1) Thoughts, observations, questions about readings from one of the course books (panic virus/
mountains beyond mountains/ghost map). How does the reading tie into class material?
I found it so interesting how chapter 13’s three pages of writing contained much more
information than all the 12 chapters before it combined. I like how the author tries to paint a picture
of an epidemiological map into your mind; it helps understand the concept of Farmer’s “great epi
divide” drastically. Farmer defines the great epi divide as the line in the middle of a page basically.
The people on top of the line are individuals/populations who usually die in their seventies due to
illness caused by old age. The populations under the line are ones that usually die much earlier
than expected and they commonly die of diseases that we have cures for and can treat. It feels as
though everyone else except Farmer has abandoned the treatment of tuberculosis a long time ago.
To me it seems like Farmer and his team are the only ones trying to find more effective cures for
TB, mainly because all wealthy countries have cleared TB and have abandoned further research.
Farmer is trying to find a treatment for multiresistant TB; I wonder what medications the treatment
would use, new antibiotics?
Chapter 13 uses many of the concepts talked about in the epidemiology lecture, in terms of
tuberculosis. Farmer talks about how two billion people in the world are infected with TB, but only
10% of the infected actually develop the symptoms. This is considered the pathogenicity of a
disease. For TB the pathogenicity is 10% according to Dr. Farmer. Since the pathogenicity of TB is
quite low, individuals who have the disease but do not possess the symptoms can be spreading the
disease unexpectedly (carrier state). He also talks about the mode of transmission for TB. He says
that TB is spread through sneezes and coughs. This mode of transmission is called airborne
transmission in epidemiological terms. He talks about places and people who are more susceptible
to TB. For places, he c