Given the extent of medical knowledge at the time, it is not surprising that a whole host of symptoms, ranging from difficulty in breathing, tingling hands, and loss of appetite, to diarrhoea and dysentery, were blamed on the fog, whether or not it was the actual cause.
Breathing in fumes from poisonous chemicals was highly dangerous; for example, inhaling vapour from mercury used in the manufacture of felt hats, caused Mad hatter disease.
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.
It was not only among the poor that this insanitary state existed. Dr. Samuel Johnson, for example, when talking about his friend, the poet, Kit Smart, remarked: “Another charge was that he did not love clean linen; and I have no passion for it.”
What’s in a kiss? Perhaps more than you realise
“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
Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease.
“The FEED project adds far greater realism, understanding the different factors that drive farmer behaviour in the face of an emerging disease.” Professor Matt Keeling from the University of Warwick
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed at a premises near Birsay, Orkney Islands on 06 July 2022.
There have been 34 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in Scotland since 23 May 2022.