Skip to Main Content


Infectious diseases have been the most feared diseases of humans because of their ability to affect large numbers of healthy people over a short period of time. Historically, plague (which killed 10% of the population of London in 1665; Table 13-1), smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever (which have killed large numbers of people in the Third World without historical record) have been the great scourges. Other diseases like measles (which killed entire tribes of Pacific Islanders when they were first colonized by Europeans because of their lack of prior exposure), tuberculosis, and malaria have also wreaked havoc. Until this century, childbirth was a great danger to the mother because of puerperal sepsis, and surgery was greatly restricted by the high incidence of postoperative sepsis. Basic discoveries in the past few centuries by Edward Jenner (immunization), Louis Pasteur (sterilization), and Alexander Fleming (antibiotics), as well as our increased understanding of the epidemiology of infectious diseases have led to our ability to control many of these diseases.

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 13–1. Causes of Death, 1665, London, England. 1

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPhysiotherapy Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPhysiotherapy content and resources including interactive NPTE review, more than 500 videos, Anatomy & Physiology Revealed, 20+ leading textbooks, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPhysiotherapy

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.