Category Archives: Epidemiology

What is Herd Immunity?

When you think of a herd, you probably think of cows, wildebeest or buffalo. In the animal world, there is safety in numbers – more pairs of eyes to look out for predators, for example. As humans, we don’t generally have … Continue reading

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Let’s Play – Plague Inc: Evolved (with a scientist)

Plague Inc: Evolved is a video game where players try to evolve a pathogen that can infect and kill the whole of humanity. While this is obviously not our aim here at the Society, the game does provide an interesting angle for looking … Continue reading

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Testing the waters: Legionnaires’ disease and the Olympics

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the molecular methods that enable scientists to investigate disease outbreaks, often in real time. This week, research from the Journal of Medical Microbiology on dealing with outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. Water was a big topic of conversation at the Olympics … Continue reading

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Microbe Talk Extra: ProMED – An early warning system for emerging diseases

In the modern world, the spread of diseases like MERS, SARS, avian flu, Ebola, and Zika virus seems almost unavoidable. But to stop outbreaks spiralling out of control into global disasters, researchers, doctors and public health professionals need to know … Continue reading

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Could European mosquitoes transmit Zika virus?

The ongoing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas has now had confirmed cases in the UK and other parts of Europe. The disease appears to be linked to an increase in babies born with microcephaly as well as a serious … Continue reading

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What is Zika virus?

In the past few weeks, there have been a number of reports about the rise of Zika virus, another member of the family that includes yellow fever virus, dengue virus and West Nile virus. But what is Zika virus? How is … Continue reading

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World Leprosy Day 2015

Leprosy is among the oldest human-specific infections we currently know about. The common ancestor of the two modern bacterial species that cause leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae and M. lepromatosis, is thought to have become a parasite in early humans millions of … Continue reading

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