Tag Archives: epidemics

What does the zoonotic origin of COVID-19 teach us about preventing future pandemics?

James A. Marcum  Waco, Texas, United States   Computer generated representation of COVID-19 virions (SARS-CoV-2) under electron microscope. Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed. Via Wikimedia  CC BY-SA 4.0  The history of medicine reveals that epidemics and pandemics have plagued humanity throughout the centuries.1 Examples include the Antonine plague (165-180 A.D.), the Justinian plague (541-542 A.D.), […]

Plague epidemics and the evolution of language in England

Andrew P. K. Wodrich Washington, DC, United States   Pierart dou Tielt’s illustration depicts the mortal toll of the Black Death in a Belgian town circa 1353. Similarly, the plague decimated the population of England, spurring the change from French to English as the country’s dominant spoken language. Via Wikimedia Commons here.  Epidemics have had a profound impact […]

Epidemic encephalitis lethargica

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Table 1. QUARANTINABLE DISEASES Cholera Diphtheria Infectious tuberculosis Plague Smallpox Yellow fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers Severe acute respiratory syndromes Influenza pandemic From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine. Source The pandemic Covid-19 infection, first reported from China in December 2019, reminds us […]

“Scarlet letters”—the depiction of scarlet fever in literature

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig 1 Image from page 291 of Diseases of children for nurses. by Robert Shelmerdine McCombs. 1911. Internet Archive. Scarlet fever, named for the erythematous skin rash that may accompany streptococcal infections (Fig 1), is often considered a disease of Victorian times. Associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality […]

COVID-19 and Malta’s Black Plague epidemic of 1813

Victor Grech Pembroke, Malta   Fisherman. Painting by Victor Grech Malta in the British Empire In the nineteenth century Malta had a population of around 91,000 people and was governed by the British Empire. Despite its small size and absence of natural resources, the island was an important Mediterranean crossroads, with a vital natural harbor […]

The 1918 Pandemic—the collective story versus the personal narrative

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   U.S. Army Field Hospital No. 29, Hollerich, Luxembourg Interior view- Influenza ward. Copyright Statement: The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain. Stalin’s claim that a “single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”1 reverberates at a time when the world […]