About Helen @HelenBranswell
Helen Branswell is STAT’s infectious diseases and public health reporter.
Helen’s Recent Stories
Health Oct 20An Ebola outbreak presents a new mystery involving children
The disproportionate number of recent infections among children in the Democratic Republic of Congo — specifically in Beni, the outbreak’s current hot spot — has come as a surprise; typically young children don’t make up a big proportion of cases…
Health Oct 06Flu season is coming. If you live in a large city, it may stretch longer than elsewhere, study says
The length of the flu season may vary depending on where you live, with large cities enduring longer periods of transmission and smaller cities experiencing shorter, but more explosive, spread, a new study suggests…
Health Sep 29The end of HIV transmission in the U.S.: A once-unthinkable dream becomes an openly discussed goal
The struggle against HIV may be undergoing a sea change.
Health Sep 22Puppies are making people sick — and it’s people’s fault
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have infected more than 100 people and that have been linked to pet store puppies appear to have spread at least in part because healthy dogs were given antibiotics — a decision that all but surely fostered…
Science Aug 24Russian bots tried to sow discord over vaccines during the 2016 election, study finds
An analysis of Twitter accounts previously identified as having been operated by Russian bots and trolls found they dove into the vaccine debate as early as January 2015…
Science Jul 28New Ebola species is reported for first time in a decade
The family of Ebola viruses has just gotten a bit bigger. The government of Sierra Leone has announced that a new species of Ebola, the sixth, has been discovered there in bats.
World Jun 23Health officials cautiously optimistic dangerous Ebola outbreak is over
Transmission of the deadly virus appears to have stopped — though it is not yet time to pull back on the response operation.
Health Mar 10Flu vaccine grown without eggs provided measurably better protection this season, FDA says
The sole influenza vaccine made in cell culture in the United States may have worked about 20 percent better this flu season than the standard vaccines made in eggs, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Thursday.
Science Feb 24CDC requests funds to build new maximum-security laboratory
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Congress for money for a new building to house the laboratories that work on the deadliest pathogens known to humankind.
Health Feb 17This year’s awful flu season may have just hit a plateau
It’s too soon to say the flu season has peaked, but it’s at least possible it may have plateaued.