The Shift from Infectious to Non-Infectious Causes of Death in the Late 19th Century

TLDR In the late 19th century, non-infectious causes of death became the leading cause of mortality, marking a significant change in human history. The rise of civilization and technological advancements exposed humans to a wide range of diseases, leading to the expansion of diseases throughout history.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Non-infectious causes of death surpassed infectious diseases as the leading cause of mortality in the late 19th century, marking a significant shift in human history.
04:23 The history of humanity's relationship to pathogens and diseases is intertwined with the history of everything, including migration, poverty, progress, and our ancestral ape ancestors.
08:35 The rise of civilization and the development of technology, particularly the use of fire, has allowed humans to change their environments and exploit different habitats, leading to the exposure to a wide range of potential diseases and the creation of a unique human disease pool.
12:45 The expansion of diseases has been a significant part of humanity's history, even among hunter-gatherer societies who were not living in a disease-free paradise.
16:53 Hunter-gatherers primarily die from infectious diseases such as respiratory diseases, worms, herpes, and gastroenteric diseases, which is different from the diseases that people died from during the early industrial revolution.
20:58 Human settlements, with their concentration of animal waste, have a significant impact on health, particularly in terms of diarrheal diseases and dysentery, which are often overlooked compared to respiratory diseases but impose a huge burden on human health, especially on children.
24:55 Pre-modern cities were often demographic sinks that relied on constant migration from less dense and healthier countryside populations to sustain or grow their population, as seen in the case of London where the death rate exceeded the birth rate until about 1800.
28:56 The Black Death, caused by the bacterial disease Yersinia pestis, killed approximately half of the population in affected areas, making it one of the most cataclysmic events in human history.
32:45 The spread of the Black Death across Asia before reaching Europe is a topic of growing interest and research, with genetic evidence suggesting a connection to the Mongol expansion, although the evidence from China is still inconclusive.
Categories: History

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