Diseases Throughout American History


Polio Described


First clinical description of Polio from British doctor Michael Underwood

First Treatment of Malaria


Quinine first extracted from tree bark; initially used to treat Malaria. However, cause of disease still unknown.

Malaria Parasite Discovered


Malaria parasite first discovered by Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran

Malaria Transmission Discovered


Sir Ronald Ross demonstrates that mosquitoes transmit Malaria

Polio Noted Contagious


Contagious nature of Polio discovered

Poliovirus Discovered


Polio virus discovered

New York Polio Epidemic


United State's most severe Polio outbreak

Mystery Illness Strikes Army

March 11, 1918

Army soldier at Fort Riley, Kansas reports to camp hospital complaining of fever, sore throat, and headache. More than 100 soldiers fall ill by nightfall

"Spanish Influenza" Announced

July 1918

Public Heath Official issue warning about the "Spanish Influenza"

Spanish Influenza Vaccine


Spanish Influenza vaccine discovered

Spanish Influenza Eradicated from US


Spanish Influenza ran its course and dissipated. 20-40 million are expected to have died as a result of the disease

FDR Contracts Polio

June 7, 1921

FDR contracts Polio

Anti-Malarial Drug Discovered


Hans Andersag from Germany discovers anti-malarial drug Chloroquine; not widely used until after World War 2

Early Polio Vaccine Trials


Early trials on Polio vaccine

US Biological Warfare Program Est.


Biological Warfare developed secretely in labs

Three Polio Strains Confirmed


Three types of Polio strains are discovered

Malaria Eradicated from US


Malaria eliminated from the United States

Army Releases Specially Bred Mosquitoes

1956 - 1958

US Army releases swarms of specially bred mosquitoes in Georgia and Florida in hopes to determine if disease-bearing insects could be used as carriers for biological weapons

Polio Vaccine Widely Accepted


Polio vaccine widely used

US Performs Biological Tests

1962 - 1973

US performs biological and chemical tests in Florida; civilians possibly exposed

Dengue Fever Possible Bio. Warfare Agent


Dengue Fever tested as possible biological warfare agent

US Biological Warfare Program Ended

1969 - 1972

US Biological Warfare Program ended; biological weapons deemed "unreliable". Efforts begin to destroy all created diseases

127 Bio. Warfare Sites Exposed

February 1987

Pentagon admits 127 chemical and biological warfare sites in US

Polio Eradicated from US

September 9, 1994

Polio eradicated from the Americas