Infectious disease

Category archives for Infectious disease

I have a new article up today at Slate, examining the emergent H7N9 avian influenzas, and a bit of a review of “bird flu” in general: While we were carefully watching H5N1 in Asia and Europe, another influenza virus—2009 H1N1—appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Ultimately traced back to swine, this virus was easily spread between…

Dear Pa, I know you care deeply about many issues, especially social justice. You’re tired of wars, you’re ashamed of the attempts to destroy social programs in this country, you hate seeing the unions that helped you as a worker provide for our family get dismantled by wealthy CEOs whose only goal is to make…

Fifth of five student guest posts by Jonathan Yuska The saying, “The more you know, the more you can control,” is no more meaningful than when used in the context of HIV detection and prevention. Public health advocates endlessly stress the need for knowing one’s status; and one would assume that any way in which the most…

Can we “catch” breast cancer?

Third of five student guest posts by Dana Lowry In 1911, Peyton Rous first discovered viruses can cause cancer.  A chicken with a lump in her breast had been brought to Rous by a farmer.  Rous prepared an extract that eliminated bacteria and tumor cells and injected this extract into other chickens—tumors grew.  Rous suggested “a minute…

Second of five student guest posts by Nai-Chung N. Chang Tuberculosis (TB) is a major disease burden in many areas of the world. As such, it was declared a global public health emergency in 1993 by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a bacterial disease that is transmitted through the air when an infected…

First of five student guest posts by Kristen Coleman Every morning as I prepare for class, I go through the same internal dialogue, “to wear or not to wear my hearing aide.” I am forced to do this because when I was a child I, like most American children (about 80% by age 3 as…

For those of you in the general vicinity, the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology will be once again sponsoring the Great Plains Emerging Infectious Diseases Conference on April 19-20 in Iowa City. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance: Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, is…

I have a post up today at the Scientific American Guest blog, discussing how an earthquake and denial led to prairie dog plague. It details an outbreak of plague in Victorian San Francisco–the first time plague hit the United States–and the many downstream consequences of that outbreak (which began in 1900 and wasn’t really contained…

Matt Damon: no poo for you

Readers may be familiar with Matt Damon’s charity work with water.org, an organization he co-founded. Water.org seeks to raise awareness of the lack of clean water by almost a billion people on earth, and lack of toilets by almost 2.5 billion–and more importantly, they work to remedy that situation by providing sustainable, local solutions. His…

Where do pandemics come from?

I discuss the topic of emerging infectious diseases today over at Slate, as part of their Pandemic series.