Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Lost Children of Rockdale County

In the spring of 1996, as Atlanta prepared to host the summer Olympic Games, an outbreak of syphilis struck a group of teenagers in the prosperous bedroom community of Conyers, Georgia. When epidemiologists interviewed the victims, they were shocked by what they heard: children as young as fourteen named scores of sexual partners, others told of all-night orgies and sex parties.

I'm pretty unshockable but I found this PBS show on an outbreak of syphilis in Georgia pretty amazing. Although the show was aired in 1999, thanks to good old PBS you can access a lot of information about it at a website dedicated to the show and even read a complete transcript.

The website will also give you access to details about the actual investigation of the outbreak, the techniques used and the results. For example this paper shows the complete network visualization of the outbreak I presented in class.

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