Tag Archive: infectious disease

Jan 15

Smallpox and North Korea

Biological weapons are both terrifying and elusive. On the one hand, the Soviet Union made long-term investments in bioweapons research during the Cold War, as Ken Alibek’s tell-all book Biohazard makes clear. On the other hand, these diseases have proved difficult to weaponize, and the problem of blowback has made them unlikely to be used by …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/01/smallpox-and-north-korea/

Jan 01

Flu, Protest and Iran

While many factors are driving the current protests in Iran, Michael Coston has pointed out that a significant outbreak of avian influenza in that country has driven up the cost of poultry and eggs, which has likely contributed to peoples’ food insecurity. His blog post is an interesting attempt to tie influenza to economic factors, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/01/flu-protest-and-iran/

Dec 15

CWD, Fear and Food

In the mid-1980s a new disease, Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) appeared in Britain. Better known as mad-cow disease, this disorder attacked the brain of first cattle, and later a small number of people who had consumed their meat. The most likely manner in which the disease was introduced into the food chain was through processing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/12/chronic-wasting-disease-in-canada/

Apr 07

Pandemics and Information

There have seldom been as many times over the last 100 years when the world has faced such a diversity of emerging infectious diseases. For this reason, I want to review some of the best websites and blogs for tracking pandemic threats. Michael Coston has a wonderful blog titled Avian Flu Diary, which tracks emerging …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/04/pandemics/

Sep 12

The sad human toll of Zika

There was a brief flurry of media coverage regarding Zika after the discovery that it was spreading within Florida last month. Over the last couple of weeks, however, it seems to have receded from the headlines. Some recent coverage, however, really provide a sense of the human toll of Zika. Reveal is a new podcast …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/09/the-human-toll-of-zika/

Aug 04

Why Congress must act on Zika

In July 2016 the CDC issued an advisory notice that warned pregnant women -or women planning to become pregnant- against traveling to 45 different countries. With the virus’s arrival in Florida, however, the public in that state is now wrestling with what this means for mothers and their partners. The issue is now becoming a topic …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/08/zika-and-congress/

Aug 02

Zika in the continental U.S.

Zika has already become a significant health issue in Puerto Rico, where there have been more than 5,500 infections. More than 600 of these infections have been in pregnant women. The outbreak has also set off massive public debates on the island regarding everything from insecticides to the structure of local government. It was inevitable …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/08/zika-in-the-continental-u-s/

Jul 01

Resources on Zika

There is still so much that we don’t know about Zika. I was recently speaking with a medical historian who wondered if people in eastern Africa and Asia might have resistance to the disease, since it originated in those areas, or whether the epidemic will spread as explosively as it did in South America? Will …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/07/resources-on-zika/

May 18

Destroying smallpox stocks

Smallpox has killed countless people over the last 12,000 years. It is difficult now to understand the terror that smallpox evoked in a pre-vaccination era. When smallpox was introduced into new populations the death rates sometimes could even exceed 90%, as was the case with the Mandans in the 1837 Great Plains Epidemic. The virus …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/05/destroying-smallpox-stocks/

Dec 14

Zika fever in Brazil

The health news from Brazil is truly remarkable, as the Ministry of Health is advising women in the northeast not to become pregnant at this time because of the emergence of a new disease in the Americas called Zika fever. Historically, Zika fever has been a very rare disease, which until 2007 had caused only …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/12/zika-fever-in-brazil/

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