Public health

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Category archives for Public health

You have to move fast these days to keep up with the flu. Or outrun it. A quick roundup from the last 24: From the invaluable H5N1: Mexico: 4,000 H1N1 cases in 7 days Spain: 31,322 cases and 6 deaths in one week US: 15 states could run out of hospital beds Scotland sees it…

Swine flu spreads, and confusion with it

Updates from the flu front: Confusion grows over the still-unreleased study that apparently finds, contrary to other studies, that getting this year’s seasonal flu shot may raise your risk of getting swine flu. Peter Sandman, meanwhile, argues that since the swine flu seems to have largely displaced the seasonal flu, getting vaccinated for the latter…

Eric Michael Johnson contemplates the hearts, minds, teeth, and claws of bonobos and other primates. Tara Smith explains why she’ll be getting her kids their (seasonal) flu vaccines. Revere does likewise Daniel Menaker, former honcho at Random House, defends the midlist. (Where was he when my book was getting so much push?) Just in case…

Much ado about swine flu

The swine flu triage tent at Dell’s Children’s Medical Center, in Austin, Texasphoto: Ralph Barerra, Austin American-Statesman I can’t keep up with the flu news. (If you want to, best single bet — the wide net – is Avian Flu Diary.) But as the World Health Organisation meets in Hong-Kong to discuss, among other things, swine…

Misdiagnosing the live and the dead

“One in six patients ‘wrongly diagnosed by NHS doctors’,” shouts the Daily Mail (via EvidenceMatters. This should not surprise us: Autopsies have been finding a similar percentage of misdiagnosis among the dead for decades. Doctors will always miss some diagnoses. Progress is a matter of ever narrowing the list of things doctors miss — so…

My latest piece for Slate examines the unsettling consequences of the United States’ choice of swine flu vaccines. The good news about these vaccines is that, to judge by the first vaccine trial results, published last week, they appear to work fast, safely — and at about a half to a quarter of the doses…

You can’t make this stuff up. As PharmaGossip (among others, including the Times) reportst, a drug company pays $2.3 billion in fines to settle charges of unprecedented seriousness about practices that directly put patients at risk, and that came out of a four-year federal investigation. And some yahoo right-winger asserts this fine — years in…

Both Mind Hacks and Jonah Lehrer took interesting note — Jonah’s the longer, and a pretty nice summary itself — of the fascinating NY Times piece on ultramarathoner Diane Van Deren, who began running long distances after brain surgery removed much of her right temporal lobe. This gave her a great advantage: the lack of…

Scientific American has a good story by Edmund S. Higgins suggesting that might be the case. As the story notes, the evidence for such a toll is still preliminary. But the story’s opening, which tells of a parent seemingly overeager to medicate a child who didn’t need it, gives an idea of why the question…

In case you missed them (or miss them, and want to read again …) The (Illusory) Rise and Fall of the “Depression Gene” DIY circumcision with nail clippers Go figure. Oliver Sacks meets Jon Stewart Wheels come off psychiatric manual; APA blames road conditions Alarming climate change chart of the day Swine flu count in…