Get Your Flu Shot!

COVID-19 vaccines are important, but so are flu shots. They are safe, effective, and protect others (the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those too young to get the vaccine). While we are rightfully preoccupied with COVID-19 and the new vaccines, we mustn’t forget about flu shots. While the number of influenza cases has dropped dramatically (probably

Science Goes Viral

Joe Schwarcz has done it again! His new book is not only packed with good science-based information, but is highly entertaining. Joe Schwarcz’s prolific output continues. His latest book is Science Goes Viral. It’s not actually out yet (I read an advance copy) but can be pre-ordered on the Amazon website. As usual, it offers a cornucopia of

Hepatitis C Vaccine Fails Testing

A vaccine regimen intended to prevent chronic HCV infection was tested in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. It failed. The incidence of chronic HCV infection was the same in the vaccinated group as in the placebo group. Hepatitis C is a virus that has infected millions of people worldwide. In 75-85% of cases, the infection becomes

New book: Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement

This book is a handy compendium of everything worth knowing about the anti-vaccine movement and how to challenge the misinformation. Jonathan Berman’s new book Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement has two goals: to provide a complete picture of the anti-vaccine movement and to provide a counterpoint to some of the misinformation that has been

How You Can Really Boost Your Immune System

As fears of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) spread, alternative medicine was quick to provide false reassurance in the form of misinformation and bogus remedies. A recurring theme in complementary and alternative medicine and a common mantra of those who make questionable health claims has long been “boosting the immune system.” So much so that boosting

No, Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Not Wrong

The authors of this book are not doctors or scientists, but they try to convince readers that science-based medicine gets it all wrong, that germs don’t cause disease, and that drugs and vaccines can’t possibly work. No, the book gets it all wrong. The book What Really Makes You Ill?: Why Everything You Thought You Knew

Australian Naturopath Barbara O’Neill Banned for Her Dangerous Health Advice

Naturopath Barbara O’Neill has been banned in Australia for spreading dangerous lies about health. Sodium bicarbonate. Good for baking, but not for curing cancer. On 24 September 2019, the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) issued a Permanent Prohibition Order against Barbara O’Neill. Their investigation showed that she had breached five clauses of the Code

Ebola: Science Is Making Progress

Good news! Research on Ebola has identified a 100% effective vaccine and medications that produce a 90% survival rate. The Ebola virus There have been 24 outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) in Africa since 1976. It spreads through contact with infected body fluids. Case fatality rates have ranged from

Science’s Triumph Over Infectious Disease Has a Downside

Book review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World Is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways, by Thomas J. Bollyky. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2018. ISBN 978-0-262-03844-4. 272 pages. $27.95 This book explains the history of infectious diseases and plagues and shows how science has worked to overcome them; the author, Thomas Bollyky, argues that the progress

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