Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Infectious disease

Plague and quarantine: An old (and ongoing) practice

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 6:30 AM
Every July in Italy, Venice the Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) celebrates the city’s deliverance from the plague, which killed 50,000 people – in Venice – between 1576 and 1577. (A mass grave of victims was dug up five years ago.) That two-year epidemic was one of the many... Read more

The Victims of War

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 6:30 AM
While havoc spreads across the Middle East—in Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Gaza—it is civilians who are bearing the brunt of newly surfaced and long-standing disputes. This week in the news—the escalating war between Israel and Hamas. Last week—the crumbling of Iraq as ISIS fighters... Read more

Health warnings for travelers (chikungunya, anyone?)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 6:30 AM
Returning to the United States last month I found some interesting public health information on the TV monitors at the United States Customs and Border Protection area at Philadelphia International Airport. There was a warning for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), an acute viral illness found... Read more

Visiting public health history: Ellis Island

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6:30 AM
Twelve million people passed through the Ellis Island, New York’s immigration station between 1892 and 1954. Before entering the United States, third-class passengers underwent a visual medical inspection by officers of the United States Public Health Service. The woman in the image above is having... Read more

What is a diagnosis? A cause, not a victim.

Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6:30 AM
Viewing the HBO movie “The Normal Heart” – showing again Sunday and next Thursday and Friday – brings you vividly back to the beginning of HIV/AIDS in New York City in the early 1980s. People are struggling with a deadly illness that had no identified cause, a range of symptoms... Read more

Antibiotic resistance: A global threat

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:30 AM
The World Health Organization last month released a detailed report warning about antimicrobial resistance as a global trend. Even the press release is scary. The modern antibiotic era began in the 1930s with the development of the first sulfa drugs, which inhibited bacterial growth, and blossomed... Read more

Correlation without causation: The lesson of the Lazaretto

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 6:30 AM
The pandemic of the moment is MERS: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This mysterious, untreatable illness—which kills nearly a third of those who catch it—entered the U.S. for the first time in late April. A second imported case was confirmed this week in Florida. Last month it was Ebola... Read more

Conquering polio: Past, present ... and future

Monday, May 5, 2014, 8:21 PM
Sixty years ago, a field test of what would become the first polio vaccine got under way in the United States, enrolling 1.8 million children in the largest clinical trial in history. Over 600,000 young volunteers received injections of the brand new Salk vaccine... Read more

Book Review: Microbes that have gone missing

Friday, April 18, 2014, 6:30 AM
Just in case you were looking to add one more item to your list of Ways Humanity Threatens Itself, you’ll want to dive right into Martin J. Blaser’s Missing Microbes, out this month from Henry Holt and Co. As if it were not enough that overuse of antibiotics increases resistance to potentially... Read more

London bodies solve mystery of Black Death

Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 6:30 AM
On television, forensic scientists can solve the mystery of someone’s death in an hour. In reality, uncovering the facts can take a lot longer. As an anthropologist leading the investigation of some skeletons dug up in England last year put it: their discovery “solves a 660-year-old mystery... Read more
About this blog

What is public health — and why does it matter?

Through prevention, education, and intervention, public health practitioners - epidemiologists, health policy experts, municipal workers, environmental health scientists - work to keep us healthy.

It’s not always easy. Michael Yudell, Jonathan Purtle, and other contributors tell you why.

Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Drexel University School of Public Health
Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MPH Research Director, Drexel Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice
Janet Golden, PhD Professor of history, Rutgers University-Camden
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