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Tidying up an infectious diseases navboxEdit

Hi all, I'd like some help tidying up this navbox (I have cross posted at WP:COVID).

I have come across this navbox and find it particularly difficult / ugly - the sections are weighted weirdly, the structure makes me worry there are missing topics, and some sections such as "Transmission" seem to be a long list that could be structured in a more easy to understand way. Unfortunately I don't have a great broad understanding of this area enough to make some changes to this navbox, and thought editors here might be able to have a look. Thanks, I hope! --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:43, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

This may be just a spurt of morning pessimism but I'm having trouble imagining a more complete version of this navbox that doesn't become bloated and enormous. I'm not sure what the selection criteria were for the infectious agents, but clearly many many other common agents exist. If we must have a navbox, I might suggest splitting it three separate navboxes: a "Human infectious agents" box (perhaps there's a clearer way to phrase that; I mean bugs that infect humans), a "Concepts in infectious disease" box, and a third "People in infectious disease" box (which could be split either by time, occupation, or something else). Ajpolino (talk) 15:39, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't know that we need to aim for completeness. Trimming it could also be an option. I wouldn't be opposed to simply reverting to this version and adding COVID-19. TompaDompa (talk) 17:03, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
Tom (LT), hello again. Primary thing I notice is that this navbox is titled as if it's an "overview" but then includes multiple examples of specific infections. I think the first step is going to be to remove examples of specific infections and limit it to the headings for types (bacteria, virus, etc). It actually may be a good idea to organize it at the top level by bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite - then you can have the next level separate into medications/associated people/etc. The alternative, as others have hinted at, is splitting - but I'd recommend splitting based on infectious organism types (ex: "Infectious bacteria" or "Bacterial infectious diseases" or similar). Regards -bɜ:ʳkənhɪmez (User/say hi!) 17:15, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
For better or worse, my opinion is we need a targeted navbox (eg as proposed above or below by myself and others) or none at all. A navbox that is simply "Infectious bacteria" will in a few years time end up being humongous. --Tom (LT) (talk) 04:35, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I also think that splitting is a plausible approach to this navbox, or just cutting. Do we *need* to have biographies in a navbox at all? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:16, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm glad it's not just me scratching my head over this one! Thanks everyone for your comments. How does this sound, taking into account the views above:
A Concepts in infectious disease navbox (@Ajpolino I think this is a great idea)
A History of infectious diseases navbox with "people" and "historically significant infections" as well as some general links eg History of emerging infectious diseases (nb. renaming discussion in process). ("People in infectious diseases" is, to me, a weird title as essentially we are listing them because they are historically notable in the context of infectious diseases) --Tom (LT) (talk) 04:31, 26 October 2020 (UTC) ADDIT: alternatives might just be something like Significant infectious causes of disease or Infectious agents causing significant outbreaks - this would provide some useful links between Cholera, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Influenza because of their current and historically significant spread. --Tom (LT) (talk) 04:35, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
That seems like a good idea, especially combined with WhatamIdoing's suggestion of how to heavily trim this navbox, seen below. TompaDompa (talk) 11:07, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I feel that we could remove the "people" section, which is better suited to articles about the history of medicine/infectology, and add some basic stuff that we're missing such as pneumonia and UTIs. I quite like the structure otherwise. I think the other thing that is missing is some kind of hint or visual cue to the unexperienced reader that the items we're listing are just some common examples of each thing and we're not being exhaustive. Dr. Vogel (talk) 08:44, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
We could maybe add links to the most common types of diseases, but I'm not sure that it should be in the same (large) navbox. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Adding things like pneumonia is a bad idea. It would necessitate starting over from scratch with the layout and contents. The diseases the navbox currently includes have a single causative agent, but pneumonia is a condition that can be caused by several different infectious agents. There is Bacterial pneumonia such as Pneumococcal pneumonia, Fungal pneumonia such as Pneumocystis pneumonia, Viral pneumonia, and Parasitic pneumonia. TompaDompa (talk) 06:00, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
I was thinking of linking to the pneumonia article. Dr. Vogel (talk) 06:23, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Right, but there's nowhere to put that link with the current layout. It's not bacteriology, virology, mycology, or parasitology. We'd have to change the entire layout. TompaDompa (talk) 06:38, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. How about we put just the 2 most common causes (bacterial and viral) in the corresponding boxes? We're not being exhaustive anyway, and I don't really want to leave pneumonia out of this just because it has more than one cause. Dr. Vogel (talk) 20:56, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
Your suggestion kind of changes the scope of the navbox. I think the suggestion below is better. We'll just end up with all possible clinical manifestations of infections otherwise. TompaDompa (talk) 21:06, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

