Tagged Public Health

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Meets Reality

In the worst way, of course: In the ongoing skirmishes between public health officials and vaccine skeptics, I’m scoring this one for the pro-immunization forces. A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunized against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease. Yes, Tara Hills was stuck in isolation at her Ottawa home for more than a week with her sick children and her regrets about refusing to vaccinate them against the highly contagious respiratory disease. Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, causes violent,…

Quote of the Day

The autistic brain is not particularly good at understanding irony, and yet most people I’ve met on the autism spectrum have, over time, developed a pretty strong grasp of the concept. Many of us have even managed to teach ourselves how to wield it. I’ve begun to suspect that this is due to our constant hands-on experience. Having an autism spectrum disorder in an ableist world means that you’re constantly exposed to cruel irony. Most frequently, this comes in the form of neurotypical (i.e. non-autistic) people who tell you, incorrectly, that you can’t or don’t feel empathy like them, and…

So, Ron Klain Will Be the Ebola Czar . . .

And I have something of a problem with it, given the penchant of government in general, and this administration in particular to name czars to handle crises. After all, I would think that given the current bureaucracy in place, and the fact that we already have a national security adviser, secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and a director of the Centers for Disease Control at their desks and working, we really don’t need an additional czar to take care of things. And yes, Ronald Klain was involved in making Solyndra a household word, and that doesn’t…

Quote of the Day

We know what needs to be done. Last week, finally, the United States government organized the deployment of three thousand aid workers and began marshalling a wider international response. Inside our borders, the C.D.C. has fostered a cadre of thousands of public-health professionals at the local, state, and federal levels who are ready to respond and who have proved to be reliable and effective at getting this kind of work done. And, with the announcement of the Dallas case, hospitals across the country are now scrambling to get their procedures in place. Doctors’ offices should do so, too. They need…

Ebola and the Response to Ebola

Dan Drezner writes on the international response to the Ebola outbreak, and what that response says about global health governance. The whole thing is worth reading, of course, but items 6 and 7 strike me as being especially noteworthy, if especially depressing as well.

At Long Last, a Better Brad DeLong

Be sure to read this post by Brad DeLong on why we shouldn’t worry about an Ebola epidemic, and why we should be tremendously displeased by our failure to stop Ebola in its tracks when we had a chance. DeLong’s post is measured, reasoned, intelligent, informed, and exceedingly well-written. Credit where it is due; it adds a great deal to the discussion regarding what to do about Ebola. Of course, there are others who have made points similar to those being made by DeLong. I deliberately chose, however, to highlight DeLong’s post in order to show just how valuable a blogger…

Well . . .

Ebola has been diagnosed for the first time in the United States, a statement that can be something of a conversation stopper. We are told–and we have been told for a while–that it was inevitable that the virus would find its way to our country, and we are given assurances (reasonably convincing assurances, at that) that the virus will be contained. Still, this is something of a watershed moment in American history. Maybe it is unreasonable to be made a bit nervous by the news that Ebola is no longer a stranger to America, but I imagine that nerves are…

Quote of the Day

MARACAY, Venezuela—A string of deaths in a hospital here has sparked fears of a potent, mosquito-borne disease and led authorities to seek a doctor’s arrest for allegedly sowing panic, leaving residents wondering how to explain their symptoms. Angel Sarmiento, president of the College of Doctors in Aragua state, told reporters on Sept. 11 that a virus or bacteria may have been responsible for the deaths of eight patients in quick succession at the Central Hospital of Maracay. A ninth patient died three days after Dr. Sarmiento’s comments. Insisting there was no cause for general alarm, President Nicolás Maduro last week…