Articles on Disease

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A 6-month-old who is infected with measles in Madagascar, March 2019. AP Photo/Laetitia Bezain

Road to measles elimination is predictable, but can be rocky

Scientists identified the general pattern of measles infections as a country moves toward eliminating the disease. This roadmap can help public health workers most efficiently fight and end measles.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika. AP Photo/Felipe Dana

Why it’s so difficult for scientists to predict the next outbreak of a dangerous disease

In January, measles returned to the Pacific Northwest, while Ebola resurged in the Congo. It would take a lot more research for scientists to be able to stop threats like these in their tracks.
Illustrations from the Nuremberg Chronicle, by Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)

Dealing with devil has long been a part of medicine

Reports of demonic possession are once again on the rise. But during the devil’s last apogee in early modern Europe, demonic afflictions were taken seriously by both priests and physicians.
Lots of positive pregnancy tests this time of year. Kristina Kokhanova/Shutterstock.com

‘Tis the season for conception

Did you ever consider that human beings might have a breeding season? Birth seasonality exists – and has interesting implications for childhood disease outbreaks.
Ebola is a dreadful disease and is one of the deadliest infections known to medical science. Shutterstock

Why Ebola is proving hard to beat in the DRC

Instability in the DRC and Ebola's deadly properties is making it hard to contain the virus.
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?

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