Infectious Diseases

Category archives for Infectious Diseases

I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.

Researchers in China identified a gene that confers resistance to a last-resort antibiotic, and then found that gene in E. coli isolates from raw meat samples, pigs, and 16% of hospital patients with infections.

Public health researchers, activists gather for 143rd annual meeting: Highlights from Day 2

As “the water cooler for the public health crowd,” The Pump Handle is in Chicago reporting from the 143rd annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s events, including new policy statements adopted by the Association.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it one of five neglected parasitic infections in need of targeted public health action. And while it’s still considered rare in the U.S., it seems residents of Texas may be at greater risk than scientists previously thought.

Last week, Nigeria met an important milestone: An entire year without a reported case of polio. This leaves just two countries where polio is endemic.

“All response is local” is a commonly heard phrase among public health practitioners who serve on the front lines of disease outbreaks, emergencies and disasters. Whether it’s a measles outbreak, a terrorist attack or a hurricane, public health agencies are at the ready to deploy an emergency response infrastructure designed for one overriding purpose: to protect their communities against preventable disease and injury.

At least 50 cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have been diagnosed in South Korea, where a 68-year-old man who recently traveled to the Middle East visited four hopsitals before being diagnosed.

For more than a decade, biologist Mariam Barlow has been working on the theory that administering antibiotics on a rotating basis could be a solution to antibiotic resistance. After years of research, Barlow had lots of data, but she needed a more precise way to make sense of it all — something that was so specific it could easily be used to treat patients. So, she joined forces with a team of mathematicians. And the amazing results could help solve an enormous, worldwide problem.

Last week Tyson Foods, the largest US poultry producer, announced that it was working to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its US broiler chicken flock by September 2017.

In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent.