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Category archives for CDC

CBS News on swine flu testing: Fail!

A reader (h/t MVD) sent me this link to a “CBS News Exclusive,” Study Of State Results Finds H1N1 Not As Prevalent As Feared. As far as I can see the main aim was to raise CBS News’s profile and gain readership. That’s what news organizations do. We hope they do it by good journalism.…

Monday morning, start of week three of the official flu season (which began October 4). CDC’s scientific spokeswoman on the flu, Dr. Anne Schuchat has said we are seeing “unprecedented” flu activity for this time of year, including an unusual toll in the pediatric age group. What does “unprecedented” mean? It’s not very specific on…

A good story by the AP’s Lauran Neergaard yesterday highlighted the need for better public health surveillance and the efforts being made to improve it so as to keep track of possible rare side effects from the swine flu vaccine. This is an issue we’ve talked about a lot here, most recently in the context…

Making sense of “flu season”

Flu season has started in earnest, even though it’s not “officially” flu season until week 40 (first week in October this year). How do we know it’s flu season if we don’t test everyone and can’t count flu? We use a surveillance system. The flu surveillance system has lots of moving parts and five or…

Bats, rabies and how Congress reacts

Bats are no doubt fascinating animals. They also carry rabies. And I’ll be honest with you. Rabies scares the crap out of me. Most people know that rabies is caused by a virus that is spread through the saliva of an infected animal. Because the virus attacks the nervous system, rabid animals often act aggressively…

Flu, handwashing and disinfecting the world

Most people are either indifferent to swine flu or fearful, but the makers of Purell hand sanitizer and Chlorox are happy. It’s been a boon to the business of sanitizing everything in sight as a way to ward off swine flu. Here’s a story about Chlorox (bleach):

“End of flu season” redux

At the beginning of September CDC initiated a new system for monitoring influenza activity. We reported last week that the old system ended on August 30 and that we were now into the new flu season. We even titled the post, “End of Flu Season.” To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of…

The end of flu season

Flu season is over. Before you heave a sigh of relief, I’m talking about the (official) 2008 – 2009 flu season, which ended August 30 in week 34 or the calendar year. Welcome to the new flu season, the one called 2009 – 2010. It promises to be, well, “interesting.”

CDC happenings

Things have been quiet at CDC but apparently they have been changing. First, Dr. Richard Besser, who acquitted himself ably as Acting Director after January 20 until early June when Obama’s new appointment, Dr. Thomas Frieden took over, has decided to leave CDC for television. Yes, television. Many at CDC will be sorry to see…

CDC’s new flu website

Somewhere around mile 500 of the Revere tribe’s 1000 mile trek to the beach for an alleged vacation — long digression that interrupts the clear meaning of the sentence: if I’m on vacation, what am I doing writing about it? That’s what Mrs. R. asked, as she headed to the beach, leaving me in air…