I've been thinking about simplification this way:

Maybe we could do something similar for "Concepts", and remove the people. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:32, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

That looks great to me. As far as a separate "Significant infectious agents" navbox that Tom (LT) mentioned above. I agree that "significant" was probably the intended inclusion criterion for the diseases listed above. If we do decide to have such a box going forward, perhaps we could have a brief discussion somewhere on which diseases fit that bill. It feels odd to apply the same label to Tuberculosis/AIDS as Tinea/Amoebic dissentary. Ajpolino (talk) 16:56, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
That looks good, especially if we also create a "Concepts in infectious disease" navbox and a "History of infectious diseases" navbox per Tom (LT) above. TompaDompa (talk) 11:07, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I implemented the change. TompaDompa (talk) 23:41, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Concepts in infectious disease navboxEdit

Above, creating a "Concepts in infectious disease" navbox was suggested. Here's a rough first draft of how it could look. @Tom (LT), Ajpolino, Berchanhimez, WhatamIdoing, and DrVogel: What do you think? TompaDompa (talk) 19:23, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

TompaDompa, I think that's great start. I would recommend finding a way to shorten the phrase "emerging infectious disease" as it makes the entire "header column" wider because it's long. I'd also recommend adding a "types" - to include the types of pathogens (bacteria, virus, fungi, parasites, etc) - likely this would be best as the first one, followed by transmission, followed by medication. I can make the edits to your mockup if you'd like, or if you'd like to discuss/work on it yourself that's fine too. All in all I think this provides a basis for how we can move forward. I note that the "disciplines and pathogens" will now be separated.. I think they should be included in "concepts" - and the original template (Template:Infectious disease) turned into a sidebar such as is present on things like Donald Trump or similar. That way the disciplines are still present in the navbox but can also be featured more prominently towards the top of the article. -bɜ:ʳkənhɪmez (User/say hi!) 21:42, 8 November 2020 (UTC)
Hi TompaDompa, I think your concept for the concepts box is great. A couple of comments:
  • we should include agents (bacteria, virii, etc)
  • we may or may not want to combine the rows for agents and medications. Something like "bacteria (antibiotics), viruses (antivirals), ...". Or perhaps as 2 separate rows.
  • I think we may want to include all the elements from the chain of infection (agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, susceptible host)
Dr. Vogel (talk) 22:13, 8 November 2020 (UTC)
I think that looks great! Since this is just a question of taste I'll share my quibbly opinions. Ignore all you wish. If you wish to shorten "Emerging infectious diseases" (per Berchanimez's suggestion), perhaps "Emerging infections" gets the point across? I'd lose the extra parentheses around "Reverse zoonosis" – it's still an example of cross-species transmission. If you choose to include the pathogen types (which I don't think completely necessary), I'd suggest just using the line from the {{Infectious disease}} template above. As far as adding things, I find navboxes' usefulness to be inversely proportional to the number of links in them (too many links, and it's a sea of blue words I don't bother reading). I think you've done an excellent job picking a fairly minimal set of "concepts"; I'd add more only with caution. Also I'll have to disagree with the suggestion above about turning {{Infectious disease}} into a sidebar. Sidebars are fairly prominent on articles, and I don't think its appropriate for articles like Bacteriology, Mycology, etc. that are much broader topics than just their role in infectious disease to have such a prominent sidebar. All that said, you've done the heavy lifting here. I don't think anyone will fault you for splitting disagreements to whatever your own preference is. Thanks for all the work on this! Ajpolino (talk) 22:28, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

Seeing as people seem to like this draft, I created Template:Concepts in infectious disease and implemented a few of the suggestions above. Feel free to edit that one. I might create a draft for a "History of infectious disease" navbox later. TompaDompa (talk) 22:49, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

History of infectious disease navboxEdit

Above, creating a "History of infectious disease" navbox was suggested. Here's a (very) rough first draft of how it could look. A few thoughts of my own:

