epidemiology

Data suggest that about 3% of Americans, or nearly 10 million people, have been infected with coronavirus. Unfortunately, this data comes from late April and early May, and the virus has spread even further since then. The official COVID-19 case tally, therefore, is a dramatic undercount.
While coronavirus is obviously concerning and a very real threat to some people (namely, the elderly and immunocompromised), these data also show that the risk for the rest of the population is quite low.
A walk on the thoughtful “wild side” of why old-school epidemiology has over-promised and under-delivered, discovering that population density is more than how tightly we are packed, an alternative hypothesis for how sleep refreshes our bodies and spirits, and an update on a maligned energy source, fusion.  
The COVID-19 lockdown is responsible for both the loss of economic activity and human lives. Two independent groups of researchers concluded that the lockdown may be costing more lives than it saves.
"Track and Trace" is the latest COVID-19 catchphrase. It describes the process of identifying the ill and exposed, which then can make it safer for us to mingle socially once again. As a program gets underway in the U.S., what lessons can we learn from Asia?
It's quite likely that the human toll from COVID-19 will not be as bad as the prediction models forecasted. That's because models contain simplifying assumptions that rarely hold true in the real world; our human response is probably the least predictable of all. And yet, while all models are useful, all models are also wrong.
Different countries may appear to have different death rates, but only because they have applied different sampling and reporting policies to their accounting efforts. It's not necessarily because they are managing the virus any better, or that the virus has infected fewer, or more, people.
There is a lot of malicious misinformation on the internet about glyphosate. Much of it comes from academia.
Influenza is far deadlier than the Wuhan coronavirus, but few people worry about it. However, new diseases are scary and when information is limited, over-reactions are rational.
The media just handed fluoride conspiracy theorists a gift on a giant silver platter: Multiple outlets are reporting that pregnant women who consume too much fluoride produce children with lower IQs. The reports are based on an extremely controversial study just published in JAMA Pediatrics. Are the study's conclusions true? It's doubtful.
A Virginia news report states that two people died and 18 are hospitalized following an outbreak of an unknown respiratory infection at a retirement community. It's probably not influenza, but answers as to the cause are elusive.
In 2017, the CDC recorded 2,813,503 deaths in the United States. That's an average of 7,708 per day. But averages can be misleading. While that's the average, there is wide variability depending on the time of year. Specifically, people are far likelier to die during one extreme temperature season than the other.