Recent News

Why Is It So Hard to Make a Universal Flu Vaccine?

Mar 16 2020

Your annual flu shot protects you from some types of flu, usually the ones that got people sick the year before. But if a new strain of flu shows up, the shot may not work for it. That's why a holy grail of medicine is to create a universal flu vaccine. A universal flu vaccine can't come soon enough, especially for particularly vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly and the immune-compromised. More than 650,000 people around the world die of seasonal influenza every year, according to the World Health Organization. Seasonal flu also costs the U.S. healthcare system and society in general, a pretty penny, about $11.2 billion in 2018.

Source: How Stuff Works How Stuff Works

Inside the Colorado lab trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

Mar 14 2020

Here, nestled up against the foothills, there’s a bat colony living in the basement of a sleek white-and-glass Colorado State University building – which isn’t entirely relevant to this story except to set the tone for the peculiar work that takes place inside. Welcome to Colorado State University’s Research Innovation Center, where scientists study many of the world’s scariest pathogens – including some carried by bats – and create medicines to protect humans and animals from them. Researchers here hope to be among the first in the world to create a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. They are among a handful of teams across the globe racing to develop a vaccine in record-setting time. And, as early as this week, researchers at the center may be able to achieve a key, early step toward creating the vaccine.

Source: Durango Herald Durango Herald

Human trials for a coronavirus vaccine could begin ‘within a few weeks,’ top US health official says

Mar 12 2020

Human trials for a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 could begin “within a few weeks” with a vaccine ready for public use within the next 12 to 18 months, a top U.S. health official said Thursday. “We said ... that it would take two to three months to have it in the first human,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Thursday at a hearing on the nation’s preparedness for the outbreak.


The vaccine that saved millions

Mar 12 2020

In 1955, a group of US scientists led by Dr Jonas Salk announced the discovery of the first polio vaccine. It would go on to save millions from death and disability. His son, Dr Peter Salk, spoke to Witness History about his father's extraordinary achievement.

Source: BBC News BBC News

What Makes Viruses Like COVID-19 Such a Risk for Human Beings? The Answer Goes Back Thousands of Years

Mar 11 2020

​The Faroe Islands are little volcanic spits of land poking out of the far north Atlantic Ocean. On the outer edges of Europe, they are isolated and cold; in 1846 they were one of the healthiest places on earth. But in that year, a carpenter, a native of the island, returned from Copenhagen with a bad cough. He had the measles. The virus had been absent from the Faroe Islands for more than 60 years, and, in the days before a measles vaccine, few of the island’s residents had immunity to the disease. Over the course of the next five months, 6,100 of the island’s 7,900 inhabitants fell ill. Over a hundred died.


What Diseases Are Returning Because Of Anti-Vaxxers?

Mar 11 2020

Many of the diseases that historically decimated human populations are no longer a danger thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. The hard work of researchers, doctors, and scientists has resulted in human beings being able to use vaccines to live longer, healthier lives. However, due to misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some are choosing to not vaccinate. The movement stems from disgraced British ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield, who wrote a paper alleging that vaccines cause autism. It was later discovered his work was forged. The British Medical Journal described his research as "an elaborate fraud." Despite this, some are still choosing to avoid vaccination. Here are some defunct diseases that could see a comeback due to their ignorance.

Source: World Atlas World Atlas

How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Spanish Flu

Mar 11 2020

In the late summer of 1918, the devastating second wave of the Spanish flu arrived on America’s shores. Carried by World War I doughboys returning home from Europe, the newly virulent virus spread first from Boston to New York and Philadelphia before traveling West to infect panicked populations from St. Louis to San Francisco. Lacking a vaccine or even a known cause of the outbreak, mayors and city health officials were left to improvise. Should they close schools and ban all public gatherings? Should they require every citizen to wear a gauze face mask? Or would shutting down important financial centers in wartime be unpatriotic?

Source: History History

Keystone Ski Resort Employees With Mumps Grows To 26

Mar 10 2020

​The number of employees with the mumps at Keystone Ski Resort is growing. A total of 26 employees at the ski area who live in employee housing in close quarters have tested positive for mumps. Health officials in Summit County confirm four others who are not Keystone Ski Resort employees have also tested positive for the disease. Health officials said there is minimal risk to anyone who has been at the ski resort recently, but they should check their vaccination records. Previously, the Keystone Resort communications manager told CBS4 that the transmission is happening between shared drinks and people who are living in really close quarters.

Source: CBS 4 Denver CBS 4 Denver

White, College-Educated, Wealthier Parents Less Likely to Vaccinate Their Children, Texas Study Reveals

Mar 10 2020

​White, college-educated parents with higher-than-average incomes in Texas are less likely to vaccinate their children than those of other demographics, a study on the state has revealed. The researchers looked at data on the number of children exempt from vaccinations because of their parents' philosophical beliefs (also known as conscientious vaccination exemption or CVE) across 10 metropolitan areas in Texas between the 2012–2013 and 2017–2018 school years. The figures on 318 private, 818 public and 60 charter school systems in Texas found percentages of CVEs had risen in 41 of 46 counties during that period, with the Austin, Dallas-Forth Worth and Houston emerging as hot-spots.

Source: Newsweek Newsweek

A Call to Arms: Under Attack, Pro-Vaccine Doctors Fight Back

Mar 10 2020

Brad Bigford, a traveling nurse practitioner from Boise, Idaho, jumped at the invitation: spend an afternoon at Fred’s Reel Barber Shop in nearby Meridian, offering the flu vaccine to customers. “Ladies, send your guys for a trim and a flu shot,” Mr. Bigford posted on Facebook. He added, “Anti-vaxxers need not reply.” Within hours, his Facebook page was swarmed with hundreds of vitriolic comments, even violent threats from people opposed to vaccines. Vicious reviews on Yelp and Google about his urgent-care business, Table Rock Mobile Medicine, popped up from “patients” as far away as Los Angeles, Texas and Australia. Protesters circulated his cellphone number, hometown and wife’s name.

Source: The New York Times The New York Times