History Stories
CATEGORY: Disease
Remembering the Legionnaires’ Outbreak
July 21, 2016

After a mysterious illness killed dozens of American Legion members, public health officials launched the largest medical investigation in history to find out why. Read More

The Iceman’s Stomach Bug Helps Scientists Map Ancient Human Migration
January 11, 2016

Scientists discovered the common pathogen Helicobacter pylori inside the stomach of Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old “Iceman” whose naturally mummified body turned up in the Alps in 1991. Read More

The Rise and Fall of Smallpox
May 7, 2015

Take a look back at the history of the pernicious disease. Read More

Researchers Use Medieval Remedy to Kill Modern Superbug
April 1, 2015

British researchers report that a 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections may hold the key to wiping out the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA. Read More

10 Things You May Not Know About “Typhoid Mary”
March 27, 2015

Check out 10 surprising facts about one of history’s most famous infectious disease carriers. Read More

Scientists Blame Gerbils (Not Rats) for the Black Death
February 25, 2015

A new study clears the black rat of spreading the infamous Black Death from Asia across medieval Europe, and identifies gerbils as a more likely culprit. Read More

Scientists Seek Cholera DNA in Tuscan Cemetery
February 17, 2015

A team of researchers hopes a church graveyard in the Italian town of Badia Pozzeveri will yield a breakthrough in efforts to understand a deadly disease. Read More

8 Things You May Not Know About Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine
October 28, 2014

Explore eight surprising facts about the groundbreaking polio vaccine that Salk developed. Read More

Ancient DNA Suggests Seals Brought Tuberculosis to New World
August 25, 2014

After analyzing DNA from 1,000-year-old Peruvian skeletons, scientists claim that seals and sea lions were likely the first to bring TB to the ancient Americas. Read More

Ancient Plague Victims Found in Egypt
June 18, 2014

Archeologists in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes have uncovered the victims of an infamous plague, which one writer at the time saw as a sign that the world was ending. Read More