Past in Perspective

“I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was 
either in love or I had smallpox.”
–Woody Allen

When an epidemic spreads beyond a country’s border, that is when the disease turns into a pandemic. Diseases that could be transmitted through human contact existed back when we were hunter-gatherers as well. The shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemic mire possible. The earliest record of a pandemic dates back to the Peloponnesian War when it travelled from Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt. It crossed the Athenian walls as the Spartans laid their siege. It resulted in the deaths of over two-thirds of the population. People experiences fever, thirst, bloody throats, red skin and lesions. The disease was suspected to be typhoid.

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