Issue

Global Health: Outbreaks and Epidemics

Some agents, like the Ebola virus, ravage nations without warning or mercy. They capture the world’s attention—and aid. We can’t look away.

Other agents creep quietly from host to host, devastating communities for decades: One third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis, but its latency allows drug-resistant strains to rise.

Outbreaks and Epidemics digs into both types of communicable illness—the sudden and the ceaseless. It explores cholera’s sweep through Haiti following the earthquake, and how the lack of water and sanitation infrastructure turned a treatable illness into a second (third, and fourth) round of devastation. This gateway also exposes the economic grip malaria still holds on African countries, still prone to epidemics of bedridden students and workers.

Pulitzer Center journalists trace HIV/AIDS from its origin to its current status, unearthing clues to developing a successful vaccine. They investigate the epidemic of stigma, examining how religion and culture contribute to homophobia and the spread of the virus.

By telling the stories of patients, caregivers, and scientists, our reporters are drawing outbreak comparisons and providing lessons for prevention. They are also taking on the challenge of communicating technical information to the lay ear, and ultimately filling the gap between the scientific and public understanding of germs.

Global Health: Outbreaks and Epidemics

June 11, 2018

Far from Over

Jon Cohen, William Brangham, Jason Kane, Misha Friedman

Tools are now available to prevent and treat HIV infections, but Russia, Nigeria and the U.S. state of Florida each are struggling, for different reasons, to fully exploit the power of these tools.

June 07, 2018

Oriol Mitjà Plans End to Yaws Disease

Brian Cassey, Martin Enserink

A young Catalan physician-scientist working on a remote island in Papua New Guinea has single-handedly revived the old quest to eradicate yaws, a disfiguring skin and bone disease.

October 25, 2017

El Salvador: Sex Ed in the Time of Zika

Lauryn Claassen

In El Salvador abortion is illegal, violence against women common, and sex ed extremely limited. Did the Zika virus provide an opportunity for the country to talk about these culturally taboo topics?

September 04, 2017

Russia: Women Hit Hard by HIV/AIDS

Anna Nemtsova, Sophia Jones

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is at a tipping point in Russia, where an estimated 1-1.5 million people are HIV positive and the Kremlin has long rejected international assistance. Women are being left behind.

July 17, 2017

Zika’s Lasting Impact on Families in Brazil

Poonam Daryani

Though the Zika outbreak in Brazil has seemingly peaked, its aftermath will be felt by the thousands of families caring for and raising children with Zika-related complications and disabilities.

A Second Chance

On a remote Melanesian island, a Spanish doctor has revived the 60-year-old quest to eradicate a disfiguring disease

Meet the Journalist: Jon Cohen

Nigeria, Russia, and Florida have each had difficulty mounting a strong response to HIV/AIDS, at a time when neighboring countries or states have made progress in bringing their epidemics to an end.

Meet the Journalist: Mark Johnson

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson and photojournalist Mark Hoffman traveled to Brazil, Kenya, and Uganda to report on the threat of zoonotic diseases long associated with poverty.

 

This Week: Cracking the Indian Patriarchy

A poor school for girls in rural India reshapes the role of women, how Iraq's legal institutions are struggling to give closure to victims, and HIV's hold on Nigeria, Russia, and Florida.