Should we be concerned about MERS?

Is MERS the next Ebola? Or does the world have it “contained”? MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) is caused by a coronavirus. MERS-CoV (MERS corona virus) was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 (subsequently discovered to be widespread in dromedary camels) but it’s only recently that the news cycle (here, here, and here, for example) has […]

The Hygiene Hypothesis: How cleaner environments have led us to develop new diseases

I thought I’d take a bit of time today to discuss how the occurrence of new diseases may have been helped along by humans triumphing over many infectious diseases. This idea is called the Hygiene Hypothesis. The Hygiene Hypothesis suggests that the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases (like eczema) and allergic diseases (like asthma) in […]

At the 68th World Health Assembly the WHO makes changes to prevent future disasters like their initial Ebola response

In case you haven’t heard, in 2014 the world’s largest Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa. The WHO has been frequently criticized for their lack of response to this outbreak. As the only international health organization made up of member countries (governments), it was the only organization with the capacity to pull resources from everywhere […]

The current state of TB, in honor of World TB Day

The end of March has a couple of “days” we in public health can commemorate, World Water Day and World TB Day. Since I’ve already discussed World Water Day and how water impacts the transmission of infectious diseases, let’s take a look at humanity’s ancient but still problem-causing scourge, TB. First, a little background on […]

Increasing access to medicines is a life or death decision

The common saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And in public health, an area commonly short on funding, that is something I can say most people probably agree with. However, in many instances preventing an infectious disease is just not feasible. This could be because […]

Genetically modified mosquitoes

In case you haven’t heard, mosquitoes can carry some pretty nasty diseases, like malaria, dengue, chikungunya, west nile, yellow fever, etc. And you’re probably aware that we don’t have the greatest ways of fighting these mosquitoes to prevent these diseases, as evidenced by the continued presence or increasing presence of these diseases. But new research is […]

Why don’t we have more new antibiotics?

Buried in all this  recent measles media was an announcement of a newly discovered antibiotic, teixobactin, that its discoverers, Kim Lewis and his Northeastern University in Boston colleague Slava Epstein, think could work without allowing the development of antibiotic resistance. This is the first new antibiotic discovered in nearly 30 years. Tests showed that the newly discovered teixobactin […]