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Infectious diseases's posts - English uPOST

Ed Cara Ed Cara today at 03:00.

Don't Panic About the 'Black Death Plague'

Don't Panic About the 'Black Death Plague'

You may have seen alarming headlines today warning of the “Black Death plague” that’s believed to have infected two people in China. But while there are real reasons for public health officials and residents in that area of the world to be concerned, there’s no reason to fear a deadly pandemic.

On Tuesday, health officials in Beijing announced that two people from the Inner Mongolia region of...

Ed Cara Ed Cara Nov 12, 2019 at 03:05.

In a World First, the EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine

In a World First, the EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine

The first human vaccine against the often-fatal viral disease Ebola is now an official reality. On Monday, the European Union approved a vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, called Ervebo.

The stage for Ervebo’s approval was set this October, when a committee assembled by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a conditional marketing authorization for the vaccine by...

Ed Cara Ed Cara Nov 09, 2019 at 02:00. 10 comments

'Yikes, I'm a Host': What It's Like to Have Parasitic Eye Worms

'Yikes, I'm a Host': What It's Like to Have Parasitic Eye Worms

It’s not every day that you turn into a medical curiosity. But that’s exactly what happened to Dianne Travers-Gustafson, a retired medical anthropologist and public health researcher from Nebraska. In February 2018, her eyes had the misfortune of becoming infected by a particular kind of parasitic roundworm spread by face flies. She likely fell victim to the parasite while trail running along...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 24, 2019. 7 comments

Scientists Say Their Experimental Drug Knocks Out the Flu, in Animal Tests at Least

Scientists Say Their Experimental Drug Knocks Out the Flu, in Animal Tests at Least

We might be inching closer to a holy grail of medicine: an incredibly effective flu-killing drug that the virus can’t quickly adapt to. A new experimental treatment was able to rapidly reduce the flu virus in ferrets, but human trials are still a ways off.

Researchers at Georgia State and Emory University have spent the last few years trying to develop what they’ve billed as next-generation...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 23, 2019. 5 comments

The Bacteria That Cause Stomach Ulcers Are Becoming Drug-Resistant, Too

The Bacteria That Cause Stomach Ulcers Are Becoming Drug-Resistant, Too

A common bacterial infection that causes stomach ulcers and cancer has gotten increasingly harder to fend off, according to new preliminary research out this week. In Europe, it suggests, strains of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori have become more resistant to the first-line drugs used to kill it over the past 20 years, with resistance rates doubling for at least one antibiotic.

H. pylori...

5 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 09, 2019. 12 comments

STDs in America Hit Another Record High in 2018

STDs in America Hit Another Record High in 2018

It’s been a banner half-decade for sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., according to a new report out Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018 saw yet another record high for STDs in the country, with reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis climbing for the fifth straight year.

The report’s findings, as even the CDC admits, are an imperfect measure...

12 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 05, 2019. 12 comments

State Fair Hot Tubs Probably Spread Deadly Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in North Carolina

State Fair Hot Tubs Probably Spread Deadly Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in North Carolina

State fairs are a mixed bag in the best of times. But for a hundred or so people who attended the North Carolina Mountain State Fair this past September, it was a nightmare. State health officials have traced an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease to the fair, with the most likely source of infection being contaminated hot tubs.

The fair ran from September 6 to 15. Since then, according to the...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 04, 2019. 3 comments

The U.S. Is Officially Free of Measles—for Now

The U.S. Is Officially Free of Measles—for Now

It looks like we can breathe a sigh of relief. Despite two new cases of measles being reported late last week in New York, federal and state health officials are confident the country’s measles-free status will stay in place. But the new cases highlight just how much a challenge lies ahead in controlling the spread of a disease that shouldn’t be here any longer.

Reuters reported Monday that...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara Oct 02, 2019. 5 comments

A 1964 Earthquake Might Have Unleashed a Deadly Fungus on the Pacific Northwest

A 1964 Earthquake Might Have Unleashed a Deadly Fungus on the Pacific Northwest

Two decades ago, a rare but deadly fungal infection began killing animals and people in the U.S. and Canada. To this day, no one has figured out how it arrived there in the first place. Now a pair of scientists have put forth their own theory: Tsunamis, sparked by a massive earthquake in 1964, soaked the forests of the Pacific Northwest with water containing the fungus.

The yeast-like fungus...

5 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Sep 28, 2019. 6 comments

If No One Gets Measles in the Next Three Days, the U.S. Can Call Itself Measles-Free

If No One Gets Measles in the Next Three Days, the U.S. Can Call Itself Measles-Free

On Wednesday, officials from Rockland County, New York declared their almost year-long outbreak of measles over—a mere week before the U.S. would have to forfeit its status of having eradicated any local traces of the disease. If nearby neighborhoods report any more cases in the next few days, we could still lose our measles-free status, but things are finally looking bright.

The Rockland...

