Quote of the Day
Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics.
Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics.
George Bernard Shaw
Epidemics follow patterns because diseases follow patterns. Viruses spread; they reproduce; they die.
Epidemiologists study patterns in order to combat infection. Stories about epidemics follow patterns, too. Stories aren't often deadly, but they can be virulent: spreading fast, weakening resistance, wreaking havoc.
Many diseases including malaria, dengue, meningitis - just a few examples - these are what we call climate-sensitive diseases, because such climate dimensions for rainfall, humidity and temperature would influence the epidemics, the outbreaks, either directly influencing the parasites or the mosquitoes that carry them.
With epidemics, people have been standing on the shore, waiting for the gusher to hit the ocean. But to prevent epidemics, you have to look at the various little sources that feed into the river.
Epidemics historically have tended to kill the very young and the very old, but AIDS is different: Those ages 20 to 40 are most affected, which means that so far over 12 million African children have been orphaned because of AIDS.
The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press - their plots and tropes - date to the nineteen-twenties, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.
Without effective human intervention, epidemics and pandemics typically end only when the virus or bacteria has infected every available host and all have either died or become immune to the disease.
People sense that our reaction to phenomena such as epidemics or religious war is not that different to how we reacted to plagues or to battles a millennia ago.
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