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The Zika conspiracies have begun

Like cockroaches, the conspiracy theorists suggesting the Zika virus outbreak is anything but a normal, naturally-occurring event have begun to come out of the woodwork. To be expected, the theories they’re espousing make no sense scientifically, and each theory is incompatible with the others, but why should anyone expect that conspiracy theorists would actually use…

Preparing for the zombie apocalpyse

I have a paper out in the Christmas issue of BMJ on the coming zombie apocalypse. You read that right. And yes, it was peer-reviewed. I’ve discussed previously how I’ve used the attention paid to zombies to talk about infectious diseases with children and other audiences; and to bring some science to the Walking Dead and…

Where do we stand on Ebola?

Have a new article up at Slate. Nine months into the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, here’s where we stand.

BLS4 entry/exit procedures

The first person to enter the lab in the morning, has to complete a check of all equipment that makes the lab operational. There is a checklist and you go through all floors of the facility and document the status of every piece of equipment and levels on every pressure gauge. Then you do a…

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…

This is the thirteenth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Jessica Ludvik.  One Disease, Many Species Brucellosis, more commonly known as undulant fever in humans or bangs disease in cattle, is one of the oldest bacterial scourges of livestock-producing nations, especially those in which the animals live in close proximity with the human population.  The disease…

Coexisting with Coyotes

This is the twelfth of 16 student posts, guest-authored by Stanley Corbin. Disease in wildlife is an important concern to the health and safety of humans and domestic animals. The expanding growth of our nation and resultant land use changes with urbanization has resulted in a shrinking habitat and fragmentation for all animals, including humans. The…

June’s passing

She just bought two pairs of new shoes. This is the refrain my brain keeps returning to, as if that will make the outcome any different. She hardly ever bought new shoes, or clothes, and especially furniture. Yet in the past year, as she decided she’d go on dialysis and stick around awhile, she purchased…

A “gut feeling” about H5N1

As usual, EffectMeasure is one step ahead of me. A news report came out yesterday suggesting that influenza may infect people through the gut. At least 4 routes of evidence suggest this possibility. 1) In birds, influenza is an intestinal infection. 2) Several cases of H5N1 have presented with diarrhea, generally uncommon in human influenza…

Grand Rounds reminder

Just another reminder– I’m hosting Grand Rounds next week. I’ll accept entries until Monday at 8PM EST. Remember that this carnival isn’t just open to doctors and nurses–if you’ve written a post about disease, or some new advance in basic biomedical research, send it along!