Disease & The Plague

Diseases spread easily through other people, rodents, and fleas.  This spread can increase through international travel.  “International travel is undertaken by large, and ever increasing, numbers of people.  More people travel greater distances and at greater speed than ever before, and this upward trend looks set to continue.  Travelers are thus exposed to a variety of health risks in unfamiliar environments” (The Association of Port Health Authorities para. 3).  The Association of Port Health Authorities wrote the secondary source I found about disease spread in seaports.  It talked about different health regulations and controls, and how certain ports dealt with illnesses.  The primary source I used was an image called “Plague: Search on board ship.”  It is a picture of, “British medical officers in Thames River estuary examining Asian crew for signs of infection” (Echenberg 307).  With both of these sources people knew that illnesses are likely to be transmitted and spread faster if the diseases (people and animals) are traveling around the world.  So before entering a certain place in the world, some ports require that the people and the ship pass certain safety clearances before they can leave the dock.  I think health regulations and checks are important for the safety of citizens, and they should be in place in most, if not all, ports to protect them.  Even though in the time of the black death people did not necessarily take the right approach at stopping the disease, they were trying to do something to contain it.  In today’s society we understand these disease better, so we can control and contain them.  Therefore, regulations are important and effective at slowing the spread of disease.  As for being a Minnesotan, Duluth has a huge port that if not regulated correctly could make the rate of spread of disease increase dramatically.  And from Duluth, the shipments that go in and out will spread through the rest of the Midwest, the US, and the world.  The likelihood of disease and illnesses to thrive is great with international travel, and by understanding disease and ways to regulate them, we can keep people safe.

Echenberg, Myron. Plague Ports: The Global Urban Impact of Bubonic Plague 1894-1901. New York: New York University Press. 12 September 2007. Print.

http://www.porthealthassociation.co.uk/seaports/infectious-disease/

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