Friday 14 April 2023
11.00 - 13.00
The Social Dimension of Epidemics in Europe (19th and 20th Centuries)
Isabel Amaral :
Reporting Epidemics at the Portuguese Medical Press (19th-20th Century
This paper aims at discussing the impact of epidemics in Portugal from the end of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century by using the medical press as a principal source. This chronological arc corresponds to a very important period in the Portuguese history of public ... (Show more)
This paper aims at discussing the impact of epidemics in Portugal from the end of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century by using the medical press as a principal source. This chronological arc corresponds to a very important period in the Portuguese history of public health, which led to the emergence of a modern program of sanitation, where the microscope and the Pasteurian concept of disease dominate the European medical discourse. In this context, some epidemics outbreaks in the Portuguese population will be analyzed such as the epidemics of cholera, bubonic plague, pneumonic flu, smallpox, and two “tropical” diseases, sleeping sickness, and malaria.
It will be very important to cross the medical information with the local and generalists’ news spread by the newspapers and regional periodical journals to discuss the impact of some epidemic outbreaks on the evolution of society's well-being. Particular attention will be done to the reactions of the public to the sanitary cords, isolation, and quarantine measures implemented by the State and health authorities, but also to the movements of society which were the origin of some important challenges in the Portuguese population.
Keywords: medical press; reactions to the epidemic outbreaks; public health; Portugal, 19th-20th centuries (Show less)
Alexandra Esteves :
Resist to Survive: the Population Facing Epidemics in Portugal in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
The 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century were marked by the occurrence of several epidemic outbreaks, following a European trend of the arrival of new and old diseases, such as cholera and the bubonic plague respectively, which reached the Old Continent. However, the country continued to ... (Show more)
The 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century were marked by the occurrence of several epidemic outbreaks, following a European trend of the arrival of new and old diseases, such as cholera and the bubonic plague respectively, which reached the Old Continent. However, the country continued to face “old” diseases. Typhus, typhoid fever, whooping cough or measles had long marked the Portuguese sanitary context. Although some of these diseases were well known, in the 19th century there was a greater awareness of the need to combat them. For this, the greater knowledge acquired in the meantime on these diseases, a greater articulation at international level, with the health conferences taking place, and the reforms that will also take place in this domain throughout the 1800s and in the first years of the 20th century. The fight against typhus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, measles, cholera, yellow fever, bubonic plague, tuberculosis was carried out through preventive measures, such as vaccination campaigns; of coping with epidemic outbreaks, such as the closure of schools and other public spaces, and reparation in post-pandemic contexts, such as the channeling of funds from assistance institutions to victims of epidemic outbreaks and their families.
However, the fight against the disease, in Portugal, during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, came up against a series of contingencies. One of them was pointed out by doctors and authorities with health capabilities and was related to the resistance shown by the populations to measures to prevent and fight against infectious diseases. This results from the analysis carried out on works written by doctors, namely by Ricardo Jorge and by news on the newspapers, that explain the point of view of the authorities, as well as their correspondence on the occurrence of epidemic outbreaks and their contingencies. From the sources, this tendency to often blame populations for the spread of certain diseases and the difficulties in putting an end to these events stands out. Based on the analysis of these discourses, we categorized resistance into three groups: resistance that resulted from the misunderstanding of the origin and spread of the disease itself, which led to resistance in accepting measures for prophylaxis, treatment and combating the disease; resistance in the face of health professionals and the knowledge they had; opposition to measures to combat diseases and epidemics that had implications for their daily lives, particularly from an economic point of view. Based on the creation of these categories, we will analyze the behavior of populations in the face of epidemic events, taking as a starting point some specific situations. It is, however, a conditioned view, insofar as we do not have the arguments of the peoples, given the lack of documentation that reflects their position or counters the rhetoric developed by the medical and political powers. (Show less)
Amelia Ferreira :
Reorganization of Healthcare during the Pandemic - Report of an Experience in an Intensive Care Unit
Introduction: Covid-19 disease was declared a pandemic in Portugal on March 11, 2020, causing sudden changes and uncertainty, but also cooperation and unity of efforts in society in general and in healthcare in particular. As a result, several measures were adopted to contain the spread of the disease, such as ... (Show more)
Introduction: Covid-19 disease was declared a pandemic in Portugal on March 11, 2020, causing sudden changes and uncertainty, but also cooperation and unity of efforts in society in general and in healthcare in particular. As a result, several measures were adopted to contain the spread of the disease, such as the reorganisation of human and material resources allocated to healthcare in order to respond to the treatment of patients, without neglecting the safety for professionals.
Objective: Describe the process implemented in an Intensive Care Unit to reorganise healthcare, mitigate Covid-19 exposure, and ensure greater safety for healthcare professionals.
Methodology: Narrative of the reorganisation process of an Intensive Care Unit dedicated to patients with Covid-19. The process involved changes in the healthcare service structure, equipment transformation and readjustment of human resources. The plan to mitigate Covid19 exposure and protect healthcare professionals was structured into four topics: training, team strengthening, adjustments to the work method, and measures to promote the well-being of the healthcare team.
Results: Training using different communication methodologies/channels was essential to empower professionals to adopt self-protection measures. Strengthening the healthcare teams allowed the ratio to be adjusted and the work method to be adjusted to decrease the exposure time to SARS-Cov2. In order to circumvent the increasing stress and physical/emotional overload, measures were instituted to promote the well-being of the professionals.
Conclusions: The occupational exposure mitigation plan proved adequate to the needs of the professionals and the demands imposed by the pandemic. Adjustments were possible due to guidelines’ flexibility and the professionals themselves who demonstrated resilience and strong involvement (Show less)
Monique Palma :
Lyssavirus in Northern Portugal (19th -20th Century) – What is its History?
On 16 November, 1925, the approval of Decree No. 11242, by the Ministry of Agriculture – Directorate-General for Livestock Services, published in the Official Gazette in Portugal changed and saved the lives of many mammal species, including ours: the human species. This specific decree was an attempt to control ... (Show more)
On 16 November, 1925, the approval of Decree No. 11242, by the Ministry of Agriculture – Directorate-General for Livestock Services, published in the Official Gazette in Portugal changed and saved the lives of many mammal species, including ours: the human species. This specific decree was an attempt to control rabies by making the vaccination of dogs against the pathogenic agent Lyssavirus – the scientific name of the rabies virus, invisible to the human eye – mandatory. What is the history of the rabies virus in Portugal? The history of the evolution and spread of the virus in Portugal is understudied. This paper aims to analyse the history of the rabies virus in northern Portugal between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of 20th century. It involves many players and institutions, namely human and non-human agents, medicine, politics, economic knowledge, and power. Our sources are medical bulletins, journals and official papers from the Portuguese administrative services. Our theoretical framework is the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM).
Why study the history of rabies in northern Portugal? Despite being considered eradicated in Portugal since 1961, the destruction of many habitats is bringing wild animals seeking to feed themselves into urban areas, as is the case with foxes. Foxes are not vaccinated against rabies and could transmit the virus to dogs which are also not vaccinated, and there are many of these in northern Portugal . Monitoring and controlling rabies is one of the goals of the One Health European Joint Programme (OHEJP) , which aims to create and secure a sustainable network of collaboration between animals, the environment, and humans. This research aims to become a resource to raise awareness of important issues and help promote prophylactic measures against other rabies epidemics.
Keywords: vaccination; rabies virus; wild animals; domestic animals; humans; Portuguese society. (Show less)