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The diseases that changed humanity forever - Dan Kwartler

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TEDEd Animation

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Since humanity’s earliest days, we’ve been plagued by countless disease-causing pathogens. Invisible and persistent, these microorganisms and the illnesses they incur have killed more humans than anything else in history. But which disease has been the deadliest? Dan Kwartler digs into how human progress and innovation throughout history exposed us to surprising new maladies.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

If you're interested in learning more about history's deadliest pandemics, look through this detailed timeline from The Washington Post that extends all the way back to 165 A.D. You may also like to complement that reading with this article from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), detailing the history of pandemics and economic inequality. As the video suggests, disease outbreaks disproportionately impact poorer populations, and a primary goal for public health officials is increasing accessibility to life-saving care.

TED-Ed has explored the topic of disease outbreak and mitigation in several past lessons. Investigate these different avenues with videos on the science behind a universal vaccine, how we eradicated the smallpox virus, what makes an effective outbreak response, and the odds that we will see another pandemic in our lifetime

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Dan Kwartler
  • Director BASA
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Daniela Espinosa
  • Animator Daniela Espinosa
  • Compositor Daniela Espinosa
  • Art Director Diego Huacuja, Daniela Espinosa
  • Music Igor Figueroa, Estudio Mono
  • Sound Designer Igor Figueroa, Estudio Mono
  • BASA Line Producer Melissa López Ley
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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