Henry Bergh (in top hat) stopping an overcrowded horsecar, from Harper’s Weekly, Sept. 21, 1872.
Library of Congress
A fast-moving equine flu cratered the US economy in the fall of 1872, showing all too clearly that horses were essential and deserved better treatment.
Daily deaths from COVID-19 have rarely been below 600 in the U.S. since March.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
There’s no scientific definition for a wave of disease – and no evidence that the original onslaught of coronavirus in the US has receded much at all.
A new set of swine flu viruses have been discovered that are highly adapted to infecting humans – and they’re already spreading among farm workers in China.
It’s excellent this virus has been found early, but there is no evidence yet of human-to-human transmission.
‘The Scream,’ by Edvard Munch, hand-coloured lithograph version from 1895.
Artist Edvard Munch depicted despair provoked by disease in turn-of-the-century works. In these coronavirus times, his iconic image speaks to our anxieties about illness and societal collapse.
Women were at the forefront of managing the influenza pandemic.
AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
We commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1, but victims of a more deadly threat are rarely remembered. Let’s change that.
Seasonal influenza is a serious public health problem.
Influenza is an important cause of severe respiratory illness in Kenya especially among children below two years of age.
People and animals live side by side – and can have pathogens in common.
No one then knew a virus caused the 1918 flu pandemic, much less that animals can be a reservoir for human illnesses. Now virus ecology research and surveillance are key for public health efforts.
More women than men were left standing after the war and pandemic.
Library of Congress
With many men ‘missing’ from the population in the aftermath of the 1918 flu, women stepped into public roles that hadn’t previously been open to them.
Computers may play an important role in preparing us for the next viral outbreak – whether flu or Ebola.
UW Institute for Protein Design
This antivirus software protects health, not computers. Researchers are beginning to combat deadly infections using computer-generated antiviral proteins – a valuable tool to fight a future pandemic.
The avian influenza strain of bird flu is thought to spread across continents via wild migratory birds.
Functional early warning systems help countries respond to a disease before it spreads.
Huge swathes of Tasmania have burned this year.
Warren Frey/Tasmania Fire Service
A comprehensive analysis of Tasmania’s natural disaster risks has identified bushfire as the biggest threat, alongside emerging issues such as disease epidemics and heatwaves.
As part of pandemic preparation, in the early 2000s many countries amassed large stockpiles of the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu.
One of the biggest recent controversies in medicine involves the effectiveness of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Governments have stockpiled the drug but many have raised doubts about its usefulness.
They’re coming to get you.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
What would you do if a zombie apocalypse occurred? I recommend going to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) zombie website for information. It is incredible (see it here). While the zombie website…
The pandemic flu virus spread around the world in several waves, causing illness in 20% to 50% of infected people and death in 1% to 5%.
British Red Cross/Flickr
The great influenza pandemic of 1918-19, often called the Spanish flu, caused about 50 million deaths worldwide; far more than the deaths from combat casualties in the World War One (1914-18). In fact…
Taking no chances with flu viruses.
The danger of reporting findings before peer review is that scientists often can’t talk about the details of their research, which can lead to hype or fear in the media. A recent example of this is a controversial…
Bit part players.
Influenza infection is very common – about one in five of us are infected each year. But, surprisingly, the majority of infections don’t cause any illness. In a study published in The Lancet Respiratory…
Pandemics produce an extraordinary outpouring of emotion which is out of proportion to the number of actual cases and deaths.
It’s ten years since SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) upset our complacency about infectious diseases and now we are faced by another “new” disease. H7N9 bird flu is currently spreading through…
A new antiviral drug has effectively prevented the spread of influenza in laboratory models. It works by blocking the viruses…
Does Tamiflu work the way its manufacturer claims?
A team of public health experts has called for the release of all clinical drug trial results for independent analysis following a “frustrating” three-year battle for access to data on controversial flu…