Empiric physiology in epidemiologic doctrines of the 18 th century, Hungarian General Norm of Health in 1770

Balázs, P. (2006) Empiric physiology in epidemiologic doctrines of the 18 th century, Hungarian General Norm of Health in 1770. Acta Physiologica Hungarica, 93 (1). pp. 23-32. ISSN 0231-424X

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According to standard textbooks, the last episode of European New Age plague pandemic died out by 1720 in Marseilles. Despite this allegation, the pandemic continued in well-documented new outbreaks, which attacked and devastated Central and Eastern Europe throughout the first half of the 18 th century. At the beginning, military campaigns spread the infection out of the Ottoman Empire. Later on commercial goods took over this role via land or sea from Asia or out of the eastern Mediterranean region. Finally, the plague in Europe - except Russia and the Ottoman Empire - “died out” virtually by the end of the 18 th century. Explaining this, there many scientific reasons were suggested: 1. Oriental rat fleas as main vectors of infection could not tolerate any more the European weather conditions (although there were no virtual climate changes in the last 300 years). 2. Black rats that lived in close proximity to man, were being outplayed by brown rats living rather outside of human habitats; 3. There emerged less virulent Yersinia strains that caused natural human immunisation. In spite of these suggestions, which may have contributed to the success, joint civil and military health authorities blocked the plague indeed, as a result of disciplined and relentless law enforcement. In Hungary, respectively in the Hapsburg Empire, well-advised health legislation backed up the effectiveness of local authorities. Following the last great devastation in 1738-1740, the General Norm of Health Service - a voluminous decree - summed up by 1770 all the time honoured empiric rules of foregoing centuries. It can be excellently demonstrated, how exactly the empiric rules discovered a century later met scientific facts of physiology and microbiology.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine / orvostudomány > R1 Medicine (General) / orvostudomány általában
Depositing User: xFruzsina xPataki
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2017 09:27
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2017 09:27

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