All About Ebola

HEALTH The 2014 crisis is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West Africa. Learn more about the deadly disease and responses to the crisis. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Use our resources to learn more about the last major outbreak of Ebola. Discussion Ideas What is ebola? Ebola is an infectious disease caused by a virus. In fact, most doctors … Continue reading All About Ebola

Mr. Badger Should Be Worried

WORLD Mr. Badger Should Be Worried England debates whether a cull of the popular animal could help stem bovine tuberculosis. Everyone from actresses to astrophysicists-with-nice-side-gigs weighs in . . . with music, even. (So far, unsuccessfully.) Discussion Ideas Britain is considering a “cull” of the badger population in Gloucestershire and Somerset, regions in southwestern England. Do students know what a “cull” or “culling” is? Why … Continue reading Mr. Badger Should Be Worried

Mutant Mosquitoes Lose Lust for Human Scent

SCIENCE Mutant Mosquitoes Lose Lust for Human Scent Biologists have engineered a mutant strain of mosquitoes that lack the ability to sniff out human beings. Or insect repellent. Discussion Ideas: There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world. Why do students think the scientists featured in the Nature article chose to study the species Aedes aegypti? They’re not hard to find. Aedes … Continue reading Mutant Mosquitoes Lose Lust for Human Scent

Portland Voters Reject Fluoridation, Again

HEALTH Portland Voters Reject Fluoridation, Again For the fourth time since 1956, residents of Portland, Oregon, have rejected a measure to add fluoride to the city’s water supply. This leaves Portland as the largest urban area in the U.S. without fluoridated water. Discussion Ideas: Portland is the largest city in the U.S. without fluoridated water.Why do students think most urban areas invest in fluoridating their … Continue reading Portland Voters Reject Fluoridation, Again

Jessica Brehmer- Public Health Mapping

Jessica is currently a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and is employed by the Minnesota Department of Health. She has a BA in Geography from the University of Minnesota and is a former geography intern with NGS.

Mapping diseases goes way back. In the infamous Broad Street pump incident of 1854, John Snow mapped cases of cholera in a London neighborhood during an epidemic and noticed most cases were using water from the same pump. He removed the pump handle and the epidemic came to a halt. Now there is a whole field of study dedicated mapping diseases and health geographics, and I want in!

Maps easily show the distribution of diseases. This visualization of the distribution is useful for many applications in public health. For example, if you were planning a campaign to distribute mosquito nets in Africa to prevent malaria, a map would show you that malaria is not endemic in the Sahara desert as it is Sub-Saharan Africa. The map helps you prioritize net distribution to the highest risk areas. Such maps are relevant for all diseases across the field of public health.

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