April 25, 2019 | sobczakd
Starting April 26 through May 3, it's National Infant Immunization Week! Since 1994, National Infant Immunization Week has focused on the vital role vaccination plays in disease prevention. Vaccines safely protect our children and communities against contagious diseases. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the number of reported cases of measles has reached its highest number in the United States since the disease was eradicated in 2000. Michigan is one of 22 states experiencing a measles outbreak. Stay informed by consulting with your doctor and for some perspective on the history of viral diseases, here's some resources from our health collection.
Smallpox, yellow fever, malaria, and polio, fearful diseases that once beset Americans, are now largely, just unhappy history. Yet from our confrontations with these past plagues come lessons that inform today's struggles to understand and remedy problems like HIV/AIDS, coronary heart disease, and Ebola infection. American Plagues weaves stories of encounters with epidemics over our history with lessons that aid our present understanding of health and disease. Doctors and clergy, writers and newsmen, public health institutions, and even an entire town relate their personal experiences with various outbreaks and the ways they were identified, contained, and treated. The stories are filled with ambition and accomplishment, jealousy and disappointment, public spirit and self-interest, egotism and modesty. Some episodes lead to vital discoveries. Others were unproductive. Yet each proved instructive and expanded our abilities to gather and process information in ways that improve medicine and public health today. American Plagues gives readers insights into some of the people and events that make up our rich public health history as well as skills to better grasp the complex health information that cascades upon us from the media.
Ever since we started huddling together in communities, the story of human history has been inextricably entwined with the story of microbes. They have evolved and spread amongst us, shaping our culture through infection, disease, and pandemic. At the same time, our changing human culture has itself influenced the evolutionary path of microbes. Dorothy H. Crawford here shows that one cannot be truly understood without the other. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the twenty-first century, she takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and man, taking an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived-such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller-which made us vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing how we live our lives today-with increasing crowding and air travel-puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely, or whether we need to take a more microbe-centric view of the world. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to shape human history.