Medieval Diseases

In the Middle Ages, the range of types of diseases was similar to what we experience today, with some exceptions (HIV/AIDS).   Viruses, of course, are no easier to combat now than then, but without vaccines and if the infected person was living in unclean or freezing conditions, or suffering from a poor diet, the disease was made that much worse.  Antibiotics help with some diseases, but then again, more have sprung up in response to them (C-diff). That said, these are some of the most common diseases people experienced in Europe in the Middle Ages (not including the Black Plague, see:  http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=1000; or leprosy, see:  http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=223) Dysentary:  Still common in poorer countries today, Dysentary is an infection caused either by bacteria or amoebas, spread through contamination of food and water by infected fecal matter.  Typhoid is another such disease spread through bacteria and fecal matter which Read more…

The History of Chicken Pox

Sadly, this post is relevant because my youngest son, who is eight, came down with chicken pox two days ago.  I have no idea where he got it and even worse, he has had it before, though as a five month old child, which seems to be why he was able to get it again.  I’d hoped that having it a second time might mean a milder infection, but it’s not looking good right now.  He has spots in some VERY uncomfortable places. Chicken Pox, so named, has been around for a long time.  From the CDC:  “Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is an infectious disease. Chickenpox is highly contagious and spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the Read more…