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A book about Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is seen next to larvae in a laboratory conducting research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, at the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala City. Josue Decavele/Reuters

Zika: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes love biting humans, and that’s why they spread viruses so well

Aedes aegypti is adapted to live in close proximity with humans, and this close association likely contributes to the severity of the Zika outbreak.
Early necrotising fasciitis is easily missed because the symptoms – fever, pain, swelling and tenderness at the affected site – may be non-specific or confused with a mild, superficial infection. Zurijeta/Shutterstock

Explainer: what causes necrotising fasciitis, the flesh-eating bug?

Necrotising fasciitis is a serious infection that affects the soft tissue.
Allergies are becoming more frequent in the western world. Al Fed/Flickr

What are allergies and why are we getting more of them?

Allergies are reactions caused by the immune system as it responds to environmental substances that are usually harmless. But we don't yet have a cure or the ability to prevent them from developing.
Ideally, all states and territories would have consistent laws based on Victorian legislation. Juanedc/Flickr

Explainer: is abortion legal in Australia?

Abortion is a safe medical procedure, yet half of Australian women may have difficulty accessing a termination because they live in states and territories that designate it a crime.
The only thing standing between invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi and our devastation is our immune system. kurtxio/Flickr

Explainer: how does the immune system learn?

The immune system does such a good job most of the time that we only really think about it when things go wrong. But to provide such excellent protection, it must constantly learn.
Cerebral palsy can involve skeletal deformities, muscle stiffness or weakness and uncontrolled movements. arindambanerjee/Shutterstock

Explainer: what causes cerebral palsy and can it be prevented?

The single diagnosis of cerebral palsy covers a wide range of conditions with many different contributing factors that interact in varying ways.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world. from shutterstock.com

Epilepsy: sorting the myths from the facts of a common disorder

Saying someone has epilepsy is a little like saying they're ill. Its cause can vary from a brain tumour to an inherited genetic condition, the consequence of injury or a disorder affecting the brain.
Off-label use is when an approved medicine is prescribed for a different reason, at a different dose, or in different patient groups than originally intended. Benny Lin/Flickr

Explainer: why are off-label medicines prescribed?

The off-label use of medicines is not illegal and it doesn't mean regulators have specifically "disapproved" its use. But there are a number of issues to consider before using a medicine off-label.
Insulin, which is used for controlling diabetes and has been in the market for 30 years, was the first biologic. Yusmar Yahaya/Flickr

Explainer: what are biologics and biosimilars?

Biologics are widely accepted as the most effective way of treating certain diseases. They have become the fastest-growing class of therapeutic compounds, with about 300 now available for human use.
Creutzfeld-Jacob disease occurs in about one to two in every million people each year, most often in late middle-age. Andrew Mason/Flickr

Rare and deadly, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease remains a bit of a medical mystery

News that a Sydney man has contracted Creutzfeld-Jacob disease serves to highlight that we still don't know how to prevent a disease that most often goes unreported, and unremarked on.
A man undergoes “xenodiagnosis” for Chagas disease in the Argentine province of Corrientes. In this procedure, uninfected triatomine bugs feed on the blood of patients. Later examination of these insects may reveal parasites acquired from infected blood. German Pomar/Reuters

Explainer: what is Chagas disease?

This parasitic infection is endemic in Central and South America, and can lead to serious health complications. Though rare in the US, incidence is starting to increase.
The process of therapy is challenging and takes courage. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Explainer: what is cognitive behaviour therapy?

If you or someone you care about experience an emotional problem it won't be long before you hear that cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is probably the treatment of choice.

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