‘Modern Polio’ Cases Confirmed in 16 States

‘Modern Polio’ Cases Confirmed in 16 States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 38 confirmed cases of a severe polio-like disease in children known as acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the United States from January through September of this year. A total of 16 states have reported cases of the condition, also referred to as acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) […]

Smallpox-like Disease Spreading in Africa

Smallpox-like Disease Spreading in Africa

There is a growing epidemic of monkeypox—a close cousin to smallpox—in Africa during the past two years. More than 1,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed among people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2016, followed by 88 confirmed cases in the Republic of the Congo, over 80 cases in Nigeria, 19 […]

CDC Predicted “Second Wave” of Influenza This Year

CDC Predicted “Second Wave” of Influenza This Year

Although spring is when the typical “flu season” ends, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in mid-March 2018 that a “second wave” of influenza B virus appeared to be on the way and could cause more illness, especially among young children. News reports stated that the majority…

The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis and Vaccines

The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis and Vaccines

Ever since the discovery of the antibiotic commonly known as penicillin in the late-1920s, antibiotic drugs have transformed the face of modern medicine. Antibiotics have historically played an instrumental role in successfully treating bacterial infections. However, the overuse and misuse of these medications over the last…

CDC Calls for Antiviral Drug Use to Combat Flu

CDC Calls for Antiviral Drug Use to Combat Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a public health advisory warning that the incidence of influenza infection, primarily with the virulent A(H3N2) strain, has been increasing rapidly over the last month.1 Historically, influenza A(H3N2) has been linked to an increased risk of hospitalizations…

Viruses May Be Harmful, Helpful, or Passengers

Viruses May Be Harmful, Helpful, or Passengers

One of the best estimates we have for the average total number of cells in the human body is 37.2 trillion. It sounds like a lot, until you consider that the average number of microbes in an adult human is estimated at 20 times the number of cells in the body. That would equal approximately 744 trillion microorganisms. In other words, we humans are vastly more microbial than cellular in nature. Each of us is, essentially, one giant germ.

Sneaky Lyme Bacterium Avoids Detection, Defies Treatment

Sneaky Lyme Bacterium Avoids Detection, Defies Treatment

Lyme disease has been around for thousands of years. The tenacious bacteria were found in the 5,300-year-old mummy known as “Ötzi” or the “Iceman,” and Lyme is widely regarded as the most common tick-borne illness in North America. Despite pervasiveness of Lyme, currently…

Fever is Not an Enemy

Fever is Not an Enemy

One of the most common recommendations for fever is to alleviate it by giving Tylenol (acetaminophen). Although may sometimes be unpleasant to experience fever or to care for a feverish child, it is important to understand that fever itself is a symptom of the body’s immune system fighting an infection or illness.

Childhood Flu Could Predict Future Vulnerability

Childhood Flu Could Predict Future Vulnerability

The press release subhead reads: “UCLA, Arizona researchers explain that birth year may largely determine people’s risk for serious illness in an influenza pandemic.” It sounds vaguely astrological, as if our birth date predicts our future health. In fact, it introduces an interesting scientific hypothesis for why some people are…

The Immune System: The Body’s Battlefield

The Immune System: The Body’s Battlefield

We often hear the terms immunity, the immune system and immune response thrown around when discussing the topic of vaccination. But do we really understand how the immune system is designed, its mechanism and the impact of vaccination on its overall function? Immunology is a vast and complex field of study, however, it is important to understand the basics…