Chủ Nhật, Tháng Tư 21, 2024
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[Mp4] The diseases that changed humanity forever

 

Since humanity’s earliest days, we’ve been plagued by countless disease-causing pathogens. Invisible and persistent, these microorganisms and the illnesses they incur have killed more humans than anything else in history.

 

But which disease is deadliest varies across time and place. Because while the march of progress has made us safer from some infectious threats, human innovation often exposes us to surprising new maladies.

 

Our tour of history’s deadliest diseases begins when humans lived in small hunter-gatherer communities. The illnesses these pre-agricultural nomads encountered most likely came from the various animals they ate, and the soil and water they interacted with.

 

There are no written records to help us identify these diseases; however, some illnesses leave distinct growths or lesions on the skeleton, allowing bio-archaeologists to diagnose ancient remains. And researchers have found that bones from this era suggest the presence of tuberculosis and treponemal infections. While these conditions are life-threatening, the deadliest diseases are invariably part of widespread epidemics, and there’s no evidence of any large-scale outbreaks in this lengthy pre-agricultural period.

 

However, when humans started developing agriculture around 12,000 years ago, it brought a whole new crop of diseases. Early farmers knew little about waste and water management, setting the stage for diarrheal diseases like dysentery. Much worse, the proliferation of open fields and irrigation created standing pools of water which brought mosquitoes and in turn malaria – one of history’s oldest and deadliest diseases.

 

We don’t know exactly how many early farmers malaria killed, or how many it left vulnerable to other lethal infections. But we do know this mosquito-borne illness continued to spread through humanity’s next major development: urbanization.

 

In small communities, infectious diseases like measles and smallpox can only circulate so long before running out of hosts. But in densely populated regions with high birth rates, fast-evolving viruses like the flu can continually infect new individuals and morph into various strains. When large settlements became common, medical science hadn’t advanced enough to effectively treat or even distinguish these variants. Nor was it prepared to deal with one of the deadliest pandemics of all time: The Black Death.

 

From the 1330s to the 1350s, the bubonic plague swept Asia, Africa and Europe, reducing the global population from 475 million to roughly 350 million. Like most Afro-Eurasian diseases, the plague didn’t cross the Atlantic until Europeans did in the late 1400s. But at the height of the plague in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, infection was almost guaranteed, and the plague’s fatality rate ranged from 30 to 75%.

 

However, the illness wasn’t equally distributed among the population. Many wealthy lords and landowners were able to stay safe by hiding away in their spacious homes. As medical knowledge became more robust, this kind of class disparity began reflecting who had access to medical care. And that divide became particularly apparent during the reign of our next deadly disease.

 

By the beginning of the 19th century, tuberculosis was already one of the most common causes of death in Europe and the Americas. But the Industrial Revolution led to working and living conditions that were overcrowded and poorly ventilated, turning TB into an epidemic that killed a quarter of Europe’s adult population. The unhealthiest environments were largely populated by impoverished individuals who often went untreated, while doctors provided wealthier victims with the era’s most cutting-edge care.

 

Throughout the 20th century, vaccines became common in many countries, even eradicating the centuries-old viral threat of smallpox. The advent of vaccination, alongside improvements in nutrition and hygiene, have helped people live longer lives on average. And today, medical advances in rapid testing and mRNA vaccines can help us tackle new outbreaks in record time.

 

However, countless regions around the world remain unable to access vaccines, leaving them vulnerable to older threats. Malaria still takes the lives of over 600,000 people every year, with 96% of deaths occurring in communities across Africa. Tuberculosis continues to infect millions, almost half of whom live in Southeast Asia.

 

Addressing these ailments and those yet to emerge will require scientists to develop new and more effective medicines. But something governments and health care systems can do today is working to make the treatments we have already accessible to all.

 

WORD BANK:

plague /pleɪɡ/ [C2] (v): nhiễm bệnh

countless /ˈkaʊnt.ləs/ [C1] (adj): vô số/không thể đong đếm

pathogen /ˈpæθ.ə.dʒən/ (n): mầm bệnh

persistent /pəˈsɪs.tənt/ (adj): dai dẳng

microorganism /ˌmaɪ.krəʊˈɔː.ɡən.ɪ.zəm/ (n): vi sinh vật

incur /ɪnˈkɜːr/ [C2] (v): gây ra

vary /ˈveə.ri/ [B2] (v): biến đổi

march /mɑːtʃ/ (n): bước tiến

infectious /ɪnˈfek.ʃəs/ [C2] (adj): nhiễm bệnh

innovation /ˌɪn.əˈveɪ.ʃən/ [C1] (n): sự đổi mới

expose sb/oneself to sth /ɪkˈspəʊz/ (v): đặt ai vào tình thế nào đó

malady /ˈmæl.ə.di/ (n): căn bệnh

hunter-gatherer /ˌhʌn.təˈɡæð.ər.ər/ (n): săn bắn hái lượm

pre-agricultural nomads /pri:-ˌæɡ.rɪˈkʌl.tʃər.əl ˈnəʊ.mæd/ (n): người du mục tiền nông nghiệp

