The study of the distribution, incidence, and potential control of a disease.

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3answers
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What causes a 'stuffy' or 'runny' nose when you have a cold?

When humans get the common cold, a common symptom is a stuffy or runny nose. Is that the body's immune response or is that the virus's doing?
0
votes
1answer
518 views

What's the difference between life expectancy of cigarette smoker and general population?

Some say that smoking cigarettes will shorten lifespan. By how many years is the lifespan of a typical smoker shortened? What are the common cause(s) of death among smokers? Are there any known ...
8
votes
1answer
60 views

Downloadable worldwide database of disease statistics?

I am looking for a downloadable database of disease statistics. I have emailed the good folks over at HealthMap, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. As far as I can tell, their data relevant to ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

How does the immune system “learn” from a vaccine?

According to Wikipedia: A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...
7
votes
1answer
95 views

obesity risk and single gene polymorphisms

I read a fairly recent meta-analysis of studies into the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and found that "FTO may ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

How is it possible to even hope for an ebola epidemic of this current size to remain contained to a relatively small part of Africa?

As of 2014-09-14 at least 5347 cases of ebola have been identitied. Some estimates are much higher. While experts are sounding the alarm to try to get sufficient resources to contain the outbreak, ...