Infectious Diseases

Category archives for Infectious Diseases

Public health officials urge USDA to withdraw plan to “modernize” poultry inspection, worker and food safety will suffer

The Obama Administration’s quest to appease businesses’ claims about burdensome regulations awoke a giant in the form of the civil rights, public health and workers’ safety communities. From the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Council of LaRaza, to the American Public Health Association, the feedback on USDA’s proposal to “modernize” the poultry inspection process is loud and clear: scrap the idea because faster line speeds will take a grave toll on poultry plant workers.

Today is World Malaria Day, and the World Health Organization has launched a new initiative, dubbed T3: Test, Treat, Track. It urges countries where malaria is endemic to test every suspected malaria case, treat every confirmed case with anti-malarial medicine, and track the disease with “timely and accurate surveillance systems.” The good news is that…

by Kim Krisberg A couple weeks ago on the southern-most tip of the continental United States in Key West, nearly 70 residents gathered at a town hall meeting to talk about mosquitoes. And not just any mosquito. A special, genetically modified mosquito designed to protect people’s health. While the modified mosquito has yet to make…

Two years ago, a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing 300,000 Haitians and leaving 1.5 million homeless. Nine months later, a cholera epidemic began — its first victim a 28-year-old man who bathed in and drank from a river that was likely contaminated by raw sewage from an encampment of UN peacekeepers from Nepal. Half a…

At her Superbug blog, Maryn McKenna reports on a disturbing, but not unexpected development: over the past three months, 12 cases of tuberculosis at a single Mumbai hospital have been found to be resistant to all the drugs used to treat the disease. This is not the first time totally drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB) has been…

A new kind of guide for restaurant diners: do the employees have sick leave, living wages?

The worker-led organization Restaurant Opportunities Center United released this month a new type of diners’ guide, one that focuses on working conditions for the employees at 180 restaurants nationwide. The US restaurant industry employs 10 million individuals and is the fastest growing sector in the economy. More than half of restaurant workers, however, earn less…

by Kim Krisberg It’s too early to tell just how many families Elizabeth Frerking and her colleagues at the Saline County Health Department in Marshall, Mo., will have to turn away, but it’s likely to be too many. As of Oct. 1 and due to cuts in federal immunization funding, Frerking can only administer vaccines…

SciDev.Net’s TV Padma reports that tuberculosis experts are looking to India to develop affordable TB-testing kits. An estimated four million cases of the disease go undetected, and two million TB patients die every year. India has increased its efforts at finding and treating cases of the disease, but diagnostics still present a challenge, Padma explains:…

By Kim Krisberg Just a few days ago, an event in the small town of Lilburn, Georgia, may have saved the life of someone living half a world away. It wasn’t a black-tie gala or a celebrity telethon. It wasn’t even about a disease that most of us here in the United States think much…

Did CDC ban those airline blankets?

Within 15 minutes of my 6:00 am flight from Austin to Baltimore, I knew it was going to be a long, COLD, 3-hour trip. I’d already turned off the overhhad vents to stop the frigid air from blowing on me, and contorted myself into a ball on my seat trying to stay warm. As I…