Health, Civilization and the State: A History of Public by Dorothy Porter

By Dorothy Porter

This ebook examines the social, financial and political problems with public wellbeing and fitness provision in historic point of view. It outlines the advance of public health and wellbeing in Britain, Continental Europe and the U.S. from the traditional international via to the trendy country. It comprises dialogue of: * pestilence, public order and morality in pre-modern occasions* the Enlightenment and its results* centralization in Victorian Britain* localization of future health care within the usa* inhabitants matters and kinfolk welfare* the increase of the vintage welfare nation* attitudes in the direction of public well-being into the twenty-first century.

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Additional resources for Health, Civilization and the State: A History of Public Health from Ancient to Modern Times

Sample text

The leper cemetery at Naestved showed that 80 per cent of the 650 skeletons had lepromatous leprosy, whereas only a very small proportion of cases in modern times involve the bones, occurring only among the most severely affected (O’Neill, 1993). Excommunication from the community was not necessarily motivated by fears of physical contagion as much as the POPULATION, HEALTH AND PRE-MODERN STATES 29 reputation of leprosy as being a punishment for lechery and other sins (Gilman, 1988; Pelling, 1993).

Health authorities attempted to raise funds to pay for the costs of containing the epidemic through emergency local taxes which were frequently vigorously resisted, as in Monte Lupo (Cipolla, 1979). Italian health authorities instituted constant intelligence and surveillance measures to limit the damage caused by a local outbreak of plague. In seventeenth-century Florence, the health board used physicians and surgeons to inspect and report on mortality in surrounding districts in order to monitor general levels of contagion (Cipolla, 1981).

The antibiotic streptomycin, developed in 1941, finally proved lethal to the plague bacillus and by 1950 two further antimicrobials, tetracyclines and chloramphenicols, were used to supplement streptomycin (Arno, 1995; Carmichael, 1993a). Records of plague exist from biblical times, but the first well-documented epidemic occurred in 542 during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, and is consequently referred to as the Plague of Justinian. The epidemic reached western Europe by 547, when it was described by Bishop Gregory of Tours.

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