Medicine: Defunct Diseases

Diseases are no less mortal than the people they afflict. So argues Dr. Bernard Straus of New York Medical College in the current Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. As Straus points out, dozens of mankind's most awful afflictions have ceased to exist.

Many ailments have fallen victim to medical progress. Improved sanitary conditions have virtually eliminated typhoid fever; vaccines have made poliomyelitis a rarity. Antibiotics have all but routed mastoiditis, an inflammation of bone cells behind the inner ear and, along with vaccines, helped bring whooping cough and diphtheria under control. A number of other diseases have just disappeared....

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