Effect Measure

Archives for November, 2009

Swine flu in China: no problem

Since the way Chinese public health officials traditionally save face is by covering their ass, when I hear things like this I don’t automatically believe it:

Biblical exegesis as it was meant to be:

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is reporting sporadic occurrences of a mutation in a portion of the flu virus that is involved with the process by which it attaches to cells. I use the word “sporadic” because at this point there is no evidence that the cases where the genetic change has been found…

The uninsured and surviving an accident

Swine flu is a special danger to the young, but the biggest danger to the young is not an infectious disease but unintentional accidents. No matter what your age accident is among the top ten causes of death, but for those between the ages of 1 and 44 it is number one. Prevention oriented accident…

The Director of Loyola University Medical Center’s clinical microbiology laboratory is reported as saying that rapid flu tests are a public health risk. Here’s some of what he said and then my explanation as to why it is misleading or just plain wrong: Rapid influenza diagnostic tests used in doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical laboratories…

Hate crimes, risks and numbers

I have been away (again) and out of internet contact most of the day, dealing with an unhappy family event. So this post is short but illustrates an important point that comes up frequently in epidemiology: the difference between risks and absolute numbers. The illustration is not medical, but I think sharper because of it:

The blogosphere (DemFromCT at DailyKos) and the main stream media (Alan Sipress at the Washington Post) brought us the two faces of the current flu pandemic. Like Janus, one took lessons from the present and past, the other looked worriedly to the future. Dem’s piece on flu at DailyKos (a regular feature of the world’s…

We were asked repeatedly offline and in the comments for our views on what was or was not going on in the Ukraine, but we steadfastly declined to post on it. We didn’t know any more than you can find out from news sources, so we had nothing to add in the way of hard…

Swine flu conspiracy theories

Any article entitled “On swine-flu conspiracy theories” should have an automatic warning label, but the one noted below, in the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail is really terrific (h/t ML). Conspiracy theories are all over the internet and they even show up here in the comments from time to time, but I’m glad to…

Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: we imagine

You all know this song, but it is unusually affecting when sung by a child: