The Effects of Diseases Among Tourist and the Indigenous People of the Amazon Region

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Throughout history, diseases have caused devastating epidemics amongst communities. Today, infectious diseases are still spread among groups of people and have had the greatest impact in areas such as the Amazon region where interactions between tourists and the indigenous people have introduced new diseases. By examining first-hand accounts and studies, one may be able to determine the results of this danger, and formulate a key to preventing it. A potential solution may lie in the improvement of healthcare in these geographical areas such as providing a nurse practitioner and health clinics, as well as requiring travelers to receive vaccinations prior to interacting with indigenous people.

One can easily see the effects infectious diseases can have on a given population by looking to history. Native Americans were first introduced accidently to smallpox and measles by the Spaniards, and by the time of the British arrival, smallpox was being used to eliminate Native American tribes in order to get them to follow the British lead (Bollet 7). Alfred Bollet describes it in his book Plagues and Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Diseases, “These two diseases form the most extreme examples of how human actions can induce epidemic disease: the fatality rate for smallpox and measles is among the highest on record at any time, anywhere, surpassing even the medieval Black Death epidemic” (75). Today, America has a well-established healthcare system where most infectious diseases are well controlled through vaccinations and medical treatment but we must not forget the dangerous effects new diseases pose to populations that do not have an advanced healthcare system in place.

While healthcare has improved across the w...

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