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Epidemic City

Author: James Colgrove
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447085
Size: 65.28 MB
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An insightful chronicle of the changing public health demands in New York City. The first permanent Board of Health in the United States was created in response to a cholera outbreak in New York City in 1866. By the mid-twentieth century, thanks to landmark achievements in vaccinations, medical data collection, and community health, the NYC Department of Health had become the nation’s gold standard for public health. However, as the city’s population grew in number and diversity, the department struggled to balance its efforts between the treatment of diseases—such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and West Nile Virus—and the prevention of illness-causing factors like lead paint, heroin addiction, homelessness, smoking, and unhealthy foods. In Epidemic City, historian of public health James Colgrove chronicles the challenges faced by the health department since New York City’s mid-twentieth-century “peak” in public health provision. This insightful volume draws on archival research and oral histories to examine how the provision of public health has adapted to the competing demands of diverse public needs, public perceptions, and political pressure. Epidemic City analyzes the perspectives and efforts of the people responsible for the city’s public health from the 1960s to the present—a time that brought new challenges, such as budget and staffing shortages, and new threats like bioterrorism. Faced with controversies such as needle exchange programs and AIDS reporting, the health department struggled to maintain a delicate balance between its primary focus on illness prevention and the need to ensure public and political support for its activities. In the past decade, after the 9/11 attacks and bioterrorism scares partially diverted public health efforts from illness prevention to threat response, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden were still able to pass New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act restricting smoking and significant regulations on trans-fats used by restaurants. This legislation—preventative in nature much like the department’s original sanitary code—reflects a return to the nineteenth century roots of public health, when public health measures were often overtly paternalistic. The assertive laws conceived by Frieden and executed by Bloomberg demonstrate how far the mandate of public health can extend when backed by committed government officials. Epidemic City provides a compelling historical analysis of the individuals and groups tasked with negotiating the fine line between public health and political considerations. By examining the department’s successes and failures during the ambitious social programs of the 1960s, the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, the struggles with poverty and homelessness in the 1980s and 1990s, and in the post-9/11 era, Epidemic City shows how the NYC Department of Health has defined the role and scope of public health services for the entire nation.

Hives Of Sickness

Author: Museum of the City of New York
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813521589
Size: 57.81 MB
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An 1865 report on public health in New York painted a grim picture of "high brick blocks and closely-packed houses ... literally hives of sickness" propagating epidemics of cholera, smallpox, typhoid, typhus, and yellow fever, which swept through the whole city. In this stimulating collection of essays, nine historians of American medicine explore New York's responses to its public health crises from colonial times to the present. These essays illustrate the relationship between the disease environment of New York and changes in housing, population, social conditions, and the success of medical science, linking such factors to New York's experiences with smallpox, polio, and AIDS. As David Rosner writes in his introduction, "aspects of the current health crises in the city are not unique to this era and ..., as in the past, a concerted effort to face up to modern epidemics can lead to meaningful and humanitarian responses."

History Of Public Health In New York City 1625 1866

Author: John Duffy
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610441648
Size: 11.91 MB
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Traces the development of the sanitary and health problems of New York City from earliest Dutch times to the culmination of a nineteenth-century reform movement that produced the Metropolitan Health Act of 1866, the forerunner of the present New York City Department of Health. Professor Duffy shows the city's transition from a clean and healthy colonial settlement to an epidemic-ridden community in the eighteenth century, as the city outgrew its health and sanitation facilities. He describes the slow growth of a demand for adequate health laws in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to the establishment of the first permanent health agency in 1866.

