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2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977753

ABSTRACT

The twenty-first century has witnessed some of the deadliest viral pandemics with far-reaching consequences. These include the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (1981), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (2002), Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (A/H1N1) (2009), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (2012) and Ebola virus (2013) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) (2019-present). Age- and gender-based characterizations suggest that SARS-CoV-2 resembles SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV with regard tohigher fatality rates in males, and in the older population with comorbidities. The invasion-mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, involves binding of its spike protein with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors; MERS-CoV utilizes dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), whereas H1N1 influenza is equipped with hemagglutinin protein. The viral infections-mediated immunomodulation, and progressive inflammatory state may affect the functions of several other organs. Although no effective commercial vaccine is available for any of the viruses, those against SARS-CoV-2 are being developed at an unprecedented speed. Until now, only Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine has received temporary authorization from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Given the frequent emergence of viral pandemics in the 21st century, proper understanding of their characteristics and modes of action are essential to address the immediate and long-term health consequences.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/history , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Ebolavirus , Female , HIV , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Male , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Public Health , SARS Virus , Virus Diseases/physiopathology
4.
Infez Med ; 28(4): 621-633, 2020 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-950505

ABSTRACT

The plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, provides one of the best historical examples of pandemic infection. It can therefore be considered the first "globalized" disease, thanks also to the crowds that favoured the rebalancing of infectious agents between Europe and the Middle East. In this paper we analyse all the official documents of the time, highlighting the most effective prevention measures implemented in the city of Ferrara during the Italian plague. Historical mortality data for the 1630 Italian plague in northern Italy are first analysed. In contrast to the high rates recorded throughout the area from Milan to Florence, the mortality rate in Ferrara remained normal over the period. From the city's documents it emerged that the authorities, from the 16th century onwards, had already understood that the spread of the contagion could also occur through domestic animals, although rats are never mentioned. The strength of Ferrara's response to the "plague emergency" stems from an efficient and emergency-ready health control system, financed and supported by the "permanent surveillance team of the city and the Pontifical Legation of Ferrara - Azienda Sanitaria Pubblica" even in times of great economic difficulty for the State. Among the various measures that the city of Ferrara adopted to deal with the plague the following should be mentioned: guards at the city gates, lazarettos, safety of doctors, self-isolation and treatment of every suspicious case as if it were a real case of plague, measures to support the poorer classes of the population, veterinary and hygiene standards for the city and for housing, management of Catholic religious functions and the precepts of the Legation of Ferrara, which was under papal control, closure of churches to avoid mass gatherings, and limitations of all kinds of social and economic relations within and outside the population. The broad regimen, laid down in the 16th century, contains extremely modern health rules which are very much in line with those recommended by the WHO and the health authorities of each individual state in the current COVID-19 pandemic, even starting with hand-washing. The fight against epidemics of the past, especially the history of the plague in the 17th century, anticipates very important and valid concepts, and represents a wake-up call for the recent epidemics of emerging pathogens.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/history , Plague/history , Yersinia pestis , Animals , /prevention & control , Disease Vectors , History, 17th Century , History, Medieval , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Paintings/history , Plague/epidemiology , Plague/prevention & control , Plague/transmission
6.
Przegl Epidemiol ; 74(2): 180-195, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893172

ABSTRACT

Until the 19th century, the factor causing epidemics was not known, and the escape from a place where it occurred as well as isolation of patients was considered to be the only effective way to avoid illness and death. Quarantine in a sense similar to modern times was used in 1377 in Ragusa, today's Dubrovnik, during the plague epidemic. It was the first administratively imposed procedure in the world's history. It was later used in Venice and other rich port cities in the Mediterranean. On the territory of today's Poland, quarantine measures were used by the so-called Mayor of the Air - LukaszDrewno in 1623 during the plague epidemic in Warsaw. The quarantine left its mark on all areas of human activity. It affected all humanity in a way that is underestimated today. Throughout history, it has been described and presented visually. It is omnipresent in the world literature, art and philosophy. However, the isolation and closure of cities, limiting trade, had an impact on the economic balance, and the dilemma between the choice of inhabitants' health and the quality of existence, i.e. their wealth, has been the subject of discussions since the Middle Ages. Since the end of the 19th century, quarantine has lost its practical meaning. The discovery of bacteria and a huge development of medical and social sciences allowed limiting its range. In the 20th century isolation and quarantine no longer had a global range, because the ability to identify factors causing the epidemic, knowledge about the incubation period, carrier, infectiousness, enabled the rational determination of its duration and territorial range. The modern SARS COV 2 pandemic has resulted in a global quarantine on a scale unprecedented for at least three hundred years. The aim of this paper is to present the history of quarantine from its beginning to the present day, including its usefulness as an epidemiological tool.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/history , Plague/history , Quarantine/history , Communicable Disease Control/history , Disease Outbreaks/history , History, 15th Century , History, 16th Century , History, 17th Century , History, 18th Century , History, 19th Century , History, 20th Century , History, Medieval , Humans
7.
J Glob Health ; 10(2): 020501, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895664

ABSTRACT

Background: The focus of the study is to assess the role of different transport means in the importation and diffusion of 1918-19 influenza and a novel 2019 corona virus designated as COVID-19 in Nigeria. Methods: The study provides a review of the means by which the two pandemics were imported into the country and the roles the transport means of each period played in the local spread of the epidemics. Results: The study notes that seaports and railways, being the emerging transportation modes in the country were significant to the importation and local diffusion of 1918-19 influenza, respectively, while air transport is significant to the importation of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: The study concludes that increasing preference for the transport at a given epoch is significant to the diffusion of prevailing epidemic in the epoch.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/history , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics/history , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Transportation/history
8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(44): 27703-27711, 2020 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880729

