BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: Malaria in the UK - offshoot thread
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
Ooo, interesting question emerged from another thread.

Was malaria rife in Iron Age UK (say 700BC - AD43 or 700 whichever you prefer)

Found these snipits from

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel/diseas...isease.htm

What is malaria?

Malaria is a potentially fatal tropical disease that's caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium. It's spread through the bite of an infected female mosquito.
The infected person may have feverish attacks, influenza-like symptoms, tiredness, diarrhoea or a whole range of other symptoms.
Malaria should always be suspected if these symptoms occur within the first year of return from an infected area, and a test should be carried out to exclude the possibility of malaria as soon as possible.
Malaria is one of the leading causes of disease and death in the world. It is estimated that there are 300 to 500 million new cases every year, with 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths worldwide.
Malaria occurs extensively in tropical and subtropical regions.
It used to exist in the UK but fortunately no longer does.


Where does malaria occur?

Malaria occurs where the Anopheles mosquito lives - ie particularly in hot, humid climates.
Plasmodium falciparum is by far the most important malaria parasite in Africa.
There are also areas in: Latin America, Asia, and Oceania, where fatal malaria still occurs.
Plasmodium vivax is the most common in Asia and Latin America, including Central America.


and this site.......

http://malaria.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD023991.html
Although no incidence of malaria has been found recently in the Uk, there is plenty of historical evidence for it in the past particularly in the Kent and Essex marsh area along the Thames. I remember an evaluation by the former Passmore Edwards museum coming across living anopheles mosquitos on the Rainham marshes in the 1990s. It seems the agent is present there if not the disease.

There is a book 'Plagues' by Chris Wills which documents the occurrence of malaria in northern Europe (particularly in Denmark) and action taken to eradicate the disease (basic hygiene really. Don't leave piles of pig shit around that allow the insect to shelter and survive northern European winters)....
as an archaeologist I have often wondered wheather the carr dyke increased or decreased the previresnes of the malouderounes of the fentigers ganger inpregnated ironage watery world within an overall lowland rather than upland more forsted british impact
I was told in school that the disease 'Ague' was malaria. It's mentioned quite often in historical documents. (I've had malaria a couple of times - it's not at all pleasant!)
During Oliver Cromwell's 'visit' to Ireland his troops were thinned out by a malady known as 'Irish Ague,' supposedly caused by all the bogs. As far as I remember earlier travellers such as Raleigh and the Earl of Essex had similar problems - Can't imagine what else 'Irish Ague' could have been except malaria. Who would have thought Co. Longford was ever so exotic!
It doesn't of course have to be malaria...there are plenty of other diseases carried by mosquitos, midges and ticks that have similar symptoms...dengue fever, Lymes Disease, West Nile fever etc etc
Ague is Northern European Malaria, a related desease but not quite as lethal, still nasty though. Seem to recall that the last fatality in this country was back in the '50s?

Don't forget that at times in the past it's been a lot warmer (and colder!) in this country, so plenty of scope for proper malaria to have been present. It's probably warm enough now - haven't there been some much-publicised cases recently down south of people who've never been abroad coming down with it?
As well as the Thames Marsh, the lower lying parts of Norfolk were also well known for Malaria.
Love your new avatar SparkyCool

Read a sickeningly rubbish news report claiming that the government has issued advice to hospitals etc that according to 'experts' global warming will cause outbreaks of malaria in this country.

We are governed by idiots, it's the NMR jab, millennium bug, new ice age myths all over again.
Pages: 1 2 3