An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
January 4th, 2016
A Riddle, the 2015 Clinical Trial of the Year, and a Guaranteed Laugh for All ID Doctors
Things quiet on this end recently from me due to various circumstances. but here are three ID-related (sort of) things worth sharing — enjoy if you haven’t seen them already.
Let’s start with a riddle:
- What animal is responsible for the most human deaths a year?
Readers of Bill Gates’ blog will think this is old news, but not everyone has seen that incredibly cool graphic. (Me, for example.)
There’s zero chance I would have gotten this riddle right, even with several hours to think about it, and even with all the Zika news buzzing around (word choice intentional). Makes one think that the CRISPR projects targeting these nasty pests — so long, malaria? — are on to something, though inevitably there will be downstream consequences.
If asked, I’d have put humans first by a long shot, then maybe something like bears, which don’t even make the list, then perhaps crocodiles (still pretty scary, though not much of a threat in New England, and only one-tenth as deadly as snails). Not octupuses (which I’ve learned is the correct plural, emphatically not octupi). Or rabbits.
And who knew Gates was such a book fiend? Impressive.
- The most controversial clinical trial of 2015.
It came late in the year, so you might have missed it. From The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, here’s the full title:
Now you have no excuse. RTFA, as they say.You can imagine that this study has generated quite a bit of discussion at our family’s Journal Club, which consists of a pediatrician (my wife), an ID doctor (me), and my dog Louie, who by the graphic displayed in #1 above is the 4th most dangerous animal in the world. Easy to believe by looking at this ferocious picture.
Louie was his usual taciturn self when we discussed this paper, while my wife strongly objected to the conclusion that maternal kisses don’t help cure minor boo-boos. Meanwhile, I’m wondering what kind of wound irrigation they used — low, medium, or high pressure — and whether they used prophylactic cefazolin, or vancomycin, or perhaps something that covers oral flora.
- The funniest ID-related cartoon of 2015. Nothing else even comes close.
(H/T to David Paltiel for the boo-boo study.)