Tagged: epidemic Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 09:01:41 on 2018/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: epidemic, Florence Sabin, , immunology, , , New Orleans, , , ,   

    “Francie, huddled with other children of her kind, learned more that first day than she realized. She learned of the class system of a great Democracy.”*… 

     

    yellow fever

    Engraving from a series of images titled “The Great Yellow Fever Scourge — Incidents Of Its Horrors In The Most Fatal District Of The Southern States.”

     

    Some people say New Orleans is haunted because of witches. Others say it’s haunted by vampires, or ghosts, or all those swamps. But if you were around between 1817 and 1905, you might say the city was haunted by death. And that death, in large part, was caused by yellow fever.

    Yellow fever was fatal. It was gruesome. And in epidemic years, during the months between July and October, it could wipe out 10 percent of the city’s population. Eventually, it earned New Orleans the nickname “Necropolis” — city of the dead.

    Yellow fever didn’t just kill. It created an entire social structure based on who had survived the virus, who was likely to survive it and who was not long for this world. And that structure had everything to do with immigration and slavery…

    The insidious way in which illness can shape society: “How Yellow Fever Turned New Orleans Into The ‘City Of The Dead‘.”

    * Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    ###

    As we get our flu shots, we might send healing birthday greetings to Florence Rena Sabin; she was born on this date in 1871.  A pioneer for women in science; she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.  Relevantly to today’s post, at Rockefeller she founded the cellular immunology section, where she researched the body’s white blood cells reaction to tuberculosis infection.

    400px-Florence_Sabin_in_Rockefeller_lab source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:37 on 2015/02/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , epidemic, oycontin, painkillers, Purdue, , ,   

    “OPIATE, n. An unlocked door in the prison of Identity. It leads into the jail yard”*… 

     

    From 1999 to 2010, the sale of prescription painkillers to pharmacies and doctors’ offices quadrupled. In the exact same time span, the number of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers also quadrupled, rising to almost 17,000…

    How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company: “Poison Pill.”

    * Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

    ###

    As we note that “one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small,we might send re-engineered birthday greetings to Sir Thomas Bouch; he was born on this date in 1822.  A railway engineer and executive whose career began at age 17, Bouch was knighted for designing the two-mile-long Tay River Bridge– on which an estimated 75 people died when the bridge collapsed.  An enquiry found Bouch to be liable, by virtue of bad design and construction; he died four months after the verdict.

    Bouch is thus also indirectly responsible for the best-known poem, “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” by the gentleman widely-regarded to have been the the worst published poet in British history, William Topaz McGonagall.

    Sir Thomas Bouch

     source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:22 on 2014/09/21 Permalink
    Tags: epidemic, Flexner, , , Institute for Advanced Studies, , superstition, , vaccine   

    “What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears”*… 

     

    Vaccination rates are plummeting at top Hollywood schools, from Malibu to Beverly Hills, from John Thomas Dye to Turning Point, where affluent, educated parents are opting out in shocking numbers (leaving some schools’ immunization rates on par with South Sudan) as an outbreak of potentially fatal whooping cough threatens L.A. like “wildfire”…

    Read @GarymBaum’s fascinating– and chilling– story (and find the interactive version of the map above) at “Hollywood’s Vaccine Wars: L.A.’s “Entitled” Westsiders Behind City’s Epidemic.”  See also: “The Calculus of Contagion.”

    [TotH to Quartz for the pointer]

    * Alice Walker

    ###

    As we steel ourselves for the prick, we might spare a thought for Abraham Flexner; he died on this date in 1959.  The founding director of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies, Flexner is best remembered for his pioneering work as a reformer of American higher education, especially medical education.  On the heels of his 1908 study, The American College, in which he effectively critiqued the university lecture as a method of instruction, he published the Flexner Report, which examined the state of American medical education and led to far-reaching reform in the training of doctors.  The report called on American medical schools to enact higher admission and graduation standards, and to adhere strictly to the protocols of mainstream science in their teaching and research.  While one unintended consequence of Flexner’s impactful advocacy was the reversion of American universities to male-only admittance programs to accommodate a smaller admission pool (female admissions picked up again only later the century), most historians agree with his biographer, Thomas Bonner, that Flexner was “the severest critic and the best friend American medicine ever had.”

     source

     

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel