Monatsarchiv: Juli 2017

Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages

Malaria impairs human reproduction, augments excess mortality, and lowers productivity. It can exercise a debilitating effect so profound that it denes regions. The disease is an essential element in histories of places and periods in which it was endemic. Although many European regions are thought to have had a long association with malaria, evidence for the disease, the parasites that cause it, and the mosquitoes that transmit it, is thin before 1900. Malarias early medieval history is opaque. This paper clears up contours of malarias occurrence in Frankish Europe. It surveys sources  relevant to its study and establishes guidelines for retrospectively diagnosing the disease. It argues that malaria was plentiful north of the Alps before 1000 and that it inuenced demographic trends where it was endemic.“

Timothy P. Newfield (2017), Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages, Early Medieval Europe, Volume 25, 3, 251–300.

Abstract: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/emed.12212/abstract

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The Great Plague of Marseille

„Professor Cindy Ermus, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge, explaining the Plague of Marseille in terms of the (relatively) new field of Disaster History.“

The AskHistorians Podcast

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A History of Philosophy without Any Gaps

An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.

Podcast available on: https://historyofphilosophy.net/medieval-medicine-green

 

Monica H. Green is Professor at the Arizone State University and historian of medicine and health.

Her publications and Bio: http://asu.academia.edu/MonicaHGreen

 

 

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Model-based analysis of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Cairo in 1801

 Abstract: „Bubonic plague has caused three deadly pandemics in human history: from the mid-sixth to mid-eighth century, from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-eighteenth century and from the end of the nineteenth until the mid-twentieth century. Between the second and the third pandemics, plague was causing sporadic outbreaks in only a few countries in the Middle East, including Egypt. Little is known about this historical phase of plague, even though it represents the temporal, geographical and phylogenetic transition between the second and third pandemics. Here we analysed in detail an outbreak of plague that took place in Cairo in 1801, and for which epidemiological data are uniquely available thanks to the presence of medical officers accompanying the Napoleonic expedition into Egypt at that time. We propose a new stochastic model describing how bubonic plague outbreaks unfold in both rat and human populations, and perform Bayesian inference under this model using a particle Markov chain Monte Carlo. Rat carcasses were estimated to be infectious for approximately 4 days after death, which is in good agreement with local observations on the survival of infectious rat fleas. The estimated transmission rate between rats implies a basic reproduction number R0 of approximately 3, causing the collapse of the rat population in approximately 100 days. Simultaneously, the force of infection exerted by each infected rat carcass onto the human population increases progressively by more than an order of magnitude. We also considered human-to-human transmission via pneumonic plague or human specific vectors, but found this route to account for only a small fraction of cases and to be significantly below the threshold required to sustain an outbreak.“
Xavier Didelot, Lilith K. Whittles, Ian Hall
Journal of the Royal Society InterfaceJune 2017, Volume 14, issue 131

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