Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Contagious Disease' Category

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. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

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 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Malaria returns to Greece

The impact of Greece economic crisis affects not only their population’s wallets, but also their health as well.  Contagious diseases such as malaria and HIV are on the rise in Greece. Some 70 cases have been reported there this year, and at least 12 people appear to have been infected in the country. (The others […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Can drug companies cure drug-resistant gonorrhea? Will they even try to do so?

Drug-resistant gonorrhea has been reported in 17 European countries and could soon arrive in the U.S.  Will Pharma develop new drugs to fight this more robust version of the disease?  The answer may be no. Companies have been reluctant to invest in developing new antibiotics because they are used sparingly, and often held in reserve […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why are there so few vaccine suppliers?

In many cases, only a handful of suppliers produce vaccines for a given disease.  In fact, for several vaccine types the U.S. has fewer suppliers than countries with a smaller market and a higher level of government purchase. One reason for this finding could be strict government regulation.  All vaccines must be approved by the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

I recently finished reading a great book by William Bynum called The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction. The book does just what it says: provides a great introduction to the history of medicine.  It is concise and interesting throughout.  The contents are divided into six chapters: Medicine at the bedside Medicine in the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

AIDS turns 30

The Center for Disease Control issued the first official notice of the disease that would become known as AIDS 30 years ago on June 5.  My current home, San Francisco, was especially hard hit.  NPR interviews physicians at the San Francisco General Hospital and the Center of AIDS Research at University of California, San Francisco. “At […]

Read the rest of this entry »