Posts Tagged ‘epidemiology’

Contact Tracing

May 20, 2020

Contact tracing can help stem the spread of COVID-19.

More:

“How Do You Do Contact Tracing? Poor Countries Have Plenty Of Advice.” Jason Beaubien, NPR News

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COVID-19: An Important Message

April 22, 2020

COVID-19: An Important Message

Important Public Health Announcement: “Flatten the Curve” does not mean “Wear Spanx.”

More:

“Flattening the Coronavirus Curve,” Siobhan Roberts, New York Times

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New Diseases Come In From the Wild

April 7, 2020

COVID-19 was bound to happen. A Vox video.

Related:

“From Bats to Human Lungs, the Evolution of a Coronavirus,” Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker

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Mike Pence, Coronavirus Czar

February 28, 2020

Mike Pence, Coronavirus Czar

President Trump has named Vice President Mike Pence to lead his administration’s fight against the Coronavirus epidemic. Mr. Pence gained extensive medical experience during his stint as Indiana governor, when his Medicaid “expansion” cut health coverage for thousands. His response to the state’s HIV epidemic was to “go home and pray on it,” a policy that caused HIV deaths to spike. A longtime critic of science-based policy, he denied that smoking causes cancer while running for Congress in 2000.

Since joining the Trump administration Mike Pence has filled the federal health establishment with Indiana cronies like former pharmaceutical lobbyist and drug company exec Alex Azar, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, who tripled the price of insulin when he headed Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly. In congressional testimony last Wednesday Mr. Azar would not guarantee that any coronavirus vaccine would be affordable.

More:

“Trump Put Mike Pence In Charge Of The Coronavirus Response. Public Health Experts Aren’t Having It.” Brianna Sacks, BuzzFeed

“Let’s Revisit Coronavirus Czar Mike Pence’s History on Public Health Initiatives,” Shannon Palus, Slate

“Mike Pence was criticized for his handling of Indiana’s HIV outbreak. He will lead the U.S. coronavirus response.” Washington Post

“Mike Pence ‘not up to task’ of leading US coronavirus response, say experts,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

Uh-Oh:

“Was Mike Pence exposed to coronavirus?” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

“Student Quarantined Days After Classmates Shook Mike Pence’s Hand, Report Says,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

Updates:

“Trump wanted, and got, a coronavirus lead who would give politics primary consideration,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Pence Will Control All Coronavirus Messaging From Health Officials,” Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Coronavirus: Pence defends Trump Jr claim Democrats want ‘millions’ to die,” Martin Pengelly and Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“HHS Secretary Azar: ‘I’m still chairman of the task force’ on coronavirus after Trump says Pence is leading response,” Caroline Kelly, CNN

“Trump backers see a coronavirus conspiracy,” Ben Schreckinger and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico

“Mick Mulvaney: Media Is Exaggerating Coronavirus Coverage to ‘Bring Down the President,’” Pilar Melendez, Daily Beast

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Larry Kudlow Leads Trump Administration Coronavirus Fight

February 26, 2020

Larry Kudlow Leads Trump Administration Coronavirus Fight

The Trump Administration’s rapid response to the Coronavirus threat was led by National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who announced on Tuesday that the COVID-19 epidemic has been “contained” in the United States. “We have contained this, I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight,” he diagnosed on CNBC. Mr. Kudlow’s concern, like that of his master, Donald Trump, was with one major disease symptom, a severe decline in the Dow Jones Index.

Larry Kudlow, while not a physician, is as qualified to advise on the disease epidemic as he is to be National Economic Council Director. He isn’t an economist either, and his financial prognoses are consistently wrong. In the case of the COVID-19 epidemic, epidemiologists at the CDC warn that its spread in the US is imminent. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,”said National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Nancy Messonnier.

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Airplane Poop and Public Health

August 16, 2015

Airplane Poop and Public Health

“Pooping on that 12 hour flight may be a public health service. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark are siphoning off the sludge from international airline flights and using it to study the spread of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

In a study in Scientific Reports, they break down their analysis of 18 different airplanes that arrived in Copenhagen from nine different cities around the world, looking for the presence of things like Salmonella and Clostridium difficile.

The team found that Salmonella was more prevalent in poop arriving from Southeast Asia, while the sludge from planes arriving from North America was more likely to contain C. difficile (a bacteria that causes a nasty drug-resistant infection). Planes arriving from Asia had higher rates of DNA from drug-resistant bacteria strains overall.”

— “Pooping on Airplanes Could Contribute to Public Health Research,” Shaunacy Ferro, Mental Floss

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The Donald’s Diagnosis

July 9, 2015

The Donald's Diagnosis

In a three-page, 881 word statement Monday afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump clarified statements he made on June 16th. Mexican immigrants, he claimed, are not just drug dealers, killers, and rapists; they’re responsible for “tremendous infectious disease … pouring across the border.”

There would be good reason to fear immigrant-borne epidemics if vaccination rates in Mexico and Central America were not among the highest in the world. The measles vaccination rate in those countries, in fact, is higher than that of the US. “If anything,” points out Peter Weber, “those countries should be concerned about Americans coming down to visit.”

Of course, it’s not like Mr. Trump believes in vaccination … or climate change or Barack Obama’s Hawaiian birth, come to think of it.

So Donald Trump is no physician. Neither is Maria Konnikova, but she offers a very convincing diagnosis of  Donald Trump: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Related:

“Donald Trump’s most delusional statement yet: ‘I’ll win the Latino vote,’” Sophia Tesfaye, Salon

“Donald Trump: The Democrats’ Best Campaign Asset,” Bill Humphrey and Stephan Richter, The Globalist

“Donald Trump is the ultimate opportunist: Why his racist theatrics—and surging popularity—explain everything about the modern GOP,” Heather Digby Parton, Salon

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

April 3, 2014

Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

“A new study of Facebook has predicted that the social network’s rapid growth will prove unsustainable and that the site will lose 80 per cent of its users between 2015 and 2017.

A group of Princeton researchers has compared Facebook to a highly infectious disease, claiming that after it reaches a certain critical mass of ‘infected’ users, these individuals will ‘recover’ and quit the site.”

— “Facebook is an ‘infectious disease’ and will lose 80% of users by 2017, according to researchers,” James Vincent, The Independent

If you’s like to see how Princeton’s engineers apply an epidemiological model to social media, you can read study here:

“Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics,” John Cannarella and Joshua A. Spechler, arXiv

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The New Terrorism: Zombies

October 16, 2010

When Zombies Attack!

U.S. Homeland Security forces are severely strained this weekend as zombies coordinate attacks across the country. The cause of this annual seasonal outbreak may be weaponized biohazards, caution epidemiologists, as they redouble their search to isolate a “Zombie Flu” virus.

This month saw attacks on Traverse City, Normal, Salt Lake City, Shreveport, Oakland, East Peoria, and Pittsburgh. Zombie Code Red alerts are posted for Morgantown, Dallas, Merced, Seattle, Panama City, and other U.S. cities. The global crisis threatens Glasgow, Rotorua, Toronto, and Sault Ste. Marie. Many cities observed World Zombie Day on October 10th to remember those killed by the Undead, and a commemorative opera has been commissioned.

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