Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Why You Should Get the Flu Vaccine in 2020

The flu vaccine might seem insignificant with the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, but it's actually more important now then ever. Does the flu vaccine offer protection against COVID? No. Vaccines are very specific. Flu vaccines are made to trigger an antibody response in the body to particular surface proteins on the influenza virus capsule. The… Continue reading Why You Should Get the Flu Vaccine in 2020

nurse administering intramuscular injection
Health & health care, Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

How Vaccines Work (and What That Means for COVID-19)

While COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, and there's still much to be learned about the virus and the illness, coming up with a vaccine doesn't mean totally reinventing the wheel.  How vaccines work is based on knowledge about how the immune system works, and the immune system doesn't abruptly change just because a… Continue reading How Vaccines Work (and What That Means for COVID-19)

Health & health care, Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

What’s This Curve We’re Flattening?

In the age of COVID-19, everyone keeps talking about flattening or bending the curve.  But what the heck kind of curve are they talking about? Epidemiology looks at the patterns of diseases across populations.  This is a fundamental part of public health.  Epidemiological curves, also known as epidemic curves or epi curves, are used to… Continue reading What’s This Curve We’re Flattening?

Spanish influenza epidemic poster from 1918
Health & health care

Spanish Influenza: The Last Big Pandemic

Alberta Board of Health/Public Domain It was 102 years ago that the last major global pandemic happened, known as Spanish influenza, and in many ways, COVID-19 pales in comparison. The Spanish influenza pandemic that began in 1918 didn't actually originate in Spain; that's just where it was first publicly reported.  Its origins are unclear, although… Continue reading Spanish Influenza: The Last Big Pandemic

Tips on how to spot fake news
Health & health care, Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Separating Reality from Fake Health News

HoIFLA, Wikimedia Commons During this global pandemic, there's a lot of wild and wacky news out there in the world.  This infographic from the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions gives some handy tips for separating the facts from the crap.  In this post, I'll go through those tips with respect to spotting fake… Continue reading Separating Reality from Fake Health News

Health & health care

Slowing COVID-19: To Mask or Not to Mask

Note: As the body of knowledge regarding COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, please refer to the World Health Organization or your local public health agencies for the most up-to-date information.   Why is everybody talking about non-medical masks in the last few days?  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US released studies… Continue reading Slowing COVID-19: To Mask or Not to Mask

Coronavirus COVID-19
Health & health care

What the Experts Have to Say About COVID-19

Note: This post has not been updated since March and thus some of the information contained here may not reflect the current state of knowledge.  Please refer to the World Health Organization or your local public health agencies for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. With far too many people ignoring public health advice around… Continue reading What the Experts Have to Say About COVID-19

influenza virus diagram
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Will the Influenza Vaccine Make You Sick?

I'm trotting out a reworked version of a post I did last fall because flu session is coming, and it's time to decide whether or not to get the influenza vaccine. There are a lot of myths floating around the influenza vaccine, and it's always better to make choices related to your health that are… Continue reading Will the Influenza Vaccine Make You Sick?

influenza virus diagram
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Can the Flu Vaccine Give You the Flu?

Virology Blog It's flu vaccine time of the year again.  Whether you choose to get the vaccine or not, is that choice based on accurate scientific information?  While there may not be one decision that's right for everyone, it's safe to say that making a choice based on myths is a mistake. How do vaccines… Continue reading Can the Flu Vaccine Give You the Flu?