Inoculations or Masks. One Epidemiologists View.

Recently, I was asked by a Healthcare Provider in my State my opinion concerning a company policy. There has been some issues around the influenza policy of this healthcare organization, where healthcare workers can either get the seasonal vaccination or wear a mask for the season. As an  epidemiologist, what were my thoughts on such …

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Listening to all the Chatter

Ever been to a particularly noisy place like a bar, or tried to listen to a conversation on a train or bus? Or tried to carry on a conversation in a busy restaurant? Unless the background noise is deafening, we can usually filter out virtually all other noise and hear the other person although often …

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The (Not so) Spanish Flu, and How it Became the Deadliest Epidemic in Modern Time.

I had a little bird, its name was Enza. I opened the window, and in flew Enza.      ~Children’s rhyme of 1917 In early March 2018 a mess cook at an Army base in Kansas reported to the infirmary complaining of sore throat, headache, and fever. After being checked over, the doctor could find no …

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The Eradication of Smallpox and the Helper T-Cells

In May of 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced, after two centuries, that the fight against smallpox had ended. This meant that there were no known cases of the disease anywhere on the planet. Many other infectious diseases have returned from the brink of extinction, but few have been so deadly as the only …

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Opinions are Not Facts, and Things are seldom as they first appear.

“The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk.” ~Tom Vilsack  Often of late, we hear non-experts make sweeping pronouncements on subjects from healthcare and education to socioeconomics. Seldom do they add anything to the conversation, instead muddying the already perturbed waters. While we certainly cannot fault someone for …

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On Inference, Causation, Correlation, and Association: How Scientists Assign Outcomes of Research, and why it is Important.

Thanks to my friend and associate Michael Lo for his input on this. Recently, the media seems intent on furthering the scientific ignorance that seems to be rampant in American culture. From Alternative facts to inconvenient truths, science is taking a beating at the hands of pseudoscientists, politicians, and others who have no business making …

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How Targeted Drugs Fight Disease, and why Funding Research is Critical

Recently our family has been once again forced to deal with a diagnosis of cancer. I have avoided writing on this subject in the past but have decided to write a brief article on the advances in cancer treatments. I enlisted the help of my good friend and research molecular biologist, Vera Chang from Oregon …

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Climate Disruption and Changes in Infectious Disease Patterns: The Worst is Yet to Come.

  Most scientists will tell you that evolution does not favor the fastest, the strongest, or even the cleverest. Evolution favors the most adaptable. Humans, as a species (race is an antiquated and dishonest ideology), are highly adaptable, having populated, at least to some degree, every continent on planet earth regardless of how inhospitable. While …

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The Post Antibiotic Era? Why Antimicrobial Stewardship is Critical for the Future of Infectious Disease Prevention .

  Some clinical epidemiologists (myself included) have suggested that a general disregard exists in surveillance and monitoring when it comes to medical and health practitioner staff concerning follow-up with patients diagnosed with an infectious antigen, and moreover, the handling of disinfection of infected surfaces and garments. While there is a sense of protection due to …

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Autism: Can Computational Biology and Environmental Health Finally Provide Answers?

The Increasing Rate of Autism in America When I first studied psychology as an undergraduate student, the rate of autism in the United States was one in 10,000. Today it is about one in 55. And while some suspected that the rise in autism was due to changes in diagnostic standards, new findings point to …

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