The term global health has come into common usage in recent years and encompasses various matters relevant to health, including diseases that cross international borders, factors that affect public health globally, and the interconnectedness of health matters around the globe. Diseases that have been unevenly distributed across the world have been of concern to militaries for centuries, perhaps throughout history. Historians record that the decimation of Napoleon’s army during his invasion of Russia was the result of starvation, severe weather, and disease, the most important of which was typhus, which killed over 80,000 troops.1 His retreating army then spread typhus throughout Europe. Likewise, typhoid fever was a serious problem in World War I and the American Civil War.2 Spanish troops were severely affected by yellow fever during the Spanish-American War, and Spanish influenza had disproportionate and decisive effects during World War I.3 Colonization of Africa, Asia, and Latin America by Western powers led to increased awareness of diseases that were generally exotic to the imposing country, motivating interest in developing means of prevention and control of diseases. Examples of efforts emanating from such interest include the work of Walter Reed and William C. Gorgas in defining the transmission and prevention of yellow fever, research regarding cholera and diarrhea in Bangladesh, and the establishment of research laboratories (for example, the Pasteur Institute and Medical Research Council laboratories in Africa). Conversely, the invasion and colonization of foreign lands has also long been known to result in the introduction of exotic disease into the occupied lands, with the importation of smallpox and syphilis into North America by colonists as outstanding examples.