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As Zika invades the US, Congress dithers

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Laurie Garrett and others appear on KCRW's "To the Point" to discuss that despite warnings about a Zika virus epidemic, Congress has refused to break into its summer recess and appropriate $33 million needed by the end of this month. Money is running out for developing a possible vaccine, as a disease that causes birth defects is beginning to spread.

Listen to the full episode on KCRW. August 2016. 

New Concerns About Fighting Malaria

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

A new study has detected a resistant strain of malaria in Myanmar near the Indian border, raising concerns that resistance could soon extend its hold to sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 90 percent of malaria deaths occur. Laurie Garrett appeared on The Diane Rehm Show on February 23, 2015 to discuss new concerns about combating malaria worldwide.

Full audio available here.

Measles Starts a Comeback…at Disneyland

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Fifteen years after measles was declared eradicated in the United States, more than 70 people have come down with the disease — an outbreak that started at Disneyland. Laurie Garrett appears on a panel on KCRW's To The Point with host Warren Olney on January 23, 2015 to discuss how this outbreak started and what it indicates about vaccination rates.

Ebola epidemic continues

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Although some in Liberia are now referring to Ebola in the past-tense, the epidemic looks likely to continue past its ninth month. Laurie Garrett just returned from Sierra Leone and Liberia, and she appears on WBEZ's Worldview on November 25, 2014 to give an update on what the epidemic looks like now.

What America Must Do To Stop Ebola, Now

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Ebola reports every day now, from West Africa and well beyond. The Spanish nurse in trouble. An American cameraman being treated in Nebraska. The first case that walked into an American hospital, Thomas Duncan, dead today, in that hospital in Dallas. Is America ready for Ebola? The CDC says we'll stop it in its tracks. But 80 percent of American nurses surveyed last week said their hospitals have not taught them about it. Laurie Garrett joins Tom Ashbrook on WBUR's On Point on October 8, 2014, to discuss these issues.

The Race to Contain, Rather Than Cure, Ebola

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

This week Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, passed away. A Dallas-area hospital initially turned him away, and his death has raised questions about what might have happened if he had been diagnosed and admitted to the hospital sooner. As healthcare workers are forced to wait for symptoms of Ebola to materialize before they can treat patients, Laurie Garrett argues on Science Friday on October 10, 2014 that rapid diagnostic testing tools could be a game changer in this ongoing outbreak.

As Ebola Reaches U.S. Shores, Will the Virus Spread Across America?

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

On September 30, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that Ebola has reached the shores of the United States. A Liberian man who traveled from his home country to visit relatives in Dallas, Texas late last month has been diagnosed with the deadly virus. On The Takeaway with John Hockenberry on October 1, 2014, Laurie Garrett explains how likely the virus is to spread, and how the CDC and the WHO are handling the outbreak.

Ebola - The Worst Case Scenario?

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Despite new commitments this week from the world's governments, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is not under control and will get worse - possibly much worse - before it gets better.  Experts fear the number affected will be in the tens of thousands, possibly even more. Laurie Garrett appears on CBC's Quirks and Quarks on September 20, 2014, expressing her fears that we're paying the price now for gutting our international public health capacity with cuts to the World Health Organization. The promise of a massive effort by many countries in West Africa may be too little, too late, to prevent the worst case scenario of a complete breakdown of social order and devastation to a whole region of Africa by this terrible disease.

Can An Experimental Therapy be Used to Treat Ebola?

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Two Americans received an experimental treatment after they became infected with Ebola while working with patients in West Africa. Heinz Feldmann, chief of the Laboratory of Virology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Laurie Garrett, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discuss how the serum works and if it should be used more widely on Science Friday.

Full audio is available here, on the Science Friday website.

Laurie Garrett on Ebola

Posted on by Laurie Garrett

Laurie Garrett appeared on the BBC World Service to discuss what it means when the World Health Organization calls for "drastic action" to stem the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and why this epidemic is unique.

The Rise in Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Posted on by Gabriella Meltzer

The development of vaccines has changed modern history by preventing diseases that once killed millions of people. But there have recently been outbreaks of childhood maladies thought to have been eliminated. Most Americans don't remember measles, because the disease was declared eradicated in the year 2000. But, from New York to California, recent outbreaks are reminders of the potentially deadly disease, due to a drop in the vaccination of vulnerable children. Laurie Garrett appears on a panel with Seth Mnookin to discuss this topic, in this episode of KCRW's To The Point with Warren Olney.

Contagion discussion

Posted on by Gabriella Meltzer

The ease and availability of global travel brings the threat of widespread contagion ever closer to reality. From time to time one of those diseases takes hold – bird flu, SARS and more recently, MERS, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. In a conversation with Dr. Norman Swan, host of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Health Report, and Gareth Williams, professor of medicine at the University of Bristol, Laurie Garrett answers the question, "How much of a threat do such epidemics actually pose and how prepared are we for a plague?"

Full audio available here.

Laurie Garrett – “Biology’s Brave New World”

Posted on by Gabriella Meltzer

Laurie Garrett talks with Tavis Smiley on the Tavis Smiley Radio Show about her Foreign Affairs essay of the same title, which says the practice of synthetic biology holds great promise for humankind—it could lead to anything from cleaner water to a cure for cancer. But unchecked, it could also lead to Armageddon.

Biosecurity for the Age of Redesigned Life

Posted on by Gabriella Meltzer

In this panel discussion on NPR's Science Friday , Laurie Garrett discusses the foreign policy implications of recent advances in synthetic biology. With the conversation focused on the iGEM competition, she praises the organization's emphasis on bioethics, but adds that one cannot assume those ethics will be translated to adult-run labs around the world.

Full audio available  here.