Evening Ebola Update, Fri, 11/14: NEJM tells us how to communicate opinions/estimates/Dr.Salia to U of N   Leave a comment

11/14/14

Dear Colleagues:

l.  Aljazeera today carries a story about President Sirleaf of Liberia.  Today the President announced that she is aware that Liberia will still have EBOV cases this month and next month.  But she hopes to have EBOV eradicated by the end of December in Liberia.  Her country risks becoming a non-state unless she can bolster the economy, open up tribal markets, get kids back in school, and export her country’s goods.  That requires lifting the state of emergency,

2.  NEJM posted an article on communicating uncertainy by Dr, Lisa Rosenbaum, a national correspondent of the Journal on October 13th.  The author recommends that physicians/epidemiologists always speak to the public and news media about facts, not opinions or estimates.  If opinions or estimates are given, then a statement re: uncertainty must be included in the opinion or estimate.  Always finish your interview with the phrase: ‘Remember that we are all learning as we go in this crisis, and opinions or estimates will change as new facts are gathered’.  She gives quotes from former health officials which I will commit to memory.  See: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1413816?query=featured_ebola for her article and these great quotes.

3.  Huffington Post reports that Dr. Salia, a permanent resident of the U.S. and a Sierra Leone native, will be transferred from Sierra Leone to Univ. of Nebraska for EBOV treatment.  I expect he will receive ZMapp at U of N because of the drug’s 8 hour turnaround in clinical status with the 2 patients at Emory.

RGL, MD

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Posted November 15, 2014 by levittrg in Ebola

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