Cholera thrives in contaminated water.

illustrations, infectious disease, medical, medical history

Asiatic Cholera, 1832



“I had a little bird,

Her name was Enza,

Opened the door,

And in flew Enza.”

illustrations, medical, medical history

Avian Influenza



     The last known cases of smallpox occurred in 1978 in England. This was a result of the virus escaping a microbiology research laboratory at the University of Birmingham Medical School. The first victim, Janet Parker, worked as a medical photographer on the floor above the lab. Henry Bedson, who was conducting the research on the smallpox strain that led to Parker’s eventual death, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a  pair of scissors. This happened shortly after he was quarantined in his home.
    The investigation found that the safety of Bedson’s laboratory had been in question well before the outbreak, though it had somehow passed inspections regardless. As a result, WHO instigated stricter controls over the remaining stocks of smallpox, most of which was destroyed. Smallpox now officially exists in two labs, one in the US and the other in Russia.
medical, medical history

The Suicide of Henry Bedson



The first known case in the 2014 Ebola epidemic was a toddler in Guinea who likely contracted the virus from a wild animal (possibly a bat). This was the largest ebola epidemic on record. There were 28,603 known cases and 11,301 deaths.

infectious disease, medical, medical history

Index Case