  • I'm not sure what to call the first row. "History of individual diseases" would perhaps be a bit long, methinks. "History of..." is a potential solution, but feels a bit unprofessional. I welcome your suggestions.
  • With regards to the people, we have to decide how inclusive we want to be – the only two people I think have to be included here are Fleming and Jenner, all others could be debated. I personally think Credé, for instance, can be cut. Nightingale is also more associated with nursing in general than infectious disease, specifically. Especially when it comes to people who made microbiological contributions such as Pasteur, we could potentially include an enormous number of people—starting with Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and including Alexander Ogston, George Miller Sternberg, Theodor Escherich, Barry Marshall, and so on—so we have to limit ourselves.
  • In the list of epidemics, I included the three deadliest ones and added COVID-19 (mostly because it would be such a conspicuous omission if I didn't). This means the epidemics that are listed here all have different causative agents. I'm not exactly opposed to adding the Plague of Justinian (which would be the fourth-deadliest one according to List of epidemics) or e.g. the Hong Kong flu and/or the 1957–1958 influenza pandemic, but then we would have multiple ones caused by the same(-ish) infectious agent, and I worry that that would result in an excessive number of epidemics being added over time. There's no point in duplicating Template:Epidemics.
  • I considered adding a "Timeline" row, for articles such as Timeline of peptic ulcer disease and Helicobacter pylori, Timeline of human vaccines, Timeline of antibiotics, Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic, Timeline of HIV/AIDS, and so on. Those articles are kind of bad, however, so I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

@Tom (LT), Ajpolino, Berchanhimez, WhatamIdoing, and DrVogel: What do you think? TompaDompa (talk) 01:42, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

I personally think that looks fantastic. Like you say there are a lot of tricky elements to discuss but I think your approach and the contents here are really spot on. --Tom (LT) (talk) 05:15, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

I created Template:History of infectious disease with a reduced number of people included (that way, the "people" row isn't way wider than the rest). TompaDompa (talk) 12:27, 21 November 2020 (UTC)

CBC MainpageEdit

Spicy is on: Wikipedia:Today's featured article/December 12, 2020. Watchlist to help with corrections, pls :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:03, 16 November 2020 (UTC)

RFCs and a Peer review requestEdit

There are several discussions that want your opinions. Please see if you can comment in at least one of them:

One of the services that this group is able to provide is getting good answers to people who are asking for help. Ten minutes spent answering a question can make a really significant difference to Wikipedia's contents and the community as a whole. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:21, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

MEDRS for Ivermectin vs COVID-19Edit

A bunch of editors are adding material from current preprints ivermectin related to human testing against the current pandemic. That's nowhere near MEDRS, right? I think the most we can keep a general statement that it's being tested, and FDA (and other governmental guidance) regarding its use. DMacks (talk) 11:06, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Yes, that's been our typical approach.
Whenever media lights up with a particular detail, I have found it useful to mention whatever the new thing is. Once it's in the article, no matter how little you say about it, less-experienced people stop trying to stick it in there. Consequently, I encourage you to find some way of mentioning this without claiming efficacy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:43, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
There's an effort to retrospectively aggregate drug-repurposing data going on at UPenn discussed here that might deserve some attention. The recursive meta-acronym of "COvid Registry of Off-label & New Agents" is too cute by half, but the idea itself seems valuable. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:12, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Help with Review of BiologistEdit

I’ve made a number of proposals to substantially improve the article about Martha G. Welch, a Professor of Psychiatry in Pediatrics and in Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. I can’t implement these myself since I have a conflict of interest. Could someone in the project take a look at the requests? Please scroll to the revised requests about mid-way down. Thank you very much.KnollLane55901 (talk) 16:03, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

KnollLane55901, please copy this request to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red. They work with BLPs more than this group does. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 17 November 2020 (UTC) assignmentEdit

This template that provides advance notice of student editing is under consideration for deletion at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2020 November 17 assignment. As we've regularly discussed the impact of student editing on MED articles, the discussion may be of interest to this WikiProject. --RexxS (talk) 21:22, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

commented--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 23:27, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:COVID-19 pandemic § Remove duplicated contentEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:COVID-19 pandemic § Remove duplicated content. Important discussion relating to the treatment of viruses and pandemics such as HIV/AIDS. This could set precedent for the treatment of other viruses so more input is welcome. {{u|Gtoffoletto}}talk 10:38, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

thanks for posting--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 13:13, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

At FACEdit

Rare disease in the newsEdit

Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma is quite a short article that is probably getting a lot of views right now, in case anyone would like to edit it. A 14 year old inspirational and famous person recently died of the disease, and his story is in the news.[1] Biosthmors (talk) 19:59, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

Page views are up substantially. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:46, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

Categorization of public health advisories/orders/warnings/bulletins/recommendationsEdit

Where do we want to put things like boil-water advisory AKA boil-water warning, any articles on our presently near-ubiquitous COVID-19-related orders and recommendations, and any specific health-authority issuances/proclamations that are individually notable? We don't seem to have a category for this. For now, I put Boil-water advisory in Category:Health campaigns for lack of a better place, but this seems inadequate, and many of the documents are not campaign-like, but short-term and local.

