Archives for June, 2009

Swine Flu: Officially a Pandemic

The World Health Organization has officially declared that we’re at the start of an influenza pandemic. Nearly 30,000 cases of swine flu/H1N1 have been confirmed in 74 countries, and the virus is spreading easily among people in multiple regions of the world. North America has had the highest number of cases so far – 13,217…

Less than two weeks ago, Dr. George Tiller, one of the few health providers who would still perform late-term abortions, was murdered. (Judith Warner’s column on Dr. Tiller’s important work is well worth a read.) Police arrested Scott Roeder of Kansas City, and the office manager of a Kansas City women’s clinic says that Roeder…

Swine flu: are we there, yet?

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure Listening to yesterday’s press briefing with WHO’s Dr. Keiji Fukuda (audio file here), several things seemed clear to me. The first is that everyone, WHO included, thinks a pandemic is well underway. Second, WHO’s efforts to explain why they are not making it “official” by going to phase 6…

Explosion at NC ConAgra meat plant

Updated below (6/13/09) The Associated Press and other news sources are reporting on an explosion today at a meat processing facility in Garner, NC.  Four workers are missing, at least 41 are injured, including several with very severe burns.  One worker reports: “I was picking up a piece of meat off the line and I…

Healthcare Reform Proposals Taking Shape

The last time we had a major health reform proposal was the Clinton administration, and it didn’t go well. Ezra Klein explains the reasons: Instead of bringing members of Congress and stakeholders into the process early, the administration drafted a detailed proposal and then presented it to Congress. Those in favor of reform failed to…

Praise for Kathryn Mahaffey’s Work

As the public health community mourns the loss of a great scientist and colleague, The Pump Handle would like to share some of what has been written about Kate Mahaffey.  Please leave your own remembrances in the comments section below. “I have known Kathryn as a colleague for more than a decade, but most recently…

Swine flu comes home

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure There is no reason why a flu blogger-epidemiologist-physician’s family should be immune to flu in the community. And it appears my family is not. My daughter has had a cough for the last few days and Friday night was suddenly seized by nausea, vomiting and fever. Her HMO’s urgent…

Tribute to Kathryn R. Mahaffey, PhD

It is with deep sadness we inform you of the sudden passing of Kathyrn R Mahaffey, PhD.   Kate had an exceptional and diverse career, with appointments at FDA, NIOSH, NIEHS and EPA.   Most recently, Kate served as a Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington University School of Public Health. Her husband, David Jacobs offers the following remembrance and tribute…

The E-Cigarette: A Bad Moon Rising?

I think it was around Christmastime last year, while frantically traipsing through the mall in search of bargains, that an over-eager kiosk salesperson stepped into my path.  Wonderful, I thought.  Another person trying to sell me overpriced hand cream. I tried to go around her, hoping she’d get the hint—to no avail.  Oddly, instead of…

Swine flu: New York City

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure In New York City, an illness termed “mild” for many has killed 7 and put 300 in the hospital. A preliminary analysis of about half of those hospitalized, most (82%) were said to have some underlying medical condition. That’s common with flu, but it’s also a reminder that one…