Tag: infectious diseases

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  • Some fatherly advice from the king


    What right do we have to subject our children to potentially dangerous medical intervention in the interests of sparing them from a devastating disease that they may never contract? In the early 18th century several British royal children were inoculated… Continue reading

  • Fighting Fit: the wartime battle for Britain’s health


    “We’re on Number 12 platform at Waterloo Station, one of the ten big metropolitan stations that are engaged today (1 September 1939) on the evacuation of London’s schoolchildren,” reads the BBC’s radio announcer to the sound of puffing steam engines.… Continue reading

  • The Ebola Review Archive Team at Médecins Sans Frontières


    Between April and June 2015 I left my job as an archivist at the Wellcome Library for two months to work at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Brussels as the Team Leader of a specially recruited team of three information… Continue reading

  • The recent history of bovine tuberculosis


    Dr Angela Cassidy shares some of the challenges of being an historian of the recent past. How to make sense of the recent past? At what point does an issue or event stop being part of today’s social fabric and… Continue reading

  • Net values: mosquitoes and malaria


    Malaria kills around half a million people a year, most of them children under five. World Malaria Day, 25 April, is an annual reminder that the war against this killer disease continues. Since the 19th century there has been a… Continue reading

  • Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People


    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that has been around since antiquity. It has gone by many names: phthisis (the original Greek name), consumption, the white plague – and many treatments have been offered over the years. One example of a… Continue reading

  • Spotlight: explaining the English Sweat


    The Sweating Sickness was a new phenomenon in later 15th and 16th century Europe, recognised by contemporaries as being distinctively different from the plague and other epidemic diseases. The illness was almost exclusively confined to England, and was soon known… Continue reading

  • Love in a ‘cold’ climate


    Fancy a romantic get-away this Valentine’s day? Forget weekends in Paris, fancy hotels, red roses and oversized teddy bears; from 1946, volunteers flocked to the MRC Common Cold Research Unit (CCU) in Salisbury for a holiday with a twist –… Continue reading

  • Spotlight: driving out the demon of smallpox


    Smallpox plagued medieval Japan, the disease was thought to be brought on by an Onryō (怨霊), a vengeful mythological spirit. This specific spirit or demon was eventually given the name Hōsōshin (疱瘡神). In the tale of Tametomo and Hōsōshin, the… Continue reading

  • Lazaretto: an Adventure in Music and Film


    How an unusual request regarding one of our digitised films led to a mystery night out for our moving image curator: The US musician Jack White (formerly of the White Stripes) recently launched a new album, ‘Lazaretto’. Lazaretto is also… Continue reading