Articles on Infectious diseases

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The term “epidemic” is now being used for more than infectious diseases. So what does it actually mean? AAPONE/Ahmed Jallanzo/

From plagues to obesity: how epidemics have evolved

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?
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. (Shutterstock)

The desperate global need for medical diagnostics

The World Health Organization has made bold progress by including many tests for non-communicable diseases on its new 'Essential Diagnostics List.'
In Australia, cases of Buruli ulcer have been associated with coastal areas – like Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr

Flesh-eating bacteria cases on the rise and we need an urgent response

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

Why community and not confinement will end TB

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.
Older people’s immune systems don’t respond to flu vaccines as well as younger people’s. Shutterstock

Here’s what you need to know about the new flu vaccines for over-65s

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.
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

Why climate change is worsening public health problems

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.
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)

Thank you for not driving: Climate change requires anti-smoking tactics

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. UNMEER/Martine Perret/Flickr

Speaking with: John Gerrard on preventing infectious diseases

Speaking with: Dr. John Gerrard on infectious diseases. The Conversation, CC BY-ND23.2 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.
Like so many Indigenous people in the NT, Dr G. Yunupingu had chronic hepatitis B since he was a child. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP

Dr G. Yunupingu’s legacy: it’s time to get rid of chronic hepatitis B in Indigenous Australia

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.

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