Exploring socioeconomic and cultural correlates of Zika infection through examination of the role of women within Latin American populations
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My research interests centre on how human societies have co-evolved with infectious disease agents, specifically how cultural factors impact the behaviour of pathogens. As such, my research focuses on the sociocultural dynamics of infectious disease, specifically arboviruses such as zika, dengue and chikungunya. One of these factors is gender: mosquito-borne viruses, like many other pathogens, often appear to affect one gender more than the other, although this effect differs in each population. Understanding how and why such social and behavioural factors drive the dynamics of epidemics can help us to better understand our societies’ own ‘biosocial’ relationships with emerging and re-emerging pathogens, as well as how to better design public health programmes that work with specific sociocultural contexts, highlighting the needs of individual communities and building a more integrative understanding of multicultural, bidirectional interactions with circulating infectious agents.