Over 10,000 Americans (mostly young) have already died of H1N1 flu, and yet we’ve only vaccinated 10-20% of those who need protection. January 10-16 is National Influenza Awareness Week, and the American College of Physicians is doing its part to raise awareness of the ongoing need to protect Americans from the next wave of influenza.
I interviewed ACP President, Dr. Joseph Stubbs, about the current influenza season and Americans’ vulnerabilities to the virus. Please enjoy the audio of our conversation or read the transcript below.
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If you think that the H1N1 pandemic is slowing down and have grown complacent with vaccination now that vaccines are more widely available, please learn something from last night’s tragic loss of local college student from Rhode Island, Lillian Chason:
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, who friends said was battling complications from the H1N1 virus, died Wednesday evening, according to UNC Hospitals and a Facebook post made by her father.
Freshman Lillian Chason had been in critical condition at UNC Hospitals for weeks. Friends told WRAL News on Tuesday that she started feeling bad before Thanksgiving and went into the hospital on Nov. 20. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
The Department of Health and Human Services held a blogger-targeted webcast about the H1N1 flu today in Washington, DC. Although Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had planned to co-lead the event, she was called to the White House for some healthcare reform deliberations – which might take a while? (She promises to try again to speak to us bloggers at a later date, though, so I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens). Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, carried the event with ease, and Jenny Backus (Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs – pictured with me) moderated the incoming blogger and Twitter questions.
This was a particularly entertaining webcast for me because I was invited “behind the scenes” to witness the event at the HHS studio as well as submit questions for Dr. Schuchat’s consideration. The webcast is available for viewing on the HHS YouTube channel.
What you may not get from the webcast, however, is how much work goes into HHS’s efforts to communicate accurate information to the public. I was very impressed with the studio space (it has a National Press Club feel) and the staff are technically skilled and affable. So friendly were they that I “memorialized” our meeting with a few candid shots (below). Read more »
Some physicians may be hesitant to participate in social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter.
Well, get over it.
Great post by pediatrician Bryan Vartabedian who addresses this topic. Indeed, physicians have lost control of the online message, especially with, according to recent data, 60+ percent of patients visiting the web first when looking for health information.
Instead, anti-vaccine proponents and homeopaths have embraced the Internet, and now exert tremendous influence on patients. We doctors have no one to blame but ourselves for being so slow to get online. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*
One of the most engaging and clearly-written pieces of science journalism over the last year or so was published in Wired magazine last week. Amy Wallace’s, “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All,” is part interview with rotavirus vaccine developer, pediatric infectious disease physician, Dr Paul Offit, and description of the anti-vaccination movement in the United States.
Wallace’s work is the centerpiece a collection of smaller articles providing science-based information about vaccination that also refutes common anti-vaccination myths including “How To Win An Argument About Vaccines” and “The Misinformants: Prominent Voices in the Anti-Vaccine Crusade”.
Wired’s follow-up discussion of the issue includes, “A Short History of Vaccine Panic,” for those of us who “have a day job” and not enough time to read Paul Offit’s 2008 book, “Autism’s False Prophets.”
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*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata - PostRank (PostRank: All)*