Tag Archives: Infectious Diseases

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

Kevin Loughlin Boston, MA (Winter 2018)   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 (Fall 2017)   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 […]

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 (Fall 2017)   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 Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC (Summer 2017)   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 […]

Streptococcus and me

Andrea Meyerhoff Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States (Spring 2011)   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 […]

Emerging infections: a perpetual challenge

David M Morens; Gregory K Folkers, and Anthony S Fauci National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA (Winter 2009) 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 […]