Virus - The Unseen Enemy

Infectious diseases which predated the emergence of humans will last as long as humanity itself and will remain one of the fundamental determinants of history. James Erlichman presents four programmes examining the life of the virus and man's struggle to contain it.


01The Darwinian Struggle For Life19990302

A cold may make life miserable, but for the virus it is a matter of life and death.


The virus hunters talk about fighting new diseases such as Ebola, and the problems contained in tracking them down.


Although the figures for HIV infection in the West have stabilised, the numbers in the developing world are rocketing. Every six seconds, someone is infected with the disease. There is no vaccine, and work on developing one has been slow. This week, the programme investigates the politics of treating diseases.

04 LAST19990323

As new viruses are uncovered and HIV continues to teach us the dreadful lesson of benign animal viruses turning into a human plague, we are set for possibly the biggest gamble of all - transplanting animal organs. This week's programme looks at the possibility of a vaccine for cervical cancer and at the prospect of animal transplants.