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.
Hearts don’t open and minds don’t change when you yell at people. Or berate them. Or chastise them. Not with vaccination, or any other medical intervention.
The good news is that African swine fever has nothing to do with swine flu and does not infect humans; the bad news is mostly for pig farmers and ranchers who are facing, as Russian scientists claim, "arguably the most dangerous swine disease worldwide."
The flu season is upon us. But what is it that makes an infectious disease seasonal at all?
The CDC reports that last year four states experienced outbreaks of hepatitis A, mostly among homeless people and/or intravenous drug users. Overall, 1,521 people got sick and 41 died. This is the predictable outcome of societal negligence and our collective unwillingness to adequately address the homelessness crisis.
Kentucky just reported its first flu-related death of the season. With last year’s overall hospitalization rates (among all ages) the highest recorded by the CDC surveillance system, it's time to make things less confusing.
What's it going to take for America to wake up? How many more people have to die before we realize that there's a humanitarian crisis happening on the sidewalks of our major cities? You can thank your local politicians for doing nothing to solve the problem, and in some cases, actively enabling it.
Infectious disease remains a national and global security threat. With the ease in which people can travel around the world, we should expect other exotic diseases to arrive in America. Ebola, Lassa, and Zika have already done so, and yet-to-be-identified microbes are also likely to be imported.
Disgust is an emotional cue, and it helps us avoid situations fraught with disease. Are we responding to how infectious diseases are transmitted, or how they appear?
A team of researchers wants patients to shorten their antibiotic course. This suggestion is problematic, and possibly dangerous, both to individuals and the larger battle against antibiotic resistance. And it goes against the recommendations of many organizations.
Mosquitoes transmit a wide variety of nasty microbes, from viruses like dengue, yellow fever and Zika, to parasites like malaria. The sheer number and diversity of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes makes vaccine development a challenge. But what if a vaccine could, instead, target the mosquito?
With drones, discovery in science and medicine makes the sky – and now the sea – the limit.