The globalisations of disease

Monica Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Several disciplines - including genetics, bioarchaeology, and documentary history - contribute to the stories we tell of humankind’s major infectious diseases over the past 100,000 years. In some cases, these diseases have dispersed globally because, as obligate pathogens, they have gone wherever their human hosts have gone. Thus, tuberculosis, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS have traveled along paths (and via technologies) that have moved human populations to all five inhabited continents and Oceania. In other cases, diseases have moved because humans transported microenvironments that brought pathogens along; this would describe the histories of malaria, plague, and cholera. However, many aspects of these narratives are still under debate, including their chronologies and geographic trajectories. This essay will not attempt to settle those debates, but, rather, suggest why the points of debate matter. How does the story change if we alter the chronology by several thousand years, or propose different geographical routes?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman Dispersal and Species Movement
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Prehistory to the Present
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages494-520
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781316686942
ISBN (Print)9781107164147
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

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Keywords

  • aDNA
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Global health
  • Historical method
  • Phylogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Green, M. (2017). The globalisations of disease. In Human Dispersal and Species Movement: From Prehistory to the Present (pp. 494-520). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316686942.020