c hapter 1 Factors in Health and Wellness HEALTH AND DISEASE IN HISTORY In early hunter and gatherer societies, with small, scattered popula- tions, humans were unlikely to have been exposed to numerous conta- gious bacterial and viral diseases that require large, dense populations to spread (such as smallpox). Furthermore, the nomadic lifestyle of these early societies would have minimized the possibility of contact with water polluted by human waste and piles of refuse and garbage that might attract disease-carrying insects. Finally, prior to the period of widespread domestication of animals, these peoples were less likely to contract diseases passed on by close contact with dogs, pigs, birds, and cattle, not to mention the mice and rats drawn to human dwell- ings. This is not to say that early humans lived without disease indeed they still faced a number of diseases caused by eating animals, or passed on by worms and lice. The limited population sizes, however, would have limited incidences of infection and death from infectious diseases. As humans began to live together in larger, permanent settle- ments starting around 10,000 b.c.e., they encountered a whole new range of diseases of civilization. Living in cities brought humans into closer, regular contact with pathogens and parasites that were spread by contact with domesticated animals, or through poor sanitation and fouled water supplies. The larger and denser populations also made it easier for infectious diseases to spread, allowing some (like smallpox
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