Category: Epidemics

Covid has reminded us that living is a delicate balance of harmony and disharmony with our environmental partners – most recently, viruses. It has only been a couple of decades since our last major epidemic, HIV, was untreated and unpreventable. But things have changed and while Covid is on the way to becoming the equivalent […]

The second decade of this century will be remembered as the decade of COVID craziness if we aren’t careful. There is madness all around and very little of it is caused by the virus itself. From vaccine frenzy to vaccine denial, it is difficult to tease out what should be done next.  Start distributing more […]

It only takes a pandemic to see how countries can use healthcare to reignite flagging nationalism. COVID 19 spawned a new kind of nationalism: vaccine nationalism, the prioritization of the domestic needs of a country over an outlay to others.  Even the policies of countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where nationalism is enforced by […]

In the acute phase, men with COVID experience more severe symptoms and higher mortality than women. In that way COVID is no different from many of the viruses that have attacked humans over the last century.  The health of women is not just women’s health Men are more attractive to viral infections than women. For example, […]

Time to spin some wishes into reality. Here is my top ten, in no particular order. Share yours in the comments box. Science never turns into science fiction, nor medical evidence twisted into medical factoid. COVID vaccination rates globally reach at least 90%.  COVID continues to morph into another influenza – like illness. Public health units […]

Everyone is worried about our planet. Whether it is the billionaires trying desperately to exit it, the environmentalists and heads of governments trying to manage expectations or the public health pundits trying to minimise the impact of the COVID epidemic. In health care we strive to keep people alive and healthy. In prior centuries, we were […]

For many months now, COVID testing has become a part of everyday life. Beyond identifying if you have COVID, the tests have very little additional use. They don’t provide information we have come to expect from the battery of routine medical tests we are subjected to through our lifetime.  We need global standards for testing, […]

Now that the saner populations of the world are reaching a critical mass of  vaccination against COVID, our attention must turn to whether booster vaccinations are necessary. And as with everything emerging about COVID, it is a rapidly changing picture. Choose a different vaccine to boost and only one dose Eleven years ago, US Infectious Disease […]

As a public health physician, and as a family physician, I am ashamed. In response to COVID, my colleagues in public health officialdom are losing credibility as they search for politically driven quick fixes and remain silent when individual freedoms are restricted without clear evidence of an enduring relationship to positive outcomes. COVID is here […]

To date, none of the available vaccines prevent transmission from one individual to another. Most focus on decreasing the severity of symptoms. In the short term, that is a very effective strategy. In the longer term it can turn into a double-edged sword.  Evolving new strains of COVID may be more beneficial than detrimental. Consider […]

Since March 2020, most places in the world have been through several versions of CoVID-19 lockdown. The most extreme level, currently in force in several cities in the USA, prohibits social contact beyond the immediate household throughout the rest of the year. Those who can work from home are expected to do so. Those who […]

Absolute risk is the likelihood an event will occur. Relative risk is the likelihood an event will occur in one group compared to another. In CoVID-19 terms, the absolute risk of dying from the disease is low. However, if we look at very old residents of care facilities who have multiple health problems compared with […]

Hospitals are full of people sick with CoVID but not all of them are patients. More and more staff in our hospitals are turning up for work that they are unable to do. They are present, but not working at their best, either due to their own health problems, increased CoVID-related workload, or CoVID anxiety. […]

CoVID is no longer just a health concern. As clinicians we now understand the disease a little better, are comforted that most cases are mild and self-limiting, and relieved that the intensive care resources are becoming equipped to manage the increase in patient numbers. Even the danger to health care workers of too much exposure […]

In times of overwhelming disaster and limited resources, ingenuity and repurposing can save lives.  For example, the use of stapling wounds on the suture-poor battle fields more than a century ago was game changer. It worked because the purpose of a suture and a staple were similar – to hold two opposing surfaces together. Wrap […]

Global travel no doubt contributes to polluting our planet, but is it really responsible for the spontaneous outbreaks of CoVID-19 (coronavirus) occurring around the world? The recent outbreak in Italy, which has not been linked to any human carrier, makes me wonder. It is time to look into transmission beyond human-to-human. Granted we humans are […]

Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have a long history of wearing face masks in clinical environments, but I’ve never seen a person in scrubs walking down the street in a face mask.  That look is generally reserved to  tourists, particularly from Japan and China, who wear masks as they see the sights. Surgical […]