Tag Archives: disease

Connecting the dots between social determinants and infectious diseases

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.

Neil Moralee via Flickr

Socioeconomic factors such as poverty and living conditions play a role in shaping infection risk and disease outcomes.

Many times people in poverty live in crowded conditions, have limited access to quality health care, must work when they are sick, eat less nutritiously, get less sleep, face more stress and are more likely than others to abuse drugs and alcohol. All of these factors hinder immunity and increase susceptibility to infection and death. Continue reading

Lack of awareness of Valley fever is the disease’s biggest danger

Tristan Ettleman

About Tristan Ettleman

Tristan Ettleman, a Cronkite News digital reporter on the futures beat, covers the intersection of technology and society. His portfolio includes a story on the revolution of block chain, the tech behind cryptocurrency, in the medical field and other industries.

Photo by Tristan Ettleman/Cronkite News“Time is lost and the patient gets worse,” Valley fever patient Jim Meenaghan said of physicians’ unfamiliarity with the disease.

PHOENIX — Doctors can misdiagnose Valley fever, a fungal disease that lurks behind common symptoms like coughs and fatigue, because many aren’t familiar with the respiratory disease, medical experts said. And that could prolong patient suffering.

Misdiagnoses not only hinder Valley fever recovery, they can make it worse, said John Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence in Tucson. Galgiani is speaking about the dangers of the respiratory disease on Sunday at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference, Health Journalism 2018, in Phoenix. Continue reading

Veteran journalist offers advice on covering disease outbreaks

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This year is starting off with one of the worst flu seasons in a decade. As of the week ended Jan. 27, the number of hospitalizations due to the flu is the highest it has been in nearly a decade, and flu activity has been as highest reported since the peak of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, the CDC said. The CDC was also quick to note that this outbreak isn’t a pandemic.

It is likely that flu won’t be the only outbreak in 2018. Over the past year, there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil, plague in Madagascar, cholera in Yemen and measles in Minnesota. While no one knows what else might occur in 2018, there is likely to be another infectious disease outbreak somewhere in the world in the coming year. Continue reading

New year might see more people treating high blood pressure through nutrition

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Amanda Mills/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s a new year so, of course, the time is right to try a new diet. One approach that’s been consistently ranked as best for heart health and for healthy eating is the DASH diet. It’s a plan with particular relevance for older adults, who have the highest prevalence of hypertension in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Untreated hypertension can lead to stroke, kidney damage, heart disease and other serious conditions. Of course whether you’re examining rankings for diets, hospitals, or nursing homes, criteria and standards vary from publication to publication so some skepticism over the term “best” may be appropriate. Continue reading

Flesh out your coverage of infectious diseases with historical data

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: Wellcome Images via Flickr

Photo: Wellcome Images via Flickr

Any time there is an outbreak of an infectious disease, the public wants to know how common it is and its risk of contracting it. When covering breaking cases, journalists should provide context by including information on historical incidence and trends.

Here are some resources for infectious diseases exclusively within the United States. Continue reading

Check out this oral health reporting advice from an ‘investigative nutritionist’

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Adam Rose via Flickr

Photo: Adam Rose via Flickr

Registered dietician, syndicated radio host and self-described “investigative nutritionist” Melinda Hemmelgarn has given a lot of thought lately to dental care and oral health.  A recent episode of her public radio show, Food Sleuth, features an interview with Jane Grover, a dentist and director of the American Dental Association’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations.

In the interview, Hemmelgarn and Grover also discussed useful tips for maintaining oral health including good brushing habits and the foods that are more harmful to teeth. Continue reading