Articles on Epidemiology

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A hospital nurse checks the temperature of all visitors in Conakry (Guinea) in 2014, at the height of the Ebola epidemic. Marie-Agnès Heine/OMS

Ebola’s forgotten victims – what we can learn from them and what we can do

One year after the end of the West African Ebola epidemic, a study of survivors in Guinea shows what has been learned about the deadly virus, and what remains unknown.
What if it wasn’t back to the drawing board every year for a new flu shot? Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Influenza: The search for a universal vaccine

Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But a new way to create vaccines, called 'rational design,' might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
Most cases of Zika are asymptomatic. Airman Magazine/U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro/Flickr

Zika virus: Only a few small outbreaks likely to occur in the continental US

A computer model suggests that while more cases of Zika can be expected in the continental U.S. outbreaks will probably be small and are not projected to spread.
Polio vaccinators carry boxes of polio vaccine drops as they head to the areas they have been appointed to administer the vaccine, in Karachi October 21 2014. Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Could a smartphone app help stop the next polio outbreak in Pakistan?

Researchers are piloting a smartphone app to collect better information about who is getting vaccinated and to design better incentives for health workers on vaccination drives.
The effects of alcohol vary considerably between different people. Mario Antonio Pena Zapater/Flickr

Quick fixes aren’t the answer, alcohol and violence have a complex relationship

The relationship between alcohol and violence is complex, and dramatic changes to criminal laws to punish intoxicated offenders are often ineffective, unfair or both.
Try to predict the outcome of a single coin toss and you’ll have only a 50-50 chance of being correct. Pauli Antero/Flickr

Why predicting a flu outbreak is like betting on football or flipping a coin

Predicting infectious disease outbreaks is a tricky task to begin with. And it's made harder still by the fact that any individual outcome is subject to unpredictable – or stochastic – effects.

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