Throughout human history, there have been lots of contagious, deadly diseases that people have battled. And, before 20thcentury advances in antibiotics and virology, even those diseases that are now completely treatable were once even more deadly!
These kinds of communicable diseases (which can be passed from person to person) have existed since we humans were hunter-gatherers, but when we first started settling down, that’s when things got bad.
Diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, smallpox, and others first appeared. But, with each outbreak of these diseases, we humans have persevered! And each time, our knowledge of how to deal with them also expanded.
Here are 9 deadly diseases that changed the course of history and healthcare forever.
[NOTE: Some of the diseases that kill the greatest number of people are actually non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But since they are not infectious, they have not been included]