Ideas of contagion became more popular in Europe during the Renaissance, particularly through the writing of the Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) advanced the science of microscopy by being the first to observe microorganisms, allowing for easy visualization of bacteria.
In the mid-19th century John Snow and William Budd did important work demonstrating the contagiousness of typhoid and cholera through contaminated water. Both are credited with decreasing epidemics of cholera in their towns by implementing measures to prevent contamination of water.
Louis Pasteur proved way beyond doubt that certain diseases are caused by infectious agents, and developed a vaccine for rabies.
Robert Koch, provided the study of infectious diseases with a scientific basis known as Koch's postulates.
Edward Jenner, Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin developed effective vaccines for smallpox and polio, which would later result in the eradication and near-eradication of these diseases, respectively.
Alexander Fleming discovered the world's first antibiotic Penicillin which Florey and Chain then developed.
Gerhard Domagk developed sulphonamides, the first broad spectrum synthetic antibacterial drugs.
Read more about this topic: Infectious Disease
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Famous quotes containing the word history:
“When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion.”
—William James (18421910)
“The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“A poets object is not to tell what actually happened but what could or would happen either probably or inevitably.... For this reason poetry is something more scientific and serious than history, because poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts.”
—Aristotle (384323 B.C.)