Infectious Disease and Society

HON 398 – Dr. Judith Helena Prieto

Modes of Inquiry: Scientific and Mathematical Analysis, Textual Analysis, Historical and Sociocultural Analysis

Course Description:

We live in a time of emerging (new) infectious diseases (e.g.,HIV/AIDS, Ebola Fever, Hantavirus, Legionnaires’ Disease, SARS-Cov-2) and resurgent old ones such astuberculosis, malaria, and polio. The problem is compounded by infectious disease “traffic” -introducing infections to new species and previously not affected populations. This growing disease burden can be linked to human activities such as deforestation and other environmental transformations, contact with “exotic” animals, over-and other inappropriate use of antibiotics, limited knowledge of disease transmission, and lack of resources for vaccination and other preventions. Human history has recorded countless epidemics that have left profound demographic,epidemiological, economic, and cultural imprints on affected societies. Despite the revolutionary advances in medicine in the past century, many infectious diseases remain widespread and epidemics continue to occur. This course focuses primarily on the impact of human infectious diseases that have changed the world. Each disease is analyzed from five distinct perspectives: Clinical, Historical, Economic, Artistic, and Public Health. This course fulfills the Textual, Historical/Social-Cultural and Scientific and Math modes of analysis.