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A Disease Doctors Call A 'Silent Killer' Is Spread By Bugs That Bite Your Face In The Night — And It's Emerging In The US

The Washington Post reports that health officials found 17 Houston residents who had been infected with Chagas, a disease native to Latin America that is spread to humans through contact with the parasitic triatomine bug, or so-called kissing bug. The tiny insect feeds on human blood by biting …

CDC: Big Whooping Cough Outbreaks Could Become 'The New Normal'

This year, California weathered its biggest pertussis – aka "whooping cough" – epidemic in seventy years (for a whopping dose of perspective, see the …

Public Health

For Reasons Unknown, Colon And Rectal Cancer Rates Are Rising In People Under 50

It’s a bit of a cancer and epidemiology puzzle. Since 1975 the overall rates of colon and rectal cancers have been dropping among U.S. residents, by about 0.9% annually. Over the same interval, however, the incidence of these tumors in people under age 50 has been climbing. As reported in JAMA …

How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue

Until about 600 million years ago, seeing colors didn't matter so much to Earth's inhabitants — nobody had eyes.<p>"Before the eye evolved, you just wouldn't have seen what was there," says Andrew Parker, a biologist at London's Natural History Museum who studies the evolution of color.<p>Simple animals …

Ebola in Africa: the end of a tragedy?

<i>UPDATE: Just one day on from the publication of this article, the World Health Organisation has confirmed a new case of Ebola as the cause of a death</i> …

From Albert Camus to The Walking Dead: a look at pandemics in culture

Pandemics tap right to the id of human response – revulsion, fear and recoil – so it should be no wonder that culture keeps bringing them up. But only a few movies, books or games are interested in what an illness is about in a literal sense – most fixate on how society breaks down, the creeping …

The Government’s First Line of Defense Against a Pandemic: Thousands of Bottles of Expired Hand Sanitizer

A government official testified Friday that the Department of Homeland Security has spent millions of dollars buying supplies over the last few years to deal with a possible pandemic, but said many of those supplies are now past their expiration date, including thousands of bottles of hand …

U.S. security agency ill-prepared to deal with pandemic: audit | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which protects sites ranging from land borders and airports to the White House, may not be able to maintain operations in a pandemic due to inadequate supplies of protective gear and drugs for its staff, according to a …

Enterovirus D68: Five things to know about this unusual strain

It's sent a lot of young people in the Midwest, particularly those with asthma, to hospitals with respiratory distress, and now it seems to be headed …

A Virologist Takes You Inside The Ebola Protective Suit

Dr. Joseph Fair, a virologist with the Mérieux Foundation and special adviser to Sierra Leone's health ministry, has worked out of the country's Kenema Government Hospital for more than 10 years. Kenema is one of the worst-hit areas in the West African nation's Ebola outbreak; Fair lost colleagues …

Infamous Diarrhea-Causing Infections Nearly Double In U.S. Hospitals

Patients are at constant risk of picking up an illness during a hospital stay, partly because they’re trapped in a building with other sick people who harbor all kinds of pathogens. One particularly notorious hospital-acquired ailment is <i>Clostridium difficile</i> colitis, an intestinal infection caused …

Cancer tumours destroyed by berry found in Queensland rainforest

Scientists have managed to destroy cancerous tumours by using an experimental drug derived from the seeds of a fruit found in north Queensland rainforests.<p>The drug, called EBC-46, was produced by extracting a compound from the berry of the blushwood tree, a plant only found in specific areas of the …

Scott Sigler On How He'd Survive In The World of 'Pandemic' - Unbound Worlds

<b>Scott Sigler’s novel Pandemic</b> features a devastating alien plague that mutates its human victims in terrifying fashions. It’s not a world that I’d …

Pandemic: The Board Game coming to iPad Oct. 3

A digital version of <i>Pandemic: The Board Game</i> will launch on iPad on Oct. 3, developer Z-Man Games announced today on the company's website.<p>The board game <i>Pandemic</i> launched in 2008 and has since been translated into 14 languages. In the game, players must find cures for four diseases that have broken …

How Silicon Valley Is Hacking Global Pandemics

<i>An initial version of this story ran on Tech in Asia.com.</i><p>In the world's hardest-to-reach and most under-resourced areas, how do we establish an ability to collect, track and share data on emerging disease pandemics with global implications? Over the past two years, international grant-maker Skoll …

Think The Ebola Virus Is Bad? These Are The Five Deadliest Pandemic Diseases In History

With 1,779 confirmed cases in the current outbreak, the Ebola virus has gripped the attention of the world.<p>While the epidemic is shocking and …

U.S. Ill-Prepared For A Pandemic Thanks To Homeland Security Poor Planning

An audit released by the U.S Department of Homeland Security inspector general revealed that the department. is “ill-prepared” to keep the government …

Economic crisis may have intensified obesity epidemic, report finds

The economic crisis could have intensified the obesity epidemic in rich nations as people switched to cheaper and less healthy foods, acccording to a report.<p>The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also found that the drop in physical activity for those who lost their job was …

Remains of 'End of the World' Epidemic Found in Ancient Egypt

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an epidemic in Egypt so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end.<p>Working …

The current ebola epidemic is the worst ever and it's spreading

West Africans are experiencing the largest and widest-ranging ebola virus outbreak recorded<p>Above: <i>A UNICEF worker in Conakry, Guinea distributing soap and chlorine and teaching residents how to combat ebola.</i><p>The largest outbreak of ebola ever recorded is spreading in West Africa, and it’s unlikely to …

California declares whooping cough epidemic

California is being hit hard with a whooping cough epidemic, according to the state's public health department, with 800 cases reported in the past two weeks alone.<p>The agency says that there were 3,458 whooping cough cases reported between January 1 and June 10, well ahead of the number of cases …

Western lifestyles fuel growing obesity epidemic in Nigeria

The whole world is getting fatter. It's very clear in Latin America, where Mexico now has higher rates of obesity than the United States and is mounting a fightback through soda and junk food taxes, as I described in my book. There are major concerns, too, in Asia, where China has the second …

‘Exploding Epidemics’ of HIV/AIDS Prompt This Blunt Recommendation

As the old killer makes a comeback, the World Health Organization is urging precautionary measures for one group in particular: men who have sex with men.<p>In order to stunt the spread of HIV/AIDS, WHO published guidelines Friday that essentially recommend that all sexually active gay men take an HIV …

Global AIDS epidemic can be controlled by 2030, U.N. says | Reuters

* Deaths and new HIV infections drop as epidemic stabilises<p>* 13 million of the 35 million people with HIV get treatment<p>* UNAIDS director says ending AIDS is possible by 2030<p>* By 2015, $22 to $24 billion a year needed to fight AIDS<p>By Kate Kelland<p>LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - The United Nations said on …

Researchers Develop World's First 100% Effective Malaria Vaccine

<i>Mosquito photo from Shutterstock</i><p>Malaria is a devastating disease that afflicts 216 million people around the world every year – and according to the …

Sharp increase in liver cancer since 2003

There has been a sharp rise in the proportion of people diagnosed with liver cancer, according to the latest release by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Liver cancer incidence has risen by 70% for males and 60% for females from 2003 to 2012.<p>Liver cancer - now the 18th most common cancer in …

U.S. Travelers Return Home With Tropical Disease. Will It Spread in the States?

If you happened to be reading state health departments' outbreak announcements this past weekend, you might have seen something interesting.<p>(You …