Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Contagious Disease' Category

Is Ebola back?

Troubling news from Liberia. The BBC reports: A second case of Ebola has been confirmed in Liberia, following the death of a teenager from the virus on Sunday, officials say. The country had been declared Ebola-free more than seven weeks ago. The new case was in Nedowein, the same village where the boy died, the […]

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Some good news

The Ebola epidemic in Liberia has ended according to the WHO.  The NY Times reports: “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over,” the W.H.O. said in a statement read by Dr. Alex Gasasira, the group’s representative to Liberia, in a packed conference room at the emergency command center in Monrovia, the capital. […]

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Measles kills more kids that AIDS

Globally, measles is a significant killer of kids and the threat is growing in the US as vaccination rates decrease.  Citing a Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet, Wonk Blog reports that in 2013 measles killed over 82,000 children under age 5.  This puts measles as #7 on the list of the top causes […]

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Autism vs. Measles

A powerful article from Medium about an autistic person’s view of the measles debate: No matter what other lofty ideas of toxins and vaccine-related injury anti-vaxxers try to float around in their defense, that’s really what all of this is about: we’re facing a massive public health crisis because a disturbing number of people believe […]

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Do travel bans work?

According to Vox, the answer is ‘no’.  The reason isn’t because travel bans don’t work in theory; it is because in practice travel bans  are never perfectly enforceable and thus may cause more harm than they help. But there’s a very clear problem with using a travel ban to stop Ebola: it renders useless the […]

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And the news from Syria gets worse…

Individual health in Syria is not only at risk due to violence, but also due to contagious diseases.  In fact, one disease that had previously been eradicated from the country is now back.  The BBC reports: Syria was declared free of polio in 1999. But the disease re-emerged last year, after two years of conflict. […]

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A positive trend on HIV

In 2011, the worldwide prevalence of HIV and AIDS was 34 million.  In that same year, 1.7 million people died of HIV or AIDS. However, the growth in HIV may be slowing.  Al Jazeera reports: Globally, new HIV infections are down by 33 percent since 2001 and have been more than halved among children. But […]

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Should the CDC warn Americans about a ‘potential’ epidemic?

Although at first glance, the answer would be ‘yes’, the answer is not so straight-forward.  Consider the case of the recent H7N9 influenza outbreak in China.  Although the media gave some coverage to this issue, the risk of a pandemic was not emphasized. The reason may be Bayesian updating.  Previous influenza threats in recent years […]

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Do Erectile Disfunction Drugs Cause more STDs?

Erectile Disfunction (ED) drugs, such as Viagra, have become increasingly popular.  However, there may be a downside to these drugs.  People who use ED drugs generally have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  Are these elevated rates of STDs due to the drugs themselves, the behavior they induce, or are the people who use […]

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How to Survive a Plague

Last weekend, I watched the movie How to Survive a Plague.  The movie discusses the AIDS activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).  Although I am not a  movie critic (you can see reviews by professional critics here), I do want to discuss one key issue that the move discusses: should the FDA liberalize its […]

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