Side question: is there an appropriate general legal/regulatory/public-policy wikiproject or taskforce/workgroup thereof whose project banner should appear on the talk pages of such articles? It seems weird that Talk:Boil-water advisory has no project tag but WP:MED's, despite the topic involving a lot of regulatory matters, social-justice concerns, economics, etc. (though our miserable stub on the topic doesn't get into much of that yet).

Hell, I'm not even sure what stub tags to put on this (there's not one I know of for this kind of document). While {{watersupply-stub}} was obvious as topically connected to this article in particular, it's unclear whether {{pathology-stub}} or {{infectious-disease-stub}} would make more sense (I think one would because BWA's are about micro-organisms, not toxins). I'm going to guess at pathology. But the stub cats. are confusing: Category:Parasite stubs is a subcat. of Category:Pathology stubs, but is the only subcat.; I would have expected to also see bacteria, viruses, etc. in there. I do find them in Category:Microbiology stubs, and that might be a valid stub cat. for this particular article as well.

Meanwhile, it still is not stub-categorized (or just plain categorized, or project-tagged) in any way as a legal, governmental/regulatory, social, political, or document-type topic.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:43, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

Seems like we'd want a new category Category:Health advisory for this and perhaps a corresponding stub tag. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 14:33, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
(ec)I don't typically think about categories, so my ideas here may be a bit off. Poking around, I don't see a current category that makes much sense. Maybe we could start a Category:Public health measures as a subcategory of... Category:Public health (there's not really something like Category:Government actions I can find)? Other articles that would go into such a category seem to be wanting in the categories department now: Water fluoridation belongs only to Category:Water fluoridation. Vaccination only to Category:Vaccination and Category:Biotechnology. Food fortification only to Category:Food additives.
To your side question: not that I know of. Wikipedia:WikiProject Water is focused on the water supply (but is currently inactive) and Wikipedia:WikiProject Sanitation (currently a one-person operation I think) jump to mind. But I can't recall seeing something focused on the legal/regulatory side (Wikipedia:WikiProject Law seems like a stretch). No opinion on stub-sorting. Ajpolino (talk) 14:50, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
I assume that Wikipedia:WikiProject Disaster management would also be interested in this article, but in practice, most WikiProjects are very small or inactive. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:36, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
They are, though they still serve their purposes. Even old lists of participating editors can help find people to consult with, and the categorization of the project tags do is often very useful (e.g. for finding articles in a topic that "Important" but still "Stub" or "Start").  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:39, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
Another obvious example is Stay-at-home order. It is only categorized as related to COVID-19, disaster management, quarantines, and "domestic" (i.e. national) responses. It's not a stub, so stub-tagging is irrelevant, but its talk page has no Med (nor legal/politics) project tagging, only COVID-19 and disaster management.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:37, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

Technical help with part of the project pageEdit

Hi all, I'm looking for someone with some technical know-how to let me know if something is possible. Our main project page has a Collaboration of the Month section, which just prints whatever is at this subpage. Right now, the section is a blurb about the collaboration of the month alongside a picture that cycles through three options. I'm wondering if instead the section could automatically display the first photo from whatever the current collaboration of the month is. Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current displays the title of the current collaboration (and I'll update that when we choose the current collaboration each month). So my question in short: if I feed something a page name, can it return the first image from that page? Or is this impossible/not worth the time to implement? Thanks! Ajpolino (talk) 02:31, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

I am pretty sure I know where those images are set ... give me a minute or twenty. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:55, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
Ha, I should know where they are set; I created the page (whatadork). But I copied Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/MCOTM from elsewhere, and put in images from past collaborations. We could manually change it to the one monthly image, unless someone else knows how to make it automatically grab the main image from the article chosen. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:00, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
I know how to do that, and I'm feeling well enough to have a go at writing some code for you tomorrow (it's a bit late here). Cheers --RexxS (talk) 03:02, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

@Ajpolino and SandyGeorgia: I've made Template:Findimage.

