59

Yes, this helps as well with other infectious diseases. A good example is the flu, which season was measurably shorter this year than in other years on record. See the figure from the reference 1 for comparision: Reference 2 shows that this is also true for other respiratory diseases (figure 2): This shows very well that the isolation measures and the ...


50

Short answer: There is no benefit for their use in households. Long answer: These soaps (see here for the complete list) contain the so called quaternary ammonium compounds Benzalkonium chloride and Cetrimonium chloride which indeed have antimicrobial properties. While they do not promote resistance to these compounds (see reference 1), their use is still ...


49

Infections spread in a population when the number of new infections caused by an infected person is greater than or equal to 1. If each infected person spreads the virus to less than 1 person, eventually no one will be infected, without a need for any sort of cure. Of course, the longer a deadly infectious disease spreads in a population, the more people ...


40

In addition to Chris' answer above, the effect is even more pronounced in Southern Hemisphere countries where flu season started during the pandemic. The New Zealand lockdown and health response dramatically lowered the prevalence of reported flu-like symptoms. Reference: Flu Tracking reports - New Zealand – week ending 31-May-2020


35

To my knowledge, yes. A partial list of recently emerged/emerging viral diseases (I certainly could have missed some), with probable reservoir hosts: Chikungunya* (birds, rodents) coronaviruses (SARS [bats], MERS [camels], COVID-19 [?? bats ?? pangolins ??]) Ebola and other filoviruses (Marburg): (bats?) Hendra, Nipah (bats) Ross river virus* (various ...


35

There is little motivation right now for vaccination against plague because: Human infections with plague are fairly rare. A vaccine administered to the general populace would have to be very cheap and extremely safe to make it cost-effective and have a net benefit given the risks of plague are so low, and because Antibiotics are effective against plague - ...


24

Hepatitis D emerged in the past 100 years, without being a zoonosis Hepatitis D is a virus which is able to replicate only in the presence of a hepatitis B co-infection. It causes the same symptoms as the hepatitis B virus, but with greater severity and lethality. In developed countries, it is rare except among intravenous drug users. It was discovered ...


18

There’s an XKCD comic which explains the problem. Unfortunately, that comic is too big to post here. Briefly, a p-value of 0.1 says (roughly) that there’s a 10% chance (0.1) of the observed result being as extreme1 as it is simply due to chance (sampling variation from a population), assuming the null hypothesis is true. Often, 5% is more or less ...


17

While the data are much too sparse and noisy to give an answer about what is happening to COVID-19's virulence (the technical term for the "deadliness" of an infectious disease), or to forecast what will happen to its virulence in the future, there are indeed theoretical reasons that one might expect the virulence to decline in the future. There is an ...


17

Bryan Krause's answer addresses the reasons pertinent to SARS and MERS. If you meant those two as examples but are interested in the title question more generally, I can note an additional mechanism. This is herd immunity, which fits the bill in that it can occur when "no vaccine or cure is found" and when it is neither the case that "all people who had ...


16

There is already plague vaccine in use, which is only administered to lab workers working on Y. Pestis or people residing in areas affected with plague. (Via: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041848.htm) Plague can also be treated with antibiotics if detected at earlier stage (such as streptomycin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin or doxycycline). Very ...


15

Interesting question and hard to answer definitively. First of all: It seems still pretty clear that the major (and by far most important) infection route comes from direct contact with infected people or their body fluids and that aerosol transmission is of far less significance. Ebola is infecting cells of the immune system (mostly macrophages and ...


14

Chris has correctly identified the antibacterial agent in the hand soap depicted in the image in the question, and therefore his answer is superior as a direct answer. Nevertheless, other members of the Softsoap series of hand soap uses triclosan, 0.15% as their antibacterial agent, as seen in an image of their ingredient list on the reverse of the bottle. ...


13

Eliminating a virus from the world is an immensely costly undertaking. As with most things in real life, cost vs. benefit (and feasibility) need to be taken into account. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of money available to fight disease. The overall mortality rate of smallpox is about 30%. That's a very high mortality rate, one that shaped ...


12

This really depends on the environment, one study (listed below as reference 1) found that the Ebola virus can survive under ideal conditions on flat surfaces in the dark for up to six days - see the figure from the same publication. However, the virus is quite sensitive to UV radiation (see reference 2 for all the details) and most viral particles are ...


12

Disclaimer: I'm an infectious disease modeler, and generally pretty skeptical of "We modeled X like an outbreak!" claims, because many are just an exercise in curve fitting. Given that, the answer is both "Yes" and "No". "No": Murder as an act really isn't transmissible, and if its not transmissible, it can't be modeled as an infectious disease. "Yes": It ...


12

This is too long for a comment, so I put this in here: The main reasons are sociological. From the data I have read so far, this outbreak (actually these are two independent outbreaks, one in West-Africa and another one -not connected- in the Democratic Republic of Congo) is not exceptionally deadly in terms of Ebola. The death rate is about 60% which is ...


12

Alcohols dissolve lipid bilayers Many viruses have an outer lipid bilayer. Ethanol lyses cells, and in the same fashion damages membrane-bound viruses by rupturing the bilayer (which is made of ethanol-soluble lipids). Alcohols misfold the protein coats of viruses Additionally, alcohols denature proteins, which misfold in non-aqueous conditions. Some ...


11

For some background, it is essential to know that Ebola is actually a group (genus) of ebolaviruses, each with different fatality rates. There are five known species of Ebola, and four are known to cause disease humans (WHO: Ebola virus disease; wikipedia). The known species of Ebola includes: Zaire ebolavirus (or just ebolavirus) Sudan ebolavirus ...


11

The preponderance of links between bat and human pathogens has led to a debate about whether bats disproportionately contribute to emerging viral infections crossing the species barrier into humans (26–30). Given the diversity of the Chiroptera order (Figure ​(Figure1),1), we may simply see more bat viruses because there are so many (>1,300) species of bats (...


10

Update -- In the time since this question was asked, two relevant articles have been published, one in Nature Reviews Immunology and one in medRxiv (note: medRxiv is a preprint server and is therefore not peer reiewed). Scully, E.P., Haverfield, J., Ursin, R.L. et al. Considering how biological sex impacts immune responses and COVID-19 outcomes. Nat Rev ...


9

I have worked in hospitals (US) most of my life, treating both community-acquired, and more pertinently to this question, nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections, and have read many articles on the subject. I have never, ever seen ants mentioned anywhere. People, flies, cockroaches and rats, yes. Ants, no. However, ants are vectors in a few foreign ...


9

I think you're talking (setting aside false-positive/low-specificity testing problems for the moment) about the difference between infection fatality ratio (IFR, fraction of infected people who die from disease) and the case fatality ratio (CFR, fraction of clinically defined "cases" who die from disease). The difference between these two depends completely, ...


8

In the US, infants are vaccinated against Hep B at birth and again a month or two later as well, because of the risk of maternal transmission. If the mother is known to be HepB positive, HBIG will also be administered. Perinatal HBV transmission can be prevented by identifying HBV-infected (i.e., hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg]-positive) pregnant ...


8

“Swine flu” is an obsolete name. The official name for the virus that was briefly called “swine flu” is “H1N1pdm09”. H1N1pdm09 has a mortality rate of around 0.01-0.1%. That’s roughly 10- to 20-fold lower than COVID-19. Its R0 was estimated at between 1 and 2, which is roughly half the estimates for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19]. A ...


8

Frame challenge answer: you are jumping to the conclusion that they really hope the virus will "die out". But it's more likely they adopted those measures to slow its progression to a manageable degree. See e.g. this conceptual image from ECDC Even if there are new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the future, when they happen is not irrelevant, as we could be much ...


7

There are different causes and mechanisms behind runny and stuffy nose. I cover them separately below. Runny nose My professor of pathoanatomy and pathophysiology says that the correct answer here is serous inflammation to the runny nose. Serous inflammation Marked exudation by relatively thin fluid Cold is caused by Acute respiratory viral infections ...


7

Since another posted answer addresses HepB vaccination at least as effectively as I would have, I'll say something about first-day scheduling for BCG, which is consistent with WHO guidelines (emphasis added): In countries with a high burden of TB, a single dose of BCG vaccine should be given to all infants as soon as possible after birth. Since ...


7

There are many people worldwide who are exposed to rabies and don't die (they get treatment), but there are very few of these cases where people don't die after rabies has entered the central nervous system, and even fewer who didn't receive post exposure prophylaxis before the virus reached the central nervous system. Rabies isn't as rare as many would like ...


7

This is basic epidemiology. When medical professionals notice that a group of people with some characteristic in common, are being seen for a similar disease, they ask if there's a connection. In this case, several people in Wuhan were diagnosed with severe pneumonia, and the doctors noticed that they worked in the same location. Three adult patients ...


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