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Articles on Infectious diseases

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Dead men do tell tales through their physical remains. AP Photo/Francesco Bellini

What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them

People have lived with infectious disease throughout the millennia, with culture and biology influencing each other. Archaeologists decode the stories told by bones and what accompanies them.
Misha Jordaan/Gallo Images via Getty Images

The new architectural frontier: buildings and their microbiomes

The study of two hospitals was a first for researching the microbiology of the built environment in South Africa – a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how to design healthier buildings.
A woman uses her feet to pull herself along in a wheelchair among cherry blossoms at a homeless camp at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver in April 2020 that was recently evaculated due to COVID-19. The coronavirus has exposed and fed upon other societal issues in true ‘syndemic’ fashion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The coronavirus doesn’t exist in isolation — it feeds on other diseases, crises

When two or more epidemics co-exist and compound one another to worsen health, they are said to be syndemic. COVID-19 is feeding on other crises and diseases.
A market area in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, crowded with people despite the coronavirus pandemic, May 12, 2020. hmed Salahuddin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Megacity slums are incubators of disease – but coronavirus response isn’t helping the billion people who live in them

COVID-19 is spreading fast through not only the world's richest cities but also its poorest, ravaging slum areas where risk factors like overcrowding and poverty accelerate disease transmission.
In the United Kingdom, where the population is now confined, a man wearing a mask walks in the street on March 26, 2020. Oli Scarff/AFP

The current ‘mini-collapse’ requires a democratic response

The pandemic, in that it represents a major and therefore exceptional risk, calls for a response built collectively, and not by a small group of experts or decision-makers.
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Can coronavirus spread 4 metres?

A recent study suggested the coronavirus could spread up to four metres. But the evidence isn't strong enough to suggest we should change social distancing advice from 1.5 metres.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria (coloured yellow) enmeshed within a human white blood cell (coloured red). MRSA is a major cause of hospital-associated infections. (NIAID)

Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

Antimicrobial resistance is a public health and economic disaster waiting to happen. If we do not address this threat, by 2050 more people will die from drug-resistant infections than from cancer.

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