The scariest diseases might be those you haven’t yet heard about, not to mention the ones evolving from older, well-known infections.
You can hear all about both of these on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases podcast — an informative glimpse at the ever-changing front lines of sicknesses.
The podcast reports new research from Emerging Infectious Diseases, an open-source journal published monthly by the CDC. It features interviews with people identifying and treating emerging disease — the researchers, doctors and public health officials responding to outbreaks.
The term “emerging infectious diseases” covers illnesses that have recently increased in humans or that are spreading to new places or new groups. Diseases that have been quelled but have returned in the wake of poor public health measures or antibiotic resistance fall into the category, too. And then there are the pathogens that haven’t been identified yet but that one day might cause outbreaks in humans.
Recent podcast episodes have covered a flare-up of fungal infection in New York hospitals, pneumococcal diseases among refugee children in Germany, and the ethical issues that come up when dealing with people who carry drug-resistant diseases, such as the ‘superbug” MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
Each podcast clocks in at less than 30 minutes, perfect for a commute. The subject matter is heavy, but those interviewed make the science behind the outbreaks easy to understand. Online transcripts are available for each podcast, as well as links to research articles in the journal.
The podcast is a reminder that, when you hear about some new disease popping up or spreading, experts are probably already on the case.