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date: 17 September 2019

epidemic diseases 

Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity
Author(s):
Dionysios StathakopoulosDionysios Stathakopoulos, Oliver NicholsonOliver Nicholson

It is difficult to identify past epidemics. The use of written sources for retrospective diagnoses is controversial and often disputed by natural scientists, because of both the absence of clear descriptions of symptoms and the possible mutation of pathogens which would alter the clinical picture of infectious diseases. Relatively few such infectious diseases leave marks on the human skeleton making them traceable by palaeopathologists while more recent attempts to identify the presence of specific epidemic diseases based on samples of DNA extracted from human remains are still controversial.... ...

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