The novel, The Plague by Albert Camus takes place in the 1940s in the Algerian city of Ornan. It deals with a variation of the bubonic plague, which creates havoc and death. There have been many infectious diseases in the twentieth century that has brought enormous loss of life. Let me give you a few examples.
First, the most deadly plague in the twentieth century was the Spanish flu pandemic, which took place in 1918-1919. Within two years, it is estimated that 50-100 million people died. This is an astronomical number. If you think about it the worst war in the history of the world in terms of caualties was World War II and it is estimated that 60 million people died.
Second, AIDS according to statistics has claimed more than 20million people since 1981. It continues to kill and there is no cure as of yet.
Third, typhus is estimated to have taken three million people from 1918-1922. This disease is more famous for taking more lives ofNapoleon's men than his fighting against the Russians.