Show cover of Outbreak News Interviews

Outbreak News Interviews

Editor of the website, Outbreak News Today, Robert Herriman interviews expert guests on topics of infectious diseases, research, medicine and health.


Chronic wasting disease with Sonja Christensen, PhD
My guest today focuses her research on why diseases occur and how those diseases influence wildlife populations. One example is chronic wasting disease, or CWD, a fatal condition that is now affecting cervid populations, including deer, elk and moose throughout Michigan and other states. This will be the topic of this podcast. Joining me now is Sonja Christensen, Ph.D.  Dr Christensen is an assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
20:02 11/28/23
Doxycycline as a possible PEP for bacterial sexually transmitted infections
The Sexually Transmitted Infections,chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are pervasive and increasing rapidly in the U.S. New evidence suggests that the antibiotic doxycycline could help prevent the spread of some bacterial infections if taken as post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Joining me today to look at these proposed guidelines is Christopher Foltz, MD. Dr Foltz is an infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
14:01 11/16/23
Leishmaniasis in the US with Naomi Aronson, MD
Leishmaniasis is a protozoan parasitic disease transmitted by a sandfly that most Americans are unfamiliar with; however, my guest today says it is more common in the United States than most people realize- with both locally acquired and imported cases being reported. What is leishmaniasis and what is the situation like in the US? Here to shed light on these questions and more is Naomi Aronson, MD. Dr. Aronson is a Professor of Medicine and Director, Infectious Diseases Division at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD.   Leishmaniasis in the United States: Emerging Issues in a Region of Low Endemicity
23:08 10/26/23
Bangladesh's record dengue fever season in 2023 with Dr. Md Rafiul Hasan
Bangladesh is battling to control its most devastating dengue fever outbreak recorded since the dengue virus reappeared in the country in 2000, Although dengue is endemic in Bangladesh, this year's outbreak is unusual in terms of case burden, mortality and seasonality. The record season has seen more than 250,000 cases to date, including a global leading 1255 deaths. Both numbers easily exceed previous records in Bangladesh significantly. So what is the on the ground situation in Bangladesh, why is it so bad this year and what is being done to get the epidemic under control? Today’s guest will shed some light on the record breaking dengue outbreak of 2023. Joining me today is Dr. Md Rafiul Hasan , Dr Hasan is with the Government Health Department of Bangladesh, a field epidemiologist and actively involved in working to manage the outbreak.
24:23 10/23/23
A potential cure for rabies with Brian Schaefer, PhD
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable, zoonotic, viral disease affecting the central nervous system. Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal, and treatment is typically supportive. It causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Currently, there is no validated treatment in humans that prevents death following symptomatic rabies, however my guest today and his colleagues at the Uniformed Services University (USU) have made a significant breakthrough which may have changed that. Joining me today to discuss this rabies therapy is Brian Schaefer PhD, Dr Schaefer is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, MD. He also holds secondary appointments as Professor in the following USU graduate (Ph.D.) programs: Emerging Infectious Diseases; Molecular and Cell Biology; and Neuroscience. The study: mAb therapy controls CNS-resident lyssavirus infection via a CD4 T cell-dependent mechanism
27:52 10/20/23
Kuru: A fascinating history of a devastating disease linked to cannibalism
In the highlands of Papua New Guinea in the 1950s and 60s it was noticed that people (mostly women) of the Fore tribe were dying of what was originally thought to be a genetic disorder since it happened among family members. The disease stole away the affected person’s ability to talk, walk and eat and to eventually die a shivering death. We now know now that was kuru –a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease, same as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting seen in elk. Joining me today to talk about the fascinating story of kuru is Chandana Bala. Chandy is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network and writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is also a frequent writer for Gideon Informatics.
20:12 8/7/23
Cannabis use disorder and surgery complications
People who are regular cannabis users are at an increased risk of experiencing complications  after surgery, according to a study by researchers with UTHealth Houston. The study was published in a recent issue of JAMA Surgery. Joining me to talk about cannabis use disorder and the findings of the study is Paul Potnuru, MD. Dr Potnuru is the assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and the first author of the study.
18:11 7/12/23
Malaria in Florida, What is Plasmodium vivax?
7 locally transmitted malaria cases have been reported in the US (Texas and Florida), a first in quite a few years. The species of malaria has been identified as Plasmodium vivax, one of 5 plasmodium species that can infect humans. What is malaria?, what is Plasmodium vivax?, how important is this transmission and how to prevent it? These and other questions will be posed to my guest today. Joining me today is Brian Grimberg, PhD. Dr. Grimberg is an Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a prominent malaria researcher. Follow the website, Outbreak News Today For video interviews- Outbreak News TV
24:03 7/8/23
5 infectious diseases on the radar during summer travel
Summer vacation is upon us and many Americans will be traveling domestically and internationally. Travel can unfortunately also be linked to infectious diseases. My guest today warns the public of five infectious diseases to keep an eye on during summer travel. Joining me on the show is Luis Ostrosky, MD. Dr. Ostrosky is a professor of medicine and epidemiology and chief of infectious diseases at UTHealth Houston.  
