public health

Superbug

Category archives for public health

In the winter of 1999, I stood in an outpatient clinic in a pediatric hospital in New Delhi and listened to a father sobbing over the paralysis of his only son. He was a farmer and lived in Uttar Pradesh; counting walks, minibuses and trains, it had taken him 24 hours to get to the…

There’s a troubling item in this afternoon’s issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report or MMWR: The first report in the United States of a novel resistance mechanism that renders gram-negative bacteria extremely drug-resistant and that has been linked to medical care carried out in India or Pakistan. The short item describes three…

A set of papers published this month in two journals provide an unsettling glimpse into the rocketing incidence and complex epidemiology of one really scary pathogen, Acinetobacter baumanii. In the all-star annuals of resistant bugs, A. baumanii is an underappreciated player. If people — other than, you know, disease geeks — recognize it, that is…

Update: Access to dental care

A coule of days ago, I talked about the link between a potentially massive hepatitis B outbreak in West Virginia and the lack of access to primary dental care. I was mushy qualitatively descriptive, ahem, about the number of people who lack access to dental insurance. Comes now the CDC to save the day. In…

Via ProMED Mail comes a news report that about 2,000 people in 5 states are being sought by health departments so they can be checked for hepatitis B infection. The potential source: the Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic, a free dental-care fair held just about a year ago in Berkeley County in the far north-east…