immune system

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2014-2015 Influenza Vaccine Recommendation

By | March 20th, 2014|Preparedness|

Every year the World Health Organization holds a meeting with worldwide experts to make recommendations for the next season’s Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine. It seems strange to plan for next season when we’re still in the midst of the current flu season, but the vaccine-making process still takes about 6 months. Influenza season generally ramps [...]

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Filariasis

By | September 5th, 2013|General, Preparedness, Prevention|

I thought I’d do a series on some interesting tropical diseases over the next few weeks.  Let’s start with a disease called filariasis- which can cause something called elephantiasis.  You’ve probably heard of a disease in dogs called heartworm.  It’s caused by tiny thread-like worms called microfilariae.  Like many diseases, there’s a similar disease that [...]

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New Research Reconfirms Vaccine Safety

By | April 8th, 2013|Prevention|

Fifteen years ago The Lancet published a case study that erroneously suggested that there could be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.  That letter has long since been discredited, and back in 2010 The Lancet retracted the article.  Anti-vaccine advocates have been pointing to that long-since discredited 1998 case study to argue that there [...]

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Guillain Barre

By | July 11th, 2011|General|

A couple of folks from the CDC have been in Arizona this week to help us (and Sonora) to investigate an unusual number of cases (8 in Arizona and 8 in Sonora) of Guillain Barre syndrome .  The Arizona cases are in the Yuma area.  It’s a rare condition that rarely (but occasionally) happens several days after [...]

Did smallpox vaccination halt spread of HIV?

By | May 21st, 2010|Prevention|

A study published this week in the journal BMC Immunology suggests that being vaccinated for smallpox triggered by the smallpox vaccine may inhibit the growth of the HIV.  The researchers extracted white blood cells from subjects and exposed them to HIV in a culture dish. The results showed that HIV replication was slowed by about [...]