Quarantine

Author: Howard Markel
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801861802
Size: 38.83 MB
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" Quarantine! unites the best of the two worlds of social history and clinical history in a narrative style so personal and at times gripping that a reader forgets that the book is meant primarily to be a scholarly text... Markel is as much spinning a complex yarn as he is writing a scrupulously researched chronicle." -- Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D., New Republic "Markel does the best job I have seen of depicting the experience of the quarantined -- as well as explaining something of the political and etiological/prophylactic debates that framed and legitimated the quarantine itself. Along the way he makes substantive contributions to Jewish history, urban history, and public health history." -- Charles E. Rosenberg, University of Pennsylvania In Quarantine! Howard Markel traces the course of the typhus and cholera epidemics that swept through New York City in 1892. The story is told from the point of view of those involved -- the public health doctors who diagnosed and treated the victims, the newspaper reporters who covered the stories, the government officials who established and enforced policy, and, most importantly, the immigrants themselves. Drawing on rarely cited stories from the Yiddish American press, immigrant diaries and letters, and official accounts, Markel follows the immigrants on their journey from a squalid and precarious existence in Russia's Pale of Settlement, to their passage in steerage, to New York's Lower East Side, to the city's quarantine islands. At a time of renewed anti-immigrant sentiment and newly emerging infectious diseases, Quarantine! provides a historical context for considering some of the significant problems that face American society today. "Beautifully written and thoroughly researched... This is a fine piece of history with a timely and thoughtful message; it deserves a wide readership among both health care professionals and professional historians." -- Nancy Tomes, New England Journal of Medicine "One of the major strengths of the book is the balance between the social construction of disease and the biological realities of illness... Quarantine! therefore provides an important cautionary tale not only for historians, but also for medical professionals who need to deal with modern epidemics in a rational and humane manner." -- Heather Munro Prescott, New York History "With vivid brush strokes Markel sketches in many of the colorful personalities who figured in his tale... Quarantine! is a fascinating and moving account." -- Betty Falkenberg, Pakn Treger

Betrayal Of Trust

Author: Laurie Garrett
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 1401303862
Size: 32.13 MB
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"On par with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring ... This chilling exploration of the decline of public health should be taken seriously by leaders and policymakers around the world."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review In this meticulously researched and ultimately explosive new book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett takes on perhaps the most crucial global issue of our time. She asks: is our collective health in a state of decline? If so, how dire is this crisis and has the public health system itself contributed to it? Using riveting detail and finely-honed storytelling, Garrett exposes the underbelly of the world's globalization to find out if it can still be assumed that government can and will protect the people's health, or if that trust has been irrevocably broken.

Saving Gotham

Author: Tom Farley
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 9780393071245
Size: 37.20 MB
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The inside story of the most audacious public health campaign of the twenty-first century.

The Politics Of Fear

Author: Michiel Hofman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190624493
Size: 31.31 MB
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The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was an unprecedented medical and political emergency that cast an unflattering light on multiple corners of government and international response. Fear, not rational planning, appeared to drive many decisions made at population and leadership levels, which in turn brought about a response that was as uneven as it was unprecedented: entire populations were decimated or destroyed, vaccine trials were fast-tracked, health staff died, untested medications were used (or not used) in controversial ways, humanitarian workers returned home to enforced isolation, and military was employed to sometimes disturbing ends. The epidemic revealed serious fault lines at all levels of theory and practice of global public health: national governments were shown to be helpless and unprepared for calamity at this scale; the World Health Organization was roundly condemned for its ineffectiveness; the US quietly created its own African CDC a year after the epidemic began. Amid such chaos, M?decins sans Fronti?res was forced to act with unprecdented autonomy -- and amid great criticism -- in responding to the disease, taking unprecedented steps in deploying services and advocating for international aid. The Politics of Fear provides a primary documentary resource for recounting and learning from the Ebola epidemic. Comprising eleven topic-based chapters and four eyewitness vignettes from both MSF- and non-MSF-affiliated contributors (all of whom have been given access to MSF Ebola archives from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for research), it aims to provide a politically agnostic account of the defining health event of the 21st century so far, one that will hopefully inform current opinions and future responses.

Epidemics And History

Author: Sheldon J. Watts
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300080872
Size: 13.84 MB
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A study of the great epidemic scourges of humanity over the last six centuries. It examines the connections between the movement of epidemics and the manifestations of imperial power in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe, showing how perceptions of whom a disease targeted changed over time.

A Plague On Your Houses

Author: Deborah Wallace
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9781859842539
Size: 39.66 MB
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Discusses how the closing of massive numbers of New York City fire departments in the early 1970s resulted in deteriorated public health and increased violent crimes