The origin of these two epidemics was obscure.
The dissemination of plant parasites is favored by many circumstances not always obvious, whence an air of mystery regarding epidemics was easily created in earlier times.
Endemic diseases are unknown and epidemics are rare.
Yellow fever epidemics are common on the Campeche coast, and sometimes appear at Progreso and Merida.
The Malays formerly suffered severely from smallpox epidemics, but in the portion of the peninsula under British rule vaccination has been introduced, and the ravages of the disease no longer assume serious dimensions.
The epidemic nature of wheat-rust was known to Aristotle about 350 B.C., and the Greeks and Romans knew these epidemics well, their philosophers having shrewd speculations as to causes, while the people held characteristic superstitions regarding them, which found vent in the dedication of special festivals and deities to the pests.
Experience with epidemics, dearly bought in the past, has shown that one fruitful cause is the laying open to the inroads of some Fungus or insect, hitherto leading a quiet endemic life in the fields and forests, large tracts of its special food, along which it may range rampant without check to its dispersal, nutrition and reproduction.
It may be that in particular cases particular modes of cultivation disfavour the host; or that the soil, climate or seasons do so; but overwhelming evidence exists to show that the principal causes of epidemics reside in circumstances which favor the spread, nutrition and reproduction of the pest, and the lesson to be learnt is, that precautions against the establishment of such favoring conditions must be sought.
Nevertheless, epidemics occur, and practical measures are devised to meet the various cases and to check the ravages already begun.
- Among the most Interesting modern means of waging war against epidemic pests is that of introducing other epidemics among the pests themselvese.g.
There have been several professional photographers (all detected in fraud sooner or later) who made it their business to take photo complaints, to certain epidemics of the middles ages,' and to phenomena that have occurred at some religious revivals.
Epidemics of smallpox and typhoid occur; and leprosy, imported from the Orange River and Cape Colonies, has taken firm hold on the Basuto, of whom about 9r per too() are sufferers from this disease.
Aside from the recurrent loss of life, the pecuniary loss from such epidemics was enormous, and the interference with commerce and social intercourse with other countries extremely vexatious.
As a consequence of these insanitary conditions the death-rate is very high, and in case of epidemics the mortality is enormous.
The most valuable intellectual possession was a large mass of recorded observations in individual cases and epidemics of disease.
At the same time the discovery of new diseases, unknown to the ancients, and the keener attention which the great epidemics of plague caused to be paid to those already known, led to more minute study of the natural history of disease.
The name of John Pringle (1707-1782) should also be mentioned as one of the first to study epidemics of fevers occurring in prisons and camps.
Epidemics rarely spread over any considerable tract of country, but are nearly always confined within local limits.
Daremberg's edition of the Ouvres choisies (2nd ed., Paris, 1855) includes the Oath, the Law, the Prorrhetics, book i., the Prognostics, On Airs, Waters, and Places, Epidemics, books i.
Above high water mark, and was thus for a long period subject to inundation and epidemics, and only careful drainage rendered the site healthy.
Mangrove swamps surround the town and epidemics of cholera, yellow fever and other tropical diseases have been frequent; but the unhealthiness of the climate is mitigated to some extent by the high tides which cover the marshes, and the invigorating breezes which blow in from the sea.
The city is built in a bowllike depression of the great central plateau, and the drainage from the surrounding hillsides has produced a dangerously insanitary condition, from which one or two virulent fever epidemics have resulted.
Some, however, give rise to dangerous or fatal diseases, while others may cause ravaging epidemics; instances of these are given under the various orders.
The climate is mild and healthy, although serious epidemics of yellow fever and typhus have occurred.
All collections of living beings are subject to epidemics, and in an ideal menagerie special precautions should be taken.
On both coasts yellow fever epidemics appear at frequent intervals.
There were no unusual epidemics during those years, and the rate given may be considered normal.
Epidemics of typhus are not unknown, as well as ophthalmia.
Drains were rare, epidemics common.
Plague, formerly one of the great scourges of the country, seems to have been stamped out, the last visitation having been in 1844, but cholera epidemics occasionally occur.i Cholera rarely extends south of Cairo.
In 1848 it is believed that over 200,000 persons died from cholera, but later epidemics have been much less fatal.
The mean annual temperature is about 82° to 83° F.; malarial and bilious fevers are common, the latter being known as "Guayaquil fever," and epidemics of yellow fever are frequent.
The climate is now less healthy than it was, severe epidemics of malarial fever having frequently occurred, so that malaria now appears to be endemic among the non-European population.
