Newly emerging infectious diseases: patients in hospital. Relief print by Eric Avery, 2000.

  • Avery, Eric, 1948-
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Newly emerging infectious diseases: patients in hospital. Relief print by Eric Avery, 2000. Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


Design based on a woodcut printed in Saint-Gelais, Le vergier d'honneur, Paris ca. 1500, with variations showing emerging diseases in 2000. In the background patients with multidrug resistent tuberculosis are quarantined. Right, a physician lays hands on a man with hepatitis C. Left, in front of three HIV/AIDS patients, a physician holds a spray can of OFF, an insect repellent distributed in New York City during the initial 1999 United States outbreak of West Nile Encephalitis, an infection spread by mosquitoes. In the foreground, a corpse is prepared for burial, surrounded by crows: crows are particularly susceptible to West Nile Encephalitis and their die-offs are a harbinger of the disease. Mosquitoes, seen on the hands, arms and legs of the doctors and nurses, carry the virus between hosts.

E-mail from the artist, 25 July 2002: "I appropriated a historic image from ARS MEDICA collection in Philadelphia, redid the print for 2002. In the positive airflow room in the back of the print, are TB coughing patients. On the left are 3 HIV patients, smiling with developments in their care. On the right side, a Hep C patient is having a doctor lay on hands. In the foreground of the print, two hospice nurses prepare a body, with mosquitoes on hands, dead birds around them. That's West Nile. West Nile had just entered the USA. It has showed up in Texas this summer. The physician standing in this mess is holding a can of insect repellant. A metaphor for limits of managed care in the midst of a catastrophe, the Mayor of NYC bought up and distributed repellant when it became clear that this new USA encephalitis was mosquito borne."


[Galveston] : International Society for the History of Medicine, 2000 ([Houston?] : [Eric Avery and Gordon Rouze at the Arm and Hammer Press])

Physical description

1 print : relief engraving after a linocut, with letterpress, on blue-green paper ; sheet 46 x 31.6 cm


Emerging infectious diseases. Plague, smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis, HBV, influenza, HIV, HCV, Lyme disease, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, drug-resistant bacteria, Ebola, West Nile fever, anthrax. E. Avery ; G. Rouze


Edition of 250 impressions.


Wellcome Collection 556038i


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