Illnesses of the 1700s

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Illnesses of the 1700’s
There were many illnesses in the 1700’s and 1800’s that were life threatening, or even a sure death, that are in current times, not a concern, or highly curable. Examples are smallpox, bubonic plague, typhus, mumps, influenza, yellow fever, and measles. These diseases almost single handedly wiped out several native American tribes, and wreaked havoc on European communities. Small pox, overtook half of Boston in 1763. There was no cure, and to this day there is not one, however, it is now completely preventable by vaccine. This disease killed 1 out of 6 people that it infected, and left the rest with horrible scars for the rest of their lives. Inoculation began with smallpox, and spread very quickly due to this particular disease. Documentation of Native American artifacts show that small pox swept these communities, wiping out many of the skilled artisans, thus resulting in a lack of recorded history for long periods of time for these affected tribes. Bubonic Plague was also rampant in this period of time, wiping out whole communities. This highly contagious disease is now preventable and treatable, however, even with prompt treatment with antibiotics, the mortality rate is 15%. With housing conditions the way that they were during these times, people lived with many extended family members in one house, and in close quarters with those around them. Bubonic Plague spread like wildfire, affecting thousands in a short period of time. Influenza, which in current medicine, also has a vaccine, and treatments available, swept Europe prior to and after the 1700/1800’s. It is recorded that influenza in Europe infected over 500 million people, with a mortality of 12 million. It is hard to imagine someone dying from the flu, however, even now, the influenza virus mutates from year to year. This makes it necessary for a new vaccine to be developed based on the infections from a particular region so that it is effective in...
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