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

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.

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?

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.

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: Contagion That Travels by Plane

This week: How poor hygiene on planes leads to the spread of dangerous communicable diseases, how Sámi people are caught between a climate change solution and their own livelihoods, and how you can double your holiday gift to the Pulitzer Center.

"The End of AIDS?" Wins an Emmy

Another big win PBS NewsHour, Science, and the Pulitzer Center, for "The End of AIDS?" Finding new ways to tell stories that matter on issues that affect us all.