What are 4 characteristics of epidemic diseases that cause them to die out and not reappear for a long period of time?This can be found in Chapter 11

1 Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Here are the four important characteristics of these kinds of diseases:

  1. They spread rapidly and efficiently from person to person.  This means that everyone in a given area gets the disease all at once.
  2. They are "acute" illnesses where you only have them for a short time.  You either die quickly or recover.  This means that a lot of the people who could get the disease die.  Then the disease has fewer people to infect.
  3. The rest of the people (the ones who don't die) become immune.  This means the disease can't spring up again in the same population.
  4. The diseases have to have human hosts -- they can't live in the soil, for example.

So all of this means that the disease sweeps through and kills a bunch of people but then it can't stay there any longer because there are no potential hosts.  It goes away and can't return until there's a new generation living in the place.