Disease

Reports of an H5N8 influenza virus spreading among birds across the globe understandably have generated concern. However, H5 viruses do not pose a direct threat to the health of the vast majority of humans on the planet, at least not yet.
We've finally had some amazing (and badly needed) news about COVID. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are about 95 percent protective against COVID. But perhaps more importantly, according to interim analyses, Moderna's vaccine is 100% protective against severe COVID. This number is not only more impressive but may also be more clinically relevant.
People with lower levels of antibodies against mumps -- the second "M" in the MMR vaccine -- are likelier to have a severe case of COVID.
Not literally, but figuratively. Journalism's rule of thumb is true; bad news sells, and courtesy of a new study, we have some numbers to back that claim up. What we don’t know is why we prefer the negative over the positive.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, can we begin to make some definitive statements about the transmission of COVID-19 between individuals, based on a patient’s symptoms or testing? A meta-analysis provides some answers. (Or at least it gets us into the ballpark.)
The infectious period for a COVID patient is thought to be 10-20 days, based on the severity of the disease. One patient, however, was shedding virus for 105 days and was infectious for 70 of them.
From greasy menus to double-dipping, the COVID pandemic will help us say goodbye to some nasty cultural practices.
A new paper attempts to create the best estimate for the COVID infection-fatality rate (IFR), which answers the question, "If I get sick, what is the chance that I will die?" Beware: The virus discriminates.
Hey, pain patients. You've got company. Me! Thanks to a herniated disc in my neck I'm going through some of the same stuff I have been writing about for years. Stuff that you are well aware of. With one exception. You did not wake up with a bowl of blueberries in your bed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have tried several means to reduce healthcare spending, notably bundling services for procedural care and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) for primary care. A new study looks at cost savings in the primary care model.
By any measure, today's announcement about the unexpected efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is great news. But, Pfizer's Dr. Robert Popovian cautions us that the job is not done. There are policies that are essential to ensure the vaccine is promoted to the public, distributed, and administered properly. And be priced so that everyone can get it. Devil. Details.
The value of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients continues to rise from the ashes of refutation in the medical literature. The latest iteration is a meta-analysis of utilizing the drug early in ambulatory patients' care to lessen the undesirable outcomes of infection, hospitalization, and death. Several of our readers and members of our Board of Scientific Advisors believe that this study is important and that we disregard it at our risk. We are letting a proponent of each side make their case.