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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Norovirus Infection in South Korea

The following background information on Norovirus infection in South Korea was abstracted from Gideon and the Gideon e-book series. [1-3]  A computer-generated parsing program of PubMeD and ProMED identifies 22,521 published Infectious Diseases outbreaks.  735 of these outbreaks specify Norovirus as the disease agent.  South Korea accounts for 0.67% of all outbreaks, and for 1.5% of Norovirus outbreaks.  Details of the individual events are summarized in table 1.

Further analysis of these sources identified 59,774 prevalence / seroprevalence surveys.  745 of these surveys examine the prevalence of viral agents associated with gastroenteritis.  South Korea accounts for 18.6% of all Infectious Disease surveys, and 3.4% of surveys involving viral gastroenteritis. Details of surveys which examine Norovirus prevalence are summarized in table 2.

Primary references are available from the author.


  1. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of South Korea, 2018. 418 pages, 108 graphs, 2,260 references. Gideon e-books,
  2. Berger SA. Gideon Guide to Outbreaks, 2018. 1,900 pages, 5,246 tables, 50,908 references.
  3. Berger SA. Gideon Guide to Surveys, 2018. 4,028 pages, 10,229 tables, 53,802 references.


Rickettsial Spotted Fever: United States vs. Brazil

A higher case / fatality ratio for reported spotted fever cases in Brazil vs. the United States suggests that the Brazilian strain of Rickettsia rickettsii is more virulent.  In the following charts I’ve compared data for disease incidence and deaths for each of the countries, and contrasted death rates per 100,000 population. [1,2]


  1. Berger S. Infectious Diseases of Brazil, 571 pages, 120 graphs, 5,552 references. Gideon e-books,
  2. Gideon e-Gideon multi-graph tool,

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in Hong Kong

Reported rates of severe HFM disease and infection due to Enteroviruses (with the exception of EV-71) in Hong Kong have been increasing for the past ten years. [1,2]


  1. Gideon multi-graph tool,
  2. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of Hong Kong, 2017. Gideon e-books. 316 pages, 115 graphs, 718 references

Note featured on ProMED



One Health – By the Numbers

Those of us who work in Human and Animal Health encounter zoonotic infectious diseases on an almost daily basis.  But precisely how common are these conditions?  A preliminary overview was undertaken to quantify and collate the impact of relevant diseases.  Data were generated using an interactive tool in Gideon. *

As depicted in the following tables, 59% (209) of all generic infectious diseases affecting mankind are derived from animal reservoirs.  Surprisingly, this percentage varies little when data are analyzed for specific countries selected at random from widely diverse regions.  Similarly, the distribution of diseases from country-to-country varies little, when collated by pathogen class, vector, vehicle and reservoir.

* See video tutorial at  – scroll down to Diseases – Fingerprint

Zoonotic Infectious Diseases – Distribution by Reservoir

Region Diseases Zoonoses   Bird   Dog   Cattle   Rodent   Pig  
Worldwide 354 209 59% 49 14% 64 18% 50 14% 86 24% 39 11%
United States 247 129 52% 30 12% 43 17% 36 15% 52 21% 27 11%
China 253 132 52% 32 13% 47 19% 37 15% 53 21% 30 12%
France 222 106 48% 26 12% 36 16% 32 14% 38 17% 24 11%
Ghana 225 98 44% 22 10% 32 14% 30 13% 33 15% 23 10%
Brazil 257 130 51% 30 12% 42 16% 34 13% 50 19% 29 11%
Australia 220 102 46% 28 13% 31 14% 27 12% 33 15% 23 10%


Zoonotic Infectious Diseases – by Pathogen, Vector or Vehicle

Region Diseases Zoonoses   Virus   Parasite   Bacterium   Arthropod   Food  
Worldwide 354 209 59% 68 19% 72 20% 56 16% 79 22% 71 20%
UnitedStates 247 129 52% 28 11% 46 19% 45 18% 36 15% 51 21%
China 253 132 52% 24 9% 54 21% 47 19% 45 18% 58 23%
France 222 106 48% 19 9% 40 18% 42 19% 26 12% 44 20%
Ghana 225 98 44% 17 8% 36 16% 38 17% 20 9% 41 18%
Brazil 257 130 51% 30 12% 48 19% 42 16% 36 14% 51 20%
Australia 220 102 46% 28 13% 34 15% 41 19% 25 11% 44 20%

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.