Questions tagged [epidemiology]

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

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20
votes
3answers
11k views

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?
13
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2answers
677 views

Why are bats the source of dangerous coronavirus pandemics?

Why do coronaviruses come from bats? I mean, why precisely coronaviruses and not (for instance) herpesviruses? It looks like bats host more zoonotic viruses (per species) than rodents, although they ...
10
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2answers
5k views

How exactly does alcohol solution kill or neutralize viruses?

To reduce the risk of infection by viruses (including 2019-nCoV) the CDC suggests: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains ...
24
votes
4answers
8k 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
2answers
575 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
58
votes
2answers
12k views

Are the social-distancing measures implemented against SARS-CoV-2 also suppressing the spread of other viruses?

With social-distancing measures being implemented in many countries I would expect other viruses, like the ones that cause seasonal flus, to have also a hard time propagating in these circumstances. ...
34
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there an advantage to antibacterial soap?

There are plenty of different hand soaps out there, as well as hand sanitizers. Is there an advantage to soaps that claim that they're antibacterial vs soaps that just say soap? In particular I'm ...
9
votes
1answer
953 views

Is COVID-19 claimed to get less deadly over time? If so, why?

From a TV news report of a press conference from (I think) the German Robert Koch Institute, I remember hearing an expert declare that he was expecting COVID-19 to get less deadly over time. ...
8
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Can far-UVC light be safely used as germicide? (help understanding a paper)

I've been trying to familiarize myself with the literature on far UVC light as a germicide. My question mostly pertains to figure 4 of this paper. The paper investigates the efficacy of 207 nm light ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find a list of diseases and their incidence?

Say I am studying a particular disease and I know that its incidence is 0.8 per 100000 children below the age of 18, how would I find the incidence of a whole bunch of other pediatric diseases (or ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Why does the SARS-CoV2 virus not remain infectious forever? Or does it?

Given that the majority of biologists do not currently consider viruses to be alive, a virus can never die. It can, however, get destroyed by long exposures to soapy water, alcohol, and apparently ...
21
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2answers
4k views

Is there a vaccine against the plague (Yersinia pestis)?

There seems to be recurrent events of infections of the plage (Yersinia pestis), from the well known Justinian plague to the Black Death and to recent years. In fact, two cases were reported in China ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

How many, and how severe, are known single gene polymorphisms for obesity?

A fairly recent meta-analysis of studies examining the association between adult obesity and polymorphisms of the FTO gene (Peng et al., 2011). The paper looked at 59 studies and concluded that, "FTO ...
5
votes
2answers
331 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, ...
2
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0answers
71 views

Is a nightly curfew an effective intervention strategy for limiting the spread of an infectious disease? [closed]

The governing bodies of several geographic areas hit by disease outbreaks will sometimes impose a nightly curfew on their citizens, restricting or limiting the ability of their citizens from going ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Are specific primers or detectors, or both, used in COVID-19 tests?

I am trying to learn about the rRT-PCR testing procedure used to test for COVID-19, but I am slightly confused on one point. Are highly specific primers used with a non-specific detector, or are ...