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Infectious Diseases in the News  

Deborah Gold, M.D. It’s hard to read the news these days without encountering reports of the threats of infectious diseases, from turkeys contaminated with Salmonella and romaine lettuce carrying E coli that occurred last Thanksgiving, to the tens of thousands of cases of cholera and diphtheria that are ongoing in the starving population in Yemen. Outbreaks of measles and mumps are now becoming commonplace, driven by the anti-vaccination movement. Being admitted to a hospital is more dangerous now than ever before because of the highly resistant bacterial infections that can be acquired there which can be very difficult or impossible to treat. And last but not least are the viral infections, including pandemic influenza, Ebola, Zika, SARS and MERS, that can cause devastating morbidity and mortality with the potential for global spread. It might be time to panic, but stop by here first for the facts. We will discuss the pathogens that cause these and other infections, how and why they spread, how/if they can be treated or prevented, and the political and economic turmoil that they cause. Week 1 Super Mini Microbiology 101, Plague: Then and Now Week 2 All Things Influenza: 1918 Flu Pandemic, Seasonal influenza, The Ongoing Threat of Pandemic Flu Week 3 Infections from Places We Thought Were Safe: Food borne infections, Healthcare associated infections Week 4 Big, Scary Viral Infections: Ebola, Zika, SARS, MERS Week 5 Resurgence of Childhood Diseases and the Anti-vaccination Movement, How Being Labelled Penicillin Allergic Drives Adverse Medical Decisions Week 6 HIV Vignettes, Infectious Diseases in Countries Ravaged by War, Disasters and Political Upheaval Deborah Gold practiced Infectious Diseases for 31 years, diagnosing and treating patients with all kinds of infections, including tuberculosis, leprosy, HIV, syphilis, Lyme, malaria, dengue, meningitis, and infections of heart valves and bone. She was a hospital epidemiologist for 15 years which involved surveillance of hospital infections, infection prevention, outbreak investigation and interfacing with county and state departments of health and the CDC. She was also active in teaching more than a generation of medical residents, a number of whom have gone on to become Infectious Diseases specialists themselves. During her 30 plus years in practice, Dr. Gold was a popular speaker and delivered over 50 lectures to her colleagues which were always standing room only!

 

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