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 […]

Vaccine preventable diseases around the world

If you’ve paid any attention to the news recently you must have heard about the measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland, most probably from an individual who was visiting from abroad. At the time of writing this, there have been 84 confirmed cases originating from this Disneyland index case. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of […]

Cholera is still around

It has been 5 years since Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake that killed 220,000 and left 1.5 million homeless. If that weren’t bad enough, UN peacekeepers from Nepal brought with them cholera. Cholera is endemic in Nepal so the peacekeepers were infected but not really sick; Haiti on the other hand had not seen cholera […]

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 […]