diseases

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative just announced one of its biggest investments to date: It is ponying up more than $3 billion to kickstart "Chan Zuckerberg Science," an initiative that plans to bring together multidisciplinary teams of scientists in an effort to prevent, cure or manage "all diseases in our children's lifetime."

Viral hepatitis is a sneaky killer, accounting for nearly 1.5 million deaths in 2013 — equal to or greater than the number of yearly deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. That's just one unexpected finding from the first study to systematically assess the scope of the disease around the world.

As public health officials struggle to contain the Zika virus, science writer Sonia Shah tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that epidemiologists are bracing themselves for what has been called the next "Big One" — a disease that could kill tens of millions of people in the coming years.

rutlo / Flickr

Health officials have issued a warning for anyone who may have been exposed to a sick, rabid bat found on the south side of Seattle's Madison Park Beach on Thursday.

Anyone who has had contact with the bat or its saliva is at risk of developing rabies. While rabies is contracted through a bite, bat bites can be small, indistinguishable and painless, so anyone who has had contact with a bat should consult Public Health.

IHME

Americans are likely to live longer than we might have in the past – but the quality of our golden years appears to be getting worse, when it comes to health.

A new study by Seattle researchers shows Alzheimer’s, depression, and back pain have been increasing dramatically since 1990.

Oliver Erdmann / Flickr

In 2012, it’s more likely to be obesity than infectious disease, even in many so-called "poor" countries.

People around the world are living longer – but they're also more likely to get sick from diseases that are common in America. These trends are highlighted in an ambitious Seattle-based project to track health and sickness in countries around the world.

Some of the leading disease experts from Seattle are visiting the United Nations this week. They’re at a "High-Level" meeting to discuss whether poor countries should start worrying about cancer and diabetes – as much as malaria or AIDS. 

That's a controversial idea, says KPLU’s Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson.  He's in New York to cover the meeting. Before he left he explained the controversy to KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld.