Contagious Diseases

You may have noticed when grilling steaks or hot dogs this summer that they cost more than they did last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.

Supply and demand determine price, and the pork supply comes from places like Riley Lewis' hog farm near Forest City, Iowa.

From "Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa" / Wikimedia Commons

With the Ebola outbreak continuing to take lives in Western Africa, Iowans working in the region are feeling the effects. 

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that hog farmers are now required to report outbreaks of certain viral diseases that have spread across the country during the past year.

Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

A virus that has devastated piglets for nearly a year is now responsible for lower pork supplies and higher prices.

Phil Borgic of Nokomis, Ill. knows first hand what happens when porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus infects a hog barn. He walked through one in late January pointing out the differences among litters.

Amy Mayer/IPR

Pork producers across the country are continuing to grapple with a virus that’s killing their piglets. Experts estimate Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs and the disease shows no sign of abating.

Wildlife Day: Bats

Aug 13, 2013
Ryan von Linden / New York Department of Environmental Conservation / Microbe World / Flickr

Host Charity Nebbe and wildlife biologist Jim Pease discuss the role bats play in Iowa's ecosystem, human-bat interactions and White Nose Syndrome--a disease that has killed more than 5.7 million bats in the U.S. since 2006 when it was discovered in New York State.

The Flu Season in Iowa

Jan 15, 2013
Wellcome Images / Flickr

Cold and flu season is upon us and the strain of flu going around this year seems to be particularly nasty. Host Ben Kieffer discusses how the flu is impacting Iowans this year with State Epidemiologist Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. We also hear about how to prevent and treat the flu for children with pediatrician Dr. Jody Murph and we’ll learn about how certain diseases jump from animals to humans with emerging infectious disease specialist Tara Smith. 

Flu shot scramble

Jan 10, 2013

Reports of widespread flu on the East Coast and news anchors getting vaccinated on morning television has sent some Iowans scrambling to get a last minute flu shot. Iowa Department of Public Health medical director, Patricia Quinlisk says the state is reporting about a 4% increase in cases compared to last year.

Lee Carson / Flickr

Rabies, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease.

Wildlife biologist Jim Pease discusses a number of serious diseases found in wildlife, how those diseases can be passed from animals to humans and the risks that one can face.

Sheep Purple / flickr

University of Iowa clinical associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Michael Pentella, joined host Ben Kieffer on the talk show "River to River" to talk about the state of antibiotic resistance in the country. The discussion focused on tuberculosis, since ISU researchers are currently studying an extensively antibiotic resistant strain of the disease that is growing in parts of the world.

To hear the full show, visit the "River to River" page here.

As medical authorities closely monitor the world’s newest flu virus, memories are still vivid from the deadly strain that swept the country long ago. We look back at the pandemic of 1918, through the voices of Iowans who survived the calamity. The oral history interviews were recorded around Iowa between 1977 and 1995. Thanks to the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge.