Why subscribe?

Force of Infection is a newsletter about what’s going around—outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics.

  • From October through the end of April 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.

    • Beginning in October 2, 2023, I will begin to publish regional newsletters that will only be available to paid subscribers. The national newsletter will remain free.

  • During summer months, I have fun exploring other issues in epidemiology and public health, like radon mitigation. My publishing schedule is less frequent during the summer.

  • Occasionally, I post a 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? My national newsletters are free. Beginning in October 2023, regional newsletters will be available to paid subscribers. If you enjoy my writing and want more news you can use about what’s going around in your region, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. By upgrading you’ll also 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 professor at Johns Hopkins. I have a PhD in epidemiology and an MPH in infectious diseases.

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. The full list is here. And if you want to learn more about my research, visit my academic homepage.

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An epidemiologist on what's going around.


Caitlin Rivers 

Infectious disease epidemiologist