Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu resource center

A good resource on swine flu: Harvard Health Publications, produced by Harvard Medical School, has just created a flu resource center on its website, here. Among other things, it includes a Q&A with Dr. Anthony Komaroff, editor in chief of Harvard Health Publications, answering questions about the recent swine flu outbreak.


REKording said...

I recorded a short musical PSA about Swine Flu after watching the Surgeon Generals dry presentation.

I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Super! I'll spread the word.

Anonymous said...

I would like to report that my good friend who is a longterm M.D. FDA employee, said she has been working 15 hour days and weekends to help ready the CDC's recently released swine flu-specific lab test for distribution, on one Sunday leaving work at 2:30 a.m. The media never covers the dedication of our government employees when it becomes necessary; just the negative stuff.


christine geiger said...

paul, do you think people are overreacting to this, especially the media. CDC's webpage says over 30k people in the US alone die of the "regular" flu.

I feel we're becoming a chicken little society where everyone is just FREAKING OUT over everything all the time (like when it's going to snow in Boston and we're going to all die because there won't be enough bread, milk, eggs ever again!)

What are your thoughts? As a man running a hospital... I have co-workers who are absolutely panicking over this. but they'd never panic during the "regular" cold and flu season.

Would love your take on this.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I'm really not qualified to answer that question.

REKording said...

Mr. Levy,
Thanks for posting the link to my Swine Flu Singalong PSA. You are quite influential; I got 300 hits. I must correct one thing, though. It wasn't the Surgeon General in the CDC video, it was Dr. Joseph Bresee, Chief of Epidemiology and Prevention. I apologize for maligning the yet-to-be-named Surgeon General.

Dr. Richard Wenzel said...

The 2009 Swine Flu outbreak in the U.S. and Mexico is different than what we’ve seen in the past.

The first death in the U.S. among 64 cases, which is also the first death globally outside of Mexico among 100 or more cases, is difficult to put into perspective with any confidence – especially since the baby came from Mexico. The death of a baby in the U.S. is tragic, but each year we see 36,000 deaths from influenza in our country. Influenza is always serious – even without an exotic strain from another country. The key mystery is why 160 deaths have been reported in Mexico.

If more deaths are occurring in Mexico than the rest of the world, why would this happen? The same virus is attacking the same age group - healthy young adults - in the affected countries. So, the difference in outcome must be differences among the patients. The CDC in concert with health authorities in Mexico should perform sophisticated viral and bacterial studies, and pathology analyses on patients with severe disease and on patients who have died. Only then will we truly understand how to manage this outbreak.

Please view my full blog post on this topic here


Dr. Richard Wenzel

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info : ) I just posted about a different repercussion of the swine flu and thought you might find it interesting

Lisa Gualtieri said...

I am teaching a course on Web Strategies for Health Communication at Tufts University School of Medicine this summer and one of the case studies is from Harvard Health Publications presented by Ed Coburn. Their swine flu page is an excellent example of well-written and clearly organized information that answers the questions on healthcare consumers' minds.

Amanda Crowe said...

H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those caused by other influenza viruses. Health authorities across the globe are taking steps to try to stem the spread of swine flu after outbreaks in Mexico and the United States. The World Health Organization has called it a "public health emergency of international concern."