At the new blog Puff the Mutant Dragon, there's a great pair of posts looking at the history of plague, with a focus on outbreaks that have occurred here in the US.
I'll also link them in my Black Plague series.
Thanks for the link to the plague post, much appreciated!
Just discovered your blog. I'm not in epidemiology--I'm in astronomy--but you make me want to go back in time and change my mind! Or at least split my time (impossible, just like going back in time).
Sarah, what a nice compliment. Mutant Dragon, my pleasure--great pair of posts. Looking forward to more!
One thing that is overlooked in this "problem" is the sheer stupidity of some people. As a long distance hiker, I've seen the signs by the NPS and USFS warning the populace not to feed wildlife. When in Yellowstone, I berated a couple for feeding the chipmunks ("but they're so cute" was the reply). I pointed out they also could carry plague or hantavirus.
Sure enough, the SF Chronicle Day In Pictures celebrates this stupidity. Even if you don't feed the animals, the animals don't know that fact. And tourons (tourists and morons) who feed them put everyone at risk by their behavior.
I told the ranger, she observed them feeding the animal, and then issued the standard $150 ticket. They may not fear the plague but they will fear a hit to their wallet.