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Insights into infectious disease in the era of Hippocrates
30.05.2021 Georgios Pappasab, Ismene J. Kiriazeac and Matthew E. Falagasad
Medicine
Hippocrates

Hippocrates is traditionally considered the father of modern medicine, still influencing, 25 centuries after his time, various aspects of medical practice and ethics. His collected works include various references to infectious diseases that range from general observations on the nature of infection, hygiene, epidemiology, and the immune response, to detailed descriptions of syndromes such as tuberculous spondylitis, malaria, and tetanus. We sought to evaluate the extent to which this historical information has influenced the modern relevant literature. 

Associating disease to the disequilibrium of body fluids may seem an ancient and outdated notion nowadays, but many of the clinical descriptions presented in the Corpus Hippocraticum (Hippocratic Collection) are still the archetypes of the natural history of certain infectious diseases and their collective interplay with the environment, climate, and society. For this reason, modern clinicians and researchers continue to be attracted to these ‘lessons’ from the past – lessons that remain extremely valuable.

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