1750 to 1950
An essay On the Most Efficient Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen by James Lind establishes principles of hygiene to guard against typhus and other diseases. 1757 A.D.
Bubonic plague ravages Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great. 1770-1792 A.D.
A small pox pandemic strikes natives near Boston.  1774 A.D.
Small pox decimates the Continental army in the north. Some 5,500 of the 10,000 man force are incapacitated by June 1776 A.D.
A case of small pox is detected at Mexico City. August 1779 A.D.
By year’s end an estimated eighteen thousand die of small pox in the Mexico City area. 1779 A.D.
Small pox strikes Columbia. 1780-1781 A.D.
An influenza pandemic spreads from China to Russia, Europe and North America. 1781-1782 A.D.
Small pox strikes Ecuador. 1783 A.D.
Bubonic plague takes as many as 800,000 lives in Egypt. 1792 A.D.
Vancouver Island is circumnavigated by Vancouver. He finds deserted villages, abandoned fishing boats and many human remains. Apparently, the result of a recent small pox epidemic. 1792 A.D.
Small Pox strikes Boston. 1792 A.D.
An epidemic of Yellow fever grips Philadelphia. It is estimated that 5,000 die from this outbreak. 1797 A.D.
A country doctor in England, Edward Jenner, in his Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae known as the Cow Pox describes the protective effect of cowpox as a vaccine against smallpox. 1796 A.D.
A typhus epidemic kills thousands of Britons as starvation tied to poor crop yields makes the country vulnerable to disease. 1798 A.D.
Boston’s Board of Health orders vaccination against smallpox. The board begins to improve the city’s hygiene, regulate burials, and impose quarantines. 1802 A.D.
A pandemic of cholera originates in India. 1817 A.D.
Sumatra suffers a cholera epidemic. 1819 A.D.
Some 80,000 of Napolean’s fores are sick with dysenterey, enteric fever, and typhus after the Battle of Ostrowo. July 1812 A.D.
A cholera epidemic begins to kill thousands in China. 1820 A.D.
Yellow fever strikes New York city as thousands flee to Greenwich Village. 1822 A.D.
Asiatic cholera reaches the gateway to Russia at Astrakhan. 1823 A.D.
Cholera breaks out in Astrakhan, Russia. 1829 A.D.
Cholera strikes Austria and Germany. 1829 A.D.
Cholera spreads from Astrakham throughout the interior of Russia. The pandemic kills an estimated 900,000 in 1830 A.D.
An influenza pandemic spreads from China to India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Europe and North America. 1830-1833 A.D.
In Sunderland, cholera claims its first English victim. October 20, 1831 A.D.
Cholera epidemic in England. Winter of 1831 – 1832 A.D.
A cholera epidemic strikes Scotland. Thomas Latta at Leith injects a saline solution to save the life of a cholera patient thus pioneering a new treatment. 1832 A.D.
A cholera epidemic reaches New York. 1832 A.D.
A cholera epidemic hits England. 1848 A.D.
Dr. John Snow comes to the conclusion that cholera was spreading via tainted water and decides to display neighborhood mortality data directly on a map. This method reveals a cluster of cases around a specific pump from which people are drawing their water. 1854 A.D.
The Medical Officer for London, John Simon, runs test in nine London parishes which show that in Lambeth, where sand filters are used in the water supply system, death rates have dropped dramatically. 1856 A.D.
Parliament passes legislation to renew and develop the entire London sewerage system. The sewage is to be piped away to outfalls in the Thames river where tidal flow will take it out to sea. 1858 A.D.
In Wöllstein, Prussia, Robert Koch cultures anthrax bacillus and comes to the conclusion that the bacillus produces spores in animal tissues. 1876 A.D.
A combination of famine and epidemic hits the Saharan countries. 1867 – 1869 A.D.
The Norwegian physician H.A. Hansen discovers Mycobacterium leprae, the cause of leprosy. 1871 A.D.
The German Doctor Karl Eberth discovers the typhoid bacillus. 1881 A.D.
The Russian Flu (also known as 1889–1890 flu pandemic or as the Asiatic flu) is first reported in Bukhara, in the Russian Empire. May 1889 A.D.
The Russian Flu reaches Saint Petersburg. November 1889 A.D.
Deaths from the Russian Flu peak in Saint Petersburg. December 1, 1889 A.D.
The Russian Flu outbreak peaks in the United States during the week of January 12, 1890 A.D.
Milwaukee suffers an outbreak of smallpox. During the course of the year-long epidemic, almost 900 people develop smallpox, and 244 die. 1894-95 A.D.
An influenza epidemic spreads from Europe to India, Australia, and North and South America. 1898-1900 A.D.
A cholera epidemic kills a large proportion of the population in Oran, Algeria. 1899 A.D.
The Yellow Fever Commission announces that the disease is carried by mosquitoes. February 22, 1902 A.D.
Doctor Paul Ehrlich puts forward a new drug for syphilis, known as salvarsan. June 22, 1910 A.D.
German veterinarians puzzled over the case of a feverish cat with an enormously swollen belly. This is now thought to be the first reported example of the debilitating power of a coronavirus. 1912 A.D.
An official announcement of the existence of an epidemic polio infection is made in Brooklyn, New York. Over the course of that year, there were over 27,000 cases and more than 6,000 deaths due to polio in the United States, with over 2,000 deaths in New York City alone. June 17, 1916 A.D.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates the inaccurately named Spanish Flu (it is now thought not to have originated in Spain) infected one-third of the world’s people, killing 50 million — 675,000 in the United States. 1918-1919 A.D.
English scientists Wilson Smith, Sir Christopher Andrewes, and Sir Patrick Laidlaw, working at the Medical Research Council at Mill Hill, first isolate the influenza A virus from nasal secretions of infected patients, thereby demonstrating the intranasal human transmission of the Spanish Flu virus. 1932-1933 A.D.
The yellow fever virus becomes the first human virus to be isolated. 1927 A.D.
Large studies are begun on the first influenza virus vaccines; these provided the first official proof that inactivated influenza vaccines could yield effective protection against flu epidemics. December 1942 A.D.
As a result of viral mutation, a new variant of influenza A (H1N1), A/FM/1/47, appears in Australia. This gives rise to a new influenza subtype, the H2N2 strain, which will cause the pandemic known as Asian flu. 1946 A.D
The mosquito borne Zika virus is first identified in Uganda. 1947 A.D.
The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through a distinctive absurdist point of view. Published in 1947 A.D.
 Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Mann.
 Trager. See also Webster.
 Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary