Current Epidemic News and Events

Current Epidemic News and Events, Epidemic News Articles.
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How did Florida fail to respond to a coral disease epizootic and what's to follow?
By 2020, losses of corals have been observed throughout Florida and into the greater Caribbean basin in what turned out to be likely the most lethal recorded case of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. A Perspectives paper, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology, provides an overview of how Florida ended up in a situation, where the best that could be done is rescuing genetic material from coral species at risk of regional extinction. (2021-01-26)

Integrated disease management saves olive trees from Verticillium wilt
The University of Cordobas's Agronomy Department (abbreviated to DAUCO in Spanish) reduced the occurrence of Verticillium wilt in a commercial olive plantation by applying an Integrated Disease Management strategy. (2021-01-25)

Stats on HIV among men who have sex with men could help resolve China's epidemic
China has been dealing with an HIV epidemic and seeing rising infections among male college students who practice sex with men. But what is driving this increase and how to put a halt to it? To find out, scientists from China have conducted a study across seven cities, focusing on recent HIV incidence and resistance to therapy among this population. (2021-01-13)

K-State medical director contributes to research behind updated CDC quarantine guidance
Kyle Goerl, the medical director of Kansas State University's Lafene Health Center, is part of a collaborative team that has published recent research on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and quarantine periods. (2021-01-11)

Are two phases of quarantine better than one?
The importance of strict quarantine has been widely debated during the COVID-19 epidemic. The public debate on lockdown strategy raises the question of whether it is better to have a two-phase lockdown (a strict lockdown followed by a relaxation of restrictions) or a single, softer quarantine policy (the Swedish model). (2020-12-23)

New approach can improve COVID-19 predictions worldwide
Methods currently used around the world for predicting the development of COVID-19 and other pandemics fail to report precisely on the best and worst case scenarios. Newly developed prediction method for epidemics, published in Nature Physics, solve this problem. (2020-12-15)

Virtual therapy: The 'new normal' after COVID-19
The expansion of telepsychiatry may outlast the COVID-19 pandemic that caused it. When the stay-at-home order took effect in West Virginia, James Berry--a clinician with the WVU School of Medicine--was part of the team that moved the Chestnut Ridge Center's therapy sessions online. (2020-12-11)

Genomic analysis of early SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Boston shows role of superspreading events
SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to the Boston area of Massachusetts many times in early 2020, according to a new analysis of virus genomes, but only a small number of importations - including one related to an international business conference - led to most cases there. (2020-12-10)

Russian mathematicians develop a new model for predicting epidemics based on precedents
Scientists from St Petersburg University have developed a new Case-Based Rate Reasoning (CBRR) model for predicting the dynamics of epidemics. Using this method, the researchers are preparing forecasts for the spread of COVID-19 in Russia. (2020-12-09)

Tension between awareness and fatigue shapes Covid-19 spread
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, two human factors are battling it out: awareness of the virus's severe consequences and fatigue from nine months of pandemic precautions. The results of that battle can be seen in the oddly shaped case, hospitalization, and fatality-count graphs, a new study suggests. (2020-12-08)

Study of virus attack rate in Manaus, Brazil, shows outcome of mostly unmitigated epidemic
Researchers studying data from blood donors in Manaus, Brazil, who experienced high mortality from SARS-CoV-2, estimate that more than 70% of the population was infected approximately seven months after the virus first arrived in the city. (2020-12-08)

UCI-led study offers new approach for more accurate epidemic modeling
In a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrate that they can make more accurate predictions about the spread of infectious diseases by using fractional exponents for infected sub-groups, particularly in the early stages of a pandemic. (2020-12-08)

The Lancet Public Health: Travel restrictions must be used in a targeted way to be effective at controlling local COVID-19 transmission, modelling study suggests
International travel restrictions may only be effective at controlling the spread of COVID-19 when applied in a targeted way, according to research published in The Lancet Public Health journal. (2020-12-07)