There are multiple ways of putting images into articles, and I've checked for [[File: and [[Image: as well as infoboxes that use |image= and galleries. Here are examples from Brushing (e-commerce), Coat of arms of Haiti and Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/MCOTM:

  • {{Findimage |Brushing (e-commerce)}} → Suspicious seed package.jpg
  • {{Findimage |Coat of arms of Haiti}} → Coat of arms of Haiti.svg
  • {{Findimage |Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/MCOTM)}}

If you find any others that the code doesn't pick up, please let me know. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 16:55, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, RexxS; since you are back among the living, I am going to leave this to you as I am so busy elsewhere, Bst, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:01, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
(ec) Amazing! I hope you'll forgive me the need for just a bit more handholding: I want Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/MCOTM (the module on the project page) to display an image from the current article of the month (whose title is update at Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current). Being a technical ignoramus, I try {{Findimage |Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}} but that gives me an error (presumably because there's no image on that page). So I try {{Findimage |{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}}}} and {{Findimage |{{subst:Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}}}} but of course neither works. So I think now I just need to know how to make the contents of a page appear within a template without making the template explode. Ajpolino (talk) 17:07, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
@Ajpolino: You get the contents of a page by using WP:Transclusion, so:
  • {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}}Tonsillitis
To get the image, we use {{findimage}} on the contents (which must be a page name or you'll get nothing):
  • {{Findimage |{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}} }} → Pos strep.JPG
Then you can use the filename however you want. For example:
  • [[File:{{Findimage|{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}}}} |thumb |upright=0.5 |COTM image]]
    COTM image
See wp:Image syntax for more options on using images. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 18:53, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
Ah ok, I'm almost there. Last thing, if I use your syntax, I can get that image, which is super. But if I try to preserve Sandy's image formatting and place the whole thing inside her div/gallery tags, I get no image. So if I provide the image name directly:
<div style="float:right;width:30%;"> <gallery mode="packed-overlay" heights="150"> File:Pos strep.JPG|{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}} </gallery> </div>
it works fine (shown at right), but putting it all together as
<div style="float:right;width:30%;"> <gallery mode="packed-overlay" heights="150"> File:{{Findimage|{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}}}}|{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Month/current}} </gallery> </div>
Gives me no image. The page I'm looking at is here. Does this trick not work inside the gallery/div tag? Certainly, the styling is not essential and I'm happy just using a smaller thumb as you've done above. Thank you for the much-needed explanations!! Ajpolino (talk) 20:34, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
@Ajpolino: The gallery tag has problems in the order it parses text when templates and Lua modules are called. Using Template:Gallery usually solves the problem (it has good documentation). I've added that to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/MCOTM page, Please feel free to play with the parameters to get the effects you want. Ping me if you get more problems. --RexxS (talk) 22:03, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
Fabulous! It looks great. Thank you for all the help. Ajpolino (talk) 22:20, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Expert help needed: Gamal EsmatEdit

Hello everyone,

I am trying to de-orphan the page of Prof. Gamal Esmat which is supposed to be a famous hepatologist and a Board Member of the strategic and technical advisory committee for viral hepatitis (STAC-Hep) from WHO. Unfortunately I am not able to find any meaningful and reliable source in order to back up this (and other) statements, given that I mostly found researches about hepatology under his name.

Since my field of work is in the IT I do not feel qualified with carrying on looking for sources myself, but rather than nominating this article for deletion point blank I would like to hear a second (or third) opinion in this matter.

Would someone be so kind to help me in this task? I am also tagging this article as expert needed, fyi.

Thanks a lot in advance!!


I-Bin-A-Bibi (talk) 19:05, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

I just did a Google search for "Gamal Esmat" and restricted the search results to news stories. There were lots of them. So definitely don't delete this article. It should be straightforward to de-orphan the article using these news stories if someone wants to put in the effort. Jaredroach (talk) 19:23, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Sometimes people make a list article (e.g., List of faculty members of the Courtauld Institute) or make a list of notable faculty as a ==Section== in the article about their current employer. I'd bet that David Eppstein could suggest a few other ideas.
Often, biographies are just left as orphans, and we don't worry too much about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:17, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
My knowledge of both Egyptian and medical academia is weak. But his citation record on Google Scholar looks strong enough for WP:PROF#C1 and his distinguished professor title is probably enough for #C5, at least. He is cited in Schistosoma mansoni so linking him from the citation there should at least provide one incoming link. I'm not enthusiastic about lists of faculty at institutions; categories do that better. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:30, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Hello again,

thanks a lot for everyone's help, the article is now de-orphaned!

