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Mark Lurie is an associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University who joins the show to discuss his work from the early 90s until the present day.

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Tune in to discover:

  • What was primarily to blame for the early spread of TB in Africa, as well as the spread and development of HIV hotspots
  • How and why early intervention is so important in the control of infectious diseases
  • How the response to the COVID-19 pandemic differs from the response to other infectious disease outbreaks and whether the decisions made so far in the U.S. are appropriate

Lurie has been involved in epidemiology since the early 90s, when he came across a fascinating study that looked at the early spread of TB in Africa. Since then, he’s studied the spread of HIV and various other infectious diseases. He talks about how treatment for HIV has developed remarkably over the years despite there still not being a vaccine, and where the largest reduction in new cases of HIV have been seen.

He reminds us that it wasn’t more than three or four generations ago that our geographical footprint was very small… reaching not more than five or 10 miles from home. Clearly, this has changed significantly and impacted patterns of infectious disease.

He discusses the coronavirus pandemic, when he thinks a vaccine may be available, the public health interventions surrounding it, evidence that the coronavirus-related lockdowns helped slow the spread, the less-talked-about consequences of the coronavirus outbreak (some of them positive), the purpose and importance of testing for the virus, the pros and cons of a treatment versus a vaccine for the virus, and what he thinks will happen in the near and long-term future.

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