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Medicare, Obamacare, vaping, vaccines and virtual healthcare are expected to be among the top health-related issues in 2020. Ani Kolleshi / Unsplash

By Roz Plater

It's 2020 and another year of health-related topics awaits us.

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Ebola virus seen under a microscope. Studio_3321 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday that it has approved a vaccine for Ebola manufactured by Merck, according to Reuters.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A child receives a measles vaccine. DFID - UK Department for International Development / CC BY 2.0

Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed more than 140,000, according to new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the people who died were children under five years old.

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi asked for the public's help in making sure that people get vaccinated during the two days that government offices are closed. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

The government of Samoa will shut down its offices for two days this week so civil servants can focus on a nationwide immunization drive after almost 4,000 confirmed cases of measles have swept across the small Pacific nation of just 200,000 people, as NPR reported. So far 55 people have died, 50 of them are children under four, according to The Guardian.

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(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

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Female doctor pediatrician with baby patient. Lordn / iStock / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

  • The measles virus was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
  • But if more cases of the measles virus are detected next month, it could mean an end of that elimination status.
  • There have been more than 1,200 measles cases this year so far. That's the largest number of cases since 1992.
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Facebook will take a stand against the dangerous practice of spreading misinformation about vaccines. The social media behemoth, which has served as an online meeting spot for spreading memes of misinformation about vaccine safety and efficacy, will now try to redirect consumers on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, to reputable sites for information about vaccines, as the Guardian reported.

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3sbworld / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Cosby Stone

Whenever I am asked what I do for a living, the phrase "I'm an allergist" is almost immediately followed by "So, where are all of these allergies coming from?"

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A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

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Infant receiving polio vaccine. CDC Global / CC BY 2.0

By Vanessa Schipani, FactCheck.org

Q: Did people develop cancer because of the polio vaccine?

A: There are no known cases, and it's very unlikely. In the 1950s and 1960s, people did receive polio vaccines contaminated with a virus that causes cancer in rodents. But research suggests this virus doesn't cause cancer in humans.

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue). NIAID / Flickr

By Kali Holloway

Some horror movie tropes just come off as unbelievable, they're so ridiculous and overused. Like, "Girl who falls down for no apparent reason while being chased by a killer." Or, "Group of friends that decides to split up when it's obvious being alone will get you murdered." And then there's this one: "Science laboratory creates horrible disease that will inevitably escape and kill all of humanity," which might be the most unbelievable, since it defies both logic and actual laws. Or rather, it did until Tuesday, when the U.S. government announced it was lifting a three-year ban on federal funding for experiments that alter viruses to make them even deadlier.

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