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Epidemics

First Half: Registered pharmacist and nutritionist Benjamin Fuchs will be discussing nutritional and health supplements, as well as how to decipher the good vs. bad when considering the latest diet fads.

Second Half: Author Robert Damon Schneck is a longtime chronicler of the weird and unexplained, and has written about everything from killer clowns to suicide clubs. He'll discuss his latest work on stories of Ouija board experiments gone bad, psychic serial killers, and terrifying true-life stories.

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Epidemics

Show Archive
Date: Wednesday - May 19, 2004
Host: George Noory
Guests: Howard Markel

Dr. Howard Markel, the author of When Germs Travel, talked about the history and present state of a variety of contagious diseases. In his book, he chronicles six epidemics or outbreaks that occurred in America over the last century: trachoma, bubonic plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, cholera, and typhus fever.

Markel outlined how these epidemics share a set of common features, which include panic (often fueled by media reports), quarantines and/or the closing down of ports, and the scapegoating of a certain group (such as immigrants) who are blamed for bringing in the disease.

Along with AIDS, tuberculosis remains one of the top health threats, he said, noting a 1996 case in which a TB-infected woman traveled on a long plane flight from Seoul to Baltimore, and 29 people sitting near her came down with the illness. Influenza is another worry, and the medical community keeps a constant vigil for deadly strains of the virus, such as the one that wiped out millions in 1918, he noted.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Wednesday May 19, 2004

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