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Epidemics

In the first half, analyst Craig Hulet offered commentary on current events, terrorism, and world conflicts. "It looks to me unbelievably clear that money is going to buy the presidency, and Jeb Bush will be the next president," he declared.

In the latter half, broadcast and print journalist Gary Grossman discussed his research into the chasm between deep time (the scientific estimate that Earth is 4.6 billion years old) and a young Earth (the claim that the planet is only 7-8,000 years old put forth by some religious groups), which serves as the backdrop for his new novel.

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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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