Guinea worm – Could it become the second eradicated disease in human history?

Humans are on track to eliminate a second disease from the face of the planet, guinea worm (the first was smallpox in case you forgot your human history). Guinea worm is a parasitic worm that is transmitted only by people drinking water containing parasite-infected water fleas. Guinea worm disease is rarely fatal though it causes […]

Google is tracking influenza outbreaks, and it’s actually pretty cool

In this interconnected world, companies are finding out that you can reliably track the spread of infectious diseases by what search terms people are using. One really cool example of this is Google Flu Trends whereby Google uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current influenza activity around the world in near real-time. Google’s Flu Trends is […]

If Ebola has been around for so long, why don’t we have a vaccine already?

So in case anyone’s been living under a rock recently or has just been doing their very best to avoid any Ebola news (which is almost impossible here in the US), there has been news coverage stating that leading drug makers across the world have been working together and with the WHO to expedite Ebola vaccine […]

Enterovirus-D68, what is going on with this virus?

If you’ve watched the news at all recently you’ve probably heard, in between the Ebola updates, about an outbreak of respiratory virus Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) in the US that may or may not have contributed to the deaths of some infected children. The only death where EV-D68 has been confirmed to have played a role has been […]

Neglected Tropical Diseases and why they matter to everyone

The recent Ebola outbreak has shed a light on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) that most Americans have only heard of in passing or never heard of at all.  What are NTDs you ask? Great question. Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of infections caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths. The 17 WHO priority NTDs […]

Scary emerging viruses from around the world

With all this talk about Ebola for the last few months, and conceivably the next 6 months at least, I wanted to touch on other scary emerging viruses and why this Ebola epidemic is potentially the start of a new age of emerging infectious disease outbreaks. The authors of a recent Science Translational Medicine article state […]

Mosquito-borne illnesses

While the world focuses on Ebola, and rightfully so for many reasons, we must not forget about the other infectious diseases that are claiming lives everyday but may not be getting as much media coverage here in the US. The focus of this post is about some of the mosquito-borne illnesses that plague people around […]