ABSTRACT

Historical records reveal the temporal patterns of a sequence of plague epidemics in London, United Kingdom, from the 14th to 17th centuries. Analysis of these records shows that later epidemics spread significantly faster ("accelerated"). Between the Black Death of 1348 and the later epidemics that culminated with the Great Plague of 1665, we estimate that the epidemic growth rate increased fourfold. Currently available data do not provide enough information to infer the mode of plague transmission in any given epidemic; nevertheless, order-of-magnitude estimates of epidemic parameters suggest that the observed slow growth rates in the 14th century are inconsistent with direct (pneumonic) transmission. We discuss the potential roles of demographic and ecological factors, such as climate change or human or rat population density, in driving the observed acceleration.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/history , Plague/epidemiology , Plague/history , Animals , History, 15th Century , History, 16th Century , History, 17th Century , History, Medieval , Humans , London , Plague/transmission , Population Density , Rats
15.
Neurosurgery ; 87(4): 854-856, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641027

ABSTRACT

Even though neurosurgeons exercise these enormous and versatile skills, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the fabrics of the global neurosurgical family, jeopardizing human lives, and forcing the entire world to be locked down. We stand on the shoulders of the giants and will not forget their examples and their teachings. We will work to the best of our ability to honor their memory. Professor Harvey Cushing said: "When to take great risks; when to withdraw in the face of unexpected difficulties; whether to force an attempted enucleation of a pathologically favorable tumor to its completion with the prospect of an operative fatality, or to abandon the procedure short of completeness with the certainty that after months or years even greater risks may have to be faced at a subsequent session-all these require surgical judgment which is a matter of long experience." It is up to us, therefore, to keep on the noble path that we have decided to undertake, to accumulate the surgical experience that these icons have shown us, the fruit of sacrifice and obstinacy. Our tribute goes to them; we will always remember their excellent work and their brilliant careers that will continue to enlighten all of us.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/history , Neurosurgery/history , Pandemics/history , Pneumonia, Viral/history , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , History, 21st Century , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality
16.
Med Confl Surviv ; 36(4): 315-332, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-759793

ABSTRACT

This essay challenges generalizations since the late enlightenment about the effects of epidemics and pandemics on collective mentalities: that from antiquity to the present, epidemics, regardless of the disease, have sparked distrust, social violence, and the blaming of others. By contrast, the pandemic that killed the greatest numbers in world history-the Influenza of 1918-20 - was a pandemic of compassion. No one has yet to uncover this pandemic sparking collective violence or blaming any minorities for spreading the disease anywhere in the globe. The essay then explores the variety of charitable reactions and abnegation that cut across social divisions in communities from theatres of war in Europe to nations thousands of miles from the direct military encounters. Most remarkable, however, was the overflowing volunteerism of women, especially in the US, Canada, and Australia. To explain this widespread charitable reaction, the essay investigates the milieu of the First World War, showing how that context in domestic war settings was not conducive to risking life to aid total strangers, especially when those strangers came from different foreign countries classes, races, or religious faiths. I end with a reflection on the unfolding socio-psychological reactions to Covid-19 from the perspective of 1918-20.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Empathy , Influenza, Human/history , Pandemics/history , /psychology , Charities , Community Participation/history , Female , History, 20th Century , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/psychology , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Scapegoating , Volunteers , World War I
17.
Postgrad Med J ; 96(1140): 633-638, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751465

ABSTRACT

After the dramatic coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on 11 March 2020, a pandemic was declared by the WHO. Most countries worldwide imposed a quarantine or lockdown to their citizens, in an attempt to prevent uncontrolled infection from spreading. Historically, quarantine is the 40-day period of forced isolation to prevent the spread of an infectious disease. In this educational paper, a historical overview from the sacred temples of ancient Greece-the cradle of medicine-to modern hospitals, along with the conceive of healthcare systems, is provided. A few foods for thought as to the conflict between ethics in medicine and shortage of personnel and financial resources in the coronavirus disease 2019 era are offered as well.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ethics, Medical/history , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Hospitals/history , Pandemics/history , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine/history , Betacoronavirus , Cholera/epidemiology , Cholera/history , Health Workforce , Hippocratic Oath , History, 15th Century , History, 16th Century , History, 17th Century , History, 18th Century , History, 19th Century , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , History, Ancient , History, Medieval , Humans , Leprosy/epidemiology , Leprosy/history , Plague/epidemiology , Plague/history , Resource Allocation , United States/epidemiology
18.
J Med Libr Assoc ; 108(3): 494-497, 2020 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-743487
19.
Ann Intern Med ; 173(4): 297-299, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729754

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has sickened millions, killed hundreds of thousands, and utterly disrupted the daily lives of billions of people around the world. In an effort to ameliorate this devastation, the biomedical research complex has allocated billions of dollars and scientists have initiated hundreds of clinical trials in an expedited effort to understand, prevent, and treat this disease. National emergencies can stimulate significant investment of financial, physical, and intellectual resources that catalyze impressive scientific accomplishments, as evident with the Manhattan Project, penicillin, and the polio vaccines in the 20th century. However, pressurized research has also led to false promises, disastrous consequences, and breaches in ethics. Antiserum in the 1918 flu epidemic, contaminated yellow fever vaccines in World War II, and unethical human experimentation with mustard gas offer just a few cautionary exemplars. It is critical to continue biomedical research efforts to address this pandemic, and it is appropriate that they receive priority in both attention and funding. But history also demonstrates the importance of treating early results-such as those associated with hydroxychloroquine-with caution as we only begin to understand the biology, epidemiology, and potential target points of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/history , Biomedical Research/standards , Coronavirus Infections/history , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergencies/history , Pandemics/history , Pneumonia, Viral/history , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Human Experimentation/history , Humans
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