Effect Measure

Archives for June, 2009

The school closing problem

The easiest way for public officials to scare the crap out of people is to tell them “not to panic.” A variant on this is, “It’s not time to panic,” implying that there will be such a time or that there is ever such a time. The first to panic are usually public officials because…

Swine flu: pandemic pre-history

However this pandemic evolves, we are going to learn a lot about how pandemics evolve — or maybe even start. A paper just published online in Nature sets out a bit more of what we know about this pandemic strain (yes, we can officially refer to it that way now) and makes some observations about…

Some angry thoughts about the pandemic

WHO today declared we an influenza pandemic is underway (aka, phase 6), which is not news to anyone. This beast has been barreling long for at least 3 or 4 weeks and the reluctance to call it what it was was related to resistance from some of WHO’s member states (the UK, China and Japan…

Pneumococcal vaccine

In William Osler’s day (turn of the 20th century), pneumonia was called “the old man’s friend,” because it took the elderly away quietly and with relatively little fuss. It was most often caused by the pneumococcal organism, now called Streptococcus pneumoniae. When penicillin came on the scene in the mid 20th century, there was at…

Swine flu: are we there, yet?

Listening to yesterday’s press briefing with WHO’s Dr. Keiji Fukuda (audio file here), several things seemed clear to me. The first is that everyone, WHO included, thinks a pandemic is well underway. Second, WHO’s efforts to explain why they are not making it “official” by going to phase 6 are becoming increasingly awkward and the…

You learn a lot when you move from investigator to subject. I just heard about Drive-by Tylenol for day-care and school age kids. This is the practice of stuffing a couple of Tylenol down the little tyke’s throat to bring down a fever just before entering the daycare center. The objective is to get 4…

An interesting piece on an infection trial of novel H1N1 in pigs appeared on ProMed over a week ago, but with dealing with swine flu up close and personal and all, I am only just getting to comment on it. This was a study done in the EU (VLA-Weybridge, Mammalian Influenza Group) to see how…

Swine flu comes home

There is no reason why a flu blogger-epidemiologist-physician’s family should be immune to flu in the community. And it appears my family is not. My daughter has had a cough for the last few days and Friday night was suddenly seized by nausea, vomiting and fever. Her HMO’s urgent care directed her to the Emergency…

Regarding the murder (in Church) of Dr. George Tiller:

CDC is reporting about 14,000 confirmed or probable cases of swine flu, although they have already said this may represent only a fraction of the total number of infected. I wasn’t able to find the latest number of those hospitalized (some of you probably have it but I couldn’t locate it with a quick search),…