started spreading like crazy after its discovery.


9

Acne has always been with us. According to "The Historic Panorama of Acne Vulgaris," Pharaohs had acne: Some Egyptian writings have mentioned that Pharaohs suffered from acne and had also made efforts to resolve it. Many stories and superstitious beliefs were related to the cause, clinical presentation and treatment of the acne breakouts. Those ...


9

I am not entirely sure of what you're question is but maybe this answer will clarify from a French Wiki page: Researchers working in Asia during the "Third Pandemic" identified plague vectors and the plague bacillus. In 1894, in Hong Kong, Swiss-born French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin isolated the responsible bacterium (Yersinia pestis) and determined ...


9

This video details how the Black plague effected Egypt with a special focus on the economy. You can skip through the first 14 minutes. The nice thing here is that this a lecture by Stuart Borsch, Assistant Professor in History Department at Assumption College, and he gives primary source references to his points. http://www.medievalists.net/2013/10/the-...


9

It would be very difficult to isolate the impact of the additional scurvy "survivors" given that it would be swamped by the overall growth of urban populations in Britain in the same period (thanks to general improvements in public health and wealth). However, it's possible to look at the general points raised in the question. It's probably a mistake to ...


9

King's evil was an archaic term for scrofula, or Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis Rupture was usually a hernia, but could also be a burst blood vessel. Livergrowne was just an enlarged liver. There is a really handy website for understanding Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death. I often recommend it to genealogists who are confused by these ...


9

This is impossible to state with any certainty because: The exact path of the "Spanish" Flu virus in its early stages is unknown; and Early deaths from the virus were not recognised at the time and received little attention. Available evidence suggests that the Spanish Flu was "seeded" around the world in a number of localised outbreaks well before the ...


8

This attempt at an explanation completely ignores the very high probability that the 1919 influenza strain was related to the 1889-90 Russian flu, as evidenced by its extremely unusual mortality pattern. Without an explanation of this relatedness (to the earlier pandemic), I find it impossible to take this explanation seriously. Update - correction: The ...


8

The earliest recorded example of bacteriological warfare seems to be the Hittite plague (1715 BC): A long-lasting epidemic that plagued the Eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BC was traced back to a focus in Canaan along the Arwad-Euphrates trading route. The symptoms, mode of infection, and geographical area, identified the agent as Francisella ...


7

If you get sick and bring your disease to the place you are going (for instance, because you were on a long and exhausting journey), you are going to be ill at your destination. You may have carried the germ for a long time, since you are used to it, and it will only strike if/when you are weakened. If you get sick at your destination, it is not likely that ...


7

Probably chiefly because they didn't really know what was causing it. The germ theory is actually fairly new, and even into the 20th century was quite controversial in non-scientific circles. It wasn't until public health officials working in the US Panama Canal construction zone managed to nearly eradicate the yellow fever that pretty much ruined previous ...


7

Keep in mind that the world was at war, one of likes no one had ever seen and most of the effort was being given to support that war. So the organizations that were started a few decades before the epidemic were crippled in trying to keep the men on the front lines fighting. During 1918–1919, in a world divided by war, the multilateral health ...


7

In 1803 the Balmis Expedition set sail from Spain to perform a vaccination campaign in Spanish America and China. Its final report did claim that in its three years it vaccinated about 100,000 people. It did also provide translations of Jacques-Louis Moreau de la Sarthe's book Traité historique et pratique de la vaccine and helped establish local structures ...


7

You're probably correct, it seems to be this year. To start with, our inquiry can most likely be safely restricted to the last few decades. As this graph from Wikipedia establishes, in absolute terms, total deaths from recent years outstrips even the Second World War. The First World War, even with the influenza, was considerably less deadly than the Second....


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