diseases
dysentery
ergotism
gonorrhea
leprosy
malaria
plague
smallpox
typhoid
blackdeath
darfoddedigaeth

Medieval Diseases

Before the discovery of penicillin, antisepsis, and germ theory necessarily meant that disease was a constant companion of medieval people. Fortunately, Europe was free from most epidemic diseases.

There were still poor health conditions related to famine and malnutrition, but these centuries of thriving allowed Europe's population to grow to an estimated 75-80 million.

Nearly all fell harder on the very young, the very old, and those whose resistance was weakened by poor diet, hard labor, or previous disease.

Medieval physicians would have treated these illnesses one symptom at a time, with separate prescriptions for fever, cough, chills, and so forth. This was a time of little change in medicine. Here are some ideas why medical knowledge and treatments stayed at the same low level for nearly a thousand years.

  • Little Knowledge of public health

  • People forgot about the importance of clean water.

  • There was instability and war.

  • Communications were poor so it was hard for doctors to learn or discuss ideas.

Diseases Dysentery Ergotism Gonorrhea Leprosy Malaria Plague Smallpox Typhoid Black Death Darfoddedigaeth


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