Health problems made a huge impact on the American Revolution. Soldiers died in combats less, that from a disease. The biggest ones were Malaria, Yellow fever, and smallpox. Doctors and nurses from those times didn’t have the complex knowledge and specialized only in few topics; tools were simple and rudimentary. Moreover, low sanitary standards and contaminated food became the compounding factors. The ways of treatment didn’t have any helping results and most of the diseases flourished its ways into epidemics. One of the biggest epidemics during the revolution was yellow fever. It is an acute viral disease that starts with a headache, fever, muscle pain, high intoxication affecting kidneys, liver and other organs continuing with some other symptoms. It is mainly spread by a bite of female mosquitos and it means that anyone could be infected. First, it appeared in States in 1668 in Philadelphia and New York by bringing it over from Barbados.
Another disease that made an impact on the American Revolution was smallpox. It is extremely contagious and caused by the variola virus. It affects children and adults same way and is spread by physical contact. Smallpox is one of the oldest described illness, but it occurred in American lands only in 1636. To prevent the spread of it, colonists first tried inoculation. In mid-18th century, British scientist tried to promote its vaccination but failed to convince local leaders and medics. Malaria happened to be one of the most contagious diseases during the revolution as well. Until late 19th century, the cause of it was unknown. It was attributed to miasma (bad air) by the colonists. However, malaria is a parasite that is spread by a certain type of mosquitos, which started to breed rapidly when the soil was broken for rice cultivations. Coming from Africa, it was transmitted by slaves to white people and got an epidemic status.
Most of the diseases were new to the land and people, so the treatments were either ineffective or not long-lasting. The mortality rates were especially high for children and infants. Some people would turn to barber surgeons and local doctors with little education, but mostly people went to the local healers to ask for help. None of them would usually help to overcome the viruses or parasites, that made the revolution to be dark times for medicine in the American lands.
Health problems made a huge impact on the American Revolution. Soldiers died in combats less, that from a disease. The biggest ones were Malaria, Yellow fever, and smallpox. Doctors and nurses from those times didn’t have the complex knowledge and specialized only in few topics; tools were simple and rudimentary.