Since 1924, vaccines have prevented more than 103 million cases of eight infectious diseases in the United States, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.To read more, click on the link above.
By the World Health Organization’s official tally, the 2009 flu pandemic killed 18,449 people around the world. Those are deaths of people who had laboratory-confirmed cases of the so-called swine flu.
But a fresh analysis says the real toll was 10 times higher — up to 203,000 deaths. And maybe it was twice that, if you count people who died of things like heart attacks precipitated by the flu.
The most important insight from the analysis is that the H1N1 swine flu was hugely variable in how it affected different parts of the world. “The take-home message is that you can have such heterogeneity in a pandemic,” says epidemiologist Lone Simonsen, who led the study. “It was really, truly twentyfold worse in some countries than in others.”
Another message that comes through clearly in the current study is the unusual burden that fell on previously healthy children, teenagers and young adults, especially pregnant women.
"The thing that sets this pandemic apart is not the absolute number of deaths, but the fact that those deaths occurred in a much younger group of people than one normally sees during a typical flu season," Dr. Anthony Mounts of the WHO’s Global Influenza Program writes in an email to Shots. “Therefore, if one thinks in terms of years-of-life-lost, the 2009 pandemic had a much greater impact than a typical influenza season.”
The map shows estimates of death rates from swine flu in 2009-10. The value is deaths per 100,000 for each country. From Simonsen et al., PLOS Medicine, 2013.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems It is important to learn about the potential danger of antibiotic resistance – and what you can do to prevent it. Remember, the power to prevent antibiotic resistance is in your hands!
Norovirus spreads very easily and causes vomiting and diarrhea. There’s no vaccine to prevent infection and no drug to treat it. Wash your hands often and follow simple tips to stay healthy.
Noroviruses are a group of related viruses. Infection with these viruses causes gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis), which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This leads to stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Anyone Can Get Norovirus
Anyone can be infected with noroviruses and get sick. Also, you can get norovirus illness more than once during your life. The illness often begins suddenly. You may feel very sick, with stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States. CDC estimates that each year on average 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are caused by noroviruses. That means about 1 in every 15 Americans will get norovirus illness each year. Norovirus is also estimated to cause 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths each year in the United States.
Many Names, Same Symptoms
You may hear norovirus illness called “food poisoning” or “stomach flu.” It is true that food poisoning can be caused by noroviruses. But, other germs and chemicals can also cause food poisoning. Norovirus illness is not related to the flu (influenza), which is a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus.
Symptoms of norovirus infection usually include cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Other, less common symptoms may include low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and general sense of fatigue.
Norovirus illness is usually not serious. Most people get better in 1 to 3 days. But, norovirus illness can be serious in young children, the elderly, and people with other health conditions. It can lead to severe dehydration, hospitalization and even death.
You may get dehydrated if you are not able to drink enough liquids to replace the fluids lost from vomiting or having diarrhea many times a day. Symptoms of dehydration include a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up. Children who are dehydrated may also cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.
The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of liquids. Oral rehydration fluids are the most helpful for severe dehydration. But other drinks without caffeine or alcohol can help with mild dehydration. However, these drinks may not replace important nutrients and minerals that are lost due to vomiting and diarrhea.
If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, contact your doctor. For more information on norovirus and dehydration, see norovirus treatment.
Over 14 million people will be infected with HPV this year. HPV can cause cancers that affect both men and women. Prevent HPV -related cancers by vaccinating your boys and girls ages 11 — 12. Talk to your child’s doctor about how you can close the door to cancer today. For more information about adolescent vaccines visit, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teens
When you hear the term “next-generation condom”, beef tendon probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind.
But a condom made from the cow part is one of the 11 ideas to win $100,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in their reinvent-the-condom competition.
Another winning proposal uses a material that shrinks when it warms up on the body so it provides a perfect fit. Yet another team combined opening the condom package with application — in a single quick motion — so there’s no more fumbling in the dark.
Back in March, the Gates Foundation challenged scientists to design a condom that men or women would actually want to use. The goal was to develop “new condoms that significantly preserve or enhance pleasure,” the foundation’s website says.
The motivation is simple. The Gates Foundation is one of the biggest supporters of global health (and a funder of NPR). It figures that if more couples use condoms, they’re less likely to transmit viruses like HIV or end up with unwanted pregnancies.
The foundation received more than 500 entries for the condom challenge. It announced the 11 winning proposals on Wednesday.
One things for certain: For the next-generation condom, it’s all about being thin and strong.
Studies have found that most men prefer a condom that they don’t notice, says chemical engineer Mark McGlothlin of Apex Medical Technologies, Inc. in San Diego. But it still needs to be tough enough so it doesn’t break or allow pathogens to pass through.
"Current condoms always have a plastic feeling," McGlothlin tells Shots. "We wanted to make a condom you don’t feel when you have intercourse."
To do that, McGlothlin has invented a condom made out of the same material in animal tendons and ligaments: long fibers of protein, called collagen.
"We take raw collagen from beef tendons or fish scraps and gingerly separate out the fibers," he says. "We form it into a condom … and when it dries down, it looks like sausage casing."
The result, he says, is a material that almost feels like wet skin. “It’s a totally different sensation than a latex condom. It’s like rubbing your hand on a real leather car seat versus one with fake leather. The fake fabric — and the latex — just feels bad.”
Top photo: One experimental condom has tabs on the side so it can slip on like a sock. (Courtesy of Courtesy of California Family Health Council)
Bottom photo: The starting material for this condom comes from beef tendons. The result is a fabric that’s soft and moist, like skin. (Courtesy of California Family Health Council)
Yep, nothing screams I want safe sex more than telling your partner that your going to put a beef tendon on your penis.