public health

The panic over Ebola in the U.S. gets a one-word comment from Gregg Gonsalves: "Crazy."

Actually, he has a few more words than that to say. In this week's online New England Journal of Medicine, Gonsalves co-authored an essay called "Panic, Paranoia, and Public Health — The AIDS Epidemic's Lessons for Ebola."

In 1854, an English doctor named John Snow pinpointed an outbreak of cholera in London to a single contaminated water pump.

A pioneer of modern epidemiology, Snow used information about where the sick people lived to deduce that they were drinking tainted water from that source.

And while using clues about peoples' locations is an important tool in public health, it's now set to make individual health care even more personal.

Back in 2003 I was a junior doctor working at a Chicago teaching hospital.

As one of the newer docs, my daily appointment schedule had lots of openings. Pretty much any assignment nobody else wanted came my way.

One morning the nurse who managed our clinic told me that my first patient for the afternoon may have been exposed to a deadly virus while he was traveling in Asia.

My job would be to dress up in a medical hazmat suit, examine him and figure out whether he should be quarantined.

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It’s always a good time to talk about suicide prevention, said Laura Roberts, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new monitoring measures for people arriving to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the three countries dealing with Ebola outbreaks.

Travelers from those countries will be monitored by public health officials for 21 days after their arrival, starting Monday. The CDC says 21 days is "the longest time it can take from the time a person is infected with Ebola until that person has symptoms of Ebola."

When Ebola virus resurfaced in West Africa in December 2013, public health officials were hopeful that it could be contained, as it had been in past outbreaks.

But the virus continues to ravage communities in Africa and has now spread to the United States and Europe. The number of new cases in Africa make it likely that there will continue to be cases in the United States.

Computerized Surveillance System Quickly Detects Disease Outbreaks Among Preschoolers

Oct 13, 2014
University of Michigan Health System

A web-based system that allows preschools and child care centers to report illnesses to local public health departments could improve the detection of disease outbreaks and allow resources to be mobilized more quickly, according to University of Michigan research to be presented Saturday, Oct. 11 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

You wake up feeling gross – stuffy and full of aches. A quick Google search of your symptoms confirms that yes, you probably have a cold and not the plague. But what if you were directed to a site that had a legitimate sounding name but wasn't really accurate at all?

It sounds like a problem from the ancient days of the Internet. Since then people have learned that .gov leads to bona fide government sites, but .com could be anyone selling you anything.

Radio In West Africa May Be The Key To Lower Mortality Rates

Sep 26, 2014
Erik Neumann

Perdue Farms says it has ditched the common practice of injecting antibiotics into eggs that are just about to hatch. And public health advocates are cheering. They've been campaigning against the widespread use of antibiotics in agriculture, arguing that it's adding to the plague of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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