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

March 30, 2016

Two Years Later, Ebola Is a Ticking Time Bomb

Emily Baumgaertner

Ebola survivors could be carrying live Ebola virus in their eyes. Many of them are going blind, but in fear of the epidemic's resurgence, hardly anyone is doing anything about it.

March 28, 2016

Cuba's Headstart on Finding a Cure for AIDS

Rebecca Sananes

Cuban sanitariums are the government quarantine facilities for HIV positive people—critics called them prisons; supporters say they controlled the epidemic. Former residents say "it's complicated."

March 06, 2016

Sri Lanka: Leprosy's Forgotten Generation

Ross Velton

As plans are being made to turn Sri Lanka’s oldest leprosy hospital into a museum or a geriatric home, the few remaining patients are a living history of the stigma of the disease.

February 03, 2016

Ebola Survivors

Seema Yasmin

As Liberia grapples to care for thousands of Ebola survivors, scientists strive to understand post-Ebola syndrome.

December 09, 2015

Ending AIDS

Jon Cohen

An on-the-ground look at efforts in Africa and the United States to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

November 05, 2015

Eliminating Malaria in the Mekong

Leslie Roberts

Can an emergency plan to wipe out all malaria parasites in the Mekong work before multiple drug resistance spreads? No one knows.

A Interminável Emergência da Zika

As desigualdades estruturais expostas e pioradas pela epidamia da Zika no Brasil são majoritariamente abarcadas por mulheres já marginalizadas, que agora são cuidadoras de crianças com a SCZ.

The Drug Decimating Russia’s Women

Designer drugs called ‘bath salts’ in the U.S. are dangerous to Americans, but addiction is epidemic among Russians, especially women. Many shoot up, and many contract HIV/AIDS.

Flight Risk

There is no national plan to deal with contagious disease in our busy skies. There is no consistent way to notify towers of incoming problems. And sometimes airplane cleanup crews ignore even basic hygiene.

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.

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