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Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Saturday, 16 May 2020
How five of the world’s worst pandemics finally ended.
This plague was one of the three deadliest pandemics in recorded history which was caused by bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection. The Emperor Justinian was receiving tribute in grain from conquered Egypt. The plague was carried across the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt with the grain contaminated with fleas and black rats and arrived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 541 CE.
The plague decimated Constantinople and spread like wildfire across Europe, Asia, North Africa and Arabia killing an estimated 30 to 50 million people, perhaps half of the world’s population.
People had no real understanding of how to fight it other than trying to avoid sick people at that time. The guess how the plague ended was that those who survive have immunity.
2. Black Death— Quarantine invented
The plague never really went away, and it came back 800 years later. The black death caused by the same bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection hit Europe in 1347 and was the worst pandemic in human history by claiming 200 million lives. People still had no scientific understanding of contagion and transmission, but they realised the close contact contributed to the infection. Isolation was invented at that time. Newly arrived sailors were held in isolation for 30 days, then extended to 40 days or a quarantine, the origin of the word quarantine until they could prove they weren’t sick. This had effects of controlling the transmission.
3. The Great Plague of London—Sealing up the Sick
The Great Plague of London was another outbreak caused by bacterium, Yersinia pestis infection. Actually, London never really caught a break after the Black Death. The outbreaks were on and off for 300 years from 1348 to 1665. By the early 1500s, England imposed the first laws to separate and isolate the sick. Homes stricken by plague were marked with a bale of hay strung to a pole outside. If you had infected family members, you had to carry a white pole when you went out in public. Cats and dogs were believed to carry the disease, so there was a wholesale massacre of hundreds of thousands of animals.
The Great Plague of 1665 was the last and one of the worst of the centuries-long outbreaks, killing 100,000 Londoners in just seven months. All public entertainment was banned and victims were forcibly shut into their homes to prevent the spread of the disease. This may have been the only way to bring the last great plague outbreak to an end.
4. Smallpox—Vaccinating healthy people
Smallpox was endemic to Europe, Asia and Arabia for centuries and this was bringing to Americas by the first European explorers in 15th century. The indigenous peoples of modern-day Mexico and the United States had zero natural immunity to smallpox and the virus cut them down by the tens of millions.
In the late 18th-century, a British doctor named Edward Jenner discovered that milkmaids infected with a milder virus called cowpox seemed immune to smallpox. Jenner famously inoculated his gardener’s 9-year-old son with cowpox and then exposed him to the smallpox virus with no ill effect.
And he was right. It took nearly two more centuries, but in 1980 the World Health Organization announced that smallpox had been completely eradicated from the face of the Earth. Smallpox became the first virus epidemic to be ended by a vaccine.
5. Cholera—Avoiding contaminated water
In the early- to mid-19th century, cholera killing its victims within days of the first symptoms tore through England, killing tens of thousands.
A British doctor named John Snow suspected that it was related to London’s drinking water. He tracked the precise locations of deadly outbreaks and created a geographic chart of cholera deaths over a 10-day period and found a cluster of 500 fatal infections surrounding the Broad Street pump, a popular city well for drinking water. He convinced local officials to remove the pump handle on the Broad Street drinking well, rendering it unusable, and like magic the infections dried up.
His work didn’t cure cholera overnight, but it eventually led to a global effort to improve urban sanitation and protect drinking water from contamination. While cholera has largely been eradicated in developed countries, it’s still a persistent killer in third-world countries lacking adequate sewage treatment and access to clean drinking water.
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