There are proofreading symbols. Movie critics have one-to-five-stars and thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating systems. Now, Toronto illustrator, writer and queen of Venn diagrams Sarah Lazarovic has come up with shorthand for media criticism. It’s suitable for use with all subject matter, but has a couple of medical-specific symbols:
Researchers in the U.S. and Germany have developed a drug that may prevent vulnerable people exposed to measles from getting the disease.
They have successfully tested the drug against a virus similar to measles (canine distemper virus, or CDV) in ferrets, in which it is invariably fatal. Ferrets given the drug prophylactically and then infected intranasally with a lethal CDV dose had lower viremia and prolonged survival, they reported today in Science Translational Medicine (16 April).
Ferrets infected with the same dose of virus and treated at the onset of viremia showed low-grade viral loads, remained asymptomatic, and recovered from infection, whereas control animals succumbed to the disease.
Animals that recovered also mounted a robust immune response and were protected against rechallenge with a lethal CDV dose, they added.
The findings suggest the drug can not only treat measles in the early stages, but prevent disease in the social and household contacts of those with measles. Continue reading →
On the weekend, Twitter was aflutter with news from the annual meeting of the Association for Health Care Journalists that vaccine researcher Dr. Paul Offit said there should be a “journalism jail” for reporters who perpetuate false controversies in medicine.
Writing for Forbes.com, Dr. David Kroll (PhD) noted that Dr. Offit’s comments came in the question period following his keynote speech at the conference in Denver.
Dr. Offit took issue with reporters and producers who quote celebrities who have no medical qualifications yet promote themselves as knowledgeable about health matters, and especially immunization, wrote Dr. Kroll. (Dr. Kroll is a pharmacologist and teacher of science and health writing at North Carolina State University, as well as contributor to Forbes.) Continue reading →