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Current Epidemics News and Events, Epidemics News Articles.
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View of forest insects changing from pests to partners
The massive insect epidemics that have plagued western forests in recent years are mostly a reflection of poor forest health conditions, overcrowding, overuse of chemicals, fire suppression and introduction of monocultures or non-native species. Beyond that, these insect attacks are actually nature's mechanism to help restore forest health and in many cases should be allowed to run their course. (2001-10-30)

Tracking unexplained illness and death could help identify emerging infectious diseases
A method called prospective surveillance, which studies unexplained illness and death due to possibly infectious causes, allowed for earlier detection of emerging and reemerging infections in 73 percent of cases, Yale researchers conclude in a new study. (2001-08-07)

New model for early meningitis detection
A meningitis incidence threshold of 10 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in just 1 week - lower than previously recommended by the WHO - can reliably be used to confirm an epidemic in time to implement vaccination programmes, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET. (2001-07-26)

Scary study: Selenium deficiency causes flu virus to mutate into more dangerous forms
Influenza virus that has been passed through mice deficient in the trace nutrient selenium mutates and emerges from the mice more virulent than before, a new UNC study shows. It's likely something similar happens in humans deficient in selenium and, possibly, in other nutrients. (2001-06-07)

DNA evidence calls Irish potato famine theory into question
For years, scientists thought they knew which strain of late blight caused the great Irish potato famine of the 1840s, a catastrophic crop failure that changed the course of European and American history. It turns out they were wrong: A new study by scientists at North Carolina State University, published in the June 7 issue of the journal Nature, finds that the strain of the pathogen blamed for the famine isn't the culprit after all. (2001-06-06)

Standing tall: Plains indians enjoyed height, health advantage
Equestrian Indian tribes on the American Plains in the late 1800s were the tallest people in the world, suggesting that they were surprisingly well-nourished given disease and their lifestyle, a new study found. These results contradict the modern image of American Indians as being sickly victims succumbing to European disease. (2001-05-26)

Scientists use weather forecasts to fight disease
Each year plant disease epidemics cost growers billions of dollars and affect both the quantity and quality of food products available to consumers. Traditional disease management techniques are often costly and may be only partially effective. Fortunately scientists are discovering that by following weather patterns they can significantly reduce both the number and severity of certain types of disease outbreaks. (2001-04-24)

Genetic risk factor for common childhood respiratory infection identified
The severity of the common childhood infection, bronchiolitis, may be genetically determined, shows research in Thorax. (2000-11-19)

Dengue fever an emerging public health problem
Dengue fever is emerging as a major public health problem in most areas along the Texas-Mexico border, in particular South Texas, Dr. Frank Cortez-Flores said at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (2000-10-29)

New report says antimicrobial resistance an ecological issue
Antimicrobial agents are used for everything from fighting disease to protecting crops to producing food animals, and not enough is understood about the impact of resistance on the environment as a whole. A new report from the American Academy of Microbiology, (2000-10-05)

What's killing coral?
Human activity in coastal areas is what's killing coral, say researchers who have been tracking coral disease. This means that local measures such as reducing soil run-off or sewage discharges might help save corals that fall ill. (2000-09-12)

Risk map will help predict encephalitis outbreaks
Florida researchers are combining satellite surveillance data from NASA, weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and a map of North America to develop a map that would change as various indicators for encephalitis show up or disappear across the country. The hope is that a risk map could provide valuable time for officials to educate residents about the risk of encephalitis and prevent an outbreak. (2000-06-06)

Primates may have triggered the hepatitis pandemic
British scientists suggest that hepatitis B, the virus carried by 5 per cent of the world's population, probably spread to people from apes or monkeys .Researchers have found powerful evidence of naturally occurring animal epidemics that could be the source of many human infections. (2000-05-02)

Cardiologist and researcher says parents and schools can protect kids from heart disease in later years
Although commonly considered a threat to people in their middle and later years, heart disease often gets its start in childhood, and a heart researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says parents and schools could be making a bigger difference today in preventing future epidemics. (2000-02-14)

New mathematical model explains changing patterns in epidemics
A simple, new mathematical model enables scientists to predict epidemics of infectious diseases such as measles. A team of researchers from the University of Florida, University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada developed the model and applied it to measles epidemics. (2000-01-26)

U.S. embargo against Cuba contributed to public health 'catastrophes' -- says Yale Medical School professor
The United States embargo against Cuba has contributed to several public health catastrophes, among them an epidemic of blindness due to a dramatic decrease in the supply of nutrients, a Yale physician says. There also have been epidemics of infants ingesting lye, which is used when soap is not available, and an outbreak of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a form of paralysis associated with water contamination due to lack of chlorination chemicals, says Michele Barry, M.D. (2000-01-16)

Neurological disorder inspired European dancing tradition
An annual European dancing procession that blends legend and tradition may have roots in a neurological disorder causing dance-like movements, according to a historical review in the December 10 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (1999-12-09)

World leaders, public health officials to meet at third annual conference on HIV/AIDS
World leaders, physicians, economists, government and public health officials, pharmaceutical manufacturers and AIDS activists from around the world will meet here October 11 - 13 to present, debate and discuss the economic, ethical and human rights issues underlying healthcare resource allocation. (1999-09-30)

Ancient viruses lurking in polar ice
Prehistoric viruses are lying dormant in the polar ice caps- and a rise in temperature could unleash them into the atmosphere, causing lethal epidemics. This warning follows the discovery by American researchers of an ancient virus in Arctic ice. (1999-09-01)

Plants, pathogens engage in trench warfare
Researchers at the University of Chicago have gained new insight into the co-evolution of plants and the microbes that attack them. In the August 12 issue of Nature, the researchers report findings that go against the widely held 'arms race' theory in which plant resistance genes fight brief battles with microbes before both plant and pathogen mutate to higher and higher levels of resistance and virulence. (1999-08-12)

WHO issues wake up call against microbial threats
The World Health Organization (WHO) today warned that the world has dangerously underestimated the threat bacteria and viruses are posing to national security and economic growth, and may soon miss its opportunity to protect people from this risk. (1999-06-17)

Safe Water, Medicines, Insecticides Greatest Needs After Mitch
Safe water, specific medicines, insecticides and waste disposal are the highest priority needs in the Central American countries affected by Hurricane Mitch, say Pan American Health Organization disaster experts. (1998-11-06)

Myths And Realities Of Natural Disasters
The recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Mitch in Central America points up, according to experts at the Pan American Health Organization, the realities of natural disasters. Numerous myths abound about natural disasters, but the realities are different, according to Dr. Claude de Ville, Chief of PAHO's Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Program, which is working closely with the affected countries to organize relief efforts. (1998-11-06)

Influenza Nasal Spray Vaccine Produces Local Antibody Response
A recent study presented at the 1998 Society for Pediatric Research Annual Meeting showed that a nasal spray is a more effective method for immunizing against influenza. (1998-05-03)

Crop Devastation To Be Discussed At National Head Blight Forum
More than 140 scientists from around the world will meet at the Sheraton Midway Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 10-13, for the First National Fusarium Head Blight Forum. (1997-11-07)

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