NTDs: Lymphatic filariasis – mosquitoes plus parasites equal elephantiasis

This post is the 11th in a series highlighting the WHO’s list of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases (now technically 18 as mycetoma was added to the list at the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016). To read the previous posts in this series click here. Lymphatic filariasis (LF), also known as elephantiasis, is another one […]

NTDs: Leishmaniasis – yet another disease transmitted by insects

This post is the 9th in a series highlighting the WHO’s list of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases (now technically 18 as mycetoma was added to the list at the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016). To read the previous posts in this series click here. In continuing on with our Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) […]

Technology is Changing the Way Infectious Diseases are Tracked

(Note: this blog post, written by me, was originally published on www.twigh.org in November 2015) Technology is progressively becoming a bigger part of our lives. This holds true in high-income countries and in low- and middle-income countries. In 2012, three quarters of the world’s population had gained access to mobile phones, pushing mobile communications to […]

Another infectious disease bites the dust (mostly)

On November 10th, 2015, the WHO issued a press release stating that five years after the introduction and incorporation of an affordable conjugate meningitis A vaccine in the “meningitis belt” of Africa, that area has controlled and nearly eliminated the deadly meningitis A disease. In 2014, there were only 4 laboratory confirmed cases of meningitis A in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Who decides recipients of potentially lifesaving Ebola drugs

There have been recent news reports stating that the 2 Americans infected with Ebola who were transported back to America for treatment, were given an untested (in humans) Ebola drug, ZMAPP. Now for me this begs the question, why is the FDA allowing for the use of untested drugs to treat Ebola? Not only ZMAPP […]