Box of Pox: The Return of the Smallpox

According to a CDC media release, vials labeled “Variola”, more commonly known as Smallpox, were found in an unused storage room in a laboratory at the NIH, Bethesda, which was used by the Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory had been shifted and these final materials were being transferred to the new facilities when these…

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Patterns of leishmaniasis among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 2012A,B) Lesions impinging and possibly hindering the function of vital sensory organs, including the nose and eyesC,D) Lesions >5 cm.E,F) Lesions disfiguring the faceG,H) Special forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis; shown here is a patient with spread and satellite lesions on the hand and armI,J) Patient with 15 lesions.

Diseases of Displaced People: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Scabies, polio, tuberculosis, malaria, and a host of other diseases have been blamed on the penurious conditions that refugees are often forced to live in when in transitional shelters or refugee camps. In an “online ahead of print” report published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, which is run by the CDC, another disease has…

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Thoughts on h-index (and Google Scholar Metrics 2014)

The 2014 Google Scholar Metrics have been released a week or so now. The list for the top twenty journals in Health and Medicine are: [drumroll] Now, one thing that needs to be clarified is that the Google Scholar citation index used is the h-index (over a period of 5 years). The interesting thing is…

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Overdose death rates (per 100,000 population) for selected substances, by year — Florida, 2003–2012

Florida Clampdown on Pain Pills Lowers Drug-Related Mortality

Ever since I started working with the homeless youth of Delhi, I have noticed their drug and substance dependence issues and how, despite knowing the ill-effects, they have not been able to get out from under the chemical spell. Thus, when I came across a short report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports that Florida…

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MERS-CoV particles as seen by negative stain electron microscopy. Virions contain characteristic club-like projections emanating from the viral membrane. (CDC PHIL)

MERS CoV: Can it spread from camels to man?

The Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) is a novel single stranded RNA virus that has been doing the rounds in the Middle East, bits of Europe and North America. Given our experiences the last time we had a new respiratory virus (remember the pandemic?), things have moved rather fast this time once the…

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Ebola Ecology (CDC)

Ebola Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are in the midst of an outbreak of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. The numbers that have been provided by the respective ministries of health and sanitation and the World Health Organization, which has been summarized in a CDC factsheet show frightening trends. Before proceeding further, let us take a look at…

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The Man with a million hits: John Ioanndis

If you are not aware of Prof. John Ioannidis and his work, well, you must have been living buried under the proverbial rock (also known as AIPG/AIIMS papers). He is what people usually call a gadfly. He wrote an article which took the world by storm, and not just for a day or two! He…

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