Infectious Disease Versus Us


Dailymail UK has named mosquitoes and snails as the world’s deadliest animals, citing Malaria and Schistosomiasis respectively, as the biggest killers of humankind. The number of deaths related to infectious disease rival those of Defence fatalities which brings to mind the imbalance of funding to the two areas.

Antibiotic resistance continues to forever loom over hospitals in the case a foreign resistant pathogen is introduced as is what is unfortunately happening in the UK. They’ve coined it the “New Delhi superbug”, bacteria with the metallo-beta-lactamase – often Klebsiella or E.coli. Apparently the only antibiotic it is susceptible to is the vintage Colisitin which has limited efficacy in that it could soon too be useless. Fingers are being pointed at insufficient screening across borders when British patients travel to and from countries with cheaper healthcare. Antibiotic resistance is no longer a growing problem, it is THE problem of our days. I can only hope that at best, hospitals infected are working at their most efficient to limit transmission.

The power of vaccinations are being sorely undervalued with the Rubella outbreak in Japan. The resurgence is in mainly adult men who did not receive the routine rubella vaccine during their childhood when only school girls were vaccinated. Um, so why were only girls vaccinated? Cases of Rubella are concentrated in Tokyo and Osaka, areas of dense population. Costs for the vaccine in Japan are at US$100 – seriously, a fortune. Japan is also facing challenges with motivating adults, identifying groups for targeted communication and encouraging stakeholder engagement.

The new age medical revolution of vaccinations and antibiotics in the 1900s and its following complacency has resulted in a bit of a mess.


Ujiie M, Nabae K and Shobayashi T. 2014. ‘Rubella outbreak in Japan.’ The Lancet. 383: 1460-1461


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