Disease in History
Although infectious diseases have been responsible for more deaths than have wars, historians often tend to brush over the influence disease has had upon history. To date, disease has been and remains humankind's greatest and most dangerous villain. At times the victims of epidemics have reached into the tens of millions. Arguably, it has played a dramatic role in shaping the winding course taken by history. Yet despite the advances and widespread use of immunizations and antibiotics, local and global outbreaks of infectious diseases remain a repeated occurrence. (The World Health Organization reported 198 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2013 resulting in nearly a million deaths. In the same year, it noted that 35 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS).
Disease in History describes several of the epidemics that have significantly influenced historical events. It explains how the discovery of germs in the last two centuries was able to reverse millenia of superstition and ignorance in the treatment of infectious diseases. Finally, it explains how and why the world of microbial organisms has been able to thwart many of medical science's greatest efforts to eliminate, or, at the very least, control them.