The advances in medical practice since World War II have been stunning, and they continue apace. Here, I anticipate some that I think are likely to make significant contributions in the near future.
The advances in medical practice since World War II have been stunning, and they continue apace. Some of the existing and anticipated ones are discussed here and in Part 2.
Vaccination is a pillar of disease prevention, but Americans are under-vaccinated. We need a multi-pronged public education campaign with participation from politicians and celebrities of every stripe.
Jerry Rogers, the editor of both and, moderated a discussion with several experts [1], including me, on various aspects of vaccines.
The level of respiratory illnesses in the U.S. is high and increasing. We are again experiencing a "tripledemic" of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). As the peak incidence of those infections approaches, we should be vigilant and take appropriate precautions.
Politicians fail to understand that "gain of function" research on microorganisms can enhance public health preparedness.
Flu shots perform inconsistently because it's hard to anticipate which strains of the virus will be circulating in a given year. So far in 2023, it appears that the latest round of vaccines are working well. The FDA has determined that Sudafed PE doesn't work. Questions and accusations are flying as a result: why were we sold a useless decongestant in the first place? And more importantly, who's to blame for this public health blunder?
The process of selecting viruses for the yearly flu vaccines is complex and inexact. For the 2023-2024 flu season, there is reason to be optimistic that the vaccines will provide good protection.
A clinical trial of various schedules for administering the two vaccines found that when they were administered together, "the quantitative and functional antibody responses were marginally lower compared to [COVID-19] booster vaccination alone. Lower protection against COVID-19 with concurrent administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccination cannot be excluded." Thus, the data are somewhat equivocal, but I'll opt to get the two shots at different times.
The agency's primary functions are ensuring food safety, regulating tobacco products rationally, and expeditiously approving new drugs and medical devices. It's failing. Instead, we're getting increasingly complex organizational structures and the commissioning of endless reports.
Illicit fentanyl continues to kill tens of thousands of people annually in the U.S. In fact, this number may very well be increasing as the "fentanyl epidemic" continues unabated. But now a fentanyl vaccine – which could be of some use in mitigating damage – appears to protect mice from the drug. Will it succeed in humans and, if so, how might it be used?
Awful parenting advice proliferates across the internet, especially as it relates to caring for a new baby. Here are a few things I've learned in the first few months of fatherhood.