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

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.

February 06, 2017

The Re-Emergence of Victorian Diseases in the UK

Caitlin Bawn

High levels of poverty and malnutrition in the UK are triggering a re-emergence of related “Victorian” diseases, such as scurvy, rickets and TB—and even cholera and diphtheria. But who is most at risk?

August 17, 2016

HIV and TB in South Africa, Revisited

Misha Friedman

According to all the latest reports, South Africa is making major steps in treating and preventing HIV/AIDS. A look at how the lives of women here have changed in the past three years.

Pathway to Peril

Scientists worry the next devastating disease could be born where animals and humans mix in a Third World slum – then cross the globe. Zika may have been a preview.

Another Win for "The End of AIDS?"

Pulitzer Center-supported PBS NewsHour series wins a 2017 Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.