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Infectious Diseases

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Do flu shots work?

Infectious Diseases

Yes. Annual flu vaccines prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of flu and save thousands of lives every year. The answer to the question “how well do they work” isn’t black and white because it changes from year to year, and even sometimes within a season. But even in a year when the flu vaccine Read more…

Is polio back?

Infectious Diseases

A: Polio was never gone, but there is a re-emergence in places where it has not been found for many decades. Polio is an infectious disease that many Americans over 70 might remember from their childhoods. Mass vaccination campaigns in the U.S. and many other countries largely stopped the virus from circulating for many decades, Read more…

If I got the smallpox vaccine as a kid, am I protected against monkeypox?

Infectious Diseases Vaccines

Short answer: Probably to some degree, but just how much is up in the air. Because the virus that causes monkeypox is similar to the smallpox virus, smallpox vaccines are effective at preventing people from getting monkeypox. Prior studies using the Dryvax vaccine (the first-generation smallpox vaccine that was used during smallpox eradication), showed that Read more…