Malaria Vs. The Plague

December 24, 2017 Medical

Malaria VS.. The Black Plague In the fourteenth century, death and devastation swept from Asia to Europe in the form of the Black Plague, killing nearly one third of the world’s population. The Black Plague was one of the most horrid pandemics in history. Arguably, other modern day diseases such as Malaria, have, and continue to impact the world in many ways. While the medical responses, based off knowledge and economic results differ from the Black Death to Malaria, social classing plays a role in the likelihood of being directly affected by either disease.

Medical advancements such as vaccines, treatments, and cures are based off of the knowledge of scientists, doctors, and other medical professionals of the time. Though, there are many myths that are and have been formulated to suggest otherwise. The overall economic effects of the Plague and Malaria differ in the sense that The Plague flipped the entire economy around, and Malaria only has a slight effect on society. Socially speaking, these diseases were both associated with lower classes. The overall medical knowledge of the time impacts the development of treatments for any disease.

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In this case, the treatments and methods applied during the Black Plague differ from how Malaria is currently treated and has been in the past. During the fourteenth century, when the Black Plague was at it’s height, society was enclosed in pure chaos. No one knew what was happening, not even the nobles, doctors, or priests of higher power. People came up with theories of why the Black Death was encompassing them, as a result of the hysteria. As well, people concocted speculations for treatments and cures. These speculations would range from feasible to completely absurd.

Though during that time period, people thought what is now considered absurd was then plausible. A good indicator that society was indeed lacking information is the fact that most of the theories do not “match” up. A fair amount of theories formulated contradicted others. “Often one tract contradicted another, for example, either invoking the use of arsenic amulets or warning against it. Much of the advice was conservative and old-fashioned. ” (Anne McKinney, M. S. L. I. S) Today, when Malaria is considered, most people in the affected regions are essentially informed about the disease.

Though, people in current times are still known to concoct theories about almost any subject, including diseases. Most speculations about Malaria have accurate support or logical explanation behind it. Nevertheless, there are some myths and misconceptions that are not logical. An example of a myth is “Once you have Malaria, you have it for life. ” (Dry. Mark Wise, Verge Magazine) The reason people formulated such theories during the Plague, is simply due to lack of knowledge or misinformation about the disease. Medical knowledge was limited, so there was not much to work with when it came to the placement of treatments and cures.

The Plague also had such a short incubation period, that it was difficult to test educated hypothesis’. Today, society as a whole is more educated on Malaria and the science behind it, as well as technologically advanced, that creating a cure or treatment is considerably easier than it was then. The economic effects of Malaria differed from the Black Plague of the fourteenth century to modern day Malaria. Though both diseases caused some sort of economic dismay, the Plague had much greater of an impact than Malaria has and continues to have on society.

There was tremendous economic discord that the Plague brought upon the people of Europe and Asia. Not only were lives flipped upside down socially, but economically speaking as well. After the height of the Plague had come, there was a major shift in social classes. So many peasants and serfs were killed off, that the nobles had nobody to maintain the fields, so they had to begin working themselves. They didn’t have any people left to work or make money for them, that many nobles ended up losing money, nobility, and dignity.

There was such an extreme amount of owned land that once belonged to the dead, that was shortly after taken over by peasants and serfs. This often lead to peasants progressing up the class order, all the way to nobility at times. As one could imagine, the change in classes was closely associated with money, meaning a change in economy. During the Plague, the economy certainly crashed (to say the least), though after, there was a major boost in the economy. The market grew due to the rebuilding of society, which for a short while mocked the growth of Europe leading to its height, shortly before the Plague.

Overall, the Plague completely flipped the economy. Today, Malaria effects the world economy in some ways that not many would suspect. Malaria has raised some political and economic concerns that have sparked some regional discord, as well as global. Malaria has affected smaller, developing countries in Africa that cannot necessarily afford it. Annually in Malawi, the country spends about 1/3 of their income on Malaria alone. “Malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Evidence has shown that the disease slows economic growth by 1. 3% per year in African countries, resulting in an annual economic loss of US $12 billion. FRI.) There are a few different organizations and associations that are dedicated to prevention of Malaria, mainly by funding research, vaccines, and other preventative measures. There are little costs that add up to put countries in debt, such as; lost days of work or school, required vaccines, maintenance of facilities, purchase of supplies, and regional/global interventions. The difference between the economic effects of Malaria versus that of the Plague, is that when considering the Plague, society became completely capsized in basically every aspect, including economically.

Whereas, the impact of Malaria on the world’s economy is not a major affair. The social factors and effects of the Plague and Malaria are similar in the way people have been affected. When considering the Plague and Malaria, it is a noticeable and known fact that lower classes are more apt to be around and or acquire such illnesses. During the times of both epidemics, the wealthy class avoided and prevented the diseases more easily. Throughout the plague, the wealthy citizens were able to escape congested areas that had a plethora of the sick, dying, and newly infected.

They would take extreme precautions to avoid the plague such as taking trips to the mountains, or completely isolating themselves from society. Most times there was more at stake then their lives. Nobles and wealthy citizens had grown successful corporations, businesses, and other dynasties as such. Today, Malaria is prevented and avoided by vaccines and other preventative measures that usually cost money. Most of the time only the wealthy people can afford these preventions. That is why there is such a problem in the lower class countries. For example in

Africa, where many countries have little money, there is a plethora of people who have the disease. While the medical responses (differ based off knowledge) and economic factors differ from the Black Death to Malaria , social classing plays a role in the likelihood of being directly affected by either disease. During the plague, people come up with myths and theories of treatments to help explain and make up for the lack of medical knowledge. Today, people are more informed about Malaria, and are able to formulate preventions and cures. Throughout both epidemics, the economies f Europe and Asia have been affected.

During the plague the economy took a turn for the worse and completely flipped around. Now, Malaria has widespread, but less impact effects on economies. Social factors play a role in the likelihood of being directly affected when considering both diseases. Lower class people were more likely to be directly affected, whereas wealthier people had more prevention opportunities. Overall, there were differences and similarities between the Plague and Malaria that have affected society in ways such as economically, social classing, and treatment wise.


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