Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative by Priscilla Wald

By Priscilla Wald

How should still we comprehend the terror and fascination elicited by way of the money owed of communicable affliction outbreaks that proliferated, following the emergence of HIV, in clinical guides and the mainstream media? The repetition of specific characters, photographs, and tale lines—of sufferers 0 and superspreaders, sizzling zones and tenacious microbes—produced a formulaic narrative as they circulated during the media and have been amplified in renowned fiction and picture. The “outbreak narrative” starts with the id of an rising an infection, follows it throughout the worldwide networks of touch and contagion, and ends with the epidemiological paintings that includes it. Priscilla Wald argues that we have to comprehend the allure and endurance of the outbreak narrative as the tales we inform approximately disorder emergence have outcomes. As they disseminate details, they impact survival premiums and contagion routes. They disillusioned economies. They advertise or mitigate the stigmatizing of people, teams, locales, behaviors, and life.

Wald lines how altering rules approximately disorder emergence and social interplay coalesced within the outbreak narrative. She returns to the early years of microbiology—to the id of microbes and “Typhoid Mary,” the 1st identified fit human provider of typhoid within the United States—to spotlight the intertwined creation of sociological theories of crew formation (“social contagion”) and scientific theories of bacteriological an infection on the flip of the 20th century. Following the evolution of those rules, Wald indicates how they have been affected by—or mirrored in—the introduction of virology, chilly conflict rules approximately “alien” infiltration, science-fiction tales of brainwashing and physique snatchers, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Contagious is a cautionary story approximately how the tales we inform circumscribe our wondering worldwide healthiness and human interactions because the international imagines—or refuses to imagine—the subsequent nice Plague.

Show description

Read or Download Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative PDF

Similar infectious diseases books

HIV medicine

HIV medication is a scientific textbook that offers a complete andup-to-date evaluation of the therapy of HIV an infection.

Gene Expression Systems: Using Nature for the Art of Expression

Gene Expression structures: utilizing Nature for the artwork of Expression deals distinct info on a large choice of gene expression platforms from an array of organisms. It describes numerous forms of expression structures together with temporary, reliable, viral, and transgenic structures. each one bankruptcy is written through a pacesetter within the box.

Global Tuberculosis Control: Surveillance, Planning, Financing (WHO Report 2006)

This sequence of annual stories from WHO displays the country of the worldwide tuberculosis epidemic, and charts growth in the direction of the Millennium improvement objectives. The 2006 document, the 10th within the sequence, provides facts on case notifications and therapy results for 2 hundred nations. It outlines actions which are crucial for the profitable implementation of the cease TB method, and units out expenses, budgets, bills and assets of investment.

Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Expert Consult - Online and Print, 4e

In print, on-line, or in your cellular gadget, ideas and perform of Pediatric Infectious illness presents the excellent and actionable assurance you want to comprehend, diagnose, and deal with the ever-changing, high-risk medical difficulties because of infectious ailments in youngsters and youngsters.

Additional resources for Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative

Sample text

Meanwhile, the mainstream media, fiction, and film were bringing the epidemiological sensation of disease emergence to a broad public. Outbreak was but one of many fictional and nonfictional accounts of emerging-disease outbreaks that dramatized the scenarios that infectious- and tropicaldisease specialists were debating in their meetings and publications. Nonfiction bestsellers—such as Richard Preston’s 1994 The Hot Zone, which first appeared as a New Yorker article entitled ‘‘Crisis in the Hot Zone’’ in 1992, and Laurie Garrett’s 1994 The Coming Plague—heralded the danger of these species-threatening events, and they were quickly supplemented by novels and films, including Carriers (Patrick Lynch, 1995), Contagion (Robin Cook, 1995), The Blood Artists (Chuck Hogan, 1998), Twelve Monkeys (dir.

Appearing in key scenes in Outbreak from hospitals and military bases to the situation rooms of the highest echelons of government, for example, they serve as technological counterpoints. ≤∞ In Patrick Lynch’s Carriers, maps convey the helpless desperation of Brigadier Sutami, who keeps a record of new outbreaks of the epidemic burning through Sumatra by placing small black pins on the map each time a new case is reported. S. technological knowhow, which (as he will never know) caused the problem in the first place.

The narrative springs naturally, as he explains it, from the systematic thinking of scientific observers; it represents the discovery and expression of the epidemic’s own logic. Langmuir identifies ‘‘an attentionwinning pattern’’ that makes Roueché’s stories so useful as well as engaging, and, in doing so, he articulates the formula of an outbreak narrative from ‘‘a single patient placed in an exact time and location, and with vividly described symptoms’’ to ‘‘the main epidemiological question’’ of the source, means, and routes of transmission ‘‘until all of the pieces of the puzzle fall into logical place and the problem is solved’’ (xvii).

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.30 of 5 – based on 26 votes