Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Writing - Research well.




In the olden days, pre-internet, writers used to research on the hoof, in the libraries and even travelling to places for real. It isn't totally necessary in these days of Google and Google Maps but at a personal level there is something more by being in a place than looking at it on the small screen. However, the 'library' work is easier and can be done in the comfort of your own home. 

I am looking for a disease in connection with my current book 'Cessation' but I won't tell you exactly why at present (buy the book when its out!). However, the disease has to be in one of two categories, either ancient, or animal to human transmittable. So here goes.


Zoonoses - animal to human transmission.

Out of 56 zoonoses studied, the researchers found 13 that were most important in terms of their impact on human deaths, the livestock sector and the severity of disease in people, along with their amenability to agriculture-based control.
These were, in descending order: zoonotic gastrointestinal disease; leptospirosis; cysticercosis; zoonotic tuberculosis (TB); rabies; leishmaniasis (caused by a bite from certain sandflies); brucellosis (a bacterial disease that mainly infects livestock); echinococcosis; toxoplasmosis; Q fever; zoonotic trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), hepatitis E; and anthrax.

Some great names in there and lots of material for me to delve deeper into so the disease I need could come from here, or perhaps be a historical health issue.


Historic Diseases

Diseases that were common in the 16th century were smallpox, measles, malaria, scarlet fever and chickenpox. These were mainly caused by a lack of sanitation. In the 17th century the big hitter was bubonic plague (Black Death). By the 18th century the diseases that were prevalent were influenza, tuberculosis, but principally cholera. 
So nothing particularly new their but plenty to look into.

The internet allows this type of research and in a very short space of time so it is now down to me to decide on the final illness and then to weave it into the story.

God Bless