Author Archives: Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

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.

Using narrative to link climate change to changes in global health

Satellite view of South Africa.

The threat of emerging infectious diseases is expanding as climate change is altering the range of animals, people and the pathogens that they carry.

Warmer and wetter weather, as well as changing land use and global transportation means that diseases don’t remain behind borders, and populations are being exposed to new diseases like Zika, ebola and new strains of influenza. Continue reading

Considering new angles during an infectious disease outbreak

Photo: Global Panorama via Flickr

In May, the measles outbreak became the worst in 30 years, as communities across the country continue to battle the pathogen, which has sickened 1,077 people as of June 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York has been one of the hardest hit states in the country, with more than 500 cases, in part because Brooklyn, a borough in New York City, and Rockland County, are homes of large and close-knit Orthodox Jewish communities. Many parents in these communities have decided not to vaccinate their children because of concerns about the health implications of vaccines. Continue reading

CDC, scientists brief journalists on status of vector-borne diseases in U.S.

Image by Penn State via Flickr

Americans should be aware that diseases spread by kissing bugs, mosquitoes and ticks are sharply on the rise in the U.S., an official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official and two scientists told journalists on June 19.

The webcast hosted by SciLine, a free resource for journalists supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, highlighted that the combination of climate change, international travel, changing land use, deforestation, and urbanization of rural areas are all driving vector-borne diseases to the highest numbers ever reported. Continue reading

Caution and ideas for covering HIV/AIDS in 2019

In April 1984, then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announced the National Cancer Institute had discovered the virus that caused acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and scientists hoped to soon have a cure.

Since the epidemic began, around 35 million people have died around the world from AIDS-related illnesses, and there is still no widely available cure. There have, however, been huge advances in treatment, with new drugs to prevent the disease and drugs that enable those diagnosed with the virus -human immunodeficiency virus or HIV – that causes AIDS, to live into their 70s. Continue reading

Tick season increasingly begins sooner with climate change

Image by Penn State via Flickr

Ticks are emerging earlier from winter hibernation and remaining active for more weeks of the year as the climate is warming, according to public health experts. The result is that Americans’ risk of infection from pathogens carried by the outdoor pests is increasing.

“There are more tick-borne disease [cases] every year,” John Aucott, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center, told WebMD. Continue reading

Covering climate change and public health from the local level

Photo: Luca Castellazzi via Flickr

One angle journalists can take to tackle huge issue like climate change and public health is to take a focused look at how life might be changing for low-income people in a specific city.

This is what NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro did earlier this spring in her report on how climate change is affecting residents’ health in Miami. Continue reading