The hottest Infectious Diseases Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Science Topics
Β‘Do Not Panic! β€’ 1572 implied HN points β€’ 31 Jan 24
  1. Public health gains against infectious diseases have always been fought for and achieved in a social context, not just through medicine.
  2. Clean air and water have been crucial in reducing disease outbreaks throughout history.
  3. Vaccines and treatments should be the last line of defense in public health, not the first.
Asimov Press β€’ 270 implied HN points β€’ 13 Feb 24
  1. Phage therapy, using bacteriophages to combat drug-resistant infections, has seen renewed interest but faces challenges in scaling up due to the specificity of phages and the complexity of creating effective treatments.
  2. High-tech advancements like AI and synthetic biology offer potential solutions by predicting phage-host relationships and synthesizing phages for personalized treatments, aiming to overcome logistical and regulatory hurdles.
  3. The burden of antimicrobial resistance is predicted to impact low-income countries the most, highlighting the need for affordable, accessible phage therapies that can be used to prevent the spread of bacterial diseases in global health crises.
Your Local Epidemiologist β€’ 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.
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Asimov Press β€’ 96 implied HN points β€’ 21 Jan 24
  1. Human challenge trials have been used for centuries to deliberately infect individuals with pathogens for research purposes, such as testing vaccines and treatments.
  2. The rising popularity of challenge trials can be attributed to ethical reforms, development of solid challenge models, and the ability to safely and effectively test vaccines for various diseases.
  3. Challenge trials have drawbacks, including recruitment challenges, underpayment of participants, and difficulty in quantifying overall impact.
Force of Infection β€’ 94 implied HN points β€’ 22 Jan 24
  1. Influenza-like illness activity decreased across all age groups and regions, with improvements in hospitalizations as well.
  2. COVID-19 activity is starting to decrease, supported by various indicators like hospitalizations and test positivity.
  3. RSV trends are showing improvement with a decrease in positivity rates, especially in vulnerable age and ethnic groups.
LIL Science β€’ 491 implied HN points β€’ 13 Jul 23
  1. Locally acquired cases of malaria have been diagnosed in Florida and Texas for the first time since 2003.
  2. Transmission of malaria within the United States is very rare, with efforts focused on increasing vector control in affected areas.
  3. Taking preventive measures like controlling mosquitos at home and seeking medical care if symptoms develop is advised in areas where malaria has been detected.
Force of Infection β€’ 59 implied HN points β€’ 19 Feb 24
  1. Influenza-like illness (ILI) activity has increased in various age groups and regions, with over half of the country affected. However, emergency department visits for influenza are declining.
  2. National Covid-19 hospitalizations are declining in some regions, but there is a resurgence in the South. Overall, the situation is complex with variations across different states.
  3. RSV test positivity is decreasing nationally, but the West and Midwest still have lingering activity. Seasonal coronavirus activity is high, and norovirus remains a concern.
LIL Science β€’ 471 implied HN points β€’ 18 May 23
  1. Research has identified genetic variations that make people more likely to have severe COVID-19.
  2. The likely cause of acute deadly hepatitis in children has been identified as a combination of viruses and genetic predispositions.
  3. The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is still under investigation, with reports detailing activities in China preceding the pandemic.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 19 implied HN points β€’ 10 Mar 21
  1. Covid-19 was not truly a black swan event despite its extreme consequences, as a global pandemic was predictable based on historical precedent and scientific consensus.
  2. Several unexpected positive outcomes emerged during the pandemic, such as minimal surface transmission, limited spread outdoors, and the rapid development of effective vaccines.
  3. The pandemic's string of good luck should serve as a reminder of the unpredictability and potential severity of future global infectious disease events, urging caution and preparedness.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 19 implied HN points β€’ 21 Oct 20
  1. Consider testing at the desk instead of at the door to reduce operational challenges and costs, though it comes with the risk of letting infectious individuals into the space
  2. Testing at the desk may lead to fewer infections if it can be done more frequently than testing at the door, highlighting the importance of cost-benefit analysis in testing strategies
  3. Exploring various testing strategies, including combinations of at-the-door and at-the-desk testing, can provide a system with lower cost and less risk in managing infections
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 19 implied HN points β€’ 19 Oct 20
  1. Knowing the viral load of infected individuals can assist in understanding the infection's stage and progression.
  2. Ct scores from PCR tests can provide critical data for pinpointing viral infection cycles and determining treatment timing.
  3. Recording and utilizing Ct scores from widespread testing can help map virus dynamics at a population level and enhance understanding without relying solely on time series data.
Are You Okay? β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 28 Jun 21
  1. People enjoy autonomy and want positive affirmations in decisions regarding health recommendations.
  2. It's important to understand that eradicating COVID-19 completely is impossible, but controlling it is feasible through vaccination and other preventive measures.
  3. The key to moving forward in this new era is through vaccinations, staying updated on health screenings, and being aware of the measures needed to control COVID-19.
News from Those Nerdy Girls β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 17 Feb 23
  1. To stop the spread of Norovirus, use bleach, wash hands, avoid sharing, close the lid, and stay home if possible for two days.
  2. Norovirus is highly contagious and causes symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headaches, and fatigue.
  3. Key tips to prevent Norovirus spread: clean with bleach, wash hands thoroughly, avoid sharing items, close the toilet lid, and stay home to recover and prevent further spread.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 06 Apr 22
  1. When your Covid symptoms abate, you're likely still infectious. Consider "test to leave" or wear a mask after feeling better.
  2. Even after recovering from a cold or flu, continue to wear masks to reduce the spread of illnesses.
  3. With endemic Covid, it's crucial to focus on post-symptomatic measures rather than blanket requirements on asymptomatic individuals.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 17 May 21
  1. Infectious disease experts have been following a rule of thumb that particles larger than 5 microns fall to the ground, affecting how they understand virus transmission.
  2. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is about the same size as other viruses considered to be transmitted by droplets, leading to assumptions about its spread.
  3. There is a call for a scientific audit in the field of infectious diseases to review what is known and ensure information is up-to-date.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 04 Nov 20
  1. Achieving herd immunity through infection can be a challenging policy due to individual behaviors impacting the rate of infection.
  2. To accelerate the spread of Covid-19 for herd immunity, potential strategies include mask prohibitions, creating situations for people to congregate indoors for extended periods, and avoiding widespread testing.
  3. Implementing unconventional and counterintuitive measures like not announcing vaccine progress, encouraging large gatherings such as political rallies, or subsidizing risky activities could be attempts to expedite herd immunity.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter β€’ 0 implied HN points β€’ 21 Aug 20
  1. Testing sewage for the novel coronavirus can help in early detection of outbreaks before they spread widely.
  2. Analyzing sewage can provide valuable information about the presence of infectious diseases in a population, and monitoring waste patterns could lead to new public health insights.
  3. Challenges in using sewage testing for surveillance include factors like rainwater affecting the virus presence, variations in viral material survival, and the need for careful data interpretation.