19:47 6/30/23
Africa: Trachoma eliminated in Benin
The World Health Organization announced last month that The West African country of Benin has eliminated the neglected tropical disease, trachoma as a public health problem. Benin is the fifth country in WHO’s African Region and one of 17 countries in the world to have eliminated trachoma as a public health problem. Joining me today to talk about trachoma and the achievement in Benin is Stephanie Palmer. Stephanie is the trachoma technical advisor for the global organization, FHI 360. Watch the interview at Outbreak News TV  
12:49 6/2/23
Marburg virus and lessons learned during the West Africa Ebola outbreak
Two countries in Africa, on opposite sides of the continent–Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, have been battling Marburg Virus Disease outbreaks since February and March, respectively. Marburg has had a fatality rate as high as 88%, but with lessons learned from prior outbreaks and epidemics, those rates are dropping. My guest today says “Without question, lives are being saved today in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania and neighboring countries, thanks to lessons we learned during the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa during the 2015-16 epidemic.” Today we look at Marburg virus and techniques employed that have prevented the spread of the disease and saved lives. Joining me today is Gene Olinger, PhD, Dr Olinger is the Chief Science Advisor for MRIGlobal.  Watch the video version at Outbreak News TV
42:47 5/12/23
Cholera: A significant global health concern
Cholera is a major public health concern in many parts of the world. We see large numbers today in Africa and South Asia. We’ve seen massive outbreaks in Haiti and Yemen over the past decade. Joining me today to talk about cholera and the situation we are in now across the globe is Peter Gilligan, Ph.D, Dr Gilligan is the former Director of the Clinical Microbiology-Immunology Laboratories at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. Cholera in Times of Chaos Watch the video version at Outbreak News TV
49:15 5/4/23
Babesiosis in the US with the CDC's Megan Swanson
In a recent paper in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), authors report U.S. babesiosis incidence significantly increased in northeastern states in the past decade or so. What is this tickborne parasite, why is it increasing and what are the public health implications of it? Joining me today to discuss Babesiosis and the new paper is Megan Swanson, MPH, Megan is with the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health at the CDC in Atlanta.     Trends in Reported Babesiosis Cases — United States, 2011–2019 Watch the podcast on YouTube
11:14 3/27/23
AFib and the success of the cardiac ablation procedure
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) not only causes shortness of breath and palpitations but puts patients at increased risk of stroke. When medication or other treatments fail to relieve symptoms, cardiologists increasingly perform a catheter ablation procedure. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows the procedure is successful in most patients, with few side effects. Joining me today to talk about AFib, medication treatments, cardiac ablation and the recent study is Peter R. Kowey, MD. Dr Kowey is a professor of medicine and clinical pharmacology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and the William Wikoff Smith Chair in Cardiovascular Research. In addition, Dr Kowey is the senior author of the study–Initial Findings From the National Cardiovascular Data Registry of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Procedures Check out the video podcasts at Outbreak News TV on YouTube  
14:31 3/20/23
Echinococcus in New Hampshire with Elizabeth Talbot, MD
Last month, New Hampshire health officials released a health alert after identifying two locally acquired Echinococcus granulosus cases, the first such cases of the parasitic infection in the state. Joining me today to discuss the parasite and the situation is Elizabeth Talbot, MD. Dr. Talbot is the New Hampshire Deputy State Epidemiologist, a professor at Dartmouth College and an infectious disease specialist.
14:43 1/11/23
Giardia: A 'Beaver fever' primer
Giardia is arguably the most common parasite infection of humans worldwide, and the second most common in the United States after pinworm. Joining me to talk about Giardia is Chandana Bala. Chandy is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network and writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is also a frequent writer for Gideon Informatics.
14:19 1/4/23
Cannabis induced psychosis
Joining me today to tell his personal story of dealing with a family member with marijuana (cannabis) induced psychosis is author of the book, Gone to Pot: Cannabis--What every parent needs to know, Terry Hammond. In addition to telling his personal story, Terry talks about the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, it's effect on the brain, research describing the link between marijuana use and mental health issues like psychosis and much more.
74:32 10/5/22
Brucellosis and some important work in Iraq
Brucellosis is among the leading communicable diseases worldwide and the disease poses a substantial public health burden in the Middle East, resulting in long-term illness in humans and significant economic loss in livestock production. In addition, some Brucella sp are classified as Category B bioterrorism agents by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. My guest today was awarded a $3 million grant by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense to study one of the most important infectious diseases in humans and livestock in Iraq. Joining me today to discuss brucellosis and the work in Iraq is Jeff Foster, Ph.D. Dr. Foster is an associate professor at Northern Arizona University’s Pathogen and Microbiome Institute.
