Infectious disease

Effect Measure

Category archives for Infectious disease

As the flu pandemic ramped up with no vaccine in sight, attention turned to more prosaic things people might do to avoid infection. At the top of most lists was hand washing. I think hand washing is a good thing to do, although the evidence it does much against influenza specifically is weak or non-existent.…

Flu: Georgia on CDC’s mind

A day or two after CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) released a report about risks to pregnant women from pandemic 2009 flu, CDC held a suddenly announced press briefing about the current H1N1 situation (I listened in but a transcript should be up on the site by the time you read this; check…

Blood transfusions and pandemic flu

As predicted, the pandemic of 2009 is beginning to yield more data, some of it directly applicable to pressing practical questions. The answers are still preliminary, and, as with all science, subject to revision. But it’s what we have at the moment, and a letter that just appeared in the CDC sponsored journal Emerging Infectious…

The latest study on flu vaccine effectiveness in children has been well discussed in the MSM and the flu blogs, so I’ll point you to those excellent pieces (Branswell, crof, Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary) and just add some things not covered elsewhere. The full text of the article is available for free at…

Flu deaths in children

Two days ago I went with my daughter to the pediatrician to check out her 20 month old who had a fever and rash. Viral origin, probably. Also an ear infection. Pretty much par for the course at this time of year. But lots of little ones and their older sibs weren’t so lucky this…

A strange case of presumptive rabies

Rabies is one of those diseases that scares the crap out of me. Once clinical symptoms start, it is essentially a death sentence. “Essentially” because there are 6 cases of survival in the medial record, but 5 of the 6 had had rabies vaccination prior to illness. A single case of survival in an unvaccinated…

Bad flu and underlying medical conditions

It is becoming conventional wisdom that the 2009 H1N1 pandemic was not as severe as a bad seasonal flu year. That might be true, although I don’t find it much comfort because a bad seasonal flu year is no less bad for being more familiar. But I am not yet willing to assent to the…

The mosquito star wars defense system

The mosquito is the vector for diseases like malaria, yellow fever and West Nile. They are major scourges of public health, and while we have sunk a fair amount of money in drying to eradicate them, we haven’t put as much money into developing the technology for the war on mosquitoes as the war on…

It was some time after the pandemics of 1957 and 1968 that we were able to judge their severity and it will likely be some time after this one has finally burned itself out, most likely to become “just another” seasonal flu, that we will be able to gauge the 2009 swine flu pandemic. A…

Another swine flu virus

There is an old vaudeville joke where a man goes to the doctor complaining about pain in his arm: Doctor: Have you ever had it before? Man: Yes, once before. Doctor: Well, you have it again. CDC reported on their weekly FluView website on Friday that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported to…