Top tweets in infectious diseases Oct 2019

Pharmaceutical Technology lists ten of the top tweets on infectious diseases in October 2019, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.
The top tweets were chosen from influencers as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer Platform, which is based on a scientific process that works on pre-defined parameters. Influencers are selected after a deep analysis of the influencer’s relevance, network strength, engagement, and leading discussions on new and emerging trends.

Top tweets in infectious diseases in October 2019

1. Peter Hotez’s tweet on measles outbreak in New Zealand

Prof Peter Hotez, a paediatrician and scientist based in Texas, US, tweeted on the devastating effects of the measles outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand. The influencer shared an article in his tweet, which revealed two foetal deaths caused by measles contracted from their mothers.

The article further revealed that the patients were suffering from some of the worst complications, with an increase in hospitalisation rates since the 1990s outbreak. Half of those hospitalised were below the age of five, three were admitted for encephalitis, and 65 for pneumonia. Meanwhile, pregnant women are being cautioned and advised for rubella antibodies and other tests, to gain immunity against the virus.

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Username: Prof Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 394

Likes: 405

2. Matthew Hodson’s tweet on HIV awareness and associated risks

Matthew Hodson, the executive director of Aidsmap or NAM Aidsmap, an online platform for HIV news and awareness, shared a video on the risks associated with the disease. He explains that HIV cannot spread with spitting, discarded needles, mosquitoes, or even osmosis, as the virus cannot survive outside the human body for long. No cases of HIV spread through discarded needles or syringes or injuries from them have been recognised, added Matthew.

The influencer also shared an article from aidsmap, which offers guidelines and treatment information if one suspects exposure to HIV. The article states that one could proceed with a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) procedure that is considered to be 80% effective in inhibiting HIV from needle injuries.

Username: Matthew Hodson

Twitter handle: @Matthew_Hodson

Retweets: 171

Likes: 330

3. Tara Smith’s tweet on the rise in paediatric influenza cases

An epidemiologist specialising in infectious diseases, Dr Tara Smith tweeted on the rise of paediatric influenza. She shared an article, which details how a child with flu-symptoms was finally stable after days of hospitalisation. The article details the experience of a mother who rushed her son to the hospital, once he reported symptoms of stomach ache, fever, and difficulties in breathing.

Dr Tara tweeted that approximately 80% of paediatric influenza deaths are noticed in unvaccinated kids. The resurgence of fatal illnesses such as measles and polio has re-engaged the medical community to voice the importance of immunisation and vaccination, she added.

Username: Dr. Tara C. Smith

Twitter handle: @aetiology

Retweets: 125

Likes: 165

4. Seth Berkley’s tweet on educating people about the power of vaccines

Infectious disease epidemiologist, Seth Berkley shared an article in his tweet about the resurgence of preventable diseases such as polio, smallpox, and measles. He stressed on the importance of educating people regarding the power of vaccines in fighting these diseases.

The article states that measles, an infectious disease caused by the rubeola virus, has resurfaced in many developed countries including New Zealand and the US. Approximately 1,200 cases have been reported in the US in 2019 alone after two decades despite health officials claiming the eradication of these diseases.

Username: Seth Berkley

Twitter handle: @GaviSeth

Retweets: 110

Likes: 180

5. Merck’s Ervebo Ebola vaccine recommended for conditional approval

Helen Branswell, a public health reporter and writer of infectious diseases, shared an article about the conditional marketing approval recommendation received for Merck’s Ervebo Ebola vaccine from the European Medicines Agency. If approved, it will become the world’s first licensed Ebola vaccine.

Ervebo is indicated for protection against the Zaire ebolavirus strain of the Ebola virus in patients 18 years and older. It needs to be approved by the European Commission to be available in the EU countries and the countries constituting the European Economic Area. The marketing authorisation application for the drug is also under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is expected to announce its decision by March 2020.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 109

Likes: 194

6. Seth Berkley’s tweet on the seasonal dynamics of malaria

Seth Berkley shared an article in his tweet to show how the long-range migration of mosquitoes can help in understanding the seasonal dynamics of malaria. Also its recurrence in regions from where it was eradicated.

The article details how high-altitude winds transport mosquitoes to the semi-desert region in Africa called the Sahel. The mosquitoes arrived during the rainy season from regions located in the south. Given that wind-borne mosquitoes could be carriers of the malaria parasite, the study further confirmed the possibilities of recurrence of malaria in regions it was thought to be eliminated from.

Username: Seth Berkley

Twitter handle: @GaviSeth

Retweets: 77

Likes: 123

7. Dr. Ron Daniels’ tweet on how sepsis can leave life-long scars in survivors

Dr. Ron Daniels, a critical care consultant at NHS England, shared an article on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. It details the leading causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The article shows that people experienced the highest incidence of PTSD from rape and war, followed by intensive care treatments, assault, and fire or natural disasters.

Critical illnesses such as sepsis that lead to organ failure are common cases that require intensive care. Sepsis survivors, when discharged, usually face low quality of life, secondary infections, and the chances of re-admission leaving them mentally tormented.

Username: Dr. Ron Daniels

Twitter handle: @SepsisUK

Retweets: 73

Likes: 146

8. Seth Berkley’s tweet on vaccination and its importance

Seth Berkley shared an article in his tweet to explain the importance of vaccines. The article details a timeline that shows the origins of the anti-vaxx movement, which started in 1840.

Seth believes that disease outbreaks were always a result of resistance. This began with the distribution of free smallpox vaccines among the poor in Europe in 1840. The smallpox vaccine, became mandatory by 1867, giving rise to anti-vaccine protests and journals. It resulted in a rapid fall in childhood vaccinations, which eventually led to epidemics. Since then, anti-vaccine sentiments have risen and fallen over the years, directly impacting public health.

Username: Seth Berkley

Twitter handle: @GaviSeth

Retweets: 74

Likes: 115

9. Helen Branswell’s tweet on eradication of Type 3 polioviruses

Helen Branswell shared an article on the eradication of type 3 polio virus, which is second of the three species of polioviruses to be destroyed from the world. The article further states that a methodical process is followed to declare whether a disease is eliminated or not. For instance, the declaration of the poliovirus species starts if it has not been detected in three years from its last occurrence.

The polio eradication campaign was started in 1988, according to the article which adds that the Type 3 was detected in Nigeria seven years ago.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 72

Likes: 153

10. Francis S. Collins’ tweet on spinal fluids of AFM patients causing paralysis

Francis S. Collins, Director of National Institute of Health (NIH), shared an article detailing an enterovirus (EV) in the spinal fluid of patients suffering from acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), which could cause polio-like conditions in children.

AFM condition was first documented in 2012 and typically starts with simple flu-like symptoms such as cold and weakness and eventually leads to paralysis within days. According to the University of California, AFM occurs as frequently as every year in the US, with 500 such cases confirmed till date.

Mounting evidences suggest EV to be the culprit for AFM in children who tested positive for the virus, along with laboratory tests that confirmed complete impairment of the nervous system.

Username: Francis S. Collins

Twitter handle: @NIHDirector

Retweets: 61

Likes: 153