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Brainstorm Health: Editas CRISPR Study, Blood Pressure Drug Recalls, Measles and Ebola Outbreaks

Happy Friday, readers. There are many elements that influence the spread of infectious diseases. Cold, dry climates can propagate the…

Happy Friday, readers.

There are many elements that influence the spread of infectious diseases. Cold, dry climates can propagate the flu; Warmer, more humid ones can give rise to the mosquito populations that transmit Zika or West Nile.

But social factors are just as important to consider as environmental ones when it comes to communicable disease, as evidenced by two very different scourges currently wreaking havoc: Ebola and measles.

In the case of the former, widespread violence has created an intense and dangerous situation for health workers who have explicitly described the situation in Congo as a “war zone.” The conflict has stymied ongoing vaccination and treatment campaigns, and even put the Trump administration in tension with some global health officials urging the US to return its medical experts to regions deemed to be dangerous by the U.S. The Congo Ebola Outbreak has now been considered the second worst in history, in large part because of these factors.

And then there are measles, the largely preventable viral condition that has been making a troublesome resurgence across the developed and developing worlds alike. Scientists say this is also attributable to a social failure: Lagging vaccination rates.

“Because of gaps in vaccination coverage, measles outbreaks occurred in all regions, while there were an estimated 1

10,000 deaths related to the disease,” wrote the World Health Organization (WHO) in a new report released Thursday.

“Using updated disease modeling data, the report provides the most comprehensive estimates of measles trends over the past 17 years. It shows that since 2000, over 21 million lives have been saved through measles immunizations. Men, rapporterede tilfælde økte med mere end 30 procent over hele verden fra 2016. “

Read on for the day’s news, and have a great weekend.


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