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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Tick- and Mosquito-borne Diseases on the Rise

Since 2004, cases of diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes have tripled in the U.S.

To Fight Disease, Should We Treat and Educate Popular People First?

We often lack the resources to treat and educate everyone when combating disease. Moving the 'hubs' of a social network to the front of the line may be most effective.

Cows Have HIV-fighting Power

And that unique ability may propel us closer to an HIV vaccine for humans.

Removing This Invasive Shrub's Flowers Could Help Combat Malaria

Mosquitoes spread deadly malaria, and trimming one specific shrub could make significant headway in battling the disease.

New CDC Quarantine Rules Raise Civil Liberty Concerns

Updated quarantine regulations which would give federal health officials more leeway to detain sick people have some legal and civil rights experts concerned.

Why a Massive Zika Outbreak in the United States Is Unlikely

Sure, the carrier mosquitoes are in the U.S., and so is the disease. But other factors will stave off a widespread incident, experts say.

New Study: Zika Can Survive for 8 Hours Outside a Host Body

Zika virus acts weird for a mosquito-borne illness. The newest twist is that it can survive for a surprisingly long time on a hard, nonporous surface.

The Curious Ability to Detect Disease by Smell

Sometimes the nose knows. What advances are being made in detecting diseases by scent?

Cat Scratch Fever’s Not Just an Infectious Song

Cat scratch fever’s having another day in the spotlight and this time it has nothing to do with rocker Ted Nugent. So, should you be scared of your kitty?

Keeping Zika Out of the U.S. Blood Supply

The FDA is recommending that all blood donations start being tested for Zika virus in the next 12 weeks. But what about the blood already on hand? What happens to that?

Researchers Analyze Google Data to Show Success of Chickenpox Vaccine

In countries where governments mandate vaccination against chickenpox, a new study finds, online searches for information about symptoms drop.

Can Jet Hand Dryers Really Blast Out a Germ Cloud? Well, Yes and No

A new study finds noisy touch-free dryers like the Dyson Airblade can fill an entire room with airborne viruses. But "can" and "actually do" are different things.

10 Ways That Doctors Treated Infections Before Antibiotics

With the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, scientists are taking a second look at infection treatments that were popular before antibiotics. Which ones might work today, and which ones are just quackery?

How Genetic Discrimination Works

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

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.

5 Diseases That Don’t Spread the Way We Used to Think

The cause of bubonic plague was a mystery until the 1890s, but that's not the only disease we've been confused about over the years. Which other illnesses have we gotten wrong?

Will there be new STDs in the future?

Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia -- no one wants to hear those words from their doctor. Are these all we have to worry about, or are there other sexually transmitted horrors in the making?


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