encounter /ɪnˈkaʊn.tər/ (n): gặp phải/gặp gỡ

soil /sɔɪl/ [B2] (n): đất

interact /ˌɪn.təˈrækt/ [B2] (v): tiếp xúc/tương tác

identify /aɪˈden.tɪ.faɪ/ [B2] (v): xác định

distinct /dɪˈstɪŋkt/ [C1] (adj): rõ rệt/rõ ràng

lesion /ˈliː.ʒən/ (n): tổn thương/vết thương

skeleton /ˈskel.ə.tən/ [B2] (n): khung xương

bio-archaeologist /ˌɑː.kiˈɒl.ə.dʒɪst/ [C1] (n): nhà khảo cổ sinh học

diagnose /ˌdaɪ.əɡˈnəʊz/ [C2] (v): chẩn đoán

ancient remains /ˈeɪn.ʃənt rɪˈmeɪnz/ (n): cổ vật

era /ˈɪə.rə/ [B2] (n): thời đại/thời kỳ

tuberculosis /tʃuːˌbɜː.kjəˈləʊ.sɪs/ (n): bệnh lao

treponemal (n): xoắn khuẩn gây giang mai

life-threatening /ˈlaɪfˌθret.ən.ɪŋ/ (adj): đe dọa đến tính mạng

invariably /ɪnˈveə.ri.ə.bli/ [C2] (adv): vẫn luôn

widespread /ˌwaɪdˈspred/ [C1] (adj): lan rộng

epidemic /ˌep.ɪˈdem.ɪk/ (n): dịch bệnh

evidence /ˈev.ɪ.dəns/ [B2] (n): bằng chứng

large-scale /ˌlɑːdʒˈskeɪl/ (adj): quy mô lớn

outbreak /ˈaʊt.breɪk/ [C2] (n): bùng phát

lengthy /ˈleŋ.θi/ [C1] (adj): kéo dài

pre-agricultural /pri:-ˌæɡ.rɪˈkʌl.tʃər.əl/ (adj): tiền nông nghiệp

agriculture /ˈæɡ.rɪ.kʌl.tʃər/ [B2] (n): nông nghiệp

set the stage (idiom): tạo tiền đề/tạo điều kiện

diarrheal disease /ˌdaɪ.əˈriː.əl/ (adj): bệnh tiêu chảy

dysentery /ˈdɪs.ən.tər.i/ (n): bệnh kiết lỵ

proliferate /prəˈlɪf.ər.eɪt/ (v): gia tăng

irrigation /ˌɪr.ɪˈɡeɪ.ʃən/ (n): hệ thống tưới tiêu

malaria /məˈleə.ri.ə/ (n): bệnh sốt rét

vulnerable /ˈvʌl.nər.ə.bəl/ [C2] (adj): bị suy yếu/bị tổn thương

lethal /ˈliː.θəl/ [C2] (adj): gây chết người

major /ˈmeɪ.dʒər/ [B2] (adj): quan trọng

urbanization /ˌɜː.bən.aɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/ (n): đô thị hóa

measles /ˈmiː.zəlz/ (n): bệnh sởi

smallpox /ˈsmɔːl.pɒks/ (n): bệnh đậu mùa

circulate /ˈsɜː.kjə.leɪt/ (v): lây lan

host /həʊst/ (n): vật chủ

birth rate /ˈbɜːθ ˌreɪt/ (n): tỷ lệ sinh

fast-evolve /ɪˈvɒlv/ [C1] (v): tiến hóa nhanh

flu /fluː/ (n): bệnh cúm

individual /ˌɪn.dɪˈvɪdʒ.u.əl/ [B2] (n): cá thể/cá nhân

morph /mɔːf/ (v): biến đổi

strain /streɪn/ (n): chủng loại

settlement /ˈset.əl.mənt/ [C2] (n): khu định cư

medical science /ˈmed.ɪ.kəl ˈsaɪ.əns/ (n): y học/y khoa

distinguish /dɪˈstɪŋ.ɡwɪʃ/ [B2] (v): phân biệt

variant /ˈveə.ri.ənt/ (n): biến thể

pandemic /pænˈdem.ɪk/ (n): đại dịch

The Black Death /ˌblæk ˈdeθ/ (n): Cái Chết Đen

bubonic plague /bjuːˌbɒn.ɪk ˈpleɪɡ/ (n): bệnh dịch hạch

sweep /swiːp/ [C2] (v): càn quét

Afro-Eurasian (n): lục địa Á-Âu-Phi

the plague /pleɪɡ/ [C2] (n): dịch bệnh

fatality rate /fəˈtæl.ə.ti ˌreɪt/ (n): tỷ lệ tử vong

distribute /dɪˈstrɪb.juːt/ [B2] (v): phân bổ

wealth /welθ/ [B2] (n): giàu có, sung túc

robust /rəʊˈbʌst/ (adj): vững chắc

class disparity /dɪˈspær.ə.ti/ (n): chênh lệch giai cấp

apparent /əˈpær.ənt/ [B2] (adj): rõ ràng

the reign /reɪn/ [C1] (n): thời kỳ ngự trị

Industrial Revolution /ɪnˌdʌs.tri.əl ˌrev.əˈluː.ʃən/ (n): Cách mạng Công Nghiệp

overcrowded /ˌəʊ.vəˈkraʊ.dɪd/ [C1] (adj): đông đúc, chen chúc

impoverished /ɪmˈpɒv.ər.ɪʃt/ (adj): nghèo khó

the cutting edge /ˌkʌt.ɪŋ ˈedʒ/ (n): tiên tiến

eradicate /ɪˈræd.ɪ.keɪt/ [C2] (v): xóa sổ

advent /ˈæd.vent/ (n): ra đời

vaccination /ˌvæk.sɪˈneɪ.ʃən/ [C2] (n): tiêm chủng

nutrition /njuːˈtrɪʃ.ən/ [C1] (n): dinh dưỡng

hygiene /ˈhaɪ.dʒiːn/ [C1] (n): vệ sinh

rapid testing /ˈræp.ɪd ˈtes.tɪŋ/ (n): xét nghiệm nhanh

tackle /ˈtæk.əl/ [B2] (v): giải quyết

address /əˈdres/ [C2] (v): giải quyết

accessible /əkˈses.ə.bəl/ [B2] (adj): có thể tiếp cận


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