History of Epidemics Informs Modern Science

(Medical Xpress) – In a new book published this week, Murderous Contagion, the historian of medicine Mary Dobson examines 30 of the biggest killers in the history of humankind, from scourges like the Black Death of the 14th century, to modern epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, and the still-developing Ebola crisis. Rather than simply focusing on the gruesome history of disease itself, however, or the often agonising treatments administered to earlier generations of patients, the study also shows how modern science and the history of medicine have come to depend on each other.

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