Epidemics and Pandemics throughout History

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When looking back on history, it is evident to see that humans by nature are warriors. Humans often find themselves fighting mysterious battles against disguised enemies. Throughout history the earth has been afflicted with mysterious diseases, which tend to invisibly cause the preponderance of civilizations to perish. The evolution of infectious diseases has and always will provide challenges for humankind (Hoff, Smith, and Calisher 6-7). Over the course of time, humans gradually developed a preference to live in large urban settings. Urbanization and the cross-cultural interaction of civilizations have both strongly provoked widespread illness, which is known as an epidemic or pandemic based upon size. An epidemic is when a common disease affects a large number of people within a particular region (Lamb). A pandemic is similar to an epidemic but is even more widespread than an epidemic, and spreads throughout entire continents or even the world. Despite the slight variation in meaning, most pandemics are interchangeably denoted as epidemics (Friendlander 13-14). Epidemics and pandemics have formed the course of human history by inflicting lifestyle alterations and abruptly killing large masses of people. When one thinks of widespread disease it is easy to think that pandemics and epidemics are things of the past. Unfortunately, epidemics are commonly found today in poorer countries and major pandemics are still on the rise, such as the modern disease AIDS (Lampton 12-15). Nonetheless, epidemics and pandemics affect large portions of the world’s population; thus, these ongoing diseases will always influence the history of mankind because they force transformation amongst even the strongest civilizations. When looking back on wo... ... middle of paper ... ...rint. Boccaccio, Giovanni. "Introduction." Introduction. Trans. David Burr. The Decameron. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Boccaccio on the Plague. Virginia Tech History Department. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. Friedlander, Mark P. Outbreak: Disease Detectives at Work. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2000. Print. Hoff, Brent, Carter Smith, and Charles H. Calisher. Mapping Epidemics: A Historical Atlas of Disease. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000. Print. Lamb, Robert. "10 Worst Epidemics." Discovery Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. Lampton, Christopher. Epidemic. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1992. Print. "A Letter From Camp Devins, MA." Letter. 29 Sept. 1918. PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. Oleksy, Walter G. The Black Plague. New York: F. Watts, 1982. Print. Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War. Trans. David Grene. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1989. 115-18. Print.

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