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By all rights, the urban experiment that began in the 19th century should have failed. By the middle of the century, writes the historian Michael Haines, big American cities had become “virtual charnel houses,” their primary demographic characteristic being high mortality. Deaths outnumbered births. Despite the greater availability of food and paid work, children under the age of 5 who lived in cities died at nearly twice the rate as those living in the countryside. In 1830, a 10-year-old living in a small New England town could expect to see his or her 50th birthday—but that same child, living in New York, would be dead before the age of 36.
Even those who survived suffered the…
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Faust has spent much of her career studying spillover between animals and humans, and trying to understand what drives those events. She says there's a relationship between deforestation and the emergence of zoonotic disease, but it's not entirely clear why. "We don't know if that's because we're losing biodiversity that would otherwise... help dilute that pathogen, or if it's because we have more humans coming in to the area and doing risky behaviors," she says.
First comes denial. Then panic.
Disease-modeling communities around the world have been working tirelessly since January to predict how and where Covid-19 will spread, with some real successes. A host of models have illustrated how, with the right resources, we can create relatively accurate disease forecasts that give communities and public health officials an idea of what to expect — and time to prepare.
But what if we could forecast epidemics regularly, before there’s a global crisis? That notion is inching closer to reality.
What do Covid-19, Ebola, Lyme and AIDS have in common? They jumped to humans from animals after we started destroying habitats and ruining ecosystems.
I believe that the way to ease us as a nation back into the essential business of preventing infectious diseases is by focusing on pathogens we already know perfectly well and for which we have new tools to reduce or eliminate sickness worldwide. I’m thinking in particular of the very winnable fights against three diseases with a long history of maiming, crippling and killing humans: tuberculosis, malaria and polio.
Human behavior is the biggest variable in any outbreak.
$460 million will go toward developing vaccines that prevent outbreaks like Ebola from taking the world by surprise.
Although people use terms like outbreak and epidemic interchangeably, it would only be fair to understand the definitive meaning behind each word. An outbreak can take the form of an epidemic and eventually a pandemic, but that does not entitle us to use these words incorrectly.
Most virologists remain within the safe confines of the lab. Wolfe is one of a swashbuckling few who travel to the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa, exotic food markets in Southeast Asia and other far-flung locales to hunt down potential killer viruses before they find us.
Some of the worst epidemics, widespread outbreaks of disease, have troubled mankind for millennia. In one of the earliest recorded epidemics, the Roman Empire lost almost a third of its population between 165 and 180 AD to Antonine Plague, a deadly virus contracted in the Middle East and brought back to the heart of the empire by returning soldiers.
HIV has reached every corner of the globe although some regions are more heavily affected than others. The vast majority of people living with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. The scale of the epidemic has demanded substantial political and financial commitment from international organisations, donor countries and domestic governments. Here, we give you the latest global statistics, an overview of the global HIV response to date, and identify the major trends in the different regions and countries.
Researchers suggest tracking mammals may help deal with future outbreaks.
The ongoing explosion of antibiotic-resistant infections continues to plague global and US health care. Meanwhile, an equally alarming decline has occurred in the research and development of new antibiotics to deal with the threat.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,” has become one of the world’s most serious health and development challenges. The first cases were reported in 1981...
The epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States are often called “silent”or “hidden” epidemics.
A form of encephalitis that caused both wakefulness and profound somnolence reveals much about our inner clocks.
Sonia Shah’s “Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” could hardly be more timely. More than 300 infectious diseases have emerged or re-emerged in new territories during the past 50 years, the author tells us, and 90% of epidemiologists expect that one of them will go on to cause a disruptive, deadly pandemic at some point in the next two generations.
What it means when an outbreak’s worst effects occur in the long-term.
The wide use of the term in different contexts makes it increasingly important to understand what it actually means.
To understand the spread of diseases like Zika and Ebola, it’s helpful to look at trends in urbanization over the past few centuries.
It’s hard to imagine — in this day of super antibiotics and advanced medicine — but there was a time in history when a single disease could cause the deaths of thousands of people virtually overnight. Here’s a list of diseases responsible for taking millions of lives all around the globe:
The explosive growth of the human population—from 2.5 billion to 6 billion since the second half of the 20th century—may have already started changing how infectious diseases emerge.
We want to stop future epidemics by developing new vaccines for a safer world.
The Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X) is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's secure, web-based communications network that serves as a powerful communications exchange between CDC, state and local health departments, poison control centers, and other public health professionals.
Epidemics publishes papers on infectious disease dynamics in the broadest sense. Its scope covers both within-host dynamics of infectious agents and dynamics at the population level, particularly the interaction between the two.
Pandemic and epidemic diseases (PED).
There was need for a trustworthy international organisation that could solicit donations from rich countries and wealthy organisations, and spend that money on combating those threats in collaboration with the governments of afflicted poor countries, but with appropriate oversight to ensure effectiveness and avoid theft. The result was the Global Fund to Fight aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
And it worked. Though it is impossible to say what would have happened without the Global Fund, as it is now formally known, the fund’s officials claim to have saved 32m lives since it opened in 2002.