Kind regards,

I-Bin-A-Bibi (talk) 06:24, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

Pandemrix: People probably have an opinion on this.Edit

Hey, I just read about the pandemrix case while reading about the association between narcolepsy and h1n1 vaccine when listening to a bbc program about vaccination. I wrote about this here:

I imagine this is something people might have opinions on.

Talpedia (talk) 23:10, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Talpedia, I think it's in the wrong article. Why don't you split it out to its own page? There has never yet been a vaccine on the market that didn't meet the WP:GNG easily. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:51, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
I think it deserves a mention in the vaccine safety section. The fact that vaccines have showed differential rates of adverse outcomes seems quite relevant to the question of vaccine safety in general - because it is quite suggestive that vaccines can have rare but real side effects - often those of the disease they protect against it seems. Obviously WP:DUE applies. How about something like "Different vaccines for the same disease can have different rates adverse events and this has resulted in legal action. An example of this was Pandemrix, a vaccine for H1N1.", and then moving this section into the Pandemrix article? Talpedia (talk) 03:59, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
Certainly adverse outcomes and their variability should be mentioned. However, there are vaccines with much more significant side effects than this one. Off hand, there was that disastrous flu vaccine in the 1970s that left some people paralyzed, and the dengue scandal in the Philippines, and the yellow fever vaccine whose side effects can be so bad that some travelers wonder whether the (usually small) chance of yellow fever might actually be a better alternative.
Also, completely apart from that, we should probably have an article on every vaccine that was ever marketed, or at least have a list of them all. This particular one probably has more to do with Influenza vaccine than with Vaccination in general, but I still think that you should start by splitting it into its own articlee. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:20, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
Okay, that's a pretty compelling argument. I'll see if I can dig up the dengue fever case and add something high-level that links to a few cases. Talpedia (talk) 09:59, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
I've added a more general discussion of "post-trial adverse outcomes". Comments welcome! Talpedia (talk) 11:43, 21 November 2020 (UTC)


Today's Guardian has an Opinion piece: "We need scientists to quiz Covid consensus, not act as agents of disinformation" by Sonia Sodha, which discusses reaction to the recently published DANMASK-19 trial. In particular, the author is critical of the response article in the Spectator magazine: "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect" by Prof Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson. The Spectator claims "Carl Heneghan is professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Tom Jefferson is a senior associate tutor and honorary research fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford". The study appears to be deeply flawed, as well as not answering the question some claim it does. A good roundup of expert reaction can be found at "expert reaction to paper using an RCT to assess mask use as a public health measure to help control SARS-CoV-2 spread (DANMASK-19)". In particular, the excellent Prof Trish Greenhalgh's comments are damning.

I think it worth looking at the variety of expert comments there, because some clearly want to say positive and nice things about the paper before mentioning that it doesn't answer the more important questions. Why is it that some are saying "well-designed and carefully presented study" and "a good study" and "a well-run trial with enough participants to have high confidence in the results" and "This is a very valuable community study. The paper is very clear, the analysis correct and the interpretation appropriate" and yet Greenhalgh, author of the book "How to Read a Paper", tears it apart so thoroughly that one wonders how it got published. For example, it appears to fail the basic ethics requirements of the journal it got published in. One of the responses Greenhalgh links: "Letter of concern regarding »Reduction in COVID-19 infection using surgical facial masks outside the healthcare system«" notes "this study is uninformative regarding the benefits (or lack thereof) of wearing masks outside of the healthcare setting." and says the study "poses a serious risk of mistranslation".

Coming back to article in the Spectator (a right-wing British magazine), it claims "As a result, it seems that any effect masks have on preventing the spread of the disease in the community is small." which is not a claim the study could have produced, even if it was well designed and conducted. Those authors also make a comment about observational vs RCT studies that appears over-simplistic and perhaps that has consequences for us also when we assess the evidence. It seems the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine is highly respected and does important work, yet this Spectator article appears scientifically incompetent and non-evidence-based. The Spectator have corrected the article title to no longer say "face masks have no significant effect to "no significant effect for facemask wearers".

