Category Archives: blogging

Contagions in 2014

220edcd488b652408e5dfb0f8c475dff
From a 2014 post on 20th century art. This work by Julian Hoke Harris is found on the Fulton County Health Services building in Atlanta, GA.

Time for a year end assessment. Not looking forward to this one because it was a slow year here at Contagions. I only had 22 posts in the last year bringing the total for the blog up to 182. Still, thanks largely to these archived posts, I had 110,000 visitors last year. That is incredible! Thank you for reading over the last year and for finding old posts worth returning for! All five of my top posts for the year, were old ones!  Ebola’s Chain of Infection was the most popular new post with 1,882 views, followed by The Paleomicrobiology of Malarial Detection with 1,405 visits.

Resolutions for 2015:

  • Make blogging a habit again; post more than twice a month.
  • Update a nearly five year old post that is consistently in my top five of the year.
  • Loosen up a bit and diversify the topics more.

I started this blog to collect some thoughts and observations on the intersection history and infectious disease. Since then I’ve tried to find ways to apply modern scientific observations to historical problems, and I will continue to do that – even if I’m the only one who sees the connection! I had the good fortune to begin blogging when paleomicrobiology was really beginning to mature and I’ll keep my eye on developments there too. There is the potential for this to be an exciting year for the intersection of history and science. Fingers crossed that there will be synergy. So I hope that in 2015 I get back into the groove of where this blog began and I hope you will stay along for the ride.

Reading in July

July 2014 reading 1

 

As I start working on my book project, I’m going to have less time to develop blog posts, so I thought I would share what I’m reading with you each month. This will also give me an incentive to keep blogging and reading! I’ll list the books I’ve read and the papers that I thought were particularly interesting.

Books

Papers

  • Squatriti, Paolo. “Offa’s Dyke Between Nature and Culture.” Environmental History, 2004, 37–56.
  • Squatriti, Paolo. “The Floods of 589 and Climate Change at the Beginning of the Middle Ages: an Italian Microhistory.” Speculum 85, no. 4 (November 18, 2010): 799–826. doi:10.1017/S0038713410002290.
  • Slavin, P. “Warfare and Ecological Destruction in Early Fourteenth-Century British Isles.” Environmental History 19, no. 3 (June 20, 2014): 528–50. doi:10.1093/envhis/emu033.

Biosecurity Failures Round-up

Like many of you, I’ve been watching and reading all the recent biosecurity lapses at our top labs with some dismay. This really isn’t something I normally would cover here on Contagions, but a comment from a reader reminded me that not everyone gets all the stories I’ve been tweeting (or retweeting) for the last few months. So here is a partial roundup in no particular order:

CIDRAP: Wholesale roster change coming for US biosecurity board

Superbug: The Leader of the Smallpox Eradication Effort Speaks About the Virus’ Rediscovery

Superbug: Virus in Found Tubes of Smallpox Is Viable

Superbug: Enhancing flu in the lab: Are accidents inevitable?

Found: Forgotten Vials of Smallpox | Science Blogs | WIRED

Exclusive: U.S. says government lab workers possibly exposed to anthrax

After Lapses,CDC Admits a Lax Culture at Labs | NYTimes

U.S. inspectors find further anthrax violations, mishandling http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/14/us-usa-anthrax-idUSKBN0FJ29X20140714

Transcript of CDC Press Conference on Recent Biosafety Incidents

On biosecurity at a local level: Out of the Lab & Into the Mouth These are getting to be yearly stories!

Meanwhile, elsewhere  Ebola (another category A bioterrorism agent) is raging unchecked in western Africa….

“How to Ignore a Plague” (Ebola) by Umaru Fofana

Ebola cases in West Africa reach 964, deaths top 600  http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/07/ebola-cases-west-africa-reach-964-deaths-top-600

USAMRIID Providing Laboratory Support to Ebola Outbreak http://globalbiodefense.com/2014/07/15/usamriid-providing-laboratory-support-ebola-outbreak/#sthash.GxNfldMP.dpuf