Articles on Epidemiology

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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 www.shutterstock.com

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…
Many people infected have had no contact with camels or other animals. Al Jazeera English/Flickr

MERS coronavirus: animal source or deliberate release?

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS Co-V) emerged in 2012 and has caused ongoing illness in the Middle East and more than 280 deaths. The public health response to MERS-CoV has been…
You can never be too safe. government_press_office

Households are new source of antibiotic-resistant superbug

Human skin is a garden of microbes which is home to about 1,000 bacterial species. Most are benign but some invade the skin and cause illness – and of these, antibiotic resistant bacteria are particularly…
The 2003 Million Women Study did not prove a link between hormone therapy and cancer. ryanlintelman

Hormone replacement therapy and cancer? Let’s get the facts straight

The authors of the 2003 Million Women Study were wrong to conclude their investigation proved that hormone replacement therapy caused cancer, according to a series of articles published this week in the…
While we try to come to terms with the number of obese people, the chance to reverse the growing trend could be lost. austinevan

Shock of numbers could hinder efforts to fight obesity epidemic

This is a shorter version of an article that appears in the latest issue of Perspectives, an opinion-led journal published by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. It’s predicted that two-thirds of the…

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