Effect Measure

Archives for December, 2006

Flu in Vietnam — and wherever you live

What looked like probable human H5N1 in Vietnam with four cases in one family (a mother and three children), may not be, although the circumstances are sufficiently suspicious we prefer to suspend judgment a bit longer before concluding that this was a false alarm. False negatives and false positives occur. In some senses, though it…

According to wingnut whacko James Pinkerton, nut case columnist for Newsday, at least one war is going well, these days: the war against The War on Christmas:

Indonesia and Nigeria have a couple of things in common. One is bird flu. So far, both countries have a stubborn endemic infestation of the virus in their poultry, and neither has been successful in bringing it under control. Indonesia also has the distinction of more human fatalities from bird flu than any other nation,…

Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States and the only one not to be elected as either President of Vice President, isn’t even in the ground yet but some of him is being resurrected. Over at Gristmill Dave Roberts has an excellent piece on Ford’s 1975 State of the Union speech (complete with a…

A bird flu earthquake zone

The third of the recently diagnosed H5N1 cases in Egypt has now died, bringing that country’s total to 18 cases with 10 deaths, the largest outside asia, southeast asia or Indonesia. The case count for 2006 now shows more cases (114) and more deaths (79) than any previous year. And the virus was more deadly,…

Dead bodies don’t cause disease outbreaks

I’m not sure why I’m bothering to say this — again — but it always seems to be necessary. The horrific oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria that took over 260 lives is now being treated as a possible focus of epidemic disease because of the decaying bodies. Dead bodies in mass casualties do not cause…

Like Indonesia, the Philippines is an archipelago, comprising some 7000 islands of varying size. It is also close to Indonesia, which lies just to the south across the Sulu Sea. Indonesia has more bird flu deaths than any country in the world and the disease is endemic in poultry all over that huge country. But…

I don’t ordinarily write about health care reform here, partly because it isn’t my expertise, partly because other interests come first, partly because others do it much better. But I have been thinking a good deal about what needs to be done for our public health infrastructure and that necessarily brings health care reform into…

Bird flu: some things bear repeating

Somethings you don’t have to keep saying and others bear repeating. This is one that bears repeating because most of us would rather believe we are making progress on combatting avian influenza. The exemplar in the fight was Vietnam, the country still with the most confirmed human cases (Indonesia has the most deaths), but also…

The public healthinator?

Our SciBling Matt Nisbet over at Framing Science has called our attention to a WaPo piece about Governor Arnold (The Terminator) Schwarzenegger’s emergence as one of the most pro-environment state-house chiefs in the nation. The fact that he runs the biggest state with enormous economic clout makes it all the more significant. Reading the WaPo…