Tag: disease

Scurvy, Smallpox, Syphilis: 18thC Living Conditions, Part 4

a person's body cover in the small pox spots

It has been estimated that smallpox was killing as many as 400,000 people per year in Europe by the end of the 18th century. Sadly, the majority of these deaths were children, as it was “chiefly a disease of infancy and early childhood”. However, even if some of the population survive the disease itself, they may well succumb to secondary infections such as bronchopneumonia and streptococcal septicaemia.

Why the Black Death is still a puzzle.

“The plague was the largest pandemic and biggest mortality event in human history. When it emerged and from what host may shed light on where it came from, why it continually erupted over hundreds of years and died out in some locales but persisted in others.   And ultimately, why it killed so many people.” Evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of McMaster’s Ancient DNA Centre