Short and big history of epidemics

Short and big history of epidemics

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From the first story of the “plague of Athens” in ancient Greece to the emergence of our coronaviruses, passing through the great epidemics of the Middle Ages in Europe, HIV AIDS or Ebola, what human, political and healthcare draw from all the pandemics that have ravaged and shaped our humanity? How can we better understand the constants and perils we face? How can we shed light on our present in the light of the past? Crossed views of philosophers, historians, anthropologists, epidemiologists, prehistorians, doctors, veterinarians, geneticists, authors and researchers to share our small and big stories of epidemics.

To try to take a step back from the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s take a look back at the small and the big history of epidemics. First episode dedicated to “The plague of Athens” told by Anne-Marie Moulin, philosopher doctor and historian, joined by Caroline Lachowsky.

First documented epidemic in history: the plague of Athens

How can we shed light on our present in the light of the past? 2nd episode of the small and great history of epidemics. We find the philosopher, doctor and historian Anne-Marie Moulin at the heart of the plague epidemic of 1630 in Milan, to evoke the little story of the scapegoats of the epidemics.

The scapegoats of the plague of Milan in the 17th century

Forensic scientist and anthropologist Philippe Charlier, director of the research department at the musée du quai Branly, shares with us the story of the Greater St. Anthonythe ship that brought the plague to Marseilles in 1720. The authorities had decided to burn and sink the ship, the disease having caused the death of 120,000 people, including 50,000 in Marseilles.

the Greater St. Anthony and the plague of 1720 in Marseilles

While almost the whole world is confined in the spring of 2020, we invite you to come back to the very origin of the concept of quarantine in the company of immunology professor Patrice Debré, whom we find at the microphone of Caroline Lachowsky, to go back in time. in the footsteps of small and large stories of epidemics.

The first quarantines

How to assess healthy carriers of the virus likely to infect others without even knowing it? A crucial question since the first healthy carrier in history was identified in the United States in the 1900s, she was nicknamed Typhoid Mary. This is his story told by doctor Luc Perino, author of Patient zeros in this new episode.

Mary Typhoid, the first healthy carrier of the virus

Doctors and caregivers are celebrated and thanked today, but it has not always been so. This is what the historian and philosopher Anne-Marie Moulin tells us. She will continue on this terrible paradox of doctors and caregivers as scapegoats at the time of the first Ebola epidemics.

Doctors scapegoats for choleraby the philosopher Anne-Marie Moulin

A look back at the small and big stories of epidemics this week with ecologist Serge Morand, researcher at CIRAD, author of The next plague. A global history of infectious diseases that tells us how yellow fever epidemics followed the routes opened by the first colonial conquests.

Yellow fever and first globalizations

We find the health ecologist Serge Morand who is currently conducting his research in Southeast Asia on the emergence of new viruses such as zika, chikungunya or dengue fever. So many viruses that also benefit from our globalization.

Zika or the viruses of globalization

Back to the worst pandemic of the 20th century in this new episode. Caroline Lachowsky discusses the origins of the so-called “Spanish flu” with historian Antonin Durand of the Institut convergences migrations.

Why the “Spanish” flu?

New episode of small and big history of epidemics devoted to the Spanish flu of 1918, the worst epidemic of the 20th century. Between 50 and 100 million people died, on all continents. Only a few isolated islands were spared, as geographer Freddy Vinet tells us.

Freddy Vinet is a geographer, professor and director of the geography department at the University of Montpellier. He is the author of The great flu. 1918, the worst epidemic of the centurypublished by Vendémiaire.

No one escapes the great flu

Let’s go back to the origins of the HIV-AIDS pandemic which claimed 36 million lives worldwide. When and how did this virus jump from monkey to man? A long, complex story traced by the virologist Ahidjo Ayouba of the Research Institute for Development (IRD).

The origins of HIV-AIDS

What lessons can we learn from epidemics? For this last episode of small and big stories of epidemics, Caroline Lachowsky interviews the anthropologist Fréderic Keck, director of the social anthropology laboratory at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) who has just published The sentinels of pandemics, virus hunters and birdwatchers at China’s borders.

What experience can we draw from health crises? Is it possible to prepare for the emergence or re-emergence of a virus? How did the Asian countries neighboring China which had already experienced the SARS epidemic manage to better protect themselves from Covid-19? Anthropologist Fréderic Keck conducted the survey, just before the outbreak of the current pandemic, in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. In his work, Pandemic sentinels, virus hunters and bird watchers on China’s borders, he shows us how and why it is essential to form a new living alliance, to imagine a form of association, of inter-species collaboration in the face of viruses between humans and other animals, in this case birds or bats. Sentinels to anticipate pandemics.

The sentinels of pandemicsby Frederic Keck

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