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Infectious Diseases

Bird flu, malaria, plague and West Nile virus are infectious diseases we've all heard of. Find information on these epidemics and more in this section.

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How did swine flu get its name?

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home and this little piggy gave us swine flu? Wrong. The swine flu of 2008 and 2009 doesn't even come from pigs. So why do we call it that?


How Genetic Discrimination Works

Just how common is it for schools, jobs and insurers to turn people away based on their DNA?

Herpes Gladiatorium Is One Disease That Goes to the Wrestling Mat

Yoga lovers may need to be careful, too.

How Zika Virus Works

As the Zika virus spreads, there's still much health experts don't know. So just how bad is the outbreak, and is it really connected with the rising cases of microcephaly?

Charlie Sheen's HIV Disclosure Measurably Raised Public Awareness

Only Charlie Sheen knows exactly why he went public with his HIV diagnosis last fall, but public health researchers are glad he did, as more people sought information.

We're So Close to Eradicating Polio! Here's Why The Last Few Hurdles Are Tricky

As we approach a 100 percent polio-free world, several significant hurdles remain. We'll have to make some changes to vaccine strategy to succeed.

WHO: Zika Outbreak Is a Global Health Emergency

The WHO has declared such an emergency only three times before. And in the U.S., public health authorities are reporting the first sexually transmitted Zika infection.

How do diseases jump from infecting animals to infecting humans?

There's such a thing as getting too close to nature. Many diseases that infect animals can make the jump to humans, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Why are highly contagious diseases kept in labs?

It might seem counterintuitive for labs to stock highly contagious diseases, but some researchers insist it's with good reason.

Is the plane that transports Ebola patients completely safe?

Ebola patients transported out of Africa don't fly on regular commercial or private planes; they fly on jets modified and operated according to strict protocol.

Does Ebola affect people who are Rh-negative?

Some people believe being Rh-negative type makes them immune to viruses like Ebola. Let's get to the bottom of this theory.