Why subscribe?

Force of Infection is a newsletter about what’s going around—outbreaks, epidemics, pandemics, and biosecurity. Each Monday, I send out a “weather report” of respiratory and stomach bug activity in the U.S., as well as food recalls. I gave early warning of the tripledemic (September!) and alerted readers to a surge in norovirus before it was in the news.

Around once a month, I post an essay, analysis, or deep dive on an infectious disease topic. I’ve reflected on moving beyond the pandemic origins debate, missing pieces of the monkeypox (mpox) response, and whether the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The essays I have published here have been cited in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Vox, and STAT News.

Why upgrade? Nearly all of my posts are free. If you enjoy my writing, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. You’ll have the ability to leave comments on posts and you’ll get access to the full archive. Perhaps most importantly, by upgrading you’ll be helping keep Force of Infection sustainable so I can help inform readers about “what’s going around.”

Who am I?

My name is Dr. Caitlin Rivers. I’m an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins. I have an MPH in infectious diseases and a PhD in epidemiology.

My work focuses on the policies and practices needed to improve outbreak response and pandemic preparedness. I’ve had multiple roles in the Federal government, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I helped to found the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics.

I’ve written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Nature, and more. If you want to learn more about me, visit my academic homepage.

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An epidemiologist on what's going around.


Caitlin Rivers 
Infectious disease epidemiology professor specializing in epidemics, pandemics and biosecurity. Find me on Twitter @cmyeaton.