Skip to main content

View Diary: What Does The Swine Flu Outbreak Mean? (332 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  OT but serious: Rare & Deadly Meningitis Outbreak (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, freakofsociety

    There is an outbreak of a rare and deadly menengitis strain in South Florida.  Several People have died.  This is from Today's Miami Herald:

    The job of state public health administrators is a little bit like fighting terrorists: If they wait too long to act, people may die. If they act too aggressively, they'll get criticized for that, too.

    So did Miami-Dade County Health Department officials sound the alarm at the right time when they issued a warning this week that the disease had killed four people and infected eight others during a six-month span?

    The health department said Friday that the first patient identified with the W135 strain of meningitis surfaced in December. Administrators are now retracing every move of so-called ''Patient Zero'' -- who recovered from the illness -- to determine possible links to the other victims in what is an unprecedented outbreak in the United States.

    Health Officials in South Florida are split between a "full action" response and a lesser "wait and see" response:

    ''You have to sound the alarm consistently and clearly every time there is a threat. You must let people know and take immediate action,'' said Dr. David Katz, head of public health at Yale University's medical school.

    But, Katz added, ``if what you're trying to do is never fail to sound the alarm when you should, the net result is that sometimes you will alert people to a crisis when there isn't one. . . . There is a danger when you sound the alarm too early and too often.''

    Dr. Raymond Failer, a family physician in North Miami Beach, said he believes the Miami-Dade Health Department should have notified all local doctors and hospitals as soon as they had two or three meningitis cases. ''I'm upset that we got no notice. We're the first line of defense,'' he said.

    Failer said he believes the health department should be talking about mass vaccinations, not just for those in high-risk groups.

    In response, Conte said, 'We're in the `eyebrows-raised' stage now, but not in the 'full-action' stage.''

    Here is the link to the entire Miami Herald article:

    Rare and Deadly Menengitis Outbrake in South Florida

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site