Tag Archives: Infectious Diseases

Anasplasmosis: what we can learn from Lam’s surrealistic animalarium

José de la Fuente Ciudad Real, Spain Figure 1.  Wilfredo Lam.  Untitled.  Ink drawing on paper, 1947 KGJ Collection, Spain Figure 2.  Wilfredo Lam.  Untitled.  Pastel on paper, 1970. KGJ Collection, Spain Figure 3.  Wilfredo Lam and Samuel Feijoo.  Conversaciones.  Ink on paper, 1981.  KGJ Collection, Spain   Epidemiology and art have met several times, […]

Jewish ritual immersion in the mikveh and the concept of communal immunity

Robert Stern Piotr Kozlowski David Forstein New York City, New York, United States   Figure 1. Mikveh in Palestine from the Biblical era The mikveh may be seen as part of the sociobiological process assuring the gradual cross exposure of community members to the biomes of other members. It also provides controlled exposure to the biomes […]

Salk and Sabin: the disease, the rivalry and the vaccine

Kevin Loughlin Boston, MA, United States   Jonas Salk was born in a tenement in the East Harlem section of New York City. Albert Sabin was born in Poland and as a child immigrated to the United States with his parents. From these humble beginnings, they would emerge as two of the preeminent scientists of […]

Polio conundrums

Denis Gill Dublin, Ireland   Ancient Egyptian stele of Ruma For most children, infection with the polio virus caused no symptoms or a minor illness.  But about 1% of those infected experienced paralysis of one or both lower limbs. Worse still, bulbar paralysis could lead to the  inability to breathe. The effects of polio were […]

Public health measures derived from the Jewish tradition: III. The Bris: Jewish ritual circumcision and hemophilia

Matthew Migliozzi, David Forstein, Sarah Rindner & Robert Stern New York City, NY, United States   The circumcision of Isaac. The Regensburg Pentateuch, 1305, now in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Historically, Jewish contributions to public health measures have not been given adequate attribution. The previous articles in this series have documented (1) the ancient Jewish […]

Katherine Anne Porter and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic

Cristóbal S. Berry-Cabán Fort Bragg, NC   Fig 1. Katherine Anne Porter.  Photograph taken in Mexico, 1930. In Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter weaves the horrors of the Great War, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the near-death experience of a young woman in love with a doomed American soldier into a memorable novella.1 […]

Quarantining souls: the impact of plague village

Anahita Dua Wisconsin, United States   Eyam church and graveyard where plague victims are buried. Infectious diseases have debilitated or ended more lives in history than any other illness. Quarantine, from the Italian quaranta, has been implemented since the fourteenth century as the cornerstone of a coordinated effort to control the spread of disease.1 Isolation […]

Streptococcus and me

Andrea Meyerhoff Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Alpha and Beta hemolytic streptococci grown on blood agar I respect the streptococcus. It is a bacterium—a whole genus of them—that excels at making people sick. It may shape a childhood understanding of illness, rupture ties that bind a family, or drive an appreciation for a great moment […]

Emerging infections: a perpetual challenge

David M Morens; Gregory K Folkers, and Anthony S Fauci Bethesda, MD, USA This article was first published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 8, Issue 11, Nov. 2008, pages 710-719 Summary Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and their determinants, have recently attracted substantial scientific and popular attention. HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, H5N1 avian influenza, […]