Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Thursday, September 26, 2002

    Smallpox Preparedness: The Bloviator pointed me to this piece in the NY Times that gave voice to concerns about smallpox preparedness by public health officials at the state level, the people who will be responsible for administering the plan. As I suspected ,they’ve got more unanswered questions about the whole thing than answered questions.

    Dr. Mack Sewell, New Mexico's state epidemiologist, said achieving that level of readiness "is a matter of time, attention and resources," all of which are uncertain at this point.

    Earlier this summer, federal officials said they would recommend "preattack" vaccination for up to 500,000 emergency workers, but state officials complain that they have received little or no guidance on the critical question of how much vaccine will be made available, and when, or who will have to be immunized ahead of time so they can carry out the mass vaccinations.

    "They've really been bobbing and weaving on this," said Gary L. Simpson, director of the New Mexico infectious disease bureau. "We've looked at numbers that range from 500 up to 50,000 people, and that's just in New Mexico."

    Federal officials said a plan for vaccinating emergency health care workers, after repeated delays, was to be made public by month's end.

    Judging from my email discussion groups, this is widespread. Nothing has been communicated to the local departments on vaccination of healthcare workers.

    Dr. Tucker added that good public communication, vital to the plan's success, seemed to be an afterthought. "It's very unclear whether C.D.C. or the states are developing the necessary communication strategy to prevent panic in the event of an outbreak," he said.

    Again, my email discussion groups indicated that no communication strategy is in the works. The public health doctors say across the board that they feel educating local physicians is the duty of professional societies, not the health department. They only consider it their responsibility to administer the vaccine. Yet, even one case of smallpox is a devastating public health problem. We practicing physicians have to know what to do if a case walks into the office. Do we lock everyone in the building until they can be vaccinated to ensure that they don’t carry it out to the community? Where does the patient go for quarantine? Who do we call to find out, especially if you’re in an emergency room at 2AM? These things need to be answered if the CDC approach of mass voluntary vaccination only after an attack is to be effective.

    posted by Sydney on 9/26/2002 07:34:00 AM 0 comments


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006