infectious diseases

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Next Stop for Chikungunya Virus: the US?

Mosquito-borne disease is spreading fast

(Newser) - Not that many people have heard of Chikungunya, but that may change as the highly infectious disease keeps spreading quickly through the western hemisphere. The mosquito-borne virus, which causes fever and severe joint pain, may already be in Puerto Rico, and public health officials believe it could spread to the...

Malaria Reaching Higher Altitudes

Rising temperatures open up new heights to parasite

(Newser) - Efforts to eradicate malaria are going to be hit hard by rising temperatures that open up new altitudes to the mosquitoes that carry the disease, researchers warn. Both mosquitoes and the malaria parasite struggle in chillier temperatures, and a new study has found that the disease climbs to higher elevations...

Why Everyone Should Get Random Flu Shots

May hit disease at weak point, increase chance of random extinction event

(Newser) - If you missed getting your flu shot, it's not the end of the world. In fact, random treatment times may actually help manage a disease outbreak in the long run. New research suggests that when treatments are given twice a year, six months apart, a disease has time to...

Anti-Vaccine Megachurch Hit by Measles Turns to Vaccine

Texas church now hosting vaccination clinics

(Newser) - A Texas megachurch whose founder has linked vaccines to autism is now hosting vaccination clinics after being linked to at least 21 cases of measles. The outbreak began when a person who was infected with measles overseas visited Eagle Mountain International Church near Fort Worth, the AP reports. Most of...

SARS-Like Virus Traced to Egyptian Tomb Bat

Feces pellet provides perfect match for mystery virus

(Newser) - Researchers scrambling to find the source of the deadly MERS virus have pinpointed an animal culprit—but they're still not sure how it has been passed to humans. An exact match for the virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle East, killing almost half of them, was...

SARS-Like Virus Traced to—Camels?

Study finds virus antibodies in some camels from Oman, Canary Islands

(Newser) - Researchers have overcome a major hump in tracing the deadly MERS virus : Camels may be the source of infection. A study published in the Lancet reports that antibodies to the virus were found in blood samples taken from dromedary camels in Oman and the Canary Islands—"compelling evidence that...

'SARS-Like' Virus May Be Deadlier Than SARS

Virus has killed 38 of its 64 victims worldwide

(Newser) - MERS-CoV is often referred to as a "SARS-like" virus , but maybe someday it'll be the other way around. MERS has an "extremely high" fatality rate, seemingly much higher than SARS, a team of infectious disease specialists said in a report yesterday. In April, Saudi hospitals saw 65%...

TB Patient at Border Traveled Through 13 Countries

Strain he has is especially dangerous and resistant to most drugs

(Newser) - The Wall Street Journal has a scary story that illustrates just how easy it is for even one person to spread a lethal, drug-resistant disease. US border authorities in South Texas have detained a man trying to sneak across from Mexico who has a rare strain of TB. That's...

New SARS-Like Virus Can Spread Person-to-Person

But doctors say coronavirus not dangerously infectious

(Newser) - Evidence is mounting that a new SARS-like virus identified in September may be capable of spreading in a person-to-person fashion, reports Reuters . The novel coronavirus, or NCoV, has now infected 11 people worldwide, killing five of them. Ten of those people had traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or Pakistan,...

America's Worst Airport for Spreading Disease Is ...

... New York's JFK, scientists say

(Newser) - Which US airport is most likely to spread an infectious disease during an epidemic? This won't surprise New Yorkers: It's JFK. But its top ranking has nothing to do with dirtiness, reports the New York Daily News . MIT scientists who analyzed 40 of the biggest US airports compared...

25 California Babies May Have Been Exposed to TB

Infected person visited 2 neonatal intensive care wards

(Newser) - The parents of 25 babies in northern California have been warned that their children may have been exposed to tuberculosis in their first days of life. A person with active tuberculosis visited neonatal intensive care wards in two hospitals in Sacramento and Sutter County in March and April of this...

TB Patient Jailed for Refusing Medication

California meth user was risking public health

(Newser) - A tuberculosis patient in California who refused to take medication to stop his condition from becoming contagious has been locked up to protect the public. Armando Rodriguez, 34, missed eight out of nine doses in the space of 47 days. He told health officials who visited his home that he...

Rare Bug Kills SF Disease Researcher, 25

CDC probing Richard Din's death

(Newser) - A young researcher at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been killed by the rare strain of bacteria that he was researching. Richard Din, 25, died in the hospital where he worked just 17 hours after coming down with a bloodstream infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis,...

Alzheimer's May Be Contagious

Some cases may result from an infection: study

(Newser) - Alzheimer's disease may, in some cases, be contagious, according to surprising results from a new study. "Some of the sporadic Alzheimer's cases may arise from an infectious process" similar to mad cow disease, a researcher says. In the study, mice that were injected with human brain tissue...

Malaria Jumped From Chimps to Humans

(Newser) - The parasite that causes malaria almost certainly jumped from chimpanzees to humans much like the AIDS virus did, National Geographic reports. Scientists initially believed that the malaria parasite that kills over a million people annually was older than humanity. But new research has found that it is a mutant version...

Flu-Phobic Consider Intentional Infection

(Newser) - With panic over the H1N1 flu virus on the wane, some Americans are pondering allowing themselves to become infected in hopes of building immunity against potentially more virulent strains, the New York Times reports. Doctors are split on the idea. "I think it's totally nuts," says a flu...

With 20 Sick, US Declares Swine Flu Emergency

Napolitano stresses declaration is 'standard operating procedure'

(Newser) - The White House declared today a public health emergency to fight the spread of swine flu, the New York Times reports. With 20 confirmed infections in the US, the declaration frees up money and resources for diagnosis, prevention, and antiviral medication. “We’re preparing in an environment where we...

CDC Prepares Swine Flu Vaccine

(Newser) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared a seed stock of vaccine for the swine flu that has killed dozens in Mexico and infected a handful of Americans, Time reports. The CDC has not begun mass production of the vaccine, opting instead to see if the outbreak reaches...

New Superbug Stalks Hospitals

Thousands killed by drug-resistant pathogen

(Newser) - A deadly new superbug is stalking the world's hospitals, health experts warned today. The pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is a burgeoning threat and proving extremely difficult to control, with a third of outbreaks resistant to front-line antibiotics, according to a study in the Lancet. Of 24,000 US cases in a...

Non-Profit Pharma Puts Cures Over Cash

Institute for OneWorld Health finds cheap, new uses for partially developed meds

(Newser) - Combating diseases that afflict only the poor doesn't plump the profit margins of pharmaceutical companies; now comes one that sets out to do just that as a non-profit, Good Magazine reports. Using grants to look at long-forgotten compounds, fund clinical trials, and distribute affordable meds to the world’s poorest...

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