Small and large 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, the great epidemics of medieval Europe, HIV, AIDS or Ebola, what people, politics and healthcare draw from all the pandemics that have ravaged and shaped our humanity ? How can we better understand the constants and dangers we face? How can we illuminate our present in the light of the past? Crossed views of philosophers, historians, anthropologists, epidemiologists, prehistorians, physicians, veterinarians, geneticists, authors and researchers to share our small and large stories of epidemics.

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

First documented epidemic in history: the plague of Athens

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

The scapegoats of the Milanese plague in the 17th century

The forensic scientist and anthropologist Philippe Charlier, director of the research department of the Musée du Quai Branly, tells us the story of the Greater St. Anthonythe ship that brought the plague to Marseille in 1720. The authorities had decided to burn down and sink the ship as the disease had caused the deaths of 120,000 people, including 50,000 in Marseille.

the Greater St. Anthony and the 1720 plague in Marseille

While almost the whole world is locked up in spring 2020, we invite you, accompanied by the immunology professor Patrice Debré, whom we find at the microphone of Caroline Lachowsky, to return to the very origin of the concept of quarantine in time, on the traces of small and large epidemic stories.

The first quarantines

How to assess healthy carriers of the virus who are likely to infect others without knowing it? A crucial question since history’s first healthy female carrier was identified in the United States in the 1900s, earning her the nickname Typhoid Mary. This is his story, told by Doctor Luc Perino, author of patient zeros in this new episode.

Mary Typhus, the first healthy carrier of the virus

Doctors and caregivers are celebrated and thanked today, but it wasn’t always like that. This is what the historian and philosopher Anne-Marie Moulin tells us. It will continue this terrible paradox of doctors and nurses as scapegoats at the time of the first Ebola epidemics.

Doctors as scapegoats for choleraby the philosopher Anne-Marie Moulin

A look back at this week’s small and large epidemics with ecologist Serge Morand, researcher at CIRAD, author of The next plague. A global history of infectious diseases, telling us how yellow fever epidemics followed the paths opened by the first colonial conquests.

Yellow fever and the first globalizations

We find the health ecologist Serge Morand, who is currently researching the emergence of new viruses such as Zika, Chikungunya or Dengue fever in Southeast Asia. So many viruses that also benefit from our globalization.

Zika or the virus of globalization

Back to the worst pandemic of the 20th century in this new episode. Caroline Lachowsky discusses the origin of the so-called “Spanish flu” with the historian Antonin Durand from the Institute for Convergent Migrations.

Why the “Spanish” Flu?

New episode of the small and large epidemic story is dedicated 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, geographer Freddy Vinet tells us.

Freddy Vinet is a geographer, professor and director of the Department of Geography at the University of Montpellier. He is the author of The big flu. 1918, the worst epidemic of the centurypublished by Vendemiaire.

No one escapes the great flu

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

The origins of HIV-AIDS

What lessons can we learn from epidemics? For this latest installment of small and large stories of epidemics, Caroline Lachowsky interviews anthropologist Fréderic Keck, director of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology 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 lessons can we draw from health crises? Can you prepare for the emergence or recurrence of a virus? How have China’s Asian neighbors, which have already experienced the SARS epidemic, managed to better protect themselves from Covid-19? Anthropologist Fréderic Keck conducted the survey just before the current pandemic broke out in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. in his work, Pandemic guards, virus hunters and bird watchers at China’s borders, he shows us how and why it is necessary to form a new living alliance, to imagine some form of association, of cross-species collaboration in the face of viruses, between humans and other animals, in this case birds or bats. Sentinels to prevent pandemics.

The Pandemic Guardiansby Frederic Keck

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