The Health Scare that Wasn’t?

Jul 3, 2007 3:36pm

Andrew Speaker’s name has faded from the headlines since we were told he had an "extremely drug-resistant" form of TB–and now, if the early word is to be believed, we’re finding it may be just as well.  What we know so far, from leaks going around Washington, is that "a series of sputum samples have all shown his TB to be a milder form of the disease, multidrug-resistant TB, a federal health official said…."  A release from National Jewish Medical and Research Center, where he’s being treated, is HERE.  An AP story is HERE.  To be sure, it appears he still has a complicated medical problem–and the country has had an unpleasant reminder that things can get messy when there’s a public health scare.  I looked back at my own POST of last June 6, which included discussion of missed signals, and doctors complaining how little we spend to protect ourselves. Is today’s news a big never-mind?  In a word, no.  Mr. Speaker’s case may have been a smaller crisis than we were first led to believe.  But I don’t think it was a smaller warning.  We may have missed a good chance to sort out how we react to real crises.

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