Title

The Epidemiology and Historical Effects of Typhus

Description/Abstract

Typhus is now a rare disease, but it was once one of the deadliest epidemics faced by humanity throughout its evolution. Through review of historical warfare information from the 1500’s to present-day, historical medical writings, scholarly articles regarding Epidemic Typhus, and written accounts from epidemic outbreaks, this paper will detail the Epidemiology of Typhus and elaborate on its historical impact. The high mortality rate of Typhus is known, but what is less known about the disease is its incidental impact on human history; specifically, its effects on historical wars such as the Napoleonic Wars, World War 1, and other historical battles due to the proclivity of Epidemic Typhus to follow armies; how Typhus resulted in sweeping medical and prison reforms after the late 1500’s by helping show disease transmission and sanitary effects; and finally, how Typhus, after being observed by an early scientist named Francastoro, helped lay the foundations for the modern day Germ Theory. Today, modern medicine has created a vaccine for Typhus, making infection rare and epidemic outbreaks even more so. However, research is still ongoing to discover the origins of Epidemic Typhus, and further detail its influences throughout modern evolution.

Presenting Author Name/s

Tyler Zawislak

Faculty Advisor

Annette Finley-Croswhite

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Other Medicine and Health Sciences

Session Title

College of Arts & Letters 4

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Room 1313

Start Date

2-8-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

2-8-2020 11:15 AM

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Feb 8th, 10:15 AM Feb 8th, 11:15 AM

The Epidemiology and Historical Effects of Typhus

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Room 1313

Typhus is now a rare disease, but it was once one of the deadliest epidemics faced by humanity throughout its evolution. Through review of historical warfare information from the 1500’s to present-day, historical medical writings, scholarly articles regarding Epidemic Typhus, and written accounts from epidemic outbreaks, this paper will detail the Epidemiology of Typhus and elaborate on its historical impact. The high mortality rate of Typhus is known, but what is less known about the disease is its incidental impact on human history; specifically, its effects on historical wars such as the Napoleonic Wars, World War 1, and other historical battles due to the proclivity of Epidemic Typhus to follow armies; how Typhus resulted in sweeping medical and prison reforms after the late 1500’s by helping show disease transmission and sanitary effects; and finally, how Typhus, after being observed by an early scientist named Francastoro, helped lay the foundations for the modern day Germ Theory. Today, modern medicine has created a vaccine for Typhus, making infection rare and epidemic outbreaks even more so. However, research is still ongoing to discover the origins of Epidemic Typhus, and further detail its influences throughout modern evolution.