Disease

Influenza, “the flu,” is more than a bad cold.  Seasonal outbreaks yearly cause not only tremendous misery and debility but huge numbers of hospital admissions and deaths. Although the "holy grail" – a universal flu vaccine that recognizes all strains, including newly-arising ones – is not yet available this does not mean that you should not get the seasonal vaccine. You should, and soon.
Is leptospirosis, an infection from a bacterium that's transmitted through contact with urine, on the rise among dogs in Utah and Colorado, as headlines declare? Possibly. Maybe an optional leptospirosis shot for the pooch isn't a bad idea.
As our population ages and our medical care improves, we have increasing numbers of frail patients. The frail require gentler, longer, and frequently more expensive care. A new study looks at these outcomes.
Vaxart, a biopharmaceutical company, is working on a vaccine for the dreaded norovirus. The company just released its Phase Ib results. Did it work? Our lips are sealed. But here are some thoughts on its chances for success.
Antibiotic resistance is spotty. If you are hospitalized in New York and you acquire a Gram-negative infection in the hospital, there is a reasonable chance it will be caused by a highly resistant pathogen. If you go to a hospital in New Hampshire or Vermont, there is almost no chance for that to happen. ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes explains.
In 2017, ACSH interviewed Dr. Harvey Friedman (pictured) from the Infectious Disease Division of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. We discussed his group's prophylactic herpes vaccine. The animal data generated since then have been eye-opening, and the group is preparing for human clinical trials. If it succeeds it would be the first successful herpes vaccine in 100 years of research.
While we often have good information on what makes a population healthy, it's difficult to translate those recommendations to the patient sitting before us. A new study suggests we look at the diversity of outcomes -- or the heterogenicity -- differently.
A new NBC News story warns us about the dangers of this year's flu. Although trite, the warning is at least reasonable. Until it isn't. Just another lame headline. Good for a scare and nothing else.
Mosquitoes suck, both literally and figuratively. No other animal on Earth is responsible for more human deaths than the lowly mosquito. The mosquito-borne virus that causes EEE (or Triple E) is the latest to cause public concern. Here's what you need to know about it.
Some medical conditions are especially frustrating to physicians. That's because they lack not only effective treatments but even a reliable means of diagnosis. One of the most common is variously known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Dr. Henry Miller will explain it to you (if you're not too tired to read it).
This hypothesis suggests that pregnancy may protect women from auto-immune diseases, and further, that not being constantly pregnant and breastfeeding dysregulates the immune system.
Yes, it's a good idea to go to the doctor every once in a while -- annually, of course, is best. As he or she is prodding about, your doctor might find something rather unexpected. In my case, he found that I'm no longer immune to this disease.