A word of caution: Reading these books may induce Medical Student Syndrome. It's similar to the feeling you get after reading about spiders. You almost think one is crawling up your arm at that very moment. If you choose to read about these diseases, you may just trick yourself into thinking you've caught one.
Read at your own risk:
- Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox by Johnathan B. Tucker
- The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry
- The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of all Time by John Kelly
- The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby
- The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- And How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson.
Who is working to combat these diseases? Read on:
- Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service by Maryn McKenna.