Plethora of information on Zika virus from @CDCgov!!

The CDC website has tons of info on Zika virus, both for travelers and others. Definitely check it out for up to date information on cases, and the outbreak itself. Our just for information! Including the infographic below, and about 10 more!!

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CDC analysis again highlights HIV testing and treatment in prevention of new HIV cases #GetTested

A new press release from CDC shows that 9 out of 10 new U.S. HIV infections come from people not receiving HIV care. The release is based on a new CDC analysis and reinforces the importance of HIV testing and treatment for health and prevention.

The analysis showed that 30 percent of new HIV infections were transmitted from people who did not know that they were infected with the virus, highlighting the importance of getting tested. People who had been diagnosed were less likely to transmit their infection, in part because people who know they have HIV are more likely to take steps to protect their partners from infection.

#Ebola update: First increase in ebola cases in 2015 in all 3 heavily impacted countries

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Despite the recent good news out of West Africa showing weeks of decreases in Ebola case incidences, last week showed increases in ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (graph above modified from WHO situation report showing cases from Guinea, recent case count tallies below from CDC). More info and graphs from the other affected countries can be found at CDC, WHO. A news article from Reuters here.

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The recent increases in ebola cases are a reminder that the outbreak is still ongoing, and that trials for ebola treatments and vaccines are still as important as ever!

2014 had the most cases of measles since eradication. 2015 on track to be worse. #Vaccine #science

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For lots of information on the current outbreak of measles, check out the CDC page here. It is truly alarming that last year had so many cases of a fully PREVENTABLE disease through vaccination. It is even more alarming that this year is likely on track to be worse. The outbreaks of measles have already resulted in a public outcry and debate over vaccines. Including President Obama commenting on the importance of vaccination and highlighting that anti-vaccination sentiment is not based on science. Hopefully the science will prevail!

The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

– The majority of the people who got measles were unvaccinated.

– Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.

– Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.

– Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

#Ebola Update: Outbreak may be subsiding – BUT after 21759 cases – 8668 deaths

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This terrific popsci.com article highlights the role that international intervention played in slowing and reversing the West African Ebola outbreak. First off, lets not downplay the horribleness of the outbreak:

The havoc that Ebola is wreaking in West Africa cannot be understated. With a total of 21,200 people infected since March 2014, the disease is shredding the social fabric of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, leaving 8,400 dead. People live in fear, afraid to shake others’ hands. Survivors are shunned, and those suspected of carrying the disease are being physically assaulted in some regions.

Scientific models showed late last summer that the Ebola outbreak could result in over a million cases without a strong international effort to curb it. Many governments and aid organizations did step up, and were likely responsible for proving the scientific models wrong… Colin Brown (who studies infectious diseases at King’s College London) puts it perfectly:

The models showed what could happen if there was a lack of international effort. We really don’t know what would have happened if the world hadn’t stepped up.

While the outbreak seems to be subsiding, the article also highlights the need for people and governments to not be complacent… not surprisingly.

Graphs showing the awesome downward trend of cases and deaths can be found in the article, or in the WHO situation reports here. Shout out to my cousin Jason, who shared this article with me!

2015 already trying to compete with 2014 for most measles outbreaks! #vaccine #ImpliedFacePalm

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Looks like 2015 is starting early with outbreaks of measles… perhaps continuing last years’ trend (see above).

Today there were reports of a potential outbreak of measles in Colorado Springs that may include exposure of ~300 people. The Colorado case is related to the measles outbreak and exposures at DisneyLand in California.

More than two dozen cases of measles have now been linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California.

The California Department of Public Health reported seven more cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 26 people in four states.

Health officials say at least 8 of those infected had not been vaccinated.

Measles outbreaks like these, and those last year, serve as a stark reminder that measles is a serious disease that needs to be continually vaccinated against. The dangerous and anti-science trend of not vaccinating children against measles and other diseases will continue to raise its ugly head in the form of disease outbreaks that are 100% preventable. Expect to see more cases of measles, in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, as well as more outbreaks as 2015 continues.

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Send thank you notes to ignorant parents that choose to put their children and other children in harms way by not vaccinating. Check out this CauseScience post about the science of how vaccines work.

The #Ebola Outbreak Continues in West Africa! New Case Counts and the safety trial for Merck-NewLink’s vaccine restarts

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Despite the dissipated interest by most media outlets in the US, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa continues. The CDC and WHO have updated Ebola case counts for the West African countries impacted most by the outbreak. The number of deaths now exceeds 8,000.

201315A clinical trial testing the safety of an Ebola vaccine has had to undergo a change in dose. The trial in Geneva, is testing a vaccine made by Merck-NewLink, and was halted in early December.

The clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck and NewLink resumed on Monday at a lower dose after a pause to assess complaints of joint pains in some volunteers, the University of Geneva hospital said.