Tag: #diseases

Domestic Threats to Public Health in the United States

If you’ve been watching the news, you might have noticed that something interesting is going in Italy. They just had a general election, and their results were very interesting. This is from The Atlantic: “Anyone who’s spent more than a vacation in Italy knows it’s a country with deep reserves of discontent, economic stagnation, and political dysfunction. So the anti-establishment…

The Thing About Hotspots

No, I’m not talking about wifi hotspots that help you connect to the internet so you can watch cat videos. I’m talking about the symbology used on maps in order to emphasize an area (or areas) where there is a lot of something going on. For example, in infectious disease epidemiology, I might use a map to show where there…

Whose Fault Is It That I’m Fat?

We were talking in an epidemiology class the other day about the association between obesity and diabetes. It’s a pretty strong association, with a lot of good evidence that obesity causes diabetes. As the students and the professor talked about this, the other teaching assistant in the course took some pictures of us. I was standing at the podium as he…

The Parent Ren, Part VII: The Pathogens Strike Back

I remember being a child and having Strep throat in the summer a couple of times. It was miserable. It was so bad that I could not wait to go see the doctor and have my grandmother give me a shot of penicillin. (I spent most summers with my grandparents in the ancestral hometown in Mexico.) She would bundle me…

The Perfect Disease Surveillance System

How is it that we get to know about diseases like Zika or Ebola? Is it just dumb luck that we encounter patients and then go from there? In a way, yes. These diseases, especially novel ones, have a way of just popping onto the radar without warning. Then we respond vigorously because we weren’t able to do something about…

aedes-albopictus-female-mosquito

Where do you begin to understand Zika?

It’s all the rage these days to get worked-up about Zika. Just like last year with Ebola, this year we’re freaking out over a disease from “over there” coming “over here” and hurting Americans. Also, the observed association between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly is scaring the crap out of people. (It’s really scaring the far-right, anti-abortion people because…

What keeps me up at night?

There are very few things that keep me up at night. But the main thing that invades my slumber is the possibility (and probability) of the next big epidemic. I hope to God it doesn’t happen… But, if it does, I hope He lets it happen on my watch. 😉

A slow and painful death

Over on Skewed Distribution, I was not surprised to see a blog post about antivaxxers wishing death upon people who promote vaccines. The antivaxxer in question wrote a comment wishing pro-vaccine people “a slow and painful death.” I jokingly commented that the joke is on them, since vaccines prevent slow and painful deaths. That got me thinking about people dying…