Effect Measure

Archives for August, 2009

A pandemic is an outbreak that’s world wide. Usually it’s a single strain of some pathogen. But it doesn’t have to be. There can be multiple strains, each intent on reproducing itself but adapted to its own niche:

Feces for dinner?

Infection with norovirus is something to which the adjective “unpleasant” hardly applies. While it’s a self-limiting affliction, if you’ve ever had it, it’s hard to imagine anyone subjecting themselves to norovirus willingly. But if anything illustrates the principle that people will do anything for a buck, this does: “Getting sick for science (and money)”

The current pandemic with swine H1N1 remains sensitive to the oral neuriminidase inhibitor, oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an antivial. How long that will last isn’t clear, and neither drug in this category (Tamiflu or zanamivir/Relenza) is very effective, although they appear to work to some extent against sensitive influenza virus. But Tamiflu can be expensive and the…

Corrupt Senator condemns corrupt doctors

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is the ranking Republican on health insurance reform and has also been a dogged critic of conflicts of interest in academic medicine. We’ve commented before that Grassley is a gold plated hypocrite because he himself reads ghostwritten talking points from the insurance industry, makes false and fraudulent claims on their behalf…

How an election saves lives

The original post was called, “Timing is everything.” That’s a truism. But it could have been called, “Elections do matter.” “Timing is everything” was posted the April before the 2006 mid term elections and it highlights blogger extraordinaire Jordan Barab and the importance of OSHA. Now it’s 2009 and guess who the Acting Director of…

Will the FDA get tougher?

We hear rumors the Obama FDA is not like the Bush FDA. We’ll see. We don’t expect to agree with everything they do. But if the question is, how are they doing?, one response might be, “compared to what?”: “Tough guys at the FDA (sarcasm alert)”

Some flu science posts, I.

Still “fishin’ “ but back at the bait shop we left this note. Over the years we’ve written a lot about the basic science of influenza. Much of it centered on avian influenza H5N1 (“bird flu”), an extremely nasty and worrisome virus that is bubbling away in a rich stew of humans and livestock on…

Quiet heroes of public health

Here’s some more while we fish. Some things are worth repeating and some people worth celebrating. Quiet Heroes of Public Health was a 2005 post which included a bow to the Environmental Research Foundation’s Peter Montague, whose last (and 1000th) issue of Rachel’s News was in February of this year (2009). Click through. We’re looking…

We may be on vacation, but flying Rabbis with trumpets deserve a day of their own and because it’s swine flu related there is no escaping this delectable item. PZ over at Pharyngula even had a link to a video which is something to behold. But first, for those of you who haven’t heard the…

We don’t fish, but if we did . . .

If the Reveres fished, they’d put up a sign that says, “Gone fishin’”. But we don’t fish, so that wouldn’t be true. By now everyone probably knows the Reveres are at the beach, allegedly on vacation. Since only one Revere writes at a time, I will use the first person here (it’s easier), but I…