Pathogens gone wild? Medical anthropology and the "swine flu" pandemic

Med Anthropol. 2009 Jul;28(3):199-206. doi: 10.1080/01459740903070451.


Beginning in April 2009, global attention began focusing on the emergence in Mexico of a potentially highly lethal new influenza strain of porcine origin that has successfully jumped species barriers and is now being transmitted around the world. Reported on extensively by the mass media, commented on by public health and government officials across the globe, and focused on with nervous attention by the general public, the so-called swine flu pandemic raises important questions, addressed here, concerning the capacity of medical anthropology to respond usefully to such disease outbreaks and their health and social consequences.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthropology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / psychology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / psychology
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Risk Management
  • Swine / virology
  • United States / epidemiology