Villages wiped out: why infectious diseases are so much more harmful to isolated peoples

Whittaker, Maxine (2018) Villages wiped out: why infectious diseases are so much more harmful to isolated peoples. In: Watson, John, (ed.) The Conversation Yearbook 2018: 50 standout articles from Australia’s top thinkers. University of Melbourne Press, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 80-84.

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[Extract] Sadly, as I write this piece, three isolated rural communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are being “invaded” by an infectious disease, Ebola. Such infectious disease disasters remain a major threat to many isolated communities around the world.

Historically, we know of the impact of infectious diseases from the “Old World” (Europe) on the “New World” (everywhere else). But many of these are based on scanty records, historical accounts and occasionally archaeological materials.

It’s often hard to confirm the agent, or the actual numbers of cases and deaths. However, all tell the story of major social, cultural and human tragedy, and in some cases decimation of whole villages. There are some well-documented cases of the disproportionate effect of infectious diseases on isolated communities – too many in fact.

Item ID: 61365
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
ISBN: 978-0-522-87336-8
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Copyright Information: Text © remains with the identified original authors, 2018 Design and typography © Melbourne University Publishing Limited, 2018. Originally published by The Conversation and available under a CC license.
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 03:49
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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