The Guardian article concludes "The moral of this sorry tale? Trust science, not the scientists. They are only human, subject to the same cognitive biases, the same whims of ego, as the rest of us." -- Colin°Talk 12:32, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

See also Talk:COVID-19 pandemic/Archive 40#Effectiveness (or lack thereof) of face masks, where it has been considered and rejected. The actual result of the study, which does not align with the media descriptions, appears to be that recommending that adults wear masks (which is not quite the same as actually wearing them), in a community where most people don't use face coverings, probably has little or no effect on reducing the potential mask-wearer's chance of contracting COVID-19.
I gather that the upshot is what health authorities have been saying all along: masks primarily protect healthy people from the mask-wearers' potential germs, rather than primarily protecting the mask-wearers from non-mask-wearers. If we are feeling mean, then we could phrase this bluntly: People who refuse to wear masks when COVID-19 infection rates are up really are selfish jerks who don't care if they make other people sick. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:10, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
It is worse than that. The analysis of the study's design and limitations reduce the conclusion from "probably has little or no effect on reducing the potential mask-wearer's chance of contracting COVID-19" to "did not find anything informative about the effect of participants chances of contracting COVID-19". Not being able to demonstrate an effect (and quite a strong effect of 50% protection, equivalent to what some hoped a vaccine might produce) is not the same as demonstrating no effect. There were compliance issues and fundamental problems with the testing that meant some positive cases were likely infected prior to the study and some negative cases were likely to become positive after testing stopped. The study was under powered for a realistic threshold: rather than 50%, a even 10% protective effect might well have been cost-beneficial at reducing the R number below 1, but would have required a much larger study and/or a country with much higher prevalence. It is almost like they wanted it to fail.
However, I'm less interested in this specific study than in the reaction where experts failed to pick up the flaws or even reported results that were pretty clearly not evidence based from this study. I know the Spectator is not a MEDRS source, but the authors are experts one might expect to publish a review or meta analysis in a journal. Would their mistakes be caught there? I hope so. -- Colin°Talk 14:37, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
Some thoughts. Obviously this stuff is contentious (everything can become about intent, and it's true that it can be about intent), so it becomes important to be technical about the analysis. I think the study itself is quite clear about what it does and doesn't do, and includes confidence intervals. I imagine the power analysis might have been driven more by the number of participants available than anything else. Yes, it would have been good to do the study on 60k people, but that requires you to do a study of 60k people. One point worth bearing in mind in that in the *observational* studies the effect of masks was upwards of 60% ( - I'm suspicious here. You could view the study more as a punt at the effect being large than anything else. I think the comments about ethical concerns aren't necessarily very relevant to the analysis itself - studies that violate ethical principles often give you useful results - they might be relevant to the people who took party in the studies. I suspect that the authors would not make mistakes in journals. The critique about the antibody tests not being effective within the time period o the study is perhaps more interesting.... though does not necessarily reflect upon the authors. Talpedia (talk) 23:16, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Immune thrombocytopenic purpuraEdit

This article is a bit of a mess. For a long time, the I in ITP stood for idiopathic. But now, it is no longer idiopathic, but instead an autoimmune illness (the I now being immune). The article, even the lede, swings back and forth on if it is idiopathic ("...absence of other causes of low platelets") or not. It really could use some love. I'm not at all confident that I could fix it without causing more harm than good. So I thought I'd come here and hope someone has the time, interest, and ability to clean this up. Thanks. Hobit (talk) 23:05, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

We usually move disease-related articles when the ICD changes its official name. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:14, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
It's not the name. The problem is that at one point ITP had an unknown cause. Now it is known. But the article still indicates, in places, that it is unknown. Such as the quote I gave that's in the lede. I'm fairly sure that quote is now wrong (and has been for years). Hobit (talk) 13:17, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
"It's an autoimmune disease" is not always what people (especially patients) think is "the cause". What makes the autoimmune reaction start? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:37, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Any of a variety of infections, drugs, ... things that stimulate the immune system. — soupvector (talk) 20:06, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Presumably genetic susceptibility is a factor, too.
In my experience, when people want to know what the cause is, they usually want to hear something like "that drug you were taking" or "the nasty chemicals you use in the garden" or "smoking tobacco". They don't want to hear "it's caused by your immune system attacking your body". That's true, but what exactly made this immune system attack this body? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:17, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. Maybe that's what the article is trying to say? Not sure. I know a fair bit about ITP, but I don't know enough (either about ITP or how we write medical articles) to feel qualified to do a large rewrite here. Hobit (talk) 22:30, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Given immunological memory (e.g. that the immune systems of monozygotic twins rapidly diverge during life - reflecting the accumulated divergence of a lifetime of immunological experiences), ascribing cause is often an exercise in the availability heuristic rather than true or deep causal analysis. — soupvector (talk) 22:46, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Medical student editing initiativeEdit