6 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Sep 25, 2019. 3 comments

How the U.S. Lost the War Against West Nile

How the U.S. Lost the War Against West Nile

For a brief time at the turn of the millennium, few things might have scared the average New Yorker more than the words “West Nile,” the name given to the mosquito-borne virus that, in 1999, began killing birds and eventually people for the very first time in the U.S.

Two decades later, the worst fears sparked by West Nile hysteria haven’t come to pass. The initial outbreak in New York, which...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 19, 2019. 13 comments

The World Is ‘Grossly’ Unprepared for the Next Major Pandemic, Watchdog Finds

The World Is ‘Grossly’ Unprepared for the Next Major Pandemic, Watchdog Finds

A report compiled by an independent group of experts claims that governments and NGOs are woefully unprepared for the next big pandemic, while subsequently warning of a “very real threat” for a global-scale pandemic to kill 50 million to 80 million people.

“The world is at acute risk for devastating regional or global disease epidemics or pandemics that not only cause loss of life but upend...

13 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Sep 11, 2019. 18 comments

Three Americans Have Died After Contracting Rare Brain-Infecting Virus Spread by Mosquitoes

Three Americans Have Died After Contracting Rare Brain-Infecting Virus Spread by Mosquitoes

On Monday, Rhode Island health officials reported that a resident had died after contracting the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. The death marks the third U.S. fatality linked to EEE reported this year, and the second such case documented in less than a week.

The summer is winding down for many in the U.S., but this rare viral infection spread by mosquitoes is still claiming lives....

18 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Sep 06, 2019.

New Research Is Final Blow to an HIV Cure That Wasn't

New Research Is Final Blow to an HIV Cure That Wasn't

A series of animal and human studies published this week are providing a sad footnote to a controversial 2016 experiment in monkeys that pointed to a possible cure for HIV but was later flagged for a glaring omission in its design. The animal studies failed to replicate the promising results of the original paper, while a clinical trial in humans using a similar strategy largely failed as...

Ed Cara Ed Cara Aug 23, 2019. 9 comments

U.S. Mosquitoes Are Laying 'Time Capsule' Eggs That Can Outlast Colder Winters

U.S. Mosquitoes Are Laying 'Time Capsule' Eggs That Can Outlast Colder Winters

Mosquitoes didn’t become the most prolific animal killer of humanity by being lazy. A new study this week suggests that a common disease-causing species in the U.S. has learned how to lay dormant eggs that can survive harsher winters in the North.

The Asian tiger mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, is thought to have first invaded the U.S. in the mid-1980s, establishing itself in Texas. It rapidly...

9 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Aug 21, 2019. 6 comments

Despite Child Flu Deaths, U.S. Government Refuses to Vaccinate Children Detained in Border Camps

Despite Child Flu Deaths, U.S. Government Refuses to Vaccinate Children Detained in Border Camps

Families detained along the U.S.-Mexico border in cramped holding centers are being left completely vulnerable to the flu, CNBC reported Thursday. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is currently not vaccinating detainees against the viral disease, nor do they plan to before the upcoming flu season this fall.

The stated policy comes despite an earlier plea by several health experts to...

6 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Aug 14, 2019. 8 comments

A Chlamydia Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Human Trial

A Chlamydia Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Human Trial

A vaccine for the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.—the bacterial disease chlamydia—is now a substantial step closer to reality. On Monday, researchers reported that two of their vaccine candidates were found to be safe in a phase 1 clinical trial of 35 women. Though the trial wasn’t meant to prove their effectiveness, the vaccines also seemed to provoke an...

8 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Aug 13, 2019. 11 comments

Massachusetts Man Reportedly in a Coma After Contracting Brain Infection From a Mosquito

Massachusetts Man Reportedly in a Coma After Contracting Brain Infection From a Mosquito

A rare, sometimes fatal viral infection spread by mosquitoes has resurfaced in Massachusetts—and has likely sent at least one man into a coma. Over the weekend, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that a local resident contracted the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Dozens of communities remain at critical or high risk for the virus, and residents are being advised...

11 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Aug 09, 2019. 12 comments

A Nurse's Alleged Opioid Theft Led to a Blood Infection Outbreak at a New York Hospital

A Nurse's Alleged Opioid Theft Led to a Blood Infection Outbreak at a New York Hospital

An outbreak of a rare infection at a western New York hospital in 2018 was sparked by a nurse’s opioid use disorder, a new case report out Thursday seems to confirm. The nurse is alleged to have taken intravenous opioid painkillers for her own personal use, replacing the fluid she took with water—water that turned out to be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Her actions ultimately led to six...

12 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 06, 2019. 5 comments

Military's Deadly Germ Lab Shut Down Due to Sloppy Work, Leaky Equipment

Military's Deadly Germ Lab Shut Down Due to Sloppy Work, Leaky Equipment

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shut down a leading military research facility for failing to meet established safety standards, halting important research into some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens and toxins.

Following an inspection in June, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a cease-and-desist order to the Fort Detrick biodefense...

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