Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Politics

Florida Accused of Concealing Worst Tuberculosis Outbreak In 20 Years 409

Posted by Soulskill
from the tb-or-not-tb dept.
NotSanguine writes "The state of Florida has been struggling for months with what the Centers for Disease Control describe as the worst tuberculosis outbreak in the United States in twenty years. Although a CDC report went out to state health officials in April encouraging them to take concerted action, the warning went largely unnoticed and nothing has been done. The public did not even learn of the outbreak until June, after a man with an active case of TB was spotted in a Jacksonville soup kitchen. The Palm Beach Post has managed to obtain records on the outbreak and the CDC report, though only after weeks of repeated requests. These documents should have been freely available under Florida's Sunshine Law."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Florida Accused of Concealing Worst Tuberculosis Outbreak In 20 Years

Comments Filter:
  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @12:32AM (#40610835)

    Florida just closed down it's only state hospital specializing in tuberculosis cases on July 2nd. Bad timing.

    Report: Fla closed TB hospital as cases spiked [miamiherald.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @01:08AM (#40611063)

      Suddenly, the coverup makes sense.
      Someone decided that they could save the budget by slashing a necessary public service.
      The need for said public service arose, which would be massively embarrassing.
      Solution: Ignore the problem and hope it goes away on its own.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @01:10AM (#40611079)

      Florida just closed down it's only state hospital specializing in tuberculosis cases on July 2nd. Bad timing.

      Timing had nothing to do with it. It was politics. That's the problem with cutting back on social programs: They stabilize the quality of life for the general population. Take them away, and they're now subject to the random, chaotic, and violent twists of unbridled capitalism. And combine poor economic conditions with an outbreak of plague... and if you don't have any social support programs, well... grab a mirror so you can properly bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

      It's the same thing with unemployment insurance and food stamps, and other forms of economic assistance; During times of economic prosperity, these services go largely unused, so they can stockpile funding for periods of economic downturn, and in so doing, moderate the highs and lows inherent in a capitalist system. What's even stupider about this: All the social programs, health care, welfare, unemployment insurance... all of it, would be amply funded without costing a single taxpayer dollar if during those aforementioned periods of economic prosperity, the unused funding for those programs was diverted into investments. Spain has a robust social security program; Every person in the country is guaranteed social security. You know how much they pay into the system for that? Nothing. Nodda.

      Short term thinking, people. It'll fuck you every time.

  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @12:37AM (#40610855) Homepage

    Dear Editors and NotSanguine,

    When you copy and paste an entire paragraph from a linked source without actually citing that source as the author of said material, you're committing plagiarism. NotSanguine did not write this blurb; Muriel Kane of Raw Story did.

    Respect authorship.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @12:52AM (#40610957)

      Exactly, if you quote an article you should put quotation marks around the text and link to the original source. Wait...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Dear Editors and NotSanguine,

      When you copy and paste an entire paragraph from a linked source without actually citing that source as the author of said material, you're committing plagiarism. NotSanguine did not write this blurb; Muriel Kane of Raw Story did.

      Respect authorship.

      Funny how slashdot is up in arms over plagiarism and yet thinks (generally speaking) that pirating copyrighted material is for the common good.

      • by tqk (413719)

        Funny how slashdot is up in arms over plagiarism and yet thinks (generally speaking) that pirating copyrighted material is for the common good.

        Generally speaking, sweeping generalizations are always wrong. Every time a story shows up here touching on the issue, a very lively debate takes place between the Imaginary Property Maximalists and the Freetards. Those precious few such as myself who preach boycotts instead struggle to make ourselves heard.

        You're painting with way too wide a brush.

  • Florida is always fscking something up! Weather, voting machines, elections....
  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @12:59AM (#40610999)

    I hate relative terms when there is no indication as to what the term is relative to. For example, if the second worst outbreak in the last 20 years involved 80 people then this one could be the worst and involve 99 people.

    What I would rather see is how important is this outbreak. The fact that it is the worst in 20 years does not mean that it is something to be concerned with. The questions to ask are as follows;
    1. How much of the population is at risk?
    2. Would spreading the information cause more harm than good. Will the populous be more frightened that necessary.

