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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Listeriosis in the European Union

A recent series of outbreaks in Europe reflects an increasing incidence of listeriosis in the region.  In the following graph I’ve contrasted disease rates per 100,000 in the European Union with those of the United States [1,2] :



  1. Berger S. Listeriosis: Global Status, 2018. 128 pages, 108 graphs, 1,203 references. Gideon e-books,
  2. Gideon e-Gideon multi-graph tool,

Note featured on ProMED

Pathogens Associated with Animal Bites

Gideon lists 31 species of bacteria which have been associated with human infection following the bites of animals:
– Bacteroides tectus
– Bergeyella zoohelcum
– Bisgaard’s taxon
– Capnocytophaga canimorsus
– Corynebacterium canis
– Capnocytophaga cynodegmi
– Corynebacterium freiburgense
– Corynebacterium kutscheri
– CDC NO-1
– Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
– Fusobacterium canifelinum
– Halomonas venusta
– Kingella potus
– Moraxella canis
– Mycobacterium vulneris
– Neisseria animaloris
– Neisseria canis
– Neisseria weaveri
– Neisseria zoodegmatis
– Pasteurella caballi
– Pasteurella canis
– Pasteurella dagmatis
– Pasteurella multocida
– Pasteurella stomatis
– Psychrobacter immobilis
– Spirillum minus
– Staphylococcus intermedius
– Streptobacillus moniliformis
– Vibrio charchariae
– Vibrio harveyi

Although virtually all literature on the subject advocates administration of tetanus prophylaxis following animal bites, few if any cases of bite-associated tetanus have been documented.

Leprosy in the Western Pacific Region

Leprosy data for the Western Pacific Region indicate that disease incidence is highest in the Philippines, Vietnam and China. In the following graph, I have contrasted incidence and prevalence statistics for countries mentioned in the ProMED note, with population-adjusted rates for these same data. [1,2] Note that the numbers of cases per 100,000 population are highest in Micronesia, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. See graph:

1. Berger SA. Leprosy: Global Status, 2012. 236 pp, 376 graphs, 226 references. Gideon e-books,
2. Gideon graph tool at

Note featured on ProMED

Bye to Mike Homer – a victim of CJD

Mike Homer passed away yesterday from CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). CJD is a rare neurological disease, which can be infectious, but wasn’t in this case.

Mike was one of my senior managers at Netscape, who I always held in high regard. I’m saddened by this event and hope this will help accelerate research into a cure for the disease.

Famous People: How They Died in 2008

(In addition to its decision support application dealing with Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Toxicology, GIDEON Informatics, Inc as part of GIDEON Labs, maintains a second service – – which follows the diseases and deaths of all famous persons throughout history. The user can review all diseases of a specific VIP, or generate a list of famous persons by Profession, Disease, Year – or any combination. The following is based on data generated from the site).

On December 31, the Media will once again recount all of the wars, earthquakes, divorces, births, rapes, sporting records …. Inevitably, a long list of famous persons will have passed on: most “after a long illness,” “suddenly” or “of natural causes.” 427 famous folk died of specified misfortunes in 2008. For the purpose of this research, “famous” is defined as “well recognized by the general public at large.”


2008 – A year of new outbreaks and new bugs

Predictably, 2009 will be greeted with endless publications which recount the divorces, disasters, political events, athletic records and famous deaths of 2008. Sadly, the routine misfortunes which visit most of the world will be largely neglected. Individual countries are burdened by major outbreaks of infectious disease on an almost daily basis; but few people in the West hear of these episodes unless they are sensationalized by the Media (Ebola) or are seen as a threat to other developed nations (Avian influenza).

Although the current outbreak of Avian influenza (“bird flu”) began in 2003, and has continued well into 2008, the numbers of reported cases and deaths has actually been decreasing since, 2006. A total of only 387 cases, and 245 deaths, from this infection have been reported to date. In other words, the chance of dying from a lightning bolt or scorpion sting in one of the infected countries is far greater than the chance of acquiring bird flu.


Interview with GIDEON’s CEO

Steve Stallman recently interviewed Uri Blackman, GIDEON’s CEO, in SCribe magazine, which was mentioned in the Technology Council of Southern California blog. The interview provides some background on the company and the benefit of GIDEON to its users:

What is the main value proposition you offer?
Originally, we focused on compiling the entire world’s data for Infectious Diseases in one easy to use location combined with medical decision support. Now we have taken this to the next level by adding other medical domains on our platform. We help identify the diseases, their global footprints, and provide specific information on treatments. Medical professionals now have one clear source to get the most up to date information, which can change by the minute. This often makes them aware of things they never thought of and helps them make the best decision possible.