Your Local Epidemiologist

Your Local Epidemiologist is a Substack that dissects public health issues, focusing on current events and emerging research. It covers epidemic patterns, vaccine developments, public health policy implications, and the role of science in society. It advocates for evidence-based decisions and addresses misinformation in public health communication.

Public Health Epidemiology Vaccine Development COVID-19 Research Science Communication Misinformation in Public Health Mental Health Health Policy

The hottest Substack posts of Your Local Epidemiologist

And their main takeaways
1381 implied HN points β€’ 14 Mar 24
  1. Public health messaging sounded like a sales pitch, leading to a loss of trust due to data issues, messaging inaccuracies, and a mix of advocacy with scientific communication.
  2. Helpful information, like practical tips for care and specific risk factors, was missing, causing confusion and fear among the public.
  3. Opinions being treated as facts and a disconnect between personal experiences and the official narrative led to frustration and loss of trust, but some improvements are being made to address these issues.
1735 implied HN points β€’ 20 Feb 24
  1. YLE has reached its 4th anniversary with continuous growth and a dedicated audience.
  2. The YLE audience is globally diverse, primarily in North America and Australia, with a strong trend of educated readers interested in healthcare and science.
  3. Looking into the future, YLE plans to expand its content beyond virus-related topics, engage more in local health issues, and diversify its audience.
734 implied HN points β€’ 12 Mar 24
  1. Measles cases are increasing, with outbreaks across various regions, underscoring the importance of vaccination and public health measures.
  2. Norovirus is surging in the Northern Hemisphere, causing stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea, emphasizing the need for preventive measures like handwashing and surface cleaning.
  3. The flu season, particularly driven by flu strain B, has been moderate this year, highlighting the potential impact of political influences on vaccine uptake and the importance of public health efforts.
1195 implied HN points β€’ 16 Feb 24
  1. Contagiousness of Covid-19 remains the same, spreading for 5-12 days.
  2. Health policy decisions involve balancing protection, actionability, and feasibility for diverse populations.
  3. CDC's consideration of new Covid-19 isolation guidelines raises questions about following guidelines, impact on community transmission, and stakeholder views.
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1265 implied HN points β€’ 08 Feb 24
  1. Emergency rooms are overwhelmed and at a crisis point, impacting patient care and outcomes.
  2. ER boarding, where patients are kept in the ER due to lack of available hospital beds, leads to dangerous medical errors and even deaths.
  3. Fixing the ER overload issue requires regulatory intervention, such as setting standards and creating better financial incentives.
850 implied HN points β€’ 27 Feb 24
  1. Florida's health department made controversial recommendations that contradict standard practice guidelines for managing measles outbreaks, risking the spread of the disease.
  2. Isolation after measles exposure is critical to prevent transmission since measles is highly contagious compared to other viruses and has a long incubation period.
  3. Measles can have severe consequences, including hospitalization, pneumonia, and encephalitis, highlighting the importance of following established guidelines and maintaining high vaccination rates.
815 implied HN points β€’ 28 Feb 24
  1. CDC recommends older adults receive a second Covid-19 vaccine in the spring, especially those over 65.
  2. The majority of people hospitalized for Covid-19 were not up-to-date on their annual vaccine, with specific risk factors common among them.
  3. Vaccine coverage challenges in the US stem from concerns like unknown side effects, lack of trust, and physician recommendations.
864 implied HN points β€’ 22 Feb 24
  1. Influenza-like illnesses are still prevalent, especially among children, and the season could continue until April or May.
  2. COVID-19 levels in wastewater are high nationally, with a strange pattern in the South, but hospitalizations remain lower than last year.
  3. Flu hospitalizations are stable, RSV cases are decreasing, and there is concern about a rising number of measles cases across several states.
748 implied HN points β€’ 29 Feb 24
  1. Real-world data showed a true safety signal for the RSV older adult vaccine, particularly after the Pfizer vaccine.
  2. The benefits of the RSV vaccine still outweigh the risks for older adults, preventing significant illness and hospitalizations.
  3. Moderna is introducing an RSV vaccine using mRNA, offering a different platform with potential advantages for safety.
1735 implied HN points β€’ 05 Jan 24
  1. The amount of DNA fragments in Covid-19 vaccines is relatively small compared to other particles.
  2. DNA fragments are present in all vaccines and various medical treatments, and are kept at minimal levels for safety.
  3. Human bodies have natural mechanisms to deal with foreign DNA and prevent integration into our genes.
1227 implied HN points β€’ 18 Jan 24
  1. The prevalence of long Covid may be decreasing due to a decline in severe disease and the changing virus over time.
  2. Vaccines, especially with additional doses, help protect against long Covid in both children and adults.
  3. Long Covid is a complex condition with various underlying causes, such as viral persistence, immune responses, and gut microbiome links.
368 implied HN points β€’ 01 Feb 24
  1. Strong bipartisan statements on harms of social media use among children and teens were made during a recent congressional hearing.
  2. Parents of children impacted by social media showed up in large numbers at the congressional hearing, highlighting the severity of the issue.
  3. The public health data presented at the congressional hearing will hopefully lead to meaningful and necessary changes regarding social media use among kids and teens.
1523 implied HN points β€’ 27 Jun 23
  1. Harassment against scientists, including stalking, bullying, and threats, has become a common and serious issue online and offline.
  2. Many scientists, both male and female, have reported experiencing harassment, threats, and emotional stress, particularly women in the field.
  3. The high levels of harassment and threats have led to many scientists withdrawing from social media and public engagement, creating a gap in scientific communication and community trust.
1206 implied HN points β€’ 18 Jul 23
  1. COVID-19 metrics are increasing, but excess deaths are down
  2. Southern and Western United States are seeing an increase in COVID-19
  3. Global concern on rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in Okinawa, Japan, and a new Omicron variant in the Dominican Republic


