Worth reading: Reckless executives, avian flu, and the relationship between money and life expectancy
Rena Steinzor in the New York Times Opinion Pages: Judgment Day for Reckless Executives Angus Deaton in JAMA: On Death and Money: History, Facts, and Explanations (This is an editorial about the study by Raj Chetty and colleagues on income and life expectancy, and you can also read about their findings in the New York Times.) Maryn McKenna in the New York Times Magazine: The Looming Threat of Avian Flu Kira Shepherd in Rewire: The Context of Historical Racism Matters in the Birth Control Benefit Case Edward Humes in Citylab: The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life
A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Robin Marantz Henig in the New York Times Magazine: The Last Day of Her Life David Heath at the Center for Public Integrity: American Chemistry Council lied about lobbying role in flame retardants, consultant says Maryn McKenna at Germination: The Avian Flu Epidemic: Massive Impact, Uncertain Future Lydia DePillis in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog: The next labor fight is over when you work, not how much you make Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker: The Plot Against Trains
Mark Pendergrast writes: To kick off this book club discussion of Inside the Outbreaks, I thought I would explain briefly how I came to write the book and then suggest some possible topics for discussion. The origin of the book goes back to an email I got in 2004 from my old high school and college friend, Andy Vernon, who wrote that I should consider writing the history of the EIS. I emailed back to say that I was honored, but what was the EIS? I had never heard of it. I knew Andy worked on tuberculosis at the CDC, but I didn't know that he had been a state-based EIS officer from 1978…
The damage done resembles that found in bird flu as well as 'acute respiratory distress symptom,' reports Branswell - the latter being a condition that can rise from a number of causes, and which kills 30% of those who get it. (That is, get ARDS, not swine flu.) Yet more signs that this is a strange strain.
When the media first caught wind that people had gotten sick with an Avian influenza virus, they began spreading fear about a global epidemic. The strain in question, H5N1, is devastating to birds. It's killed millions of poultry in Asia alone, and disease experts worried that close contact with infected animals might give the virus the opportunity to exchange genetic material with a human influenza virus, allowing the deadly avian flu to be spread person to person. All and all, 248 humans have died from the H5N1 according to WHO data as of January 2009. H5N1, as a strain, infects more…
As the time of the year approaches when influenza virus is most rampantly transmitted, ScienceBloggers are assesing current influenza vaccination practices and questioning how shortcomings in them could play out in a pandemic situation, which experts predict could arise in the near future. To help prevent contracting the flu this season, ScienceBogger PalMd advises frequent hand washing.