Priscilla Wald’s Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative is featured in this week’s "Nota Bene" in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Kacie Glenn writes, "Wald shows how the spread of information about disease can affect
economies and behaviors, triggering market crashes and creating
stigmas. She warns against our tendency to conveniently correlate
disease with factors other than poverty and neglect, thus absolving
ourselves of social responsibility. Understanding the outbreak
narrative, she hopes, will teach us to evaluate the stories we tell
ourselves with a critical eye, and perhaps wage a better, more humane
war on contagion." Wald’s book is also reviewed in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. Reviewer Suok Kai Chew writes, "
Wald describes how the circulation of ideas and attitudes about contagious diseases led people to form social groups and eventually social cultures. Her book is filled with an exceptionally thorough review of varied pieces of information from journalism and films, as well as from real-life scientific events, that will help readers glean perspectives of how disease and outbreak narratives can shape the way people think about their societies and how they relate to others in the face of danger and infection risks. . . . In our interconnected and borderless world, outbreak narratives can endanger or save us."