1021 implied HN points β€’ 04 Aug 23
  1. Katelyn Jetelina is taking a two-week break to recharge before the busy respiratory season.
  2. During her break, she plans to enjoy puzzles, books, crosswords, and time in national parks with her toddlers.
  3. She is looking for nonfiction book recommendations that are not related to public health for her downtime.
1224 implied HN points β€’ 20 Jun 23
  1. Debating vaccine science can create false equivalence and be time-consuming and dangerous.
  2. Live debates can prioritize charm over data and lead to logical fallacies and dead-end discussions.
  3. Some debates are worthwhile when participants are open to changing their minds and when the subject matter is not politically or religiously polarized.
1105 implied HN points β€’ 15 Jun 23
  1. COVID-19 vaccines are being updated for the fall 2023-2024 season due to fast mutations and waning effectiveness against hospitalization.
  2. Vaccine formula may shift to target only the Omicron XBB variant for better immune system recognition.
  3. Global alignment on focusing vaccine efforts on the XBB variant signals a step towards addressing the changing landscape of COVID-19.
1357 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 23
  1. Katelyn Jetelina took a break from newsletter writing this week to work on an emergency with the World Health Organization in Turkey.
  2. A paid subscription to YLE goes beyond commenting powers, as it enables advocacy for necessary change, implementation during emergencies, and saving lives through evidence-based actions.
  3. The subscription also supports advocating for change, implementing changes during emergencies, and saving lives with evidence-based approaches.
1021 implied HN points β€’ 21 Feb 23
  1. The science around masks is complex, with considerations like the type of mask, disease, social context, and transmission period.
  2. Research shows masks can be effective in reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at both an individual and population level.
  3. The effectiveness of masks is influenced by factors like compliance, type of mask, and social setting, requiring a nuanced approach to policies and recommendations.
2 HN points β€’ 05 Mar 24
  1. CDC updated isolation guidance recommends staying home when sick until fever resolves for 24 hours and symptoms improve, then using caution for five days.
  2. There is a debate within public health about the updated guidance - some see it as a step back while others believe it simplifies virus prevention measures.
  3. The guidance update considers the decrease in community transmission, the contagious period, the types of viruses being irrelevant to actions, and the critical focus on reducing hospitalizations and deaths.