In the 15th century, European cities began building and maintaining plague hospitals to isolate and care for patients with contagious diseases. In America, citizens have faced many outbreaks of infectious disease—from Tuberculosis and smallpox to polio and typhus. Cities and states purchased land and built facilities that acted like the first plague hospitals in Medieval Europe.
New York City houses the remnants of one on an abandoned island in the East River. Nature is slowly reclaiming the structures that remain, serving as a reminder of a dark time on the East Coast and bringing to memory one of the most famous names in the history of America's infectious diseases.
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