Category Archives: Infectious diseases

Latest installment of Sentinel series highlights air travel’s role in spreading emerging infections

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.

Photo: Neil Moralee via Flickr

Our connected world via air travel is one of the driving factors behind the globe’s vulnerability to a pandemic. An outbreak that begins in one part of the world now can move quickly to another region on an airplane, as was the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, swine flu in 2009 and Ebola in 2014.

The United States is at particular risk because there is not yet a national plan for preventing and containing the spread of communicable diseases aboard airplanes, according to a recent story for a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In this installment of an ongoing series, reporters Mark Johnson and McKenna Oxenden explored gaps in America’s emergency planning around air travel and infectious diseases. Continue reading

AHCJ fellows attend briefing at CDC about ongoing public health emergencies

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ’s social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJBrenda Fitzgerald, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a briefing on public health emergencies at the CDC on Dec. 4.

Fellows in two of AHCJ’s health journalism fellowship programs attended today’s press briefing about ongoing public health emergencies with Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The journalists are attending a week-long training session at the CDC as part of the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowships and the Mid-Atlantic class of the AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellowship. Continue reading

Covering HIV in the modern era: What reporters need to know

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.

Image: Benny Sølz via Flickr

About 36.7 million people around the world – about 1.1 million in the U.S.- are living with an HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) diagnosis, making it one of the most enduring pandemics on the planet. HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Since the virus was first discovered in the 1980s, about 35 million people have died from complications of AIDS.

There has been much progress in terms of treatment. There are now 30 antiretroviral drugs available for those diagnosed with HIV, writes Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, in the JAMA Network. Continue reading

Antibiotic resistance in food-poisoning bacteria on the rise

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.

Photo: NIH Image Gallery via FlickrSalmonella bacteria invade an immune cell.

A report released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showed that an increasing number of Americans infected with the foodborne pathogen, salmonella, are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

In 2015, multidrug resistance rose to 12 percent of salmonella cases, from 9 percent the year before, the FDA said. Eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry or egg products can cause salmonella infection. Continue reading

In California, housing crunch exacts toll as hepatitis deaths grow

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Courtesy of the San Diego Union TribuneTent “cities” have swelled in southern California, creating crowded and unsanitary conditions.

Along the southern California coastline, surging development has triggered a housing boom that has also come at a heavy price for health.

Numerous outlets have been tracking what U.S. health officials say is the deadliest outbreak of hepatitis A in the country, according to The Washington Post. State officials have declared an emergency, and officials are scrambling to contain the spread of infection in one of the country’s most densely populated areas.

Continue reading