Antibiotic Resistance, Agriculture, and the Plague

Antibiotics have ended the uncontrollable outbreaks of plague in humans that stalked our ancestors. Today, outbreaks are usually snuffed out after a couple of cases with antibiotic treatment of patients, prophylactic treatment of contacts and vector control. Our greatest risks from plague today are a pneumonic plague outbreak/attack and the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Beginning... Continue Reading →

Opening the Plague Files

Book Citation: A.P. Cook & N.D. Cook.  The Plague Files: Crisis Management in Sixteenth-Century Seville.  Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 296 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8071-4360-5. Topic: Public Health Crisis Management Time and Place: Seville, Spanish Empire, 1579-1581. Audience:  Those interested in history, crisis management, public health, and political science; written for a general audience. Discussion: The... Continue Reading →

The Landscape of Super-Spreading

Super-spreading individuals and disease hot spots have been known for over a century, but rarely have they been considered together. Sara Paull and colleagues [1] have pulled together all of the recent work the ecology of disease hot spots and transmission heterogeneity (super spreading) to explore the continuum between individual transmission heterogeneity and the landscape... Continue Reading →

Japanese Use of Plague during World War II

I've been reading Sheldon Harris' Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-1945, and the American Cover-up. (Rev. ed, 2002), considered the definitive book on biological warfare in the Pacific theater during WWII. My primary interest is in Japanese research and use of plague in their biological warfare program.  Since this blog is, in part, a... Continue Reading →

Paul Slack’s Plague: A Very Short Introduction

Book Citation: Paul Slack. (2012) Plague: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-958954-8. Pocket size paperback, 138 pages. $11.95 {#307 of Oxford's Very Short Introduction series} Topic: The Plague Time and Place: Primarily Europe from c. 540- c. 1910 Audience: General audience. Intended as an introduction to the topic for anyone with... Continue Reading →

Outlining a Project: Human Plague

I've had a bit of a blogging slump lately. I came back from the medieval congress with too many things on my mind to settle down to write a post. Nevertheless, it has been a productive couple of weeks. I've been working on an outline for one of the book projects that I mentioned quite... Continue Reading →

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