19:07 10/3/22
Rat Lungworm Disease: Slugs, snails are not alone in causing human disease
The rat lungworm parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, is typically transmitted to humans via ingestion of snails or slugs. A recent study published in One Health shows more than a dozen kinds of animals in addition to slugs and snails have caused rat lungworm disease in people around the world. Joining me today to look at rat lungworm and the One Health study is Robert Cowie, PhD, Dr. Cowie is senior author on the study and faculty member in the University of Hawaii Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.
46:15 9/8/22
Scabies: Ivermectin use in mass drug administration
The first country-wide mass drug administration in the world for the treatment of scabies is happening in the Solomon Islands. The World Scabies Program is spearheading the mass drug administration (MDA) program with the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Health, which will deliver ivermectin to the whole population, with few exceptions. Joining me today from Australia to discuss scabies, the MDA and the situation in the Pacific is Sarah Andersson. Sarah is the Program Manager for the World Scabies Program, Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Victoria, Australia.
17:04 9/8/22
Dengue in the Philippines 2022
Countries in southeast Asia are seeing an increase in dengue fever this year- Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia to name a few. In the Philippines, 102,619 dengue cases were reported from January 1 to July 30 this year, 131 percent higher than the number in the same period in 2021. Joining me today to discuss dengue fever and the situation in the Philippines is Edsel Maurice Salvana, MD. Dr. Salvana is the Director, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines and he's a renown infectious disease expert.
23:39 8/16/22
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever 101
Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is one of several priority diseases listed by the World Health Organization that pose the greatest public health risk due to their epidemic potential and/or whether there are no or insufficient countermeasures. Today, we are seeing a significant outbreak in Iraq where some 142 cases and approximately 24 deaths. So what is Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever? Joining me today for a primer on Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever is Chandana Bala. Chandy is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network and writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is also a frequent writer for Gideon Informatics.
15:24 6/11/22
Monkeypox Livestream
On today's podcast, we'll be discussing monkeypox. What used to be an obscure, tropical disease is now a household name. Joining me in the Q & A is Dr. Rodney Rohde from Texas State University.
61:02 6/4/22
Bacteriophage therapy successful in treating cystic fibrosis patient's Mycobacteria lung infection
Bacteriophages – viruses that kill bacteria–were successfully used for the first time to treat an antibiotic-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus lung infection to allow a cystic fibrosis patient to receive a life-saving lung transplant. Joining me today to share this amazing story is Jerry Nick, MD, Dr. Nick is director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at National Jewish Health in Denver and the lead author of the case study published in the journal Cell.
23:18 5/17/22
Polio in Israel with Dr. Stephen Berger
In early March, the Israel Ministry of Health reported on a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 3 (cVDPV3) case in an unvaccinated child from Jerusalem. Since then, a number of additional cases have been reported and the health ministry said recently that they are in the throes of an outbreak. Joining me today to look at the outbreak in Israel is friend of the show, Stephen A. Berger, M.D. Dr. Berger is the co-founder of GIDEON Informatics (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network) and he is speaking with me from Israel.
25:21 4/20/22
Chagas disease in dogs
Chagas disease is also known as “American Trypanosomiasis.” It’s caused by a blood parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted by kissing bugs. Chagas disease affects people as well as dogs and other animals. On today’s show, we are going to focus on Chagas in dogs. Joining me today to discuss this topic is Carlos Rodriguez, Carlos is the serology section head at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab.
13:35 3/1/22
Raccoon roundworm case reported in Oklahoma
There is a recent reported of a toddler from Pryor, Oklahoma who contracted the raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis. Here I look at the news report and discuss the parasite briefly.
13:34 2/20/22
Anthrax outbreak linked to eating Guinea pigs in DRC, Africa
There was a report in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) media concerning an anthrax outbreak in South Kivu. Nine people were affected, including two fatalities. The report notes consumption of guinea pigs as the source. In this podcast, I look at the report, eating guinea pigs and a quick look at anthrax.
11:34 2/20/22
Malaria and illegal gold mining
My guest today writes, “In many places around the world, malaria is closely linked to illegal gold mining” in a recent article in the BMC blog, BugBitten titled, “A story of two fevers: when malaria is the price of gold”. What is malaria and how is it linked to illegal gold mining? Joining me today to look at this huge public health problem in certain parts of the world is Karina Mondragon-Shem, PhD. Dr Mondragon-Shem is a vector biologist who specializes in the ecoepidemiology and social impact of tropical diseases.
18:37 2/7/22
Microbiology and the Clinical Laboratory Scientist
In previous interviews, I've looked at the topic of what is a clinical laboratory scientist during the annual Lab Week observance. Today, I want to narrow the topic to the specialty of Microbiology in the clinical laboratory. Joining me today to discuss the clinical laboratory scientist in Microbiology and his podcast, Let’s Talk Micro is Luis Plaza.
18:29 1/17/22

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