1921-1925: Diphtheria epidemic
Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, with mild and severe symptoms such as swelling of the mucous membranes, including in your throat, that can hinder breathing and swallowing. In 1921, the United States recorded 206,000 cases of diphtheria, resulting in 15,520 deaths.
How it ended: A vaccine was developed and licensed by the mid-1920s and the number of cases dropped in the U.S.
Present: Over 80 percent of children in the United States have been vaccinated while treatment for those who contract the disease includes antibiotics.