Effect Measure

Archives for December, 2006

It is an unconscious assumption of many public health officials, experts and most health educators that The Truth Shall Make you Free. We know it won’t, not even in something as simple as understanding what to do and not do about bird flu. A paper this month in CDC’s scientific journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, is…

Measles patient zero: 17 years old

Measles is now uncommon in the US, thanks to vaccination. Last year there were only 66 cases. But half of them came from a single, unvaccinated 17 year old who traveled to Romania on a church mission that visited an orphanage. The next day she returned to the US and attended a gathering of other…

Three human cases of bird flu in Egypt

The trouble with the influenza A/H5N1 virus is that it’s a virus and doesn’t know it’s Christmas and time to take a break. It doesn’t know anything because it doesn’t think or know or believe or want anything. It just makes copies of itself and that can be done anytime it and a suitable copy…

Wherein I respond to Orac’s counter-attack

[This is a very long post, a reply to Orac’s (my respected SciBling at Respectful Insolence) equally long response to my also long original post that invited him to tell us what he thought separated his brand of medicine from the “alties” he frequently posts about. Probably most of you won’t have the patience to…

It’s not just Sunday, but it’s Christmas Eve. Time for my annual In Praise of Christmas Sermonette. Because, yes, I am a big fan of Christmas. As a proud member of the godless, I am not a bit embarrassed or chagrined. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a lovely secular holiday. I’ll explain why, but…

The newswires are humming again with another story of the estimated toll a flu pandemic might exact, if it were as bad as 1918. This time the occasion is a paper just published (.pdf) in the British medical journal, The Lancet, which attempts the most careful estimate yet of the toll of the 1918 epidemic.…

Same old same old at FDA

The Revolving Door. Round and round she goes, where she stops, no one knows. On January 15, Dr. Scott Gottlieb leaves the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, returning to his old haunts at the ultra conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Gottlieb was at FDA for about a year and continued to…

If you were wondering what happened to bird flu, you can ask the people in Vietnam, South Korea and Nigeria. The virus doesn’t care if you know where it is or not. It just keeps going about its business, making copies of itself, using whatever hosts are around whose genetic and protein copy machines it…

Americans have never been good at saving. Especially, “saving themselves for marriage.”

This week President Bush signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (S. 3678). It has generally gotten favorable reviews from public health professionals concerned with preparedness, including the Clinicians Biosecurity Network and The Trust for America’s Health. We’ve taken a look, too, and find much to like, but whether this will indeed be useful will…