epidemiology

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.
A study of the health effects of alcohol separates the population by a genetic difference: the ability to metabolize alcohol. Researchers found no benefit to drinking, moderate or not. Is it true? Maybe if you're Chinese.
Is there a magical prescription for how much exercise and activity eliminates the increased risk of premature death, which comes from sedentary behavior? A new paper takes a swing at an elusive target. Spoiler alert: This is an area that continues to defy precision.
Disease surveillance remains one of the highest-stakes areas of science. Careful consideration for unique circumstances underlying outbreaks, and more responsible collection of data, could save thousands of lives.