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Posts Tagged "vaccination"

Expeditions

The end of the trip, with a few surprises in “Dak-horror”

Editor’s Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic’s North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth’s crust. This is her nineteenth blog post. To track her research [...]

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Food Matters

Variolation, Aviation, and Genetic Modification: Progress in the Face of Fear and Danger

The Wright Brothers' Plane (click for source)

In 1721, a small pox epidemic was ripping through the colonial city of Boston. Cotton Mather, a Reverend and Royal minister, convinced the physician Zebadiah Boylston to perform an arcane medical procedure on two slaves and Mather’s own son. The procedure, called “variolation,” involved piercing the skin of the patient with needle that was contaminated [...]

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Guest Blog

Mandatory Shots: Should Hospitals Force Health Care Workers to Get the Flu Vaccine?

A growing number of U.S. hospitals now compel health care workers to get vaccinated against the flu and other infectious diseases to protect patients from communicable diseases. In the case of the flu, the need is obvious: hospitalized patients who become infected have an elevated risk of developing complications or dying. Yet the vaccination requirement [...]

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Guest Blog

In the wake of Wakefield: Risk-perception and vaccines

Last May British medical authorities stripped Dr. Andrew Wakefield of his license to practice medicine. In case the name isn’t familiar, Wakefield was the lead author of the 1998 paper published in The Lancet (and later retracted) that set off worldwide fear of vaccines. Now the British Medical Journal has jumped in, publishing an investigative [...]

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Observations

Polio Vaccinations Need a Boost

Scientific American‘s editorial board strongly believes that the US was wrong to mount a fake hepatitis B vaccination campaign in the effort to kill Osama bin Laden. Apart from moral issues, the blowback from the clandestine effort threatens the global campaign to eradicate polio from the face of the planet.   This year’s polio season–the [...]

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Observations

Shootings May Threaten Global Polio Eradication Effort

pakistan polio vaccine killings

The deaths this week of nine polio vaccine workers in Pakistan at the hands of gunmen indicate a threat not only to workers but also to the effort to eradicate the disease—locally and globally. Earlier this year, the international push to eradicate the crippling—and sometimes deadly—childhood disease from its final holdouts (Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan) was [...]

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Observations

Vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Remains Safe

vaccination

By now, you’re probably aware of the hype over a vaccine associated with these three letters: HPV. Designed to prevent people from acquiring human papillomavirus, some strains of which can lead to cervical, vulval, anal and vaginal cancer in women not to mention cancers of the anus and penis in men, the HPV vaccine has [...]

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Observations

6 Common Misconceptions about the Flu–and Flu Shots

MALTA—Efforts to create a universal flu vaccine, one that would do away with the annual reformulations, is a hot topic these days in the infectious disease community. But in the bigger picture of reducing flu transmission—and reducing the thousands of deaths it causes in the U.S. each year—there is a big leap forward that could [...]

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Roots of Unity

Understand the Measles Outbreak with this One Weird Number

A man sneezes, possibly transmitting measles or other airborne diseases. Image: James Gathany, CDC.

15. That’s all you need to know about the measles. OK, that’s not true at all. There’s no one weird trick that will give you a flat belly (besides lying face-down on something flat), and there’s no one weird number that explains measles epidemiology. But the basic reproduction number, or R0, of a disease does [...]

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