Various Typhus Epidemics
Caused by the bacteria Rickettsia prowazekii, and transmitted by body lice, typhus has been responsible for untold deaths. During Napoleon’s retreat from Russia, more of his soldiers died from typhus than were killed by the Russians. The disease also exacerbated the Irish potato famine.
During World War I, typhus outbreaks are said to have killed as many as nine million (civilians included).
The Plague of Athens in 420 BC was most likely the first recorded outbreak of Athens.
Typhus outbreaks were averted during the Second World War with aggressive delousing campaigns using DDT.
The 1952 polio outbreak killed 3,000 in the United States. A 1916 US epidemic killed 6,000. Although it has virtually disappeared in the US since the 1955 invention of the vaccine, it still appears around the world.
Articles from the Thief River Falls Times talk about the school closings, the children who are affected by polio and how they were treated, as well as those children who died.
I had a great friend who contracted polio. Later she would tell about how she had to have two different size shoes because her polio foot was smaller. BUT she made it and isn't that the important thing?
Typhoid Fever Outbreaks
Typhoid is spread by water and food infected by the salmonella bacteria. It has largely disappeared with modern sanitation, but was a major killer in olden days (wells and outhouses shared the same water tables).
Typhoid killed Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert and her son, Edward.
In 1906, a cook named Mary Mallon gained eternal fame as Typhoid Mary when she was traced as the source of an outbreak among the moneyed set in New York. She was a carrier, who did not herself get sick, and was said to have infected 33 people, 3 of whom died. When she refused to stop working as a cook, she was quarantined for life on North Brother Island.
But Mary was not an isolated case. The New York Health department knew of dozens of carriers, and in 1906 recorded 600 typhus deaths.