Tag Archives: infectious disease

The other Timothy Leary

Saty Satya-Murti Santa Maria, California, United States   Figure-1: Timothy Leary at work, circa 1920. Credit: Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University. Source Most people know the name of Timothy Leary as an American counterculture guru and psychologist who had a massive following in the mid-twentieth century. He invoked the names of Gandhi, Jesus, and […]

Intubation incarceration: a true tale of torture

Abram Gabriel Piscataway, New Jersey, United States   The Custody of a Prisoner Does Not Call for Torture (La seguridad de un reo no exige tormento). Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes). ca. 1815; published ca. 1859 Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For five days, I could not speak at all. In November 2010, […]

Origin of yellow fever

Enrique Chaves-Carballo  Kansas City, Kansas, United States   Henry R. Carter (1852-1925), Public Health Service Assistant Surgeon General and yellow fever epidemiologist. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) The origin of yellow fever has been a controversial subject since the disease appeared in the New World. William C. Gorgas, who was responsible […]

COVID-19: clinico-immunologic snapshot of a coronavirus

S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas, United States   Coronavirus: Protein Spike Corona. A colorized transmission electron micrograph of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that emerged in 2012. November 19, 2012. Public domain image from National Institutes of Health. Source. A tiny mote of moisture, buoyed by silk-soft wind currents, is kicked and coaxed along a random path […]

A historical analysis of the military’s method of anti-malaria health education through print

Pavane L. Gorrepati  Iowa City, Iowa, United States   The fight against malaria has largely been successful because of modern scientific advances, but during World War II the fight was supplemented by propaganda posters warning soldiers about malaria just as they were warmed against venereal diseases. Everyone was expected to aid the war effort—women to […]

What does the zoonotic origin of COVID-19 teach us about preventing future pandemics?

James A. Marcum  Waco, Texas, United States   Computer generated representation of COVID-19 virions (SARS-CoV-2) under electron microscope. Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed. Via Wikimedia  CC BY-SA 4.0  The history of medicine reveals that epidemics and pandemics have plagued humanity throughout the centuries.1 Examples include the Antonine plague (165-180 A.D.), the Justinian plague (541-542 A.D.), […]

Simon Flexner, infectious diseases pioneer

Simon Flexner. circa 1930s. Courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center. Source, Infectious diseases shaped the life of Simon Flexner, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful and prominent scientists in American medicine. His contributions to the field of infectious diseases were legion. He became the first chairman of pathology at […]

Giovanni Boccaccio on pandemics past and present

Constance Markey Chicago, IL   The plague of Florence, 1348; an episode in the Decameron by Boccaccio. Etching by L. Sabatelli the elder after G. Boccaccio. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)) Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) is universally celebrated for his masterpiece The Decameron, an appealing assemblage of one hundred loosely connected novellas, […]

Botulism: from pork sausages to Botox

Justinus Kerner in old age, taken a few years before his death. circa 1860. Taken by Friedrich Brandseph. Scanned from Klaus Günzel: Die deutschen Romantiker. Via Wikimedia. Of the various kinds of food poisoning that afflict mankind, botulism is the most dangerous. It has likely occurred for many centuries, as shown by sundry dietary laws […]

Carlos J. Finlay: the mosquito man

Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States   Portrait Dr. Carlos J. Finlay. From Images History of Medicine (IHM), National Library of Medicine. Carlos Juan Finlay was born in Puerto Príncipe (now Camagüey), Cuba, on December 3, 1833. He was sent to Europe to complete his secondary education but was forced to return to Cuba […]