The struggle against epidemics in diachrony
Мартиросян А.А., Зенина И.В.
ГБОУ ВПО Саратовский ГМУ им. В.И.Разумовского Минздрава России
Кафедра иностранных языков
This article is devoted to the struggle against epidemics throughout the human history. The urgency of this theme is great in the field of medicine because issues pertaining to the value of life are among the most sensitive and controversial. The aims of this paper are:
-to draw public attention to the problems of curing infectious diseases
-to show the evolution of curing methods
-to describe the prospective directions of modern research in microbiology concerning dangerous pandemics.
At the beginning of mankind’s history smallpox epidemics occurred from time to time. Afterwards they happened in every country constantly. Many peoples both European and Asian tried to fight against them. The ingenious Hindus came up with variolation – they infected people with a mild form of smallpox. But it was dangerous – every 50th variolated patient died. Moreover, this method maintained the natural locus of disease. So, variolation seemed doubtful. In some countries it was even prohibited. In the 18th century an English doctor Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine against smallpox. He introduced the substance from cowpox vesicles obtained from the wound of a diseased woman to an 8-year-old Jimmy Phipps. He discovered that those who had recovered from cowpox were immune to smallpox. E.Jenner called his new method of preventing the disease “vaccination” from the Latin word “vacca” which means “a cow”. Since then, vaccination was granted to the whole mankind and smallpox began to disappear as if by magic. The final plan of preventive measures was elaborated by the scientists from the USSR. It was adopted by the WHO during the meeting in 1967. In 1980 it was officially announced that smallpox was fully defeated.
Plague was the disease pandemic of which killed from 40 to 60 mln. people in Europe in the Middle Ages. The Earth envisaged 3 plague pandemics. The first vaccine against plague was invented by the Jewish scientist Vladimir Khavkin. It decreased the death rates 10 times and halved the level of disease occurrence. Real remedy was found during the WW II by the Soviet microbiologists. There are still up to 2500 cases of plague registered in the world annually. Mortality percentage is 5-10. There are no plague pandemics nowadays. However, the scientists and doctors should reveal and investigate each case of plague outbreak by modern means.
The problems which modern science faces are the following: adequate training of medical stuff, lack of investments, state support of scientific research laboratories and institutions, world exchange of advanced scientific experience in the spheres of fight against dangerous infections.