By: Bianca Pinto
Teacher: Ms. Merino
In the book Guns, Germs, and Steel the Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond discusses the superior developments and advancements of mankind that shaped history through time. Throughout the book Diamond states how disease and germs have shaped history up to today. “Because diseases have been the biggest killers of people, they have also been decisive shapers of history.” For instance, Diamond relates to a story once told to him by a friend about a man that contracted a very odd disease. As the story progressed you eventually found out how the man got the illness by having sexual intercourse with a sheep. This illustrates human diseases of animal origins (pp.195, 196. 197, 206-210). Diamond also discusses how the Europeans were able to defeat the Native Americans because they brought diseases to them that they were not yet immune to.
In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond discusses the evolution of disease that is contracted from animals. Diseases that have had a major impact throughout history such as smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, plague, flu, and measles have been adapted by humans from animals (p. 196). One example of how a germ can spread is by patiently waiting to be transmitted through the victim. For instance we often contract salmonella by eating raw or unprepared food like eggs and meat; and the worm that causes anisakiasis by eating raw fish. Germs don’t just wait to be transmitted by waiting to be eaten by the victim but by hitchhiking on the animals’ salvia. For example, mosquitoes, fleas, and even lice carry fatal germs that can cause diseases such as malaria, plague, or even typhus, and once bitten you can easily contract any of those diseases (p.198). Moreover, the worst type of transmission of the germs is by passing through a woman to her fetus and pass on –infect- her...