Not all worrisome infectious diseases target humans. Some target animals and the consequences can be devastating, not just for local ecosystems but for the economy. Such diseases should be monitored as potential agents of bioterrorism.
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.
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 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.
Sometimes, a cute stray animal at your doorstep is carrying something you don't want to cuddle up to.
Seven years ago, the global public health community declared the eradication of rinderpest, a severe viral disease of cattle. But today, Bulgaria says it's dealing with an outbreak of ovine rinderpest. They are two different, but closely related, viruses. Here's some insight into what we know.
Ebola is the most famous of the hemorrhagic fever viruses, but it’s not the only one. Another killer has caused outbreaks throughout the Middle East and Asia, infecting more than 1,000 people every year since 2002.
With warm weather, it's necessary to be aware of the usual tick-transmitted suspects, Lyme disease and the West Nile virus. These are nasty enough, but there's a bad boy out there that makes them look like creamed spinach. Meet the Powassan virus. It is pure evil.
A colder temperature slows down a viral-infected cell's ability to commit suicide.
It is an understatement to say that antibiotic resistance is a major problem facing our healthcare system. Every year 2 million Americans are infected with resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die each year from these infections. Each year MRSA kills about as many people as HIV. Compounding this problem is the fact that companies (factory farms?) are actively contributing to this problem (
The cranial sinuses are eight cavities within the skull that supply vocal resonance. When they become inflamed, often accompanied by facial pain, fever, and nasal congestion, the condition is called sinusitis. Sinusitis will affect one in eight American adults in their lifetime, and can be caused by an infection from a virus (most commonly), bacteria, or fungus; it can also be the result of an allergic reaction.
Chikungunya is the latest virus you probably have never heard of. Carried by a couple of species of mosquito (both of which are found in the United States) and first described in Africa in 1952, the virus causes an abrupt onset of fever and severe joint pain (arthralgia) that may become chronic. Since that time, chikungunya has been found to be widespread in both Africa and Asia, and has now spread to the Caribbean islands and a few states in the U.S.