Category Archives: Influenza

A Public Health Question About the Bird Influenza Epidemic

You might not be aware of a massive bird flu epidemic ripping its way across the U.S.: Iowa, where one in every five eggs consumed in the country is laid, has been the hardest hit: More than 40 percent of … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Aves, Influenza, Vaccination

Maybe If We Panicked About Influenza Like We Did Ebola…

Oh, who am I kidding? Meanwhile, dead babies (boldface mine): Flu is now widespread in 46 states and has killed 26 children, health officials said today. “This year is shaping up to be a bad one, particularly for people 65 … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza | 2 Comments

Infectious Disease Counterintuitry

If you don’t like the word I invented (I’m rather fond of it), slatepitch will do just fine. Speaking of Slate, a Slate writer was granted space on the New York Times op-ed page to decry the effort to keep … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza, Viruses | 1 Comment

The Question That Needs to Be Asked of the Ebola Fear Mongers

It is this: Have your had your flu shot? Between norovirus and winter vomiting disease, we’re going to have a lot of false alarms, if the hysterical reaction to Ebola right now is any guide. The fewer people coming down … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Influenza, Viruses | 1 Comment

The Weakest Link in Any Secure System Is a Human: The CDC-Influenza Edition

As you might expect, the CDC released its report on how its influenza lab managed to accidentally ship an influenza sample contaminated with avian influenza late in the day on an August Friday. Shocking, I know (and pdf format makes … Continue reading

Posted in CDC, Influenza

One Lesson From the CDC Debacles–Always Check Your Materials Before You Start Working

And for that matter, before you send stuff to other people. By now, you might have heard about the CDC’s bad week. Most of the attention has focused on the discovery of smallpox vials, two of which contained virus that … Continue reading

Posted in Danger Ain't Cool!, Influenza, Microbiology, Viruses | 5 Comments

Another Reason Why Recreating the Spanish Flu Might Not Be Such a Good Idea

I’ve written before about the effort to recreate the ‘Spanish flu’, the influenza strain that caused a global pandemic killing millions in 1918. The notion that containment measures will be 100 percent effective is ridiculous, in light of a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Influenza, Viruses