Disease X -- a yet unseen deadly infectious disease with an epidemic potential for which no countermeasures exist -- has recently been added to WHO's Blueprint list of priority diseases of concern to public health. While we don’t know what Disease X might be, it reflects the fact that a future pandemic threat may be unexpected.
A Virginia news report states that two people died and 18 are hospitalized following an outbreak of an unknown respiratory infection at a retirement community. It's probably not influenza, but answers as to the cause are elusive.
Since our founding in 1978, ACSH has stood for evidence-based science and health in combination with free markets and individual liberty. We feel that an educated public should be free to make its own decisions without a "nanny state" micromanaging our behavior. Occasionally, however, our guiding principles encounter intractable problems. Today, two of the biggest such problems involve public health.
It shouldn't really be a surprise when this California city, which doesn't have a clue about the importance of public health, implements a policy that will help kill people.
Good public health is our passion at ACSH. We want to promote it while simultaneously preserving individual liberty. That's been the goal since our founding in 1978. On rare occasions, however, a heavy-handed approach may be necessary. We believe that's the case for vaccines -- which should be mandatory -- because the right of anti-vaxxers to be sick ends where the public's right to health begins.
To this question, James Mattis once famously answered, "Nothing. I keep other people awake at night." But not everybody is as courageously confident as this General. So what are the top health and safety concerns on the minds of security officials? Let's take a look.
There are 14 new HIV infections in an outbreak that's hit homeless drug users in the Seattle area. These are the predictable consequences of a feckless public health policy, and one that lacks compassion.
While there's no formula to determine the "correct answer" for public health policy, there are guidelines that can at least point policymakers in the right direction. Ultimately, what separates good public health policy from bad public health policy is a satisfactory response to three essential questions.
We no longer provide treatment to drug-addicted or mentally ill people who cannot, or will not, care for themselves. Society has decided that it's more compassionate to allow these unfortunate souls to make their own choices, even if those choices are irrational, self-destructive and dangerous to the community.
Better safe than sorry. That's a great lesson for a child when a parent explains why she should wear a helmet when riding her bicycle. But that refrain makes for terrible public health policy.
If smokers follow the advice of Glantz, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco, they will die. It's that simple.
The litany of new problems these glorified billing platforms have created (and old ones they never solved) is discussed often today, ranging from their role in medication errors to job dissatisfaction. But, the most basic, fundamental harm is largely ignored.