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 Best of Times, the Worst of Times

During the late teens and early 20’s of the last century, the War to end all wars (a misnomer if there ever was one) had ended, and the Spanish Flu (that originated in Kansas) had run its devastating course. Perhaps no period in American history saw such abrupt changes to society as the period of the …

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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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On Being a Disease Detective

  Recently, I was asked what a disease detective did. While I considered my response, a situation came to mind from a few years back that captured the process perfectly. The following events are true, the names of been changed to protect the innocent, namely me. Shifu: This can't be right, it must be a …

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