ebook Epidemics and Society

By Adam Furgang

cover image of Smallpox

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Of all the diseases that humans have suffered throughout history, the biggest killer by far has been smallpox. It's believed that as many as half a billion people died from this disease in the twentieth century alone. Today, the disease no longer exists as a threat to civilization. Modern medicine has helped to wipe this disease off the face of the earth. It only exists frozen in laboratories. It is no longer a threat to daily life and the way we live. The road to eradication is an interesting one. As it spread throughout the world, it affected families, communities, and entire civilizations. It caused more deaths in the last hundred years than all the wars fought during that period combined. The disease knew no economic, political, geographic, or social boundaries. It touched the lives of the rich and the poor, kings and peasants, chauffered presidents and ordinary pedestrians. This is the heartbreaking, tragic, but ultimately triumphant story of the diseases rise, spread, and eventual eradication. Even more compelling is this book's account of how society was shaped by the dread disease and the course of civilization permanently altered.