Plague, a highly infective disease caused by Yersinia pestis (Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriales), ravaged Europe from 1347 over the course of more than 450 years. During the Italian Plague (1629–1631), the disease was rampaging in the entire Northern Italy down to Tuscany, but the city of Ferrara was relatively spared, in spite that the economic activities were maintained with highly affected cities, such as Milan, through the relevant salt commerce. The aim of the study is to evaluate the hygiene rules that were effective in preventing the spread of the plague in Ferrara in 1630, by examining historical documents and reports. According to these documents, a kind of empirical “integrated disease management” was carried out, using remedies including compounds with bactericidal, anti-parasite and repellent activity, and by technical strategies including avoidance of possible plague carriers. The anti-plague remedies and technical strategies used in ancient Ferrara are critically analysed using a multidisciplinary approach (pharmaceutic, medical, epidemiologic and entomological) and compared to current prevention protocols.

Empirical “integrated disease management” in Ferrara during the Italian plague (1629–1631)

Teresa Bonacci
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Plague, a highly infective disease caused by Yersinia pestis (Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriales), ravaged Europe from 1347 over the course of more than 450 years. During the Italian Plague (1629–1631), the disease was rampaging in the entire Northern Italy down to Tuscany, but the city of Ferrara was relatively spared, in spite that the economic activities were maintained with highly affected cities, such as Milan, through the relevant salt commerce. The aim of the study is to evaluate the hygiene rules that were effective in preventing the spread of the plague in Ferrara in 1630, by examining historical documents and reports. According to these documents, a kind of empirical “integrated disease management” was carried out, using remedies including compounds with bactericidal, anti-parasite and repellent activity, and by technical strategies including avoidance of possible plague carriers. The anti-plague remedies and technical strategies used in ancient Ferrara are critically analysed using a multidisciplinary approach (pharmaceutic, medical, epidemiologic and entomological) and compared to current prevention protocols.
2020
Italian plague, Ferrara Integrated disease management, Antimicrobial insecticidal repellent agents, Physical agents
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/297035
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