There was a time when yellow fever was one of the most feared human diseases in the whole western world. Unfortunately, it is still around and we won’t eradicate it anytime soon. Here is why.

As they study their visa requirements, travellers to some of the less developed parts of the world will learn — perhaps with some surprise — that they must be vaccinated against yellow fever. It was one of the few remaining mandatory health protection measures before COVID-19 struck. Although the term “yellow fever” may trigger thoughts about celebrity gossip at first, it is a historically significant…

In our interconnected world, if we want to be safe, we need to protect those most vulnerable among us.

The family of economist Amartya Sen befriended the great literary Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. It was precisely Tagore who gave the newborn Sen the name Amartya, which means “immortal” in Bengali, not knowing that he was witnessing the birth of another Bengali Nobel laureate. Leaving India and working at Cambridge and Harvard universities, Amartya Sen became an expert on issues of social assistance to the poor and economic and social justice. He worked out ways to assess the status of the…

Diarrhoea is considered by many to be a somewhat humorous disease. However, it is by no means a mere awkward, laughing matter in poor countries, especially if it affects children.

Many visitors who find themselves in the poorer countries of the world will notice within a few days that their stools have thinned and become much more frequent, with a number of very unpleasant accompanying symptoms — bloating, stomach cramps, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, in most cases, this kind of “traveller’s diarrhoea” will pass spontaneously within four days. Only about every tenth infected passenger will suffer for more…

I could tell you a story that features an exotic location, a plane crash, an isolated cannibalistic tribe, gold-diggers, a bizarre disease, experiments on chimpanzees, tribal wars, the transmission of brain proteins like infectious agents, allegations of child abuse, mad cows, imprisonment of the main character, his exile within the Arctic circle, as well as the two Nobel Prizes in medicine. You could then say: “Sure, anyone can just make anything up”. And that’s fair enough, but… what if this was a true story?

The Fore tribe lives in the Okapa area of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea…

For Europe, one year into this pandemic, with a new variant spreading and vaccine delivery delayed, things seem to have just gone from bad to worse.

This article provides an explanation of why the European Union is so afraid of the new strain B.1.1.7, which originated somewhere in Kent, England, and now has become the dominant strain in the United Kingdom.

From the very beginning of the pandemic, I explained in my interviews and columns that epidemiologists are most afraid of unpredictable mutations of the virus during a pandemic. …

Here are several reasons why this pandemic is not over yet

This table presented in the picture can be found and accessed by anyone who has Internet access. It’s available at:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?

When looking at this table, you can see that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than two million people have died. The order of countries in this table in the picture is determined by the number of deaths per million inhabitants of each respective country. This is the “Deaths / 1 M pop” column. …

Truly novel observations included the effectiveness of mass-lockdowns and mass-testing, but also the emergence of groups that doubt the effectiveness of those measures.

Epidemiological science will primarily remember the year 2020 for three major novel observations that cannot be found in existing epidemiology textbooks.

The first significant new insight was the sudden effective implementation of extremely strict lockdown for more than 50 million people in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the Hubei province back at the very beginning of the pandemic. Faced with a new and unknown virus that seemed to threaten the lives of a large number of…

Will this Pandemic Become a Turning Point in World’s History?

With more than 100,000 scientific papers having been published about the new coronavirus throughout 2020, the answers to many questions have become much clearer. In this column, I’m going to provide answers to some questions about the COVID-19 pandemic that remain relevant as we head towards 2021.

Why did almost two billion people in Asia barely feel the effects of the pandemic, while two billion people in Europe, North and South America were burdened with a large number of sick and dead people, as well as significant economic damage? Countries…

The information, the science, the media and the general public didn’t show much compatibility during the COVID-19 pandemic

The international scientific community, generally speaking, has done very well in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. However, from the perspective of the media and the general public, this could not always be seen clearly enough or appreciated sufficiently.

Using the latest technologies, science has been responding quite well from month to month to all the challenges of this pandemic. It has been fulfilling its tasks, slowly offering one answer after another to very many unknowns and open questions, and…

It is becoming difficult to prioritise between the health crisis, economic downturn and security risks.

The pandemic has spread throughout the world throughout 2020. As such, some areas have always been hit harder than others. In January, the focus of interest was China, and in February, that same focus was directed towards its neighbouring countries — South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. Then the pandemic took Iran and Italy by surprise, and spread to the whole of Western Europe, and then to North America.

Since back in May, the most difficult situation has occurred in Brazil, and then the whole…

Igor Rudan

Director of the Centre for Global Health and the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Edinburgh, UK; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Global Health

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store