STATES CHRONICLE – In the past, the history of the human world was marked by disease and plague and it looks like Victorian diseases are hunting Britain again.
Nowadays, main causes of death are diseases, accidents, drug overdose or alcohol. Throughout history, causes of death were wide-spread diseases like the plague, conflagrations and wars. Given that medical care was scarce, science and technology on the health care system were not very advanced the fact that diseases used to spread so quickly and be fatal to so many people is quite understandable. If we add to this poor hygiene, the results are far from surprising. But what is surprising is that we are still having trouble fighting off diseases even nowadays.
Yes, there is the Ebola virus which affects developing countries – again, understandable because of the poor conditions in which people live there. But when diseases are rapidly spreading in developed countries like Britain, things are getting ‘fishy’ to say the least.
The diseases which are making a comeback in the U.K. are the ones the British people had fought in the Victorian Era such as scurvy, tuberculosis and scarlet fever. Tuberculosis is usually linked to poverty but that is not the case anymore.
Josie Garrett, a 24 year old woman in Britain has been going through an intensive treatment for this disease, including hospital isolation. Apparently the disease has reached her after passing from various people. She contracted it from her boyfriend, who took it from his friend who contracted it from his father. The father was diagnosed with TB after travelling to India in the 90s. This disease appeared to be a drug resistant form.
The problem with tuberculosis is that the virus can enter your body and remain dormant and it can come to life when your immune system is affected and reaches lower levels. Back in the 19 century, TB was killing 1 in 4 people and although we are far from such numbers nowadays, the situation still raises concern. There are many parts of London where tuberculosis rates are higher than in countries such as Iraq or Rwanda.
Besides TB there are also other ‘old’ diseases which are coming back such as scarlet fever. Last year 14,000 cases were registered and over the last five years, U.K. cases of scurvy have also risen by 38 %. Cholera has also risen by 300%, but for these last two diseases, the numbers are still very small. The main reasons for these comebacks are reduced vaccination and reduced immunity.
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