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 24, 2014

South Africa: When the Drugs Don't Work

Meera Senthilingam

Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in South Africa. Drug resistance is now so strong that patients are sent home to die. However, new drugs are being made available through trials or NGOs.

March 21, 2014

Uganda Tries to Clean Up

Samuel Loewenberg

Uganda has a sanitation crisis, and it will take innovative solutions to help this country suffering from its own waste, where only 30 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.

March 19, 2013

India: Polio-Free and Looking Ahead at mHealth

Esha Chhabra

During two days in February, 170 million children will be vaccinated for polio in India. And in the last two years, none of them have seen polio. India moves on from polio and forays into mHealth.

January 23, 2013

The Forgotten: HIV and the Garifuna of Honduras

David Rochkind, Jens Erik Gould

The Garifuna have historically been forgotten in Honduras and currently face one of the highest HIV rates in the Western Hemisphere. Traditional music and dance help raise awareness.

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