infectious diseases

A multidisciplinary team from Texas just published their work in PLOS Medicine on U.S. vaccination rates in children, specifically focusing on nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) in states and counties. With 72.2% of those 19 to 35 months of age fully vaccinated nationwide, the researchers sought to determine the impact of parental concerns over safety and efficacy in opt out rates due to religious and philosophical beliefs. Their analysis of data was based on the 18 states that allow more nonspecific, philosophical-belief NMEs that can include religious objections.

What did they discover?

         As summarized from...

How often do you hear a friend or colleague even stranger say, “I was sick with the flu?” It’s a refrain likely to occur each winter. Are they lying? No. Mistaken is more accurate.

Many believe certain illnesses are the flu that actually are not. For instance, there are well over a hundred different rhinoviruses that cause the common cold. That’s why you can get a few colds per season. Some are mild, others more severe. Each distinctly manifests in the respective host. If our resistance is down or we have other conditions or take certain medications, then we can be more at risk of contracting infectious diseases and experiencing them with greater severity.

This can be why one of us has a minor sniffle and another of us is in bed. And yet another acquires nothing. This...

A tragic death befell a toddler in Brooklyn, NY after reports claim "his father apparently attempted to cure his chronic cough with a home remedy that included leaving the baby alone in a steamy bathroom." As per the NY Daily News, sources insist police believe the father intended only to help the child and his bad cough.

The one-year old was found unresponsive and EMS services responded, but the child died in transit...

I have repeatedly written about the vital need to stop one-size-fits-all approaches to complicated medical conditions and health policy as well as how important regional nuance is to solving these and more issues like healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Identifying the unique interactions, behaviors and exposures of a community drives the en vogue "population health" trend from a patient perspective while optimizing the culture, complexity and effectiveness of local institutions and personnel.

So, when I recently attended the Committee on Reducing Infection...

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 1.39.13 PMThere is a saying about the erroneously named stomach flu or winter vomiting disease: It doesn t kill you, but you may wish that it did. Not only is the name wrong, but so is the saying.

The heinous culprit that causes 1-2 days of utter misery is norovirus, which is short for Norwalk Virus. (It was first characterized in 1968 in Norwalk, Ohio). Too bad they didn't keep it there.

Although norovirus isn't even remotely related to influenza, they both provide a tough challenge for vaccine researchers antigenic drift, aka mutation. Both viruses are...

vaccMeasles is a highly contagious viral infection that once burdened an average 53,000 people in the United States. As of 2000, officials had declared the infection entirely eradicated in our nation. This year, however, measles infections are projected to outnumber 2009 infection rates by three-fold. Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of Immunizations and Respiratory diseases at the Center for Disease Control says, "We really don't want a child to die from measles, but it's almost inevitable.

The anti-vaccine movement is spreading to communities across the nation, dismantling our defenses against once defeated...

Based on ACSH's special report The Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy, by David R. Smith, M.D., President, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas

Introduction

If you asked a group of parents to list their greatest concerns about their...

Executive Summary

Standing among the greatest achievements in public health, vaccines have had a greater impact on reducing death and disability from infectious diseases than almost any other public health intervention. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of vaccines and the science of immunity, including a discussion of the remarkable advances in disease prevention through the evolution of vaccines. We focus on several...