Thursday, April 14, 2016

Medical stuff

Links to my medical blogposts:

Neanderthal extinctions
maybe not genocide, but demise from infectious diseases, including TB and Herpes.

also I note that although Syphilis went widespread after Colombus brought it back, earlier isolated epdemics might have come from Viking contact with Native Americans 500 years earlier.

I linked to a NYTimes article on Zika.

so if it was in Africa for quite awhile, why the hype? Well, most Africans caught it as children, when they probably had mild cases, but it left them immune. Now Zika is spreading in a "virgin" population, including adults and pregnant women.

A lot of diseases are less severe in kids than in adults, and also, if a disease is lethal, but has been around awhile, only the kids get it and only the kids die.
In a culture where half the kids die anyway, no big deal: Just have a couple more kids.

But when adults get it, the productive members of society die, and often that means the rest of the family might not make it in a marginal society.

In America, if you have a famine, you sacrifice yourself and give the extra food to kids, so they will live.
But in Africa, you give it to the father, because without a man to plow the fields and protect you against predators, the rest of the family would die.

This is also the reason that women walk behind men: There is an internet joke where an American asked an Afghan lady why she still walked six feet behind her husband, and she laughed and said "Landmines". In the olden days, it would be lions or hyenas or dog packs...

Polio vaccine..

There is an improved version of oral polio vaccine.

Rabies: a longer version of what I posted here.

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