Big data saves lives, and patient safeguards are needed
The use of big data to address the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts poses ethical concerns that could undermine its benefits without clear governance guidelines that protect and respect patients and society, a University of Massachusetts Amherst study concludes. (2020-11-30)

Artificial intelligence-based tool may help diagnose opioid addiction earlier
Researchers have used machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, to develop a prediction model for the early diagnosis of opioid use disorder. The advance is described in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives. (2020-11-18)

OHIO's Franz publishes study on strategies hospitals adopt to address opioid epidemic
Ohio University professors Berkeley Franz, Ph. D., and assistant professor Cory Cronin, Ph.D., along with New York University professor José Pagán, Ph.D., co-authored the article, ''What Strategies Are Hospitals Adopting to Address the Opioid Epidemic? Evidence From a National Sample of Nonprofit Hospitals,'' to identify what hospitals are doing to combat the opioid epidemic and how they could better address these problems in communities. (2020-11-16)

Evolution favours new diseases of 'intermediate' severity
New epidemic diseases have an evolutionary advantage if they are of ''intermediate'' severity, research shows. (2020-11-11)

Socio-demographic determinants of overweight and obesity among mothers in South Africa
To investigate the socio-demographic determinants of overweight and obesity among mothers of primary school children living in a rural Dikgale Health and Demographic Surveillance System Site in South Africa (2020-10-28)

Random effects key to containing epidemics
To control an epidemic, authorities will often impose varying degrees of lockdown. In the journal Chaos, scientists have discovered, using mathematics and computer simulations, why dividing a large population into multiple subpopulations that do not intermix can help contain outbreaks without imposing contact restrictions within those local communities. When infection numbers are high, random effects can be ignored. But subdividing a population can create communities so small that the random effects matter. (2020-10-27)

Relieving the cost of COVID-19 by Parrondo's paradox
The health and well-being of the population will be affected if the community is kept open, but the lockdown strategy taken on due to COVID-19 also incurs economic and financial impacts. Each strategy on its own will increase the total 'cost' to society. Can both losing strategies be combined in a manner that leads to a winning outcome? (2020-10-22)

Interactions within larger social groups can cause tipping points in contagion flow
Contagion processes, such as opinion formation or disease spread, can reach a tipping point, where the contagion either rapidly spreads or dies out. When modeling these processes, it is difficult to capture this complex transition. In the journal Chaos, researchers studied the parameters of these transitions by including three-person group interactions in a contagion model called the susceptible-infected-susceptible model. In this model, an infected person who recovers from an infection can be reinfected. (2020-10-20)

New study highlights the role of risk communication in coping with COVID-19
New research from the International Joint Laboratory of Cognitive and Behavioural Scienc (iLCBC) at ZZNU demonstrates the importance of risk communication aimed at encouraging appropriate countermeasures against virus outbreaks. (2020-10-16)

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data. The forecasts can be used, for example, when planning healthcare provision, such that resources can be redistributed in the best possible manner and give everyone the best possible care during an epidemic. (2020-10-15)

Study describes COVID-19 transmission pattern
Model developed by Brazilian researchers predicts spatial and temporal evolution of epidemic diseases and can help plan more effective social isolation programs with less socio-economic impact. (2020-10-08)

New study confirms advice given to the UK government about school closures
Several predictions made by experts ahead of the UK-wide lockdown in March are confirmed in a detailed re-analysis of the data published by The BMJ today. (2020-10-07)

Nitric oxide a possible treatment for COVID-19
Researchers at Uppsala University have found that an effective way of treating the coronavirus behind the 2003 SARS epidemic also works on the closely related SARS-CoV-2 virus, the culprit in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The substance concerned is nitric oxide (NO), a compound with antiviral properties that is produced by the body itself. The study is published in the journal Redox Biology. (2020-10-02)

Cause of 1990s Argentina cholera epidemic uncovered
The evolution of epidemic and endemic strains of the cholera-causing bacterium Vibrio cholerae in Argentina has been mapped in detail. The researchers used whole genome sequencing to study the bacteria circulating during the 1991-1998 outbreak of cholera in the country. Published in Nature Communications, the data have influenced health policy in Argentina, where whole-genome sequencing is now used to distinguish between pandemic and non-pandemic lineages of V. cholerae bacteria. (2020-10-01)

