Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.
There is no question that the changing climate is already having an impact on Americans’ health. Heat waves, wild fires and air pollution are growing worse; the range of vector-borne infectious diseases is expanding; intense storms are causing more disruptions to water and food supplies, as well as to the health care delivery system.
So how should journalists go about covering this unfolding environmental health story? Continue reading →
Tara Haelle, AHCJ core topic leader on medical studies, contributed to this post.
Journalists have a tricky role when covering a public health issue like vaccine hesitancy and opposition. We have a responsibility to report medical facts, but we also want to tell stories of these facts playing out in real life – and we must avoid appearing as advocates or taking a “stance” on whether parents should vaccinate their children or not.
The medical evidence is clear – vaccines are safe and effective – but a small minority of people refuse, or remain unable, to accept medical evidence. Since that small minority can have a substantial impact on public health more broadly, journalists have to capture the micro and the macro while balancing storytelling with facts. Continue reading →
Diseases caused by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas tripled and nine new pathogens carried by these insects have been discovered in the U.S. since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water-borne bacteria that thrive in warm conditions have shown up in Alaska marine life and the number of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics is rising.
A common thread involved in all of these public health threats is climate change. Continue reading →
Recent violent attacks on Medicines San Frontieres (MSF) Ebola treatment centers in the Democratic Republic of Congo raise the prospect that the outbreak could grow even larger and more dangerous.
On Feb. 24, MSF’s Ebola treatment center in Katwa was attacked and unknown assailants set another on fire in Butemo on Feb. 26. Both centers were located in the hotspots of the ongoing outbreak, which began mid-2018. Continue reading →
Photo: Ben Pender-Cudlip / The GroundTruth Project
The government of Puerto Rico has reported no cases of people with the Zika virus since early 2017, which might lead pregnant women to believe the Zika threat has faded, but investigative reporter Beth Murphy found a very different story in 2018. The Zika virus is still carried by mosquitoes on the island, and pregnant women remain at serious risk.