Ethics and Ebola

by Dr. Bartho Caponi MD, FHM The Ebola panic has died down; while many are under monitoring, there have been no further de novo U.S. cases since October 15, and only two more "imported" cases. Travelers are being screened and resources are heading to areas where they are needed. At my institution, Hospitalists have led the way; over half my division volunteered up-front to provide necessary care. I ended up in a lot of planning and policy meetings, where we internally crafted a comprehensive plan to deal with any Ebola-related eventuality. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created many useful resources for people and institutions needing them. We now have guidelines for speaking to our children about Ebola and for taking care of Ebola-exposed pets, in addition to more trenchant issues. We now have "Ebola centers," hospitals capable of caring for suspected or confirmed Ebola patients…

Rock and Roll Medicine. Jack White brings historic public health mainstream.

[caption id="attachment_10799" align="alignleft" width="300"][/caption] Jack White, of the White Stripes, the Racounters, and others, introduced a solo album last month called Lazaretto. It's an appropriate name for a rock star trying to maintain a dead musical form - the vinyl record. He made it in the Guinness Book of World records last month while recording and releasing the album in under four hours. (He did the same recently with Neil Young on Jimmy Fallon.) For many, records are alive and well, a lazarus move in the age of digital music. What were lazarettos? The lazarettos were isolation facilities, from plague or leprosy, but really places of death, with no chance of resurrection. White romanticizes the notion of quarantine, and of lazarettos in this NPR interview. He wishes he could have a month of a self-imposed quarantine to achieve some mindfulness, peace. In today's ever connected world, radio silence is…

True: PCN Allergy Rare

This study of 500 patients with a reported PCN allergy, who all underwent skin testing, found that only 4 had a + skin test, 4 had an objective reaction to oral testing, and 15 had a subjective reaction to oral testing (abstract).

MERS coronovirus

The CDC has updated its information on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus; there are 55 confirmed cases linked to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and United Arab Emirates. They note the incubation period for this respiratory illness is 9-12 days, and mortality rate is 56%. The CDC should be contacted with any severe acute respiratory illness in travelers returning from these areas (CDC site)