The number of disease outbreaks globally is rising as a result of the planet’s ballooning population, the destruction of forests and animal habitats, growth in world travel and climate change. Putting these outbreaks into context has never been more important for journalists.

This site is intended to help you untangle the concepts and science behind  the evolving infectious disease landscape. It is put together by journalists for journalists.

A few tips and techniques can help you find new stories, sharpen and deepen your reporting and help you ask better questions of the experts you interview. You’ll learn about coverage of new research in the field, hear from experts in public health and see how other reporters incorporate information about infectious diseases in their stories.

The site will also explain complicated but essential key concepts, point you to useful data, shared wisdom from fellow reporters, as well as a growing glossary of terms.

We thank the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for the support that made this Web portal possible. The organization has not directed any content on these pages, but rather has provided financial sponsorship that allows us to pay for the costs associated with collecting, writing, editing and presenting the most valuable resources we can.

Send us ideas, questions, suggestions. Share your successes. Point us to good stories. Let us know how we can be more helpful. We wish you success as you pursue one of health journalism’s core topics.

We also want to hear from you. What do you find most challenging about covering infectious diseases? Let us know how we can help. Contact Bara Vaida, the core topic leader for infectious diseases, at

About your topic leader

What questions do you have about infectious diseases and how to cover the topic?

Bara Vaida, AHCJ’s infectious disease topic leader, is writing blog posts, tip sheets, articles and gathering resources to help our members cover the complex topic.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to

Bara Vaida (@barav) has been a journalist for more than 25 years and a freelancer since 2011. She has worked for the National Journal, Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg News and has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows.

Vaida has written extensively about health care policy and the Affordable Care Act as a contributing writer with Kaiser Health News. Her stories on the business and legal issues raised by health reform, as well as special interest influence on health care policy, have been published in the McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Politico, and the Washington Post.

She recently wrote an in-depth report for CQ Researcher titled "Pandemic Threat: Is the world prepared for the next outbreak?"

Vaida first got her start in journalism writing for the Times of Trenton, N.J., where she covered local business news after graduating from Hamilton College with a major in history.