Hello, I am supervising a group of medical students from Queen's University while they improve 17 Wikipedia medical articles. We are using the following project page which is also linked to an events dashboard. I will be moderating all the edits as they are made and we have the following series of steps to verify that what the students add is of high-quality, is accurately paraphrased, and is supported by WP:MEDRS sources. step 1: Faculty member "tutor" chooses a Wikipedia article in their field of expertise that they feel needs improving (most are B or C level articles). 2) Students share proposed article improvements with faculty members and health librarians via a series of course assignments including a lesson on MEDRS. 3) Students share a brief summary of their individual proposed change on the article talk page including the exact citation they propose to include. I will be moderating the 17 talk pages in case they need cleaning/citation tweaking, etc 4) Students practice editing, adding citations in their sandboxes. 5) Students edit their article based on feedback from talk pages. Each student aiming to add a paraphrased sentence or two along with its high-quality secondary source. 6) I will be moderating all the edits that the students make to the actual article to ensure the "final" improvement is of high-quality and meets Wikipedia guidelines. I do not need additional volunteers for the aforementioned steps, but if any of these articles interest you, encouraging and positively expressed feedback for the students would be great. It would be wonderful if we could show them how fun and interesting it can be to improve medical articles on Wikipedia and maybe a few of them will stick around to help us here at WP:MED! This is our fourth year running this short course following this similar work flow.JenOttawa (talk) 22:21, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

Great! Best of luck. One question, I see Cirrhosis is on this list. If I understand correctly, that means it is one of the pages chosen for student work? It's also currently a Collaboration of the Month nominee so if you're planning to improve it with your students, let me know and I'll pull it from the COTM nominations page for now. Ajpolino (talk) 00:38, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Good catch @Ajpolino: Thanks for noting this! Yes, one of the faculty identified Cirrhosis as needing work and chose it for their students. Sorry that I missed this. The students will not be completely overhauling the whole article, just improving different sections. They will be finished in 2 weeks. Thank you again, JenOttawa (talk) 02:57, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Got it, thanks. We just won't pick it this month then. To your original point, I'll keep an eye on Amyloidosis and help out (or just interact positively) with folks there. I'm glad to see all the work on this! Ajpolino (talk) 03:10, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Non-pharmaceutical interventionEdit

Hello -- I notice when I linked it that a redlinked editor has recently rewritten this article, and much of it now does not seem neutral/balanced/readable. I wonder if someone here could take a look? If nothing else, readers will be predominantly looking for coronavirus mitigation measures, which have been rather drowned out. Cheers, Espresso Addict (talk) 06:28, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Well... it certainly needs some cosmetic clean-up work, and some basic wiki-editing (e.g., to add links). The previous version was about three sentences long, so this is an improvement in some ways.
It's not clear to me whether NPIs are specifically non-drug ways of reducing your risk of getting infected by a pandemic virus, or if they're what it says on the tin, i.e., all non-drug treatments, including surgery, self-care, etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:05, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
I've done some clean-up work. It needs a lot more. Alexbrn, if you've got 10 minutes to spare, I think the middle of it would especially benefit from your kind of help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:16, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The latter (or at least not just the former). See PubMed: cancer-related fatigue, diabetes mellitus type 2, multiple sclerosis, occupational noise-induced hearing loss. TompaDompa (talk) 07:22, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, everyone. I've never seen it used to refer to surgical interventions. Espresso Addict (talk) 07:32, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
I split it: Non-pharmaceutical intervention for the term in general and Non-pharmaceutical intervention (epidemiology) for the specific use in epidemiology. TompaDompa (talk) 08:29, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
Espresso Addict, in your experience, is this usually more like a "doesn't require direct assistance from healthcare professionals" concept than a (narrowly) non-drug concept? ::::::WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:20, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: My personal understanding is that it refers to prescribed specific interventions or, in the current case, specific public-health guidelines that do not involve pharmaceuticals (or afaik surgical intervention). I wouldn't use it for general wellness-type advice of the sort that could safely be given by anyone to anyone. Espresso Addict (talk) 20:32, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • WhatamIdoing Thanks for the ping, I've made a brief start on some clean up of the split article, but am now going for a bike ride while the weather's good. More later ... Alexbrn (talk) 09:05, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Bye-bye baby, hello toddlerEdit

Although it requires some work, I don't think the current changes to the Toddler article are an improvement, more eyes needed please. CV9933 (talk) 10:47, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

This looks like a simple edit war over what age a toddler is/isn't. Adding some sources, such as this one, might help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:48, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
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