News & Information

Pandemics: Past and Present

Constant Wonder
  • Jul 7, 2020 7:00 am
  • 52:47

The Forgotten Disaster: The Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 Guest: Laura Spinney, author, "Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World" 1918 saw a disease that killed more than each World War, and perhaps even more than both combined. How the world dealt with a pandemic 100 years ago and what we've learned since then. Looking for the Spanish Flu in Norwegian Permafrost Guest: Maryn McKenna, science journalist, author, and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory UniversitySenior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University Researchers went looking for a graveyard in the permafrost of a Norwegian territory in the Arctic Circle. They wanted to study victims of the 1918 Spanish flu and they were in a race to identify the cause of the disease. Here's what they found. We also talk about how the current pandemic may increase antibiotic resistance. McKenna's work on disease takes her into the past and also right into the thick of research on Covid-19. How a Confederate Journal Could Help Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria Guest: Cassandra Quave, Assistant Professor, Dermatology and Human Health, Emory University, and Curator, Emory University Herbarium When we look back at the medical profession in the 19th century, the picture we get from literature and history is of a profession often fumbling in the dark. Before the discovery of germ theory, modern hygiene, and antibiotics, doctors were as likely to do you in as save you. But a medical handbook from the Confederate Army might help researchers fight drug-resistant bacteria today.