History of Vaccines Blog

With More Deaths in a Younger Population, Measles Is Affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo Worse Than Ebola

June 23, 2019

According to Doctors Without Borders, there have been over 1,500 deaths from measles in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the first five months of 2019.

Where People Go, Diseases Follow

June 21, 2019

Wherever there are people, there is disease. This seems like a “truism” — something that should go without saying and is just a part of life — but, when you think about it, there really is no reason for there to be disease among us. Injuries and conditions that rise from genetic abnormalities, sure, but infectious disease?

Quarantines and Their Mixed Results

March 14, 2019

Before the development of vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox, typhoid fever and measles, public health authorities relied heavily on quarantines in order to stop epidemics from spreading. The concept was simple: keep sick people away from the healthy people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of times where quarantines were broken and the epidemics allowed to continue. Then there were the times when the people suspected of being sick or being carriers of the disease found ways around the quarantines or other orders by public health authorities.

A Brief History of Measles

February 20, 2019

According to the best evidence we have, measles makes its appearance somewhere between the 11th and 12th Centuries when the measles virus diverged (separated) from the rinderpest virus (a sort of measles of cattle 

The Public Health Crisis in Venezuela Is Spreading to Its Neighbors

January 30, 2019

To be honest, I was not surprised to read that dozens and dozens of families in Venezuela are making the risky trip to Colombia in order to get healthcare and other services.

The Side-Benefits of Vaccination on Type I Diabetes

January 28, 2019

Since Doctor Edward Jenner first inoculated James Phipps back in the late 1700s, the primary purpose of vaccines has been to prevent the diseases for which they are intended. However, as the effects of the vaccines became known and more epidemiological studies were done on the populations receiving those vaccines, beneficial side-effects of vaccines became better understood.

Vaccine Epidemiology, Part Three: Community Immunity

January 25, 2019

Death From Adenovirus Infection in a College Student and the Questions Raised

December 3, 2018

The recent death of a University of Maryland freshman from complications of an adenovirus infection brought the virus and the disease it causes into the limelight. According to The Washington Post:

Vaccine Policy Is Political by Its Very Nature

October 18, 2018

With only a few weeks to go before the midterm elections, I've noticed more and more vaccine-related news having to do with the views and opinions of candidates for office. For example, in Oregon, The Daily Beast is reporting that the Republican candidate for governor "wants weaker vaccine laws":