Tag Archives: virus

Reawakening the beast

bear_head_vector_illustration_thumbTaking leaping strides back, he held tight to the rock in a firm grip.  He gazed left, then right, scanning the horizon for just the right moment.  The ongoing battle in front of him means he doesn’t have much time.  Just as he reacts to a bengal tiger pouncing to his right, he sees his opening and unleashes the bomb.  The tiger doesn’t stop and plows right into his midsection.  Others join the foray and soon there’s a pile, thousands of pounds on top of him, crushing.  He might have a broken rib and he definitely lost his breath for a moment.  As the pile lessens and he’s helped up by one of his own, he shakes away the ringing in his ears, and looks up to witness his success.

Continue reading Reawakening the beast

Preventing cancer in our children

16727-a-nurse-giving-a-young-girl-a-vaccine-shot-pvNational vaccination coverage statistics for adolescents (13-17 years old) were recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be a cancer blog?  Oh, it is–the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prevents infection by the HPV strains that cause cancer.

In 2015, 56% of adolescents had at least 1 dose of HPV vaccine, 45% had 2 doses, and 35% had all 3 doses required for maximal protection.  In comparison for the same adolescent population, 87% had a Tdap vaccine and 81% had a meningococcal vaccine.

So why the low HPV vaccination rates? Continue reading Preventing cancer in our children

A socialist view of the Zika epidemic

Epidemiologists say there’s little worry about the impact the Olympics will play in the spread of Zika virus.  While that may be true–it is winter in Rio–the virus is not there for the Olympics.  The growing number of locally acquired infections in Miami highlight how restricting our attention to big, flashy events like the Olympics does a disservice to curbing this epidemic.

The most significant clinical outcomes of Zika virus infection are birth defects in babies born to infected pregnant women. While a majority of the focus to restrain Zika virus involves travel restrictions for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant, we need to remember that the virus doesn’t seek out pregnant women.  We are all susceptible and we can all contribute to minimizing the spread of Zika virus and reducing its affect on the next generation of our world. Continue reading A socialist view of the Zika epidemic

It takes two to make a thing go right, or wrong

women powerAt the same time we have Hillary, 4 female astronauts graduating from the NASA space program, Samantha Bee on late night tv,  and actual dialogue about gender gaps in salary and management,  it’s still been a rough start to 2016 for women.   Continue reading It takes two to make a thing go right, or wrong

Attack of the killer mosquitoes! Part 1: Zika virus

Photo credit: John Tann
Photo credit: John Tann

Somewhat unbelievably given the preponderance of violence today, humans are not responsible for the most human deaths worldwide.  This distinction instead belongs to that annoying buzzy insect, the mosquito.  Mosquitoes are like an Uber for infectious pathogens hitching a ride to and from nice cozy destinations such as humans.  There are numerous viruses, bacteria, and even fly larvae (I dare you to watch this video) taking mosquito Ubers, but the one I want to talk about today is called Zika.

Continue reading Attack of the killer mosquitoes! Part 1: Zika virus

The “Not” Zone

THZIt has recently come to my attention that a lot of people out there are reading (or re-reading) Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone as a reference because of the current Ebola outbreak. I was shocked to hear this because I remember swiftly flipping the pages of this enthralling novel in high school. Yes, you read that correctly, novel. I thank my Twitter acquaintances (and science writer idols) Seth Mnookin (@sethmnookin), Maryn McKenna (@marynmck), Ed Yong (@edyong209), and Vincent Racaniello (@profvrr) for bringing a horrifying truth to my reality, The Hot Zone is classified, distributed, and sold as a nonfiction book!

Continue reading The “Not” Zone