    The 13 death tole can be misleading too. Are most of the deaths in people who live on the streets, avoid contact with health facilities and have compromised immune systems. I am not saying to ignore them but health warnings would not help as they would be ignored.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @01:15AM (#40611103)

      As far as population goes, tuberculosis is VERY transmissible. It doesn't usually get very far in most people, due to decent nutrition and health care, but it could. It's never good to have a very communicable disease like that hanging around waiting for something to allow it to catch on to the big leagues. Most people fend it off, but some people in poor health can succumb to it pretty easily. Anyone with a compromised immune system, poor nutrition, or just plain fighting off other diseases at the same time. It generally affects the lungs and the main problem is that when the disease is cleared from an area by the immune system, that area is replaced by scar tissue. This reduces lung capacity quite a bit. Also, it can spread to other parts of the body, and do the same thing. About 1 in 10 people who are exposed and infected progress to an active and obvious infection. The rest spread it silently. See the problem? It isn't immediately obvious or even noticeable..so the real elephant in the room is, how many more people have it than just the people that died?

    • by nbauman (624611) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:08AM (#40612399) Homepage Journal

      20 years ago we had drugs to treat TB. Now it's becoming resistant to all those drugs. When people are affected by multiple-drug resistant TB, they can't be treated, and they usually die. That's why it's a big deal.

      99 illnesses is a lot. 13 deaths is a lot.

      The main targets for TB are the homeless, people with AIDS, and people in prison. It can also affect newborns, and people being treated for cancer or autoimmune diseases (who can get infected in hospitals). The US is a tinderbox. We have people flying around the country on airplanes. We have illegal immigrants who aren't eligible for health care (and are afraid of the authorities besides). It could spread across the country, killing off large numbers of people in those groups.

  • Perhaps it is time that the vaccine was recommended for all people?
  • I'm in Miami and I've had a cough for 2 weeks. I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday. This is NOT what I needed to read.
  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @01:32AM (#40611199)

    Tuberculosis isn't the only disease making a comeback this year. Pertussis is also coming back.

    Across the United States, 8,159 provisional pertussis cases have been reported to the CDC as of May 5, 2012, representing an 87 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2011. Pertussis cases reached epidemic levels in Washington state this year, and cases are trending high in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

    From MarketWatch [marketwatch.com].

    So fear not. If you've been coughing for weeks, it may only be whooping cough, which does little or no damage to your lungs, instead of tuberculosis, which can do major damage to your lungs.

    Also, if you're coughing, do your best to get into a meeting with your CEO/CTO/CFO/VP/etc. Really, any major corporate officer will do. Biological warfare is a fine answer to class warfare.

    • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:52AM (#40611587) Homepage Journal

      One cannot mention pertussis without also mentioning the Jenny McCarthy Body Count [jennymccar...ycount.com]. (Also valid for diphtheria, measles, etc, etc.)

  • Srsly (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cyfun (667564) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @02:10AM (#40611387) Homepage
    Am I the only one who's gonna say it? Fine then.

    Fuck Florida.

    Let them all die off as a result of their stupidity.
  • Only in USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anared (2599669) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @03:55AM (#40611847)
    As a western country, USA is pretty third world
  • by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:47AM (#40612577)

    A TB outbreak is an emergency. No making immediately sure all affected are treated is just stupid. In the modern wold, nobody messes with this stuff. People that refuse treatment or do not take their medication go to closed hospital wards within a few days, and that does not require a court order initially.

    Mess with TB, and what you get is resistant strains that often cannot be cured anymore and people will start dying. This is one area where saving money initially is very, very expensive.

  • by backslashdot (95548) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:04AM (#40612929)

    Hey republicans claim global warming is part of a natural cycle. So why can't this TB outbreak be part of a natural cycle too? I mean we just had the hottest year on record ever, while this TB thing is just a 20 year max? Just asking.

  • by cHiphead (17854) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @11:38AM (#40615309)

    Republicans.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein

Working...