The term “epidemic” is now being used for more than infectious diseases. So what does it actually mean?
The obesity epidemic, the flu epidemic, the opioid epidemic... in the 21st century, everything seems to be an "epidemic". But what does the term actually mean?
Scabies led to the closure of migrant camps such as these in Calais, France, in 2014.
Migrants face many health problems, from mental health issues to diseases. The latest threat is scabies.
In low-resource settings many patients cannot access the tests they need for accurate diagnosis, treatment and a chance of survival. Here, patients wait in the Edna Adan University Hospital in Somalia, 2010.
The World Health Organization has made bold progress by including many tests for non-communicable diseases on its new 'Essential Diagnostics List.'
An increasingly mobile global population is making it easier for infectious diseases to spread.
Travel allows us to see the world – and bring foreign diseases home. Here's why spreading disease is easier than ever.
Isolated peoples’ immune systems haven’t learned how to evade bugs.
There are numerous examples of the havoc infectious diseases can play on communities that have not previously been exposed to them.
In Australia, cases of Buruli ulcer have been associated with coastal areas – like Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.
Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr
The Victorian community is seeing a worsening epidemic of flesh-eating bacteria that causes Buruli ulcer. But how can we prevent this disease if we don't know where it comes from and how it spreads?
A prisoner looks out a window on March 26, 2015, from Zhdanivskaya prison in Ukraine, were TB is rampant.
AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov
World TB Day will be observed March 24, with the good news that deaths from tuberculosis are declining. But a trend toward confining those with TB threatens to stall advances.
Face masks are a common sight in Asia. Why?
Whether or not masks can protect against invading or escaping bugs depends on the type of mask and material.
Older people’s immune systems don’t respond to flu vaccines as well as younger people’s.
Two free flu vaccines will improve protection for the over-65s. FluZone High Dose is a high-dose version; Fluad adds an additional ingredient to boost effectiveness. But neither is perfect.
Reuters/ Mike Hutchings
When day zero arrives in Cape Town, the routine surveillance systems that monitor disease outbreaks will be enhanced to pick up new diseases.
People collect water piped in from a mountain creek in Utuado, Puerto Rico on Oct. 14, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans were still without running water.
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
Climate change threatens to widen the health gap between the haves and have-nots. Here's why addressing environmental issues that drive poor health is a starting point.
Bed bugs make us shudder and cringe. So arm yourself with the courage to learn about the biology and successes of Cimex lectularius -- as well as the ways to get rid of it.
A patient suffering from dengue fever lies in a hospital bed in Peshawar, Pakistan, in October. Cases of dengue fever – a painful mosquito-borne spread disease – have doubled every decade since 1990. Environmental health experts are pointing the finger at climate change.
(AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
What if we treated climate change as a health problem rather than an environmental one? There are lessons to be learned from the successful public health campaigns against smoking.
John Gerrard says a developed city like Sydney could not cope with an epidemic of the scale of the recent Ebola outbreak.
Speaking with: Dr. John Gerrard on infectious diseases.
The Conversation, CC BY-ND 23.2 MB (download)
William Isdale speaks to Dr. John Gerrard about the constant threat of infectious diseases and what we can do to prevent a deadly pandemic from establishing itself in Australia.
To tackle the increasing burden of diabetes in Africa, health systems on the continent need to be strengthened.
Women’s immune systems mount a significantly stronger response against invaders.
Women have evolved to have stronger immunity than men. But this comes with downsides -
women are more likely to have autoimmune diseases due to their "reactive" immune systems.
Like so many Indigenous people in the NT, Dr G. Yunupingu had chronic hepatitis B since he was a child.
Hepatitis B rates in Indigenous communities are ten times higher than the rest of Australia. Eliminating the infection from Indigenous Australia can make a significant contribution to closing the gap.
Scientists estimate that by 2020, non-communicable disease will account for almost 70% of the total disease burden.
The increase in cases of non-communicable diseases in developing countries has led to an emerging pattern of high levels of multimorbidity.
The Bubonic plague slowed urbanisation, industrial development and economic growth in Europe for many years.
Despite being so small they can't be seen with the naked eye, pathogens that cause human disease have greatly affected the way humans live for centuries.
Spanish flu killed more people than the Great War that preceded it. And tuberculosis even more than that.
Here we explore our past and present struggles with the most significant infectious diseases human beings have faced.