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This text intends to emphasis to students that widespread, deadly disease is not a distant historical phenomenon, but a continuing threat to humanity. It explains the economic, political, social, and psychological problems that deadly diseases have caused in our past and the challenges we face currently and in the future. The importance of this study is emphasized by the author's last line in the text, "The history of disease will go on, despite once confident predictions of an end to epidemics in our times, and those who now wage the heroic struggle to find elusive cures to our new plagues may find that they have more to learn from the past than had once been thought."