64 votes
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Why do doctors ask for your race?

Race and ethnicity are risk factors in many diseases. Examples include, but are not limited to, cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy. There is also an epidemiological purpose of collecting this ...
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21 votes
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Why hasn't Russia's daily COVID-19 cases decreased as a result of its vaccine?

The initial Russian announcement was bluster. From the NYT's vaccine tracker: On Aug. 11, President Vladimir V. Putin announced that a Russian health care regulator had approved the vaccine, renamed ...
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  • 12k
20 votes

Why do doctors ask for your race?

There's a myriad of adjustments that can improve patients' treatment if it's race-informed. As a very small but characteristic example, the 2021 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for Heart ...
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12 votes
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What is the main way COVID-19 spreads?

The confusion exists because there are conflicting pronouncements from various authoritative sources but also conflicting pronouncements from the same authority. Covid-19 is a respiratory infection ...
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  • 13.2k
12 votes

Why hasn't Russia's daily COVID-19 cases decreased as a result of its vaccine?

Answering my own question since I believe I've found the answer. According to this source, The senior minister at the department, Mikhail Murashko, announced last week that a nationwide mass ...
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  • 628
12 votes

Why do doctors ask for your race?

Here are some random examples: Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Diseases Bloom syndrome. Canavan disease. Cystic fibrosis. Th Familial dysautonomia (FD). Fanconi anemia. Gaucher disease. Mucolipidosis IV. ...
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  • 221
9 votes
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Washing hands after going to the washroom to prevent epidemy

Hands play a major role especially in the transmission of blood-borne, fecal, and respiratory tract viruses. Hand washing after use of bathroom aims at preventing the transmission of pathogens, ...
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8 votes
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Will there ever be a universal vaccine for the common cold?

If I get infected once with the virus which causes a common cold, does that mean I will not get infected with the same strain of the virus ever in my lifetime? It depends on quirks of your immune ...
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7 votes

Epidemic and outbreak of Disease

As a practicing epidemiologist, I'm actually a little puzzled as to the down-votes for this. The difference between an outbreak and an epidemic is pretty subtle, and neither is all that terribly well ...
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  • 2,423
7 votes
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Why is a (simple) mask not recommended for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients?

TL;DR: please WEAR A MASK! (unless your nearby hospitals are out of it, in which case give your masks to them and stay at home) The link you mentioned provides the reason that the CDC likely has in ...
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6 votes

How can Stockholm be close to herd immunity without having overwhelmed the healthcare system?

The level at which herd immunity is achieved varies with the communicability of the disease. The standard rule of thumb is that the percentage of the population that has to be immune is pc = (1 - 1 / ...
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5 votes
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How to explain the theory of the influence of purine and alcohol on the incidence of risk for gout in light of contradictory evidence?

How does one explain 'avoid purines in food' if purine-rich plant food isn't counting? Sustained increase in blood uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) is a risk factor for acute gouty arthritis (Current ...
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5 votes

Vaccines and autoimmunity concerns

Autoimmunity triggered by vaccination is a documented, but rare occurrence. The current research shows a correlation between autoimmune conditions and elevated levels of HLA proteins. Certain HLA ...
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  • 1,089
5 votes
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Are there quantified risk factors for suicide in the U.S.?

Well, after I commented that this might be hard to find, I took 10 seconds and found what looks like a reasonable recent meta analysis, though it's not limited to the US: Franklin, J. C., Ribeiro, J. ...
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  • 12k
5 votes
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Do vaccinated people not have zero risk of mortality by Covid 19?

No it's not zero, even in the US. The March 20 Vox report is talking about the clinical trials, which were conducted on tens of thousands of people, who were generally healthy. In the subsequent ...
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  • 5,803
4 votes
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Why getting off the transport where person has coughed is not going to help?

There are three possibilities when someone is coughing on the bus: they don't have Coronavirus -- or even a virus at all. I coughed a lot when my lungs were full of tumours. Some people cough when ...
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  • 3,769
4 votes
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Is standing apart 2m an appropriate Social Distancing measure for choirs

I don't understand any choir being compatible with any definition of social distancing. If the German Govt is asking you to practice social distancing it means meeting another person at a distance. ...
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  • 13.2k
4 votes

Why is HIV singled out from other STIs?

Question: If HIV is an STI, then why is HIV often listed separately, for example: HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections Fact sheet STDs and HIV – CDC Fact Sheet What You Need To Know About the ...
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4 votes
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Why is HIV singled out from other STIs?

This is a good question, and although as you correctly state that HIV is an STI (see STI vs STD vs Sexually Transmitted Virus?) there is a difference with HIV which is one reason why it may be ...
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  • 5,872
4 votes

Quantify third-hand smoke exposure risk

The following are studies which indicate cancer risks from third hand tobacco smoke which to me seems non-ambiguous. Sleiman, M., Logue, J. M., Luo, W., Pankow, J. F., Gundel, L. A., & ...
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  • 5,872
4 votes

What is the cause of the vaping-related outbreak of lung injuries?

There are some data about possible causes of vaping-related lung damage, the type of the damage and symptoms, but not about the changes in medical history questionnaires, vaping habits or e-cigarette ...
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4 votes

Self quarantine for travel in Europe?

You're missing two points: First, as of today, the Netherlands had 1413 cases. Second, the Netherlands is part of the Schengen Area. Because of the ease of movement within the area, the US ...
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  • 1,970
4 votes

Self quarantine for travel in Europe?

At this time (17-March-2020) the state of New Hampshire has not found evidence of community transmission of the virus, and all 13 cases are associated with overseas travel. You have travelled in from ...
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  • 13.2k
4 votes

Confusing COVID article - Why would keeping the doubling time above the incubation period flatten the curve?

One of the issues with COVID-19 is the fact that it is transmissible even by people who are asymptomatic. You've probably heard about R0, which is the basic reproduction rate of a disease, that takes ...
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4 votes

Is there a simple plot comparing covid lethality to flu as a function of age?

Marc Bevand presents this graph of IFR versus age for both COVID-19 and flu: The sources of data are documented on this github page. There is a summary of the sources in the README file. ...
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  • 407
4 votes

What should you put on your face if you want to protect both yourself and others?

A mask. According to the FDA If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it ...
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  • 680
4 votes

Why do doctors ask for your race?

On a scale from sledgehammer to scalpel, race, as recorded in medical data is closer to sledgehammer in terms of granularity, but hey, sometimes we need sledgehammers (e.g. for broad epidemiological ...
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4 votes

Pathophysiology of bronchiolitis vs. bronchitis

The reason the distinction if confusing, is because while both terms appear to be referring to inflammation of a particular anatomical / histologic structure, in reality, most clinicians use "...
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  • 2,328
4 votes

Negative COVID test day of event, positive next morning. What is the risk of transmission?

On this site we can not provide medical advice to anyone. However, as with any disease, you should monitor for symptoms and if concerned visit a health professional for diagnosis and treatment. ...
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