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Richard Albert Stein

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 35: Infectious Diseases and Anthropology

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Infectious Diseases and Anthropology
Infectious diseases and anthropology

Infectious diseases accompanied humanity throughout its existence and shaped history more profoundly than probably any other single biological factor. The epidemic from 165 to 180 BCE, referred to as the Antonine plague, or plague of Galen, is said to have caused 2,000 deaths per day and was considered the most decisive event in Roman history. The second bubonic plague pandemic from 14th-century Europe, also known as the black death, thought to be the deadliest pandemic in history, resulted in an estimated 50 million deaths and the loss of one third of the population in Europe and the Middle East. Smallpox caused 3.5 million deaths during a 1520 to 1521 outbreak, and the 1918 to 1919 Spanish flu claimed ...

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