When we hear “Bubonic Plague,” Europe in the Middle Ages may come to mind. From 1347 to 1350, the Bubonic Plague or the “Black Death” spread across the continent, killing approximately 50 million people, which at the time accounted for more than one-third of Europe’s population. However, the disease is still very much with us, with roughly 600 cases diagnosed annually across the globe.

The countries currently experiencing the largest incidents of plague include Peru, the Republic of Congo, and Madagascar. In the United States, incidents of Plague are largely confined to rural parts of the country, such as a recent report of a child with Bubonic Plague in Idaho.

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Cancer is a demon that doctors have desperately tried to exorcise for decades. It is the body turned against itself, where the natural programming of healthy cells runs amok. The dysregulation of the orderly signaling pathways is linked to the balance between cellular growth and cellular specialization of the cell life cycle. The result is unrestrained cellular proliferation accumulating into large tumors that interrupt the normal functions of vital organs.

Since cancerous cells are derived from normal cells of the body, the human immune system does not see them as disease because the immune system is trained only to distinguish between “self” and “non-self.” This prevents the body from attacking itself, though disorders where this mechanism fails are known as autoimmune diseases.

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA ? OCTOBER 7: A file photo shows Professor Ian Frazer at work in a bio medical laboratory at the Princess Alexandra Hospital August 12, 2005 in Brisbane, Australia. A vaccine to prevent cervical cancer developed by Professor Frazer has been shown in trials on 12,000 women from 13 countries, to be 100 per cent effective in preventing the most common form of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the few human cancers that is known to be directly caused by a viral infection, with more than 500,000 cases being diagnosed annually killing an estimated 275,000 women around the world every year. (Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)

Australia could become the first country to completely eliminate cervical cancer, according to an announcement made by the International Papillomavirus Society.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted infection that causes 99.9% of cervical cancers. In the world of infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, HPV poses a tremendous global risk. The sexually communicable virus is also linked to increases risks for other various forms of cancer, including the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and throat.

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A pharmacist handles a syringe for the flu vaccine in the consultation room at his dispensary on October 6, 2017 in downtown Bordeaux, south western France. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Week by week, the headlines have worsened. As the 2018 flu season marches across North America, experts’ warnings have only grown more dire. By most accounts, the 2018 flu season is the worst in a decade. Australia had 2.5 times more cases than usual during their season, and the dominant strain this year seems to be rare. So this year, like every year, physicians are strongly recommending that people of all ages get their flu shots. And this year, like every year, reasonable people ignore or outright dismiss their doctors’ warnings.

The anti-vaccination movement has been utterly debunked, and no one actually likes getting the flu. So why do so many people avoid this simple injection?

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[DIGEST: BBC, CNN (1, 2), CNBC, CDC, NBC]

There are two kinds of STDs: those that can be successfully treated and those that cannot. Now gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that has typically been cured through a course of antibiotics, is moving into the untreatable camp. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes gonorrhea, is developing resistance to the only antibiotics that can treat it.

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[DIGEST: NPR, New York Times, CNN]

When the Ebola virus struck West Africa in 2014, the world was defenseless. There was no vaccine and no effective treatment. In all, the virus killed 11,000 people, with nearly 30,000 infected.

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