Category Archives: Epidemics and Epidemiology

For the people who believe that Measles is not dangerous…

I present the heartbreaking data coming in from Bangladesh. There has been an extensive outbreak in a remote village, where 88 children were infected with measles. Of those, 53 required hospitalization and nine children have died. The outbreak started just … Continue reading

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Yellow Fever and the power of vaccination

Yesterday in class we discussed Yellow Fever and its signs and symptoms. Fever,  jaundice black vomit,and death. Today in my inbox there was a notification of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in South America. From December of 2016 until March … Continue reading

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Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia explode across US

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are making an unwelcome comeback all across the United States. We are seeing especially problematic increases in syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. What is behind the amazing increase in disease? It is thought to be due to the … Continue reading

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Is there still viable (living) bacteria on a frozen chicken?

Can bacteria survive the freezer? Bacteria will freeze along with the food they are on when they are stuck into a freezer. The pathogenic bacteria on foods that cause human disease  are primarily mesophiles or organisms that grow best at around 37 degrees Celsius.  In a … Continue reading

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Canadian outbreak of O157:H7 due to contaminated leafy greens

A new outbreak of the strain of E. coli O157:H7 has just occurred in Canada. There have been just 12 cases, but all of the bacteria in those cases have exhibited the same genetic fingerprint, indicating an a common source … Continue reading

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Understanding the influenza virus

There is a great  article in the online magazine Ars Technia  that details influenza viral replication and structure. It is essentially a re-print from a post from the epidemic of 2009 (there are a few details at the beginning regarding … Continue reading

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Increasing whooping cough….

There was a report out yesterday that the cases of whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis) in Minnesota have doubled from last month and by May, have exceeded all cases reported there last year. There have been 700 cases so far this … Continue reading

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Super-gonorrhea is here.

I have discussed a number of bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics: KPC Klebsiella, and ANY bacteria containing the NDM-1 superplasmid. We also have known about increasing antibiotic resistance in the STD bacteria, Neisseria gonorrheae. Historically (meaning since the … Continue reading

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Just a reminder, it is going to be a good year for ticks.

The New York Times reported that while there probably aren’t more ticks, they are appearing one to two months earlier than usual. Because of increased tick activity, New York is already reporting more incidence of Lyme disease than last year at this … Continue reading

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Can I say I told you so?

This week I discussed the two norovirus outbreaks on the Princess cruise ships: the Crown Princess and the Ruby Princess.  In the linked news articles, it was discussed that the Crown Princess was  briefly disinefected (treated for 4 hours) before … Continue reading

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