Pain relief caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may help explain COVID-19 spread
New research shows SARS-CoV-2 promotes pain relief when it infects cells through a common protein receptor, neuropilin-1. The finding gives scientists a novel target for non-opioid pain therapeutics, while also offering an explanation for the unrelenting spread of COVID-19. (2020-10-01)

Social media use linked with depression, secondary trauma during COVID-19
Can't stop checking social media for the latest COVID-19 health information? You might want to take a break, according to researchers at Penn State and Jinan University who discovered that excessive use of social media for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma. (2020-09-29)

Covid-19: Social distancing is more effective than travel bans
Travel bans will delay the peak of infection with days, while social distancing has a much stronger impact, amounting in up to 4 weeks delay, scientists report. (2020-09-28)

Potent drug supply drop, not domestic drug policies, likely behind 2018 OD death downturn
The slight decline in drug overdose deaths in 2018 coincides with Chinese regulations on the powerful opioid carfentanil, rather than the result of domestic U.S. efforts to curb the epidemic, a new analysis reveals. What many - including President Donald Trump - perceived as a decline in overdose deaths in 2018, appears to be a return to the historic exponential curve. (2020-09-16)

Warning: Epidemics are often followed by unrest
History teaches that social tension accumulated over an epidemic can lead to significant episodes of rebellion, according to a study. (2020-09-07)

Rapid HIV, HCV testing at drug detoxification centers led to higher test result delivery
With an increase in HIV and HCV infections as a consequence of the ongoing opioid epidemic, Boston Medical Center researchers found that only a small number of those who test positive for those infections at a drug detoxification center followed up for a clinical visit after their test. The study results showed that only 6 percent of those tested for HIV and HCV followed up with testing care, despite accessing healthcare multiple times. (2020-09-02)

Look beyond opioids to solve national substance use epidemic, study suggests
A new study published reveals that three-quarters of participants in an inpatient addiction intervention program at Oregon Health & Science University came into the hospital using more than one substance. The findings suggests that a singular focus on opioids may do more harm than good if doctors overlook the complexity of each individual's actual substance use. (2020-08-28)

Prior Zika virus infection increases risk of severe dengue disease
A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, finds that people who have antibodies to the mosquito-borne Zika virus are more vulnerable to developing dengue disease. This immune interaction, called antibody-dependent enhancement, could complicate the search for a safe and effective vaccine that protects against Zika without also increasing the risk of dengue. (2020-08-27)

COVID-19 -- Scenarios for the post-lockdown period in Italy
The researchers have generated scenarios of the Italian infection dynamics resulting from the bulk effect of lockdown lifting, which initiated on May 4. They wondered how the modes of relaxation of previous confinement measures might affect residual epidemic trajectories. (2020-08-26)

UC Berkeley demographers put COVID-19 death toll into perspective
With over 170,000 COVID-19 deaths to date, and 1,000 more each day, America's life expectancy may appear to be plummeting. But in estimating the magnitude of the pandemic, UC Berkeley demographers have found that COVID-19 is likely to shorten the average US lifespan in 2020 by only about a year. (2020-08-25)

Gaps in early surveillance of coronavirus led to record-breaking US trajectory
Research from the University of Notre Dame provides insight into how limited testing and gaps in surveillance during the initial phase of the epidemic resulted in so many cases going undetected.  (2020-08-21)

Low humidity increases COVID risk; another reason to wear a mask
University of Sydney study confirms a link between COVID-19 cases and lower humidity. (2020-08-18)

Patients' access to opioid treatment cumbersome
The 'secret shopper' study used trained actors attempting to get into treatment with an addiction provider in 10 US states. The results, with more than 10,000 unique patients, revealed numerous challenges in scheduling a first-time appointment to receive medications for opioid use disorder, including finding a provider who takes insurance rather than cash. (2020-08-14)

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