Articles on Infectious diseases

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Researchers Tian Xia and Zijie Lin test a plasma prototype for preventing airborne transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus at a Michigan pig farm. Robert Coelius/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing

A plasma reactor zaps airborne viruses – and could help slow the spread of infectious diseases

Viruses are small enough to pass through filters, including face masks. Disabling viruses with electrically charged gases could be a better way to curb airborne transmission.
Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk in Toronto in late January 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Coronavirus fears: Should we take a deep breath?

We have a strong tendency to overreact emotionally and underreact behaviourally to news of infectious diseases.
A motorcyclist rides across a bridge in Wuhan, China, in January 2020. The city as banned most vehicle use downtown in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Chinatopix via AP, File

Wuhan, the coronavirus and the world: Thinking beyond isolation

Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the 2019-nCoV outbreak, is now under lockdown. What does that mean for its 11 million citizens, and for the rest of the world?
Cambodian high-school students line up to sanitize their hands to avoid coronavirus in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. AP Photo/Heng Sinith

Coronavirus: Fear of a pandemic, or a pandemic of fear?

China's coronavirus outbreak is stoking fears that it could become the next great global pandemic. As the World Health Organization declares a global emergency, it's also fanning a pandemic of fear.
Whether by biology or behavior, some people in the crowd will transmit coronavirus to more than the average number of others. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

What is a super spreader? An infectious disease expert explains

The novel coronavirus spreading outward from Wuhan, China, will get an assist from a subset of infected people who transmit it to many others.
Thai health officials await passengers arriving on international flights. All signs point to a global overreaction to this crisis, and therefore to an amplified economic impact. Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Fear spreads easily. That’s what gives the Wuhan coronavirus economic impact

The preliminary evidence suggests the Wuhan coronavirus is less deadly than SARS. But with social media, panic can now spread more rapidly and further.
Successful vaccination against measles in childhood should provide lifetime protection. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Explainer: a history of the measles virus and why it’s so tenacious

Measles infection can be easily managed with prompt health care and symptom management. But without care, mild symptoms can turn into life threatening secondary infections or long-term effects.

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