33 votes

Father gets chickenpox, but doesn't infect his two children. How is this possible?

If there was close contact, if the 90% rate is accurate, and if occurrence is independent in related individuals, then you would expect 0.10 * 0.10 = 1% of contacts with 2 potentially vulnerable ...
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33 votes
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Would the human seasonal coronaviruses be just as deadly as COVID-19 in a population with no prior immunity?

The seasonal coronaviruses attach exclusively to cells with a ciliated epithelium. Coronaviruses invade the respiratory tract via the nose. After an incubation period of about 3 days, they cause the ...
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15 votes
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If a SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infected individual is exposed to a high viral load, could they develop COVID-19 disease?

What your government is proposing is a lot less than what was actually done in China. There, and perhaps that is still the case, large numbers of asymptomatic infected people were housed together in ...
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14 votes
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Can being cold or wet be a significant influence in getting the common cold?

This is a pretty old old-wives tale, taking many forms: don't go out into the cold while it's raining, or without a hat, with wet hair, without a warm coat or scarf, without boots, etc., "or you'll ...
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14 votes
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Father gets chickenpox, but doesn't infect his two children. How is this possible?

To add to @BryanKrause's answer re: rare events happen all the time, the children are not out of the woods yet. The mean incubation time for a primary VZV infection (the clinical syndrome known as ...
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  • 3,153
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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10 votes
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How do tubes help treat ear infections?

Ear tubes do many things to help ear infections. The most important things they do are draining the ear of fluid and ventilating the ear. Overall, this will help your child hear better. The tubes also ...
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  • 7,717
10 votes
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Why does whooping cough last so long and can the duration of cough be reduced?

As you have noted, the "paroxysmal" stage of a clinical case of pertussis, which involves the rapid, exhausting coughing fits and the characteristic "whoop" at the end can often be extremely long. ...
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  • 2,423
9 votes
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Medical relevance of tetanus vaccination

Clostridium tetani is the causative organism in tetanus. It requires an anaerobic environment to grow so is found in soil and in the gut of animals. Person to person transmission is not possible. ...
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8 votes
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How effective was the 2014-2015 influenza vaccination?

There have been no additional reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was where your original article points to regarding the efficacy of the flu vaccine. However, the most recent ...
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  • 2,423
8 votes

How does a MRSA test work?

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is suspected in the face of any acute staph infection that does not respond to normal antibiotics. Even staph that is more resistant to other ...
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8 votes

Father gets chickenpox, but doesn't infect his two children. How is this possible?

Apart from not getting infected due to pure chance (as mentioned already) there is one highly probable explanation (explanation, not overall chance). People get, but don't show it: asymptomatic ...
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7 votes
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How does a breeze cause irritated nose and throat?

It does so by drying out your mucous membranes. Air moving over your face as you sleep is going to have more of a drying effect on your nose, sinuses, and throat than still air. This is especially ...
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  • 9,313
7 votes

Why are antibiotics and ear tubes the primary treatment for chronic ear infections rather than improving normal drainage through the Eustachian tube?

I think you are having difficulty finding the answer because you are perhaps not asking the right question(s). ...why are more efforts not made to improve their function? How would you support the ...
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7 votes

Can being cold or wet be a significant influence in getting the common cold?

This is an old wives tale. Being cold in and off itself will not cause you to catch a cold because a cold is viral. 3 However, being cold for a long time can lower your immune response and if your ...
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7 votes

In a viral infection, which symptoms are caused by the virus itself, and which symptoms are caused by the body fighting the virus?

To provide a brief answer, as I think a sufficient answer would be far beyond the scope of this site, the symptoms that are "generic" to the common colds are all caused by the body's response to a ...
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7 votes
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Is Myocarditis infectious?

Myocarditis itself is not a virus nor is it contagious - the term refers an inflammation of the myocardium (a.k.a. the heart muscle). A viral infection is probably the most common cause of myocarditis ...
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  • 1,252
7 votes

Are there diseases for which infection does not grant lasting immunity but a vaccine does?

Rabies is almost 100% fatal so there is no chance to develop immunity. So, post-exposure vaccination is used if the person has not been vaccinated prior to exposure. Rabies is a vaccine-...
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7 votes

Are there diseases for which infection does not grant lasting immunity but a vaccine does?

Varicella zoster - you can get infected and then develop shingles recurrences which are preventable using vaccination eg Shingrix https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html
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6 votes
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Can "Waterproof Swim Cap" be good for people with ear infections?

It sounds like you're talking about otitis externa, an infection of the ear canal, a condition where you really should avoid getting any water in your ear. You've already identified that the cap in ...
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6 votes

Stray cat scratch - tetanus?

No one can predict the future, nor can we diagnose over the internet, so I won't address that aspect of your question. However, I can tell you why the doctor wanted the following shots. Tetanus ...
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6 votes
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Is typhoid contagious?

Yes, typhoid is most certainly contagious. Indeed, one of the major figures in the history of public health, Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary) is associated with this disease. The only known hosts for ...
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  • 2,423
6 votes

Does a fungal infection transmit in swimming pools?

There are many factors that influence the transmission of infectious agents, and in the case of public swimming pools: the number of bathers the condition of the pool care taken to disinfect the ...
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6 votes

Why don't gum abscesses heal on their own?

Good evening, The reason the abscesses in your mouth won't heal on their own is due to: The fact that the mouth is one of the areas of the body with the most bacteria Therefore, the immune system ...
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  • 1,205
6 votes
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Can dog bites cause Echinococcosis?

Dog bites are the most common type of animal bites. Only 5% of dog bites lead to local infection. No, echinococcus can't be transmitted through dog bites. Pathogens which can be transmitted by the ...
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  • 905
6 votes

What methods are there to diagnose helminths?

Yes, there are other methods, but they are dependant on the type of helminth. Common tests for helminths are the following: serological tests molecular tests microscopic tests To have the most ...
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  • 6,480
6 votes
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Will 70% isopropyl alcohol deactivate i.e. kill COVID-19?

Yes, it does. According to the CDC, this is how surfaces should be disinfected: Surfaces Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after ...
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  • 9,313
6 votes

If I get COVID-19, can I get cured by myself?

If you’re young and healthy with only mild symptoms, your doctor will likely advise you to isolate yourself at home and to limit contact with others in your household. You’ll likely be advised to rest,...
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6 votes
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Are there known outdoor super spreader events for COVID-19? Are there *any* known outdoor infections at all?

There are known instances of outdoor transmission, and even some fairly large spread, but every study I've been able to find that attempted to differentiate between indoor and outdoor transmission ...
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  • 611
6 votes

How Long Must a Window Remain Open to Decrease the Risk of COVID?

The premise of the question, that viral particles leaving through an open window is the dominant way risk decreases, is flawed. As bob1 notes in the comments, decrease due to loss through the window ...
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