The 5 Biggest Mistakes in the Ebola Outbreak

HOW THE WORLD BOTCHED EBOLA CONTROL.

TIME

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently projected that if trends continue unimpeded, cases of Ebola could pass the million mark by January. While that’s an unlikely scenario, many are still wondering: How on earth did it get this bad? We canvassed experts for some clues.

1. The response was far too slow
There was a period in April when it appeared that the Ebola outbreak had subsided, prompting a collective sigh of relief. Guinea’s Ministry of Health even said that country’s caseload appeared to be under control. But the outbreak didn’t subside. Instead, it barreled through interconnected towns and villages in more-populated areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. And after the outbreak’s perceived lull, however, came one of the largest flare-ups. Some scientists say that during that time, their warnings were ignored.

One such scientist is Robert Garry, a Tulane University virologist who had visited…

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Urine Tests Can Diagnose HPV

THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS: FULL SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION IN BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL.

TIME

Time for some cold hard facts: if you’re sexually active, there’s a very high likelihood that you have HPV, an infection “so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. While the vast majority of HPV infections go away on their own, specific high-risk strains can cause cervical cancer.

That’s why women get Pap smears, a procedure that tests for cervical cancer among women. Part of the procedure is collecting cells that are then tested for strains of HPV (as well as many other things). It’s not exactly pleasant or popular, and some women avoid them altogether. But there may be an alternative, according to a new meta-analysis published in the BMJ.

The analysis looked at 14 studies suggesting the possibility of diagnosing HPV by identifying HPV DNA sequences. The research…

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U.S. to Commit $500 Million, Deploy 3,000 Troops in Ebola Fight

Ebola : USA To The Rescue

TIME

The United States is dramatically escalating its efforts to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa, President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The unprecedented response will include the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military forces and more than $500 million in defense spending drawn from funding normally used for efforts like the war in Afghanistan, senior administration officials outlined Monday. Obama has called America’s response to the disease a “national-security priority,” with top foreign policy and defense officials leading the government’s efforts.

The officials said Obama believes that in order to best contain the disease, the U.S. must “lead” the global response effort. In the CDC’s largest deployment in response to an epidemic, more than 100 officials from the agency are currently on the ground and $175 million has been allocated to West Africa to help combat…

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The Global Problem With Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment

The Worried Well, Doctors And Overdiagnosis

TIME

It’s a public health conundrum: Current screening guidelines lead to an overdiagnosis of diseases like cancer, which results in overtreatment for ailments that might never seriously impact a person’s health.

We’ve heard the overdiagnosis argument in the U.S. before, especially surrounding breast cancer; in 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against annual breast cancer screening starting at age 40 and instead advised women get mammograms starting at age 50.

Now, two new studies published Monday in the medical journal BMJ highlight the global problem with overtreatment in both breast cancer and heart disease.

In a new analysis report, a team of researchers conclude that hypertension is being overtreated in people with mild cases of the disease. The researchers write that about 40% of adults worldwide have hypertension, and more than half of those people have mild cases of the disease (meaning they’re low risk and don’t…

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Stopping America’s Hidden Overdose Crisis

Overdose of Prescription Medications Becoming a Global Issue

TIME

The woman who showed up in the emergency room of Boston Medical Center with a life-threatening apparent overdose of painkillers was contrite. She promised to follow a plan to ease her pain with medications that did not contain opioids, the principal ingredient of prescription drugs including oxycodone and fentanyl whose vast increase in use has led to an epidemic of overdoses.

Then she went across town and got another doctor to prescribe them anyway.

This kind of “doctor-shopping” by patients addicted to opioids is one of the primary reasons drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury death in the Unites States. There were nearly 17,000 fatal overdoses of pain medications in 2011, the last year for which the figure is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control—more than from heroin and cocaine combined, and triple the number in 1990.

Yet 12 years after the launch of a…

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Out of My Father’s Hands

American Storyteller’s Farewell To A Brilliant Dad.

Random Storyteller

vignette mask subtle sharpen mom and dad skin tone safe and vibrant_pe_peEarly this morning, 850 miles away in Alabama, my sister told me, “We are with Dad. He is ready to go see Nome [Mom]. He loves you.”

Today we document our lives in hundreds of digital images and store them in a “cloud.”  Like the wonder of the telegraph in the 1800s, we send words, billions every second, via a void called the Internet and instruments cleverly branded Android and iPhone.

Ah, branding. As a savvy New York writer/agent told me at a recent book conference, “You must become a brand, or you won’t make it.” To which I retorted, “I am a person, not a brand.”

Ironic. Perhaps hypocritical: I “storytell” things and people as brands for a buck—in a staccato burst.

Dad never “branded” himself. He was a person in full.vignette border Dr-Hamrick18_pe

The brain is beautiful mystery. Streaming images run in and out of our heads, faster than the…

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