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Posts tagged with "Public Health"

  • Outbreak Culture: The Ebola Crisis and the Next Epidemic
    Pardis Sabeti and Lara Salahi

    Book ,

    Learning from Ebola failures is key for crafting better plans for public health emergencies

    “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” This observation, made many years ago by Johann von Goethe, might well have been said about the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2016, when neither advanced technology nor humanitarian intent was sufficient to avert a major health crisis. In Outbreak Culture… Read More
  • Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication
    Thomas Abraham

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    Inspired by the successful eradication of smallpox, efforts to eliminate poliovirus haven’t achieved the same success

    In the mid-20th century, several successful vaccines against polio were developed, eventually leading to an international initiative in 1988 to eradicate the poliovirus from the planet. After the success of smallpox eradication in 1980, the optimism of the initiative’s advocates and supporters seemed well placed. But some viruses are more unruly than others. Is poliovirus… Read More
  • Going Viral: The Mother of All Pandemic
    Hannah Mawdsley and Mark Honigsbaum

    Podcast , ,

    Stories from the 1918 flu come alive in a new podcast series

    Where did the virulent virus that became the 1918 influenza pandemic first emerge and under what conditions? What made it so deadly—especially for young adults? What traces did the disease leave in art and in memory? These and many other questions are the focus of Going Viral, a new podcast marking the 100th anniversary of… Read More
  • Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic
    Richard A. McKay

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    A preoccupation with “patient zero” stimulated, but may also have stymied, early efforts to understand AIDS

    It is difficult to overstate the panic, prejudice, and ignorance that accompanied the arrival of AIDS to the United States. In the early 1980s, the cause of the disease was unknown, but speculation about its source included chemicals, infectious organisms, and environmental factors. The one obvious commonality was that the disease initially was overrepresented in… Read More
  • Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World
    Laura Spinney

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    Nearly a century after it killed millions, a journalist reflects on how the Spanish flu changed the world

    Between 1918 and 1920, the Spanish flu infected a third of the global population. It claimed more lives than either World War I or World War II. Nearly a century later, we are still struggling to understand the extent of this pandemic. It crops up from time to time in popular science and history (1… Read More
  • Catching Breath: The Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis
    Kathryn Lougheed

    Book ,

    A researcher provides a firsthand look at a prolific killer

    In 2015, tuberculosis (TB) claimed about 1.8 million lives. An estimated 10.4 million new cases were diagnosed in that year, 1.2 million of which were in people coinfected with HIV. At least half a million cases showed varying levels of drug resistance, making treatment a greater ordeal for patients and vastly increasing the costs. If… Read More
  • The Politics of Fear: Médecins Sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic
    Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au, Eds.


    Aid workers and experts weigh in on the factors that enabled and exacerbated the Ebola epidemic

    In December of 2013, a young boy in Guinea succumbed to Ebola, marking the first case in an unprecedented epidemic that would ultimately result in more than 28,000 casualties and claim more than 11,000 lives. Public health workers on the front lines, particularly those associated with the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), had… Read More
  • HIV/AIDS in China: Beyond the Numbers
    Zunyou Wu, Ed.

    Book , ,

    A candid history uncovers China’s stumbles and successes in the fight against AIDS

    By the mid-1990s, the terror of the early AIDS epidemic had subsided in many western countries, as antiretroviral therapy transformed the once-deadly disease into a chronic condition. In China, however, the AIDS epidemic was just getting started. Slipping across the nation’s southern borders via injection drug use, the virus went largely undetected until it exploded… Read More
  • Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations Across the Disciplines
    Mara Buchbinder, Michele Rivkin-Fish, and Rebecca L. Walker, Eds.

    Book , ,

    Tackling social injustices in healthcare

    Inequality is core to virtually any Western conception of health justice. There is robust debate over which inequalities, if any, are unethical and over priority-setting among inequalities. Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice, edited by three scholars (two anthropologists and a philosopher) represents one of the latest contributions to this conversation. The book is ambitious, aiming to… Read More
  • Film , ,

    Can You Dig This

    City residents living in “food deserts” lack easy access to grocery stores or other healthy food options. This situation disproportionately occurs in low-income communities, lowering overall public health and exacerbating inequality. Ron Finley of South Los Angeles, one of the primary subjects of Can You Dig This, paints an even grimmer picture. He likens the… Read More