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Infectious Diseases

Find the latest stories, news, and expert advice about infectious diseases, including common colds, the flu, and foodborne illness.

Woman gets a flu vaccine.
Risk Factors

How to Pick the Best Flu Shot for You

Getting an annual flu shot will cut your chances of coming down with the illness by about half. HealthCentral talked to a flu expert about this year’s vaccine.

The Latest

Ground beef in grocery store.
Prevention

Recall Alert: 80+ Tons of Ground Beef May Be Contaminated with E. Coli

Check your freezers — this is one nasty cause of food poisoning.

Tick on blade of grass.
Prevention

Protect Yourself From Tick-Borne Illness With These Tips

A bite from these common critters could land you in the hospital. Here’s what you need to know.

Woman with the flu drinking tea.
Prevention

This Flu Season is the Longest in 10 Years

We’re going on Week 22 of flu season, and no, it’s not necessarily too late to get your shot. Here’s what you should know.

Female doctor washing her hands in the hospital.
Prevention

Bad News: Your Docs May Not Be Washing Their Hands Correctly

Hand hygiene is key, especially in hospitals where health care-related infections can be fatal. Yet new research finds that health care workers may not be doing everything they can to protect us.

Man with germ mask and hands up to avoid infection.
Family Health

Deadly Staph Infections Linked to the Opioid Epidemic

Rising rates of staph infections may be due in part to the huge increase in the number of people who are addicted to opioids and other drugs, says the CDC.

Hiking in the woods, bothered by mosquitoes.
Insects

What's Making Your Zika Risk Spike?

What does climate change have to do with the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes? Quite a bit according to results of a study in Nature Microbiology.

Antibiotics.
Medication

Is Your Doc Overprescribing Antibiotics?

Could a recent study published in BMJ suggesting antibiotics prescribed in the U.K. often exceed recommended guidelines raise a red flag in the U.S. too?

Doctors preparing for surgery.
Surgery

Doc, Put on Your Surgical Gown Without Help

Contamination risk is lower when surgeons put on their surgical gowns without help from surgical assistants before going into the operating room.

Medical emergency in hospital.
Medication

This Type of Antibiotic Could Cause Aortic Rupture, FDA Warns

Fluoroquinolones can increase the occurrence of dangerous bleeding or death from aortic dissection or aortic aneurism, according to a warning issued by the FDA.

Doctor holding stethoscope in the hospital.
Doctor & Patient

Germy Stethoscopes in the ICU – and a Cleaning Solution

Your doctor’s stethoscope could be covered with potentially harmful bacteria — including Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause serious infections.