With the appearance of a polio outbreak recently, I wanted to clear up some misinformation (from anti-vaxxers) regarding non-polio enterovirus linked to an outbreak of children’s respiratory disease. There is no relationship between the polio outbreak and the outbreak of non-polio enterovirus, and there is certainly no relationship between either and vaccines.
For this article, I’ll focus on the non-polio enterovirus. There is a lot to this situation, so stay tuned for some science.
I have been meaning to write about germ theory for years because a big part of vaccine denialism requires a good bit of germ theory denialism. Some anti-vaxxers want to create an illusion of scientific integrity by attempting to outright reject the germ theory of disease.
Germ theory is one of the central tenets of biology along with biochemistry, cells, evolution, and genetics. It is not some idea that was invented by those of us who support vaccines just to convince people to get vaccines. It is a foundation of medicine and biology that is centuries old.
This article is going to be a discussion of what exactly is germ theory, and briefly show how the anti-vaxxers deny it to “prove” that vaccines are unnecessary.
I generally wouldn’t write about herpes zoster and dementia, which recently appeared in a peer-reviewed article. Such a topic is mostly outside of my interest area. Then a thought hit my reptilian brain — anti-vaxxers might use this information to claim that the shingles vaccine, which prevents herpes zoster (the more formal name for shingles), might increase the risk of dementia.
So, this article is here just in case you run into that pathetic argument. In no way would I advocate not getting the shingles vaccine because of its supposed relationship with dementia.
Let’s take a look at this new article and how we should look at whether the herpes zoster vaccine and dementia might be related.
As of this time, we don’t know a lot about this hepatitis outbreak, like routes of infection and the causative agent, but it is ringing the alarm bells at various public health agencies across the world.
In this article, I will walk you through the hepatitis outbreak and then some limited data that appear to show that there is no link to either COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines.
Massachusetts health authorities confirmed a case of monkeypox on 18 May 2022 after the CDC said it was monitoring the possible spread of the rare but potentially serious viral illness. The virus has spread in several countries and the CDC believes that the actual number of cases is being underreported because few physicians know much about the disease.
When I first heard about the novel coronavirus, I thought that the press was exaggerating and that the disease would disappear in a few weeks. Yes, I was wrong, very wrong.
When I read the first reports of a monkeypox outbreak, I decided to write about it because I was getting questions about the seriousness of the disease and if there was a vaccine for it. It is a serious disease, and as for the vaccine, it’s complicated.
So, let’s talk about monkeypox and potential vaccines.
If you spend a lot of time with anti-vaxxers, you’ll notice that they tend to misuse a scientific principle, this time, the hygiene hypothesis, which is a description of how early exposure to microorganisms may assist the immune system to avoid allergic reactions to things in the environment.
Although we’ll discuss the scientific evidence in support of the hypothesis later in this article, anti-vaxxers tend to abuse it. They conflate potentially beneficial organisms, such as the gut biome, with dangerous and deadly pathogens, like measles and polio. The former may be a critical component of the hygiene hypothesis, but the latter is not.
Time to tackle this scientifically controversial topic, and put to rest one of the tropes of the anti-vaccine world that all germs are good. They aren’t.
It is 2022, and I cannot believe I have to write about polio. But here we are, some parents in Israel did not vaccinate their children against polio, and they ended up catching the disease, which was so close to becoming extinct.
I am ancient, so I remember classmates in high school who were disabled from polio, probably catching the disease before vaccines became widely available. But most of you probably have not met someone in an iron lung or required braces just to walk from class to class.
A respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine has been a goal for researchers for a long time, given the serious outcomes of an RSV infection. According to the CDC, an RSV vaccine could dramatically reduce hospital and intensive-care admissions, especially for children and seniors.
A series of clinical trials tested a vaccine made from inactivated RSV in children in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the vaccine candidate worsened the disease in children when they were later naturally infected with RSV.
However, these new vaccines have shown good safety and effectiveness results in clinical trials. This article will review what RSV is and the list of vaccine candidates that are entering or are in phase 3 clinical trials.
The Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most ubiquitous viruses that infect humans. Around 95% of humans are infected by the virus, so it is probably the most common virus, at least for humans. However, I bet most people haven’t heard of it and are unaware that they have the virus floating around in their bodies.
How did you catch it? It spreads through the saliva, so it could have been from your mother when she shared some of her food with you. Or it could have been from sharing a milkshake while on a date. Or maybe you got it when you kissed your date. In fact, if you caught the virus in this last scenario — as a teen or young adult — then the Epstein-Barr virus may have triggered mononucleosis, or the “kissing disease,” in which a massive immune response against the pathogen causes weeks of sore throat, fever, and debilitating fatigue.
The Epstein-Barr virus is so pervasive, and the outcomes are so minor, you might be wondering why we need a vaccine. The problem is that the outcomes aren’t all that minor — rare, but very serious, outcomes are frequently observed because so many individuals are infected by the disease.
This article will examine what the Epstein-Barr virus is, and why it is so dangerous. Hopefully, it will be obvious why we need a vaccine.