Adriana writes:

Hello TWIV team,

I am finally writing to say a heartfelt thanks for all that you do to educate and inform people about viruses specifically but science generally.

I started listening to TWIV at the beginning of the pandemic . I was a school nurse and was advised by a pediatrician that your podcast would be a real help. It was and is. Even though I have been retired for a year,  I still greatly enjoy listening to TWIV. AND that includes the banter!

I am sometimes just hanging in there  by a thread in understanding exactly what it is you are talking about . The thread almost snaps but then one of you says “ so basically or in other words”. Then,  I get the point of the discussion and the primary take away.

I have learned and continue to learn so much from TWIV. Your podcast made a huge difference during the pandemic when I was navigating the real concerns of my elementary school students and worried parents, teachers and administrators. I was able to say I do not know when that was really the only truthful answer. I could do that with confidence because you were also saying that but with additional information on what could be known and what would need to happen in order to know.

I have been a nurse in various pediatric settings including critical care, a refugee camp and public health clinics over my 50 years of practice .Being a volunteer vaccinator during the pandemic seemed like going out with a bang rather than a whimper…so that is about the only good thing about the pandemic other than now indulging my life long interest in infectious disease by listening to your podcast and reading the books and articles you recommend. I have read  Immune , A Shot to Save the World, Racism not Race, Breathless, and I have  just started Fever. All books that were discussed on TWIV.

I love your picks and always look forward to sharing in your broad interests and passions. “Cooking with an Italian Grandmother ” has become a favorite not only for me but my entire family. That was a pick of Vincent’s.

I so appreciate your standing up for science and against misinformation and the flat out lying for political gain. My husband, a now retired pediatrician, and I are sad and disheartened to see the current trend in anti vaccination and vaccine misinformation. We count TWIV and Paul Offit among those champions for children whose voices are so desperately needed.

Do not stop what you are doing. Speak loudly and boldly. You are needed.

Count me as a grateful and committed listener,


Children need to be healthy to be educated and educated to be healthy.

“ If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right” Dr. Paul Farmer

Rachel writes:
Hi TWIV, hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather! I’m an intern at a hospital in Queens and recently diagnosed my hospital’s 4th case of West Nile Virus. All cases were from this September. 3/4 of the cases had CNS involvement, and one of the patients died. I’ve only been at this hospital for a few months, but from the reactions I’m getting when I tell attendings involved in the cases what the diagnosis is, it appears most of them have never seen West Nile before.

I wanted to write because you have so many clinicians in your audience, and I’m sure many of them also don’t think of West Nile immediately. But I think it’s an important diagnosis to keep in your differential for patients with fevers and flu-like symptoms and/or encephalopathy where they can’t find another obvious cause. I don’t know if this year is particularly bad, but with the global temperatures rising, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more mosquito-borne viruses up here in the Northeast. 


Jeannie writes:

YouTube video: How did consciousness evolve 

It’s an RI lecture from Nicholas Humphrey who has also written a book on this topic.

Hope you all have a wonderful day, up here in Inuvik, Northwest Territories Canada it’s 2 degrees c and dark and getting darker! (We will lose the sun in about 2 months and lose about 15 minutes a day of sunlight)

Jeannie Mills, The Knitting Crone

Michael writes:


I am an assistant research professor at Penn State and, as part of my extension appointment, frequently teach the public about blacklegged ticks and Lyme disease since they are so common in Pennsylvania. I also co-host Arthro-Pod, an entomology-themed podcast that covers all aspects of the discipline.

I knew West Nile virus is present in Pennsylvania but didn’t know much about it since I’m usually so focused on ticks and Lyme. So I was excited to listen to episode 1031 of TWiV: Death on the West Nile. Your discussion of the Gervais et al. (2023) paper was so interesting that I thought we should cover it on Arthro-Pod. So in the most recent episode of the show we did a deep dive into West Nile virus where I laid out the history of West Nile from its discovery in Uganda to its spread around the world; how different mosquito species with different host preferences amplify West Nile in birds and then transmit it to humans; signs and symptoms of West Nile virus infection in humans and horses; and capped the show off with a discussion of Gervais et al, which included background on things like “what is an interferon” since we don’t usually cover such topics. 

Thank you for discussing the paper on TWiV and providing the inspiration for me to learn more about West Nile.

Best regards,

Michael Skvarla


Michael Skvarla, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor of Arthropod Identification

Department of Entomology

Penn State University

Rose writes:

I just finished listening to TWIV 1047 about avian flu and had a small anecdote to relate about rhinorrhea in chickens. 

In 2005 I did a story about avian flu and the biosecurity measures taken by commercial growers. For that story, I interviewed veterinarian Donna Carver from the poultry department at North Carolina State University who explained that when chickens get runny noses, they don’t have Kleenex at their disposal. 

“If you walk into a flock and you see dirty feathers over the shoulders or the wing area, then you probably have a respiratory disease because they’re wiping their eyes and their noses on that and the dirt from the house sticks to it,” she told me. 

Now in our household, if my husband or I are feeling ill, we’ll announce it to the other by saying we have “dirty shoulder feathers.” 

Fascinating show, as always. Cheers!


Rose Hoban, RN, MPH

Health Reporter

Founding editor – North Carolina Health News

Simon writes:

TWIV team,

Whilst I don’t keep up with as many of your shows as I did during the pandemic I do still make a point to listen to as much as I can. You have a great community and the work you all do for science communication is so important.

Anyway, for the last year I’ve been participating in a study by Serimmune mostly in SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. It’s interesting in a few ways.

First, you do your own blood draw and send it in by usps. A neat little device you stick on your arm. Click a button. This causes a small puncture. Blood drips into the attached vial. Then you peel off and put on a bandaid. 

Second, they do this every 6m and profile antibodies to about 50 or more epitopes across S and N. They share your own results plotted over time and also post wider results.

Third, they also test for half a dozen or so other antibodies.

Anyway you should check them out. They also apparently just had an article published in long covid bio markers.

Keep up the good work.


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