Articles on Epidemiology

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Most cases of Zika are asymptomatic. Airman Magazine/U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro/Flickr

Zika virus: Only a few small outbreaks likely to occur in the continental US

A computer model suggests that while more cases of Zika can be expected in the continental U.S. outbreaks will probably be small and are not projected to spread.
Polio vaccinators carry boxes of polio vaccine drops as they head to the areas they have been appointed to administer the vaccine, in Karachi October 21 2014. Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Could a smartphone app help stop the next polio outbreak in Pakistan?

Researchers are piloting a smartphone app to collect better information about who is getting vaccinated and to design better incentives for health workers on vaccination drives.
The effects of alcohol vary considerably between different people. Mario Antonio Pena Zapater/Flickr

Quick fixes aren’t the answer, alcohol and violence have a complex relationship

The relationship between alcohol and violence is complex, and dramatic changes to criminal laws to punish intoxicated offenders are often ineffective, unfair or both.
Try to predict the outcome of a single coin toss and you’ll have only a 50-50 chance of being correct. Pauli Antero/Flickr

Why predicting a flu outbreak is like betting on football or flipping a coin

Predicting infectious disease outbreaks is a tricky task to begin with. And it's made harder still by the fact that any individual outcome is subject to unpredictable – or stochastic – effects.
Can Twitter fill in the gaps for social research? Twitter page via

Survey research can’t capture everyone’s opinion – but Twitter can

Understanding public opinion can help officials target messages during a health crisis. But current survey methods aren't good at generating representative samples. Can Twitter fill in the gaps?
A Liberian health worker disinfects a street corner where a suspected Ebola patient was picked up by an ambulance. EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Infection projections: how the spread of Ebola is calculated

The number of reported Ebola cases is doubling roughly every five weeks in Sierra Leone, and in as little as two to three weeks in Liberia. The number of reported cases globally is projected to reach 10,000…
Research that found links between abortion and breast cancer also found men who had ‘much opportunity to participate in parties’ were more likely to have stomach cancer. burningmax/Flickr

Abortions don’t cause cancer any more than parties do

The purported link between abortion and breast cancer is based on research that’s no longer accepted as valid because its methods are so flawed. But that hasn’t stopped politicians such as Fred Nile and…

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