Category Archives: pandemic

Opinion | How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers – The New York Times

It’s no mystery how we got here. On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information. The anti-vaxxers, as they are colloquially known, have hundreds of websites promoting their message, a roster of tech- and media-savvy influencers and an aggressive political arm that includes at least a dozen political action committees. Defense against this onslaught has been meager. The C.D.C., the nation’s leading public health agency, has a website with accurate information, but no loud public voice. The United States Surgeon General’s office has been mum. So has the White House — and not just under the current administration. That leaves just a handful of academics who get bombarded with vitriol, including outright threats, every time they try to counter pseudoscience with fact. The consequences of this disparity are substantial: a surge in outbreaks of measles, mumps, pertussis and other diseases; an increase in influenza deaths; and dismal rates of HPV vaccination, which doctors say could effectively wipe out cervical cancer if it were better utilized. But infectious disease experts warn that things could get much worse. Trust in vaccines is being s

Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico – Volume 8, Number 4—April 2002 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal – CDC – 25 million deaths in Mexico 1519-1576

The native people of Mexico experienced an epidemic disease in the wake of European conquest (Figure 1), beginning with the smallpox epidemic of 1519 to 1520 when 5 million to 8 million people perished. The catastrophic epidemics that began in 1545 and 1576 subsequently killed an additional 7 million to 17 million people in the highlands of Mexico (1–3). Recent epidemiologic research suggests that the events in 1545 and 1576, associated with a high death rate and referred to as cocoliztli (Nahuatl for “pest”), may have been due to indigenous hemorrhagic fevers (4,5). Tree-ring evidence, allowing reconstructions of the levels precipitation, indicate that the worst drought to afflict North America in the past 500 years also occurred in the mid-16th century, when severe drought extended at times from Mexico to the boreal forest and from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts (6). These droughts appear to have interacted with ecologic and sociologic conditions, magnifying the human impact of infectious disease in 16th-century Mexico. The epidemic of cocoliztli from1545 to 1548 killed an estimated 5 million to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population of Mexico (Figure 1). In ab

Source: Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico – Volume 8, Number 4—April 2002 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal – CDC

DRC Ebola total tops 600; vaccination team attacked | CIDRAP Pray to God this does not get out of hand!

With 10 new Ebola infections reported on New Year’s Day and today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak passed the 600-case mark, as a fresh round of violence—this time in Komanda—injured a member of a health ministry vaccination team.

Source: DRC Ebola total tops 600; vaccination team attacked | CIDRAP

Oxfam forced to suspend Ebola response in DR Congo following pre-election violence – Democratic Republic of the Congo | ReliefWeb

Oxfam has been forced to suspend its work in the Ebola ravaged areas of Beni and Butembo, due to violent protests following the announcement that people in these areas won’t be able to cast their votes for a new president, when the rest of country goes to the polls this Sunday. Raphael Mbuyi, Oxfam’s acting Country Director in the DRC said: “This is an extremely worrying situation, as every time the Ebola response has been suspended before we’ve seen a big spike in the number of new cases. This could mean Ebola spreading to even more people and potentially other countries in the region, putting many more lives at risk. “However, it’s not surprising that people who have had their votes taken away at the last minute are frustrated and going to the streets. These people deserve to have their say as well. “All parties need to find a way for people who have been devastated by Ebola and have lived through decades of violent conflict, to cast their vote. “Whatever the outcome, there needs to be an end to the years of misery people in this country have had to endure. Just because elections are being held does not mean there will be peace.”

Source: Oxfam forced to suspend Ebola response in DR Congo following pre-election violence – Democratic Republic of the Congo | ReliefWeb