Complete notes on Disease and Infection

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  • Created on: 12-06-16 15:15
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Disease and Infection
Prehistoric Pre 3000 BC
No understanding of cause of disease
Magic, spiritual and religion used as explanations
Blame illness on evil spirits or gods
Had witch doctors, medicine men and women, shamans were credited
with ability to cure and inflict illness.
Made medicine from plants and herbs coco leaves, tea tree oil and
boiled leaves
If herbs did not work, would try magic charms or spells
Men lived to age of 30 and women to 24
Used to bury their waste for religious reasons
Trepanning: made a hole in skull to let evil spirit out
No evidence so we use archaeology and evidence from recent times
Archaeology is the study of bones and cave paintings
Anthropology is study of tribes living in primitive conditions today.
Most prehistoric bodies have decayed to bones or further so can't
guess what caused the death. Some bodies that were preserved in ice,
peat bogs or mummification still have soft tissues that tell us about
prehistoric health and medicine
Practice of modern aborigines in Australia have been used in guessing
what ancient people thought and did. Aborigines set broken bones
using clay mud and wood
Ancient Egypt 3000 ­ 1000 BC
Egyptian civilisation was an agricultural one. It thrived between 3400
BC and 30 BC. Every year Nile flood fertilised the fields and provided
water for irrigation. Successful agriculture provided spare food so more
people could be doctors, priests and etc. barges on Nile enabled fairly
swift transportation and communication making trade and gov easier.
Had writings, so could be recorded and communicated better than
prehistoric. Their God controlled all aspects of life.

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Imhoteps was doctor in 2630 BC and then adopted as god of healing
Sekhmet was goddess of war and disease ­ caused it and cured it
Thoth was the god who gave doctors their ability to cure people.…read more

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The Four Humour: four main substances in body, black bile, yellow bile,
blood and phlegm. An imbalance in either one causes disease. A
corresponding season for each humour.
Clinical observation: observe, record and diagnose (diagnosis,
prognosis, observation and treatment)
He also encouraged diet and exercise for fighting illness
Asclepion: Asclepios's temple. Patients went for a ceremonial washing
in the sea, then made an offering or sacrifice to Asclepios.…read more

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Alexandria became famous for study of surgery and
medicine. Trained
Thales of Miletus, founder of Greek philosophy thought water was
basis of life.
Anaximander said everything was made up of 4 elements: earth, air,
water and fire.
Ancient Rome 200 BC ­ 450 AD
Romans rejected many Greek ideas as thought their culture was better.
Greek doctors were made slaves and their knowledge and skill feared.
Due to an outbreak in plague caused Romans to build an Aslepions and
Greek doctors began improving.…read more

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The last Roman Emperor in West was
deposed by a German chieftain in AD 476. It led to very rapid collapse
of social organisation, technical skills and academic knowledge. The
knowledge of Greek and Roman eras migrated east and was lost, but
not irretrievably, from the western end of the Mediterranean and
People who took over Rome believed in magic and superstition and so
the Roman methods and public health system collapsed. Most medical
knowledge in Europe was lost.…read more

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Black Death was
god's punishment. The church only accepted Galen;s ideas.
In Arabic Empire, work of Galen and Hippocrates was translated.
Avicenna's Canon was translated to Latin and returned to Europe.
Avicenna wrote `A Book of Healing' and `A canon of Medicine'. He
brought ideas of Galen, Aristotle and Hippocrates together.
IbnanNafis tried to tackle smallpox and measles and even wrote
descriptions of them.
AlRazi distinguished smallpox and measles as different diseases.
Herbal remedies were used
Low life expectancy.…read more

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Urine sample was used for diagnosis and used the colour and taste.
Relied heavily on astrology and making diagnoses and treatments.
Women in 10th century was allowed to be train as docs.
A lot of continuity
Arabists were keen on chemistry. Alchemy was the attempt to turn
base metals into gold and to discover the elixir of eternal life. Alchemy
traces back to Egyptians and like much else of ancient and classical
learning, it was preserved by the Arabic empire. Much superstition was
included.…read more

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The Great
Fire of London wterilised large parts of it killing the plague bacteria.
Paracelsus, a famous German alchemist and surgeon of the period,
discovered that laudanum (a derivative of opium) was a painkiller that
could be used to help his patients. For many years it was used for
general pain such as headaches and period pain (and many people
became addicted to it).
Industrial Revolution 1750 ­ 1900
Urbanised conditions due to new factories being built meant that
disease spread easily among workers.…read more

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Then followed work of Robert Koch who in 18751878 developed
vaccine for anthrax. He began linking diseases to microbes. He
developed a solid medium to grow cultures and dyeing techniques to
colour microbes which he then viewed through microscopes. Used
daughter's pet to experiment with. He identified anthrax spores in
1875 and the bacteria that cause septicaemia, tuberculosis and
Paul Ehrlich found a chemical treatment for syphilis. Antibodies were
identified as a natural defence mechanism again germs. They were
nicknamed magic bullets.…read more

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In 1932, the German scientist Gerhard Domagk discovered that a coal
tar product (a sulphonamide called prontosil) killed streptococci
bacteria. Other sulphonamides were discovered which could cure
pneumonia, meningitis and acnfloreye. He discovered that red dye
(prontosil) stopped the microbes that caused blood poisioning from
multiplying. His daughter had blood poisoning so he gave her a large
dose. She recovered. The only side effect was that he skin turned red.
French scientists discovered that the active ingredient was
sulphonamide. A chemical in coal tar.…read more


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