July 9, 2012
TRANSPARENCY: Worst TB Outbreak in 20 Years Kept Secret.
UPDATE: Chuck Simmins emails:
While I did write a piece on this at Examiner, I don’t feel a lot of outrage over the secrecy issue. Public health officials do it all the time. They can read the media, too, and remember the Alar scare, the anthrax scare, the smallpox scare, the SARS scare, the bird flu scare… I think they’re entirely justified in believing that the story might not be covered in a fair and balanced manner.
The criticism of the closing of the TB hospital is total BS. It was one of four remaining in the entire US. Medicine has advanced enough that we no longer need to ship TB patients off to a sanitarium. Closing it and saving the money was a good call.
The CDC report should have created a little more reaction than it did. Florida clearly dropped the ball at the state level. Duval County is whining about budget cuts but they have funds for childhood obesity programs, youth risk behavior surveys and other, less deadly, conditions. I suspect that the public health folks of Duval County have forgotten that job one in PH has always been disease control and prevention. Malaria and yellow fever, and smallpox, in the US disappeared because of that and TB ought to have a similar priority.
Yes, the public health people seem more interested in trendy causes and social control than in disease eradication these days.