Saturday roundup

More topics I'd have covered this week, given endless time and energy:

An update on the Chikungunya outbreak I discussed here (and see this comment on the outbreak from a medical entomologist in the region dealing with it first-hand).

Orac on viruses as cancer treatment, inspired by a recent episode of House (more episode reviews by Scott at Polite Dissent can be found here).

An update on mumps activity from the Iowa Department of Health. I haven't written about this in a few days because there's not much more to tell. Cases are still increasing, and they're recommended that students between 18 and 22 get booster shots (especially those who've only had one shot). Preliminary data suggests that the vaccine efficacy has been around 80% for one shot, and 90% for those who've gotten 2 shots. Of course, there are still those who doubt efficacy, and even people who cheer the spread of the virus. It should be noted, though, that there have been at least 3 cases of encephalitis during this outbreak (out of the 681 cases with completed follow-up reports), so despite the pooh-poohing of the anti-vaccine brigade, mumps can indeed be serious. Orchitis--swelling of the testicles--was present in 6% of cases as well. Obviously I can't relate, but that doesn't exactly sound like fun, either.

In other Iowa news, poor Herky the Hawkeye gets dissed as a "not hot" mascot, but Brutus the Buckeye gets a pass? Something just ain't right...

In other infectious disease news, Revere on the potential of masks to help during an influenza epidemic.

Forbes magazine gives you 5 reasons to skip college. What I want to know is, where are all those people who had $160,000 up front to invest as an 18 year old?

Now that they can put George Clooney and Angelina Jolie's faces next to the suffering, the media is again picking up the Darfur story.

The number of people fleeing their homes to escape fighting between rebels, the army and government-backed militias had risen by 200,000 to more than 2 million in the past three months, he said.

This page lists several places where you can donate. If you're in the DC area, you can also head to the rally taking place tomorrow (April 30th).

Mike and Orac take on a young earth creationist/medical student in this post at Respectful Insolence and these posts over at the lair of the Mad Biologist. (Note: the latter is on the relationship between Shigella and E. coli, so it should be of double interest to readers here).

Finally, frogs are still dying from a killer fungus--and it's become worrisome enough that researchers are putting together a froggy "Noah's ark" to save as many species as possible.

More like this

It's hard to believe that it's been 2 years since Iowa's 2006 mumps outbreak (more background and details on that here, here, here, and here). By the time the outbreak ended, 8 states had been heavily affected (and 45 reported at least one case), with a total of 6584 cases of mumps and 85…
Orac highlighted here a post over at Vox Populi which doubted the effectiveness of the mumps vaccine, in light of the recent epidemic in Iowa. I was prepared to write a whole post on the math of it, but Mark at Good Math, Bad Math saved me some work. Nevertheless, I have a few things to add after…
I mentioned last week that Iowa's suffering from a large outbreak of mumps. An update, from the March 30th Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: In the United States, since 2001, an average of 265 mumps cases (range: 231--293 cases) have been reported each year,* and in Iowa, an average of five…
Sometimes amid all the news about H5N1, the "old and boring" diseases get overlooked, such as chickenpox and mumps. State health officials said they are concerned about a rare strain of virus behind an outbreak of 60 mumps cases in Iowa. Mary Gilchrist, director of the state's University Hygienic…

I know. I could easily make it a full-time job just to correct all the errors in their "vaccination" forum alone.

I followed the "Mothering" link as well. It's as if someone combined "willful ignorance" and "fierce drive of motherhood" into some parody -- but it's real.

It's sad that their children will suffer for this.

Of course, these will be the same people wielding lawsuits when there's a bad outcome.

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