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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Could we blow up the world with nuclear weapons?

Ever since the latest ruler of North Korea began testing missiles; the threat of detonation of nuclear devices is more often on the minds of the public. Simply stated, as long as these weapons of annihilation exist, so too will the temptation to use them. Although military experts speak of the survivability of what they …

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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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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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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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