Jun 12, 2020
Dr. Steve Luby is a communicable disease epidemiologist who
joins the show to discuss his work over the years, as well as
provide insight on the
In this episode, you will discover:
Unlike many communicable disease epidemiologists, Dr. Luby spent a long time living in low-income countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh with the goal of seeing problems firsthand before trying to sort out how to address them, and identifying opportunities to make a difference.
Through this experience, Dr. Luby gained unique insight into the patterns of infectious diseases and transmission in different areas of the world. He uses the current COVID-19 pandemic as an example of such patterns, explaining that the high population density in areas like Bangladesh make social distancing measures impossible, and encourage the efficiency of infectious diseases like COVID-19. The result?
It’s tragic in the short term, he explains, but in the long-term it will result in fewer people in the area remaining susceptible to the virus. By virtue of the virus moving through these areas so quickly, these areas are likely to normalize a lot sooner than the US and other high-income countries where better medical infrastructure exists and social distancing measures are possible.
In addition to a number of other important and interesting topics, Dr. Luby explains why it can be so problematic for governments to make ill-informed decisions out of a desire to simply “take action” amid a pandemic, and the importance of sound scientific support for political leadership worldwide.