Articles on Infectious diseases

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Bird flu transmission to humans is rare and hasn’t occurred with this new strain. AAP

Explainer: should we be worried about the new strain of bird flu?

The circulation of a new strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus from China and Vietnam has prompted calls from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN for health authorities to be ready for a possible…
Professor Scott O'Neill inspects the first Wolbachia Aedes aegypti mosquitoes released in North Queensland. In this trial, Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, which don’t pass dengue fever onto humans, went on to breed with local populations and begat new generations of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. Photo: Eliminate Dengue program

World first Wolbachia bacterium field trial success offers dengue hope

World-first field trials of a new technique to stop mosquitoes passing the dangerous and painful dengue virus onto humans…
Legionella’s is rare but can have devastating effects on those with compromised immune systems. Flickr/Alex R

Hospital outbreak of legionella – should we be worried?

Every few weeks or months we see another outbreak of the potentially deadly legionella bacteria. Today, it’s a regional South Australian hospital, where 36 aged residents have been exposed to a contaminated…
It’s wise to rug up outdoors but it won’t stop you getting a cold. Flickr/foshydog

Monday’s medical myth: you can catch a cold by getting cold

Colds are more common in the cold winter months. But does the weather have anything to do with why we get sick? These days, we use other terms such as “virus” or “the flu” to describe our sniffles because…
People with chronic medical conditions and others in high-risk groups should get a flu shot. mcfarlandmo/Wikimedia Commons

Flu is on the rise, Australia … and that’s not to be sniffed at

The number of people suffering from influenza in Australia this year has soared compared to recorded numbers from previous years, with nearly 8,000 cases so far compared to about 2,000 last year. We don’t…
Preventing infection with the Hendra virus remains the most effective measure against the virus. AAP

Hold your horses: Hendra treatment is no panacea

Queensland authorities came under attack yesterday for being unprepared for a Hendra virus outbreak after it was found that they’d only stocked 15 doses of virus antibodies. But the case for stocking up…
Vaccines are history’s best public health tools but developing countries give low priority to health in their budgets. AAP

Gus Nossal: we can win the war against infectious disease, and here’s how

The Lancet, one of most prestigious medical journals in the world recently published a series of five papers on “the new decade of vaccines”. These were followed by a sixth paper – A call to action for…
The vaccine – which will be given to horses – is currently 18 months away. AAP

Hope for Hendra virus vaccination … but not this year

As Queensland authorities confirm the third outbreak of Hendra virus within a week, researchers are moving to fast track a horse vaccination for the deadly virus, which can spread from horses to humans…
Queensland authorities on Wedneday confirmed that a horse had died of Hendra virus on a farm south of Brisbane. The virus, which can spread from horses to humans, has killed four of the seven people ever infected. AAP

Explainer: Why is Hendra virus so dangerous?

Queensland authorities have confirmed a horse on a farm south of Brisbane has died of Hendra virus, which can spread from…
A genome mapping project revealed that Tasmanian devils are genetically vulnerable to disease but found that a devil from the island’s north west was initally able to fight the deadly face tumour disease decimating the population. Flickr, Scott Savage

Genome map project uncovers first Tasmanian devil to fight off face tumour

A Tasmanian devil genome mapping project by U.S. researchers has revealed how a tiny gene pool helped spread a deadly facial…
Scientists and doctors are concerned by growing resistance to existing drugs that treat malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes and kills more than 800,000 children per year. Thomas Omondi / UK Department for International Development

Malaria breakthrough shines light on drug resistance

Malaria parasites are able to adapt their growth rate to render anti-malarial drugs useless, according to new research by…

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