Not too long ago, lethal infections were feared in the Western world. Since that time, many countries have undergone a transformation from disease cesspools to much safer, healthier habitats. Starting in the mid-1800s, there was a steady drop in deaths from all infectious diseases, decreasing to relatively minor levels by the early 1900s. The history of that transformation involves famine, poverty, filth, lost cures, eugenicist doctrine, individual freedoms versus state might, protests and arrests over vaccine refusal, and much more. Today, we are told that medical interventions increased our lifespan and single-handedly prevented masses of deaths. But is this really true? Dissolving Illusions details facts and figures from long-overlooked medical journals, books, newspapers, and other sources. Using myth-shattering graphs, this book shows that vaccines, antibiotics, and other medical interventions are not responsible for the increase in lifespan and the decline in mortality from infectious diseases. If the medical profession could systematically misinterpret and ignore key historical information, the question must be asked, “What else is ignored and misinterpreted today?” Perhaps the best reason to know our history is so that the worst parts are never repeated.
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