This chapter shows how the perspectives in medical anthropology can be applied to some of the most troublesome of the current health issues facing not just individual nations, as in the cholera case, but the entire world community. The analytic task is so complicated that we will need the full toolbox of theoretical frameworks and methodological innovations to understand the global petri dish that will increasingly define the epidemiology of the twenty-first century. Responses to both severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Ebola in the United States were shaped by media-driven exaggerations of the risks posed by the diseases, including suggested links to bioterrorism. An interpretive account of SARS would have to grapple with the multitude of explanations generated by the evolving epidemic. The roots of the interpretive perspective in medical anthropology lie in the detailed accounts of cultural beliefs and practices of small-scale societies or other well-defined communities.