Having been born and raised in the United States, I have become accustomed to the reputation of the U.S. as being ahead of the curve in terms of advances in numerous fields including medicine, and the research that we produce in these fields strongly backs up this claim. I have been reminded of this over the past few days while following coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. American health ...

Read more...

“No Ebola in West Point” was the reported cry of the local crowd that attacked a quarantine center and freed patients in a township near Liberia’s capital.  Their words signaled skepticism toward the Liberian government and disbelief in the spread of the Ebola virus. The cries of the crowd were met with cries of shock and dismay on Twitter and other social media. “Are they crazy or just stupid?” one ...

Read more...

It was with much fanfare that two American aid workers were airlifted from across the world and brought to Emory University Medical Center where they began experimental treatment for Ebola. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for them and others like them who do God’s work. But it appears to me that lost in this conversation are myriad others who need help but never get it. Right now, humanitarian work ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 19-year-old man is evaluated for a sore throat, daily fever, frontal headache, myalgia, and arthralgia of 5 days' duration. He also has severe discomfort in the lower spine and a rash on his trunk and extremities. He returned from a 7-day trip to the Caribbean 8 days ago. The remainder of ...

Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, August 14, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Beyond Asbestos: Autoimmunity, Pollution, and Particles. Recently, I wrote an article about some interesting research being done by Jean Pfau, PhD, of Idaho State University suggesting that workers who had been exposed to asbestos at the now-shuttered Zonolite mine in Montana were developing an as-yet undescribed autoimmune condition characterized by severe ...

    Read more...

To be quite blunt about it, Ebola is a very scary disease. Among those infected, the mortality rate is, as is perhaps now widely known, an appallingly high 90%. That would seem a very good reason to keep our borders closed to this scourge -- and the consequences to the poor souls who already have it be damned. That, apparently, was just the kind of thinking behind at least 
Read more...

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever that causes death by what seems like a virally induced stigmata. That statement could be even shorter. With a fatality rate that can reach 80 to 90% we could just say that Ebola is death. The World Health Organization (WHO) says this most recent outbreak is “moving faster than our efforts to control it” and the CDC is calling this “The biggest and most complex ...

Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, August 6, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Advocacy Groups Take Obesity Naysayers to Task. Two obesity advocacy groups took to the pages of the Archives of Internal Medicine this week to castigate a report that questioned the legitimacy of obesity as a disease and cast an unfavorable light on new weight-loss drugs.
  2. Shoulder Pain: PT Works ...

    Read more...

Top stories in health and medicine, August 5, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Ebola: Hunt On to Treat, Prevent the 'Merciless' Virus. In the summer and fall of 1976, two outbreaks of a previously unknown hemorrhagic fever took place in Sudan and Zaire. There was -- because of its very novelty -- no specific treatment and no vaccine.
  2. Four Things Mummies Tell ...

    Read more...

The deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa is the worst on record, with over 603 deaths reported as of July, 2014 (according to the CDC Ebola outbreak update). The virus is confirmed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- and the crisis appears to be far from over. The geographical complexity of the current crisis highlights one of the most crucial obstacles to successfully ...

Read more...