Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why hasn't CDC given health professionals the information they need to manage H1N1 cases?

[You heard about the lack of crucial, clinical information here first. CDC's skimpy information for clinicians on managing H1N1 cases is still dated May 4, 2009! I complained about this gross failure of the public health system to share information on June 22, 2009, yet the information, and the public servants who should be offering it, are still MIA.]

Now the NY Time's Dr. Lawrence K. Altman is writing about it too. Here are excerpts from his excellent Aug. 11 article: Seeking Lessons in Swine Flu Fight.

Officials and experts say they have learned a lot about human swine influenza. But relatively little of that information, including periodic summaries of what has been learned since the beginning of the pandemic, has been reported and published.

Little specific information is available about when infected people stop shedding the virus, and thus stop spreading the illness.

The course of illness can become life-threatening in just a few hours among patients who had shown only mild symptoms, Dr. Wenzel said, but his visits showed that “doctors know little about what treatment works in severe cases.”

Health professionals and the public, Dr. Schaffner said, should be receiving more information in a timelier way about what has been learned about the swine influenza pandemic...Speaking about some of the gaps in clinical and epidemiological details, Dr. Schaffner said that “it is worth being tough and saying how come we do not know more.”

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