There were in addition several epidemics of small-pox and plague, and from about 1880 onward the continual decline in the price of sugar seriously affected the islanders, especially the Creole population.
For the epidemics of the succeeding centuries we must refer to more detailed works.(1)
It is impossible, however, to pass over the great cycle of epidemics in the 14th century known as the Black Death.
Moreover, as this complication was a marked feature in certain epidemics of plague in India, the hypothesis has been framed by Hirsch that a special variety of plague, pestis indica, still found in India, is that which overran the world in the 14th century.
(1) See Noah Webster's History of Epidemic Diseases, 8vo (2 vols., London, 1800) (a work which makes no pretension to medical learning, but exhibits the history of epidemics in connexion with physical disasters - as earthquakes, famines, &c.); Lersch, Kleine Pest-Chronik (8vo, 1880) (a convenient short compendium, but not always accurate); "Athanasii Kircheri Chronologia Pestium" (to A.D.
The most complete medical history of epidemics is Haser's Geschichte der epidemischen Krankheiten (3rd ed., Jena, 1882), forming the third volume of his History of Medicine.
(2) See the original account reprinted with other documents in Haser, op. cit.; also Hecker, Epidemics of the Middle Ages, trans.
Plague epidemics, even in the latest, that in Russia in 1878-1879, and, moreover, according to the latest accounts, are not a special feature of Indian plague.
Some of the epidemics of this period in Italy and Germany are known by the accounts of eminent physicians, as Vochs, Fracastor, Mercurialis, Borgarucci, Ingrassia, Massaria, Amici, &c., (3) whose writings are important because the question of contagion first began to be raised, and also plague had to be distinguished from typhus fever, which began in this century to appear in Europe.
The epidemics in England will be most conveniently considered in one series.
In another direction the plague spread over Little Russia in 1770, and desolated Kieff, while in the next year it broke out in Moscow and produced one of the most destructive epidemics of modern.
More than 50,000 persons, nearly one-fourth of the population, were carried off.4 The remaining European plague-epidemics of the 18th century were inconsiderable, but on that very account noteworthy.
The disease, while reappearing in the seats of the terrible earlier epidemics, was more limited in its range and of shorter duration.'
In 1831 another epidemic occurred in Constantinople and Roumelia; in 1837 again in Roumelia and in Odessa - its last appearance in these regions, and the last on the European continent except an isolated outbreak in Dalmatia in 1840, and one in Constantinople in 1841.4 The plague-epidemics in Egypt between 1833 and 1845 are very important in the history of plague, since the disease was almost for the first time scientifically studied in its home by skilled European physicians, chiefly French.
The Astrakhan disease may have been imported from Resht or Baku, or may have been caused concurrently with the epidemics of these places by some cause affecting the basin of the Caspian generally.
In 1834 and 1836 other epidemics occurred, which at last attracted the attention of government.
And even in the East plague was confined to more or less clearly localized epidemics; it showed no power of pandemic diffusion.
At the end of the 16th century there was a pestilence following a prolonged famine, and in the 17th century two violent epidemics are recorded under the names ta'un and waba.
(2) Pneumonic plague was observed and described in many of the old epidemics, and particularly by two medical men, Dr Gilder and Dr Whyte, in the outbreak in Kathiawar in 1816; but its precise significance was first recognized by Childe in Bombay.
It does not differ from them in its clinical features more than epidemics of other diseases are apt to vary at different times, or more than can be accounted for by difference of handling.
During the epidemics of 1878 and 1879 fully two-thirds of the population fled from the city, many of whom died of the fever at other places, and a still larger number did not return.
Medical men have stated that the number of deaths, in times when there are no epidemics, amounts to 59 or 20 per thousand, and the number of births to 25 to 40 per thousand.
Difficulties on the route; dissensions between Emin and the authorities in German East Africa, and misunderstandings on the part of both; epidemics of disease in Emin's force, followed by a growing spirit of mutiny among his native followers; an illness of a painful nature which attacked him - all these gradually undermined Emin's courage, and his diaries at the close of 1891 reflect a gloomy and almost hopeless spirit.
The virulence of infective diseases varies in different epidemics, and at different times in the same epidemic. It had been noted that many infective diseases did not attack an individual a second time, the first attack appearing to protect from subsequent ones.
Epidemics of cholera, which occurred during the years of scarcity and famine, also swept away large numbers.
4 See Hecker, Epidemics of the Middle Ages (1859).
Around 430 BC, Athens, embroiled in the Second Peloponnesian War, endured three years of epidemics that wiped out a third of its inhabitants.