US Measles Cases Hit Highest Level Since Eradication in 2000

By Jonathan Allen – Re-Blogged From IJR

The United States has confirmed 695 measles cases so far this year, the highest level since the country declared it had eliminated the virus in 2000, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

The resurgence, which public health officials blamed in part on the spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines, has been concentrated mainly in Washington state and New York with outbreaks that began late last year.

“The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States,” the CDC warned in a statement. It said outbreaks can spread out of control in communities with lower-than-normal vaccination rates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Handout via Reuters

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100 Years Later: The Flu

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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One hundred years have passed since the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 swept around the world, circumnavigating at least twice between 1918 and 1920, killing outright between 50 and 100 million human beings. The pandemic was so shattering, so pervasive that more accurate numbers of the dead cannot be calculated. Those who lived in developed countries like the United States fared little better than those in less developed nations — once the influenza struck, the victim either recovered after a week of unpleasant flu symptoms or died rapidly, sometimes within hours., with lungs filled with fluids and blood. Influenza, caused by a virus, usually kills the very young, the weak and the very old. But the 1918 Flu, sometimes called “the Spanish Flu”, seemed to preferentially kill young, strong, otherwise healthy men and women in their 20’s, a demographic that normally fared well with only mild symptoms in other flu seasons.

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More Severe Strain of Flu Spreading Widely

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Americans aren’t out of the woods yet, as the flu season continues to spread across the country, health officials reported Friday.

One major shift that’s occurred is in the viruses that are circulating. At the start of the flu season, the predominant strain was influenza A H1N1, but now a more severe strain, influenza A H3N2, accounts for nearly half of all the new cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It looks like we are moving from an H1 wave to an H3 wave,” said Lynnette Brammer, lead of CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team. “There’s still a lot of flu to come.”

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The Truth About Alzheimer’s Vaccine

By Newsmax Health – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Alzheimer’s disease is expected to affect 14 million Americans by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. While deaths from heart disease have plummeted 11 percent from 2000 to 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 123 percent during that same time period. According to the Association, 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s.

The dreaded, incurable disease kills people more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.  That’s why experts were excited when researchers recently announced a potentially effective vaccine for Alzheimer’s. It was developed by a team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and touted to be able to slash the number of people who are affected by the disease by half.

Will You Get the Flu? Biomarker Predicts Vulnerability

By DPC – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Doctors can’t yet predict if someone exposed to the flu will become sick. But such predictions may be getting closer to reality, new research hints.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine say they’ve identified a “biomarker” that indicates a person’s susceptibility to flu viruses.

The Human Costs of Epidemics are Going Down But the Economic Costs are Going Up

By Vanessa Candeias – Re-Blogged From World Economic Forum

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the deadliest epidemic in history – the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak, which killed around 50 million people.

More recently, several outbreaks with equally familiar names have made headlines: SARS, swine flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika, yellow fever, Lassa fever, cholera, drug resistant infections… the list could go on. In fact, every month the World Health Organization receives 5,000 early-warning disease signals from across the globe, around 300 of which need further investigation and of which 30 warrant more in-depth field studies to investigate their potential for causing epidemics.

A health worker stands by ready to ask incoming passengers to remove any head gears before temperature screenings at the International Airport in Hong Kong April 27, 2009. Asia, a continent that has battled deadly viruses such as the H5N1 bird flu and SARS in recent years, began taking steps over the weekend to ward off a new flu virus.   REUTERS/Vincent Yu/Pool   (CHINA POLITICS HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E54R15DW01

‘Major, Major Game-Changer’: Ebola Spreads to Big Congo City

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Congo’s Ebola outbreak has spread to a crossroads city of more than 1 million people in a troubling turn that marks the first time the vast, impoverished country has encountered the lethal virus in an urban area.

“This is a major, major game-changer in the outbreak,” Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization’s deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, warned on Thursday.

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