Effect Measure

Archives for January, 2007

The Pentagon’s chief medical bully

Lecturers, even at a university like Harvard, are pretty far down the food chain. Even if, like Linda Bilmes an economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School, you were once an Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration and co-authored a paper recently with a Nobel Laureate economist. Lecturers are the kind of vulnerable faculty a…

CDC gets moving (we hope)

Our Wiki partner DemFromCT has this post at DailyKos this morning about a CDC media phone conference/advisory tomorrow on its new Public Service Announcements (PSA) on pandemic flu and its guidelines on community measures that can be taken in the absence of a vaccine. This is the kind of ratcheting up some will see as…

H5N1 vaccine: patch me through?

Exploration with new vaccine technologies is moving forward rapidly, although given the usual pace of the science and then necessary tests for safety and efficacy it isn’t likely we will have a bird flu vaccine sooner than two or three years from now. Maybe that’s enough time. Maybe it isn’t. It would have been good…

Ruling priorities: reigning cats and dogs

Many Americans were outraged when they learned the fur collar on their new made-in-China coat was really cat fur or dog fur. I guess the outrage at the sacrifice of what we know as a companion animal (aka pet) for clothing is understandable. If we kept mink or fox as pets it might elicit the…

One donut, black

I am going through the latest mathematical model papers on the spread of influenza on the air travel network and another on antiviral resistance, both published last week in PLoS Medicine. It’s taking me a while. They are not instant reads and I am busy at work. The air travel paper by Colizza et al.…

Follow-up on the Polonium-210 murder

Having spent several posts on the science behind Polonium-210 (here, here, here), we thought we’d bring you a follow up on the case to date. The murder weapon seems to be a pot of tea. How very English:

Whitewashing with the flu

Having taken on the American Chemical Society the other day, why stop there. Let’s talk about the American Chemistry Council, the ACC (neĆ© the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association, then the Chemical Manufacturers Association and now ACC). And bird flu. Yes, bird flu. The ACC is a trade association of the largest chemical companies and has a…

Sick birds and sick workers

Yesterday we took note of the mirror image of absenteeism, presenteeism. The concern here is that people will show up to work sick and if they are infectious, spread influenza or whatever else is going around. As we noted people have various reasons for working sick, not the least of which is that they cannot…

Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: Guernica

Let’s identify the enemy correctly. In a democracy, the enemy is cynicism. All enemies of democracy want you to be cynical about whether you can affect anything your government does. Cynicism is deeply anti-democratic. Even on a day where we gathered by tens or hundreds of thousands to tell our political leaders they must stop…

Presenteeism: spreading disease at work

Whenever the topic of sick leave comes up, employers are quick to raise the specter of malingering to get out of work. But a recent report on CNN suggests that showing up when sick may be costing plenty, too. “Presenteeism” is not just a financial problem but a public health one particularly germane to influenza: