Tag Archives: infectious disease

Resources for covering Ebola following Texas patient’s diagnosis

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Image via CDC

Image via CDC

With today’s announcement of the first Ebola case to be diagnosed in the U.S., it’s worth brushing up on the facts about the virus to help your readers, viewers and listeners understand.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting a briefing at 5:30 p.m. ET about the case, diagnosed in a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Expected to speak during that briefing:

  • Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • David Lakey, M.D., commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Edward Goodman, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA, hospital epidemiologist, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
  • Zachary Thompson, M.A., director, Dallas County Health and Human Services

And here are some resources to use in your reporting: Continue reading

Mosquito-borne disease appears in West Indies

About Jason Hidalgo

Jason Hidalgo is a business reporter at the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal and a 2013-14 AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellow.

CDC-Frieden2

Photo: Len BruzzeseCDC Director Tom Frieden briefs the 2013-14 AHCJ Regional Health Journalism fellows on Monday morning.

A nasty virus just landed on America’s doorstep.

Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed the arrival of  “chikungunya” fever in the Caribbean. Frieden made the announcement Monday while talking to a group of West-based AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellows at the CDC in Atlanta.

News of two confirmed cases in the island of St. Martin in the West Indies was reported Friday by The Daily Herald following a press conference by health officials in the region.

Named from the phrase “that which bends up” in Mozambique’s Kimakondan language because of its symptoms, chikungunya was first isolated from a Tanzanian patient in 1953, according to the CDC. Chikungunya exhibits symptoms similar to the dengue virus, including fever, rashes, headache, nausea and muscle pain. The virus is also transmitted through mosquitoes.

Until recently, cases of chikungunya were primarily seen in Africa and Asia. No cases have been reported in the United States, making the Caribbean cases the closest confirmation yet in terms of proximity. Continue reading

Tulsa reporter shares lessons from ongoing coverage of dentist

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Shannon Muchmore

Shannon Muchmore

As many of you know, it can be hard following an ongoing story – keeping up with the latest developments, looking ahead and staying ahead of the competition, finding the larger stories and putting it all into context.

Shannon Muchmore of The Tulsa World has been doing just that since the end of March, reporting on an investigation into a dentist whose clinics have been cited for multiple violations, many related to unsanitary practices. Hundreds of patients are being tested for HIV and hepatitis and officials say as many as 7,000 patients may have been exposed since 2007.

Amid a steady stream of stories, she took the time to share some of her insights into the complexities of the unfolding drama, including how her daily work life has changed, the level of risk faced by patients and some tips for other reporters.

CDC official details response to meningitis outbreak

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

John Jernigan, M.D., M.S., the CDC’s clinical team lead on the multistate meningitis outbreak and director of the CDC’s Office of Health Associated Infections Prevention Research and Evaluation, briefed AHCJ members, including the 2012-13 Regional Health Journalism Fellows, in Atlanta about the agency’s response to the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.

Thanks to AHCJ board member Maryn McKenna, who used Storify to share information from the briefing as well as a blog post. UPDATE: Tom Wilemon of The Tennessean and Tom Corwin of The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, both Regional Health Journalism fellows, also wrote about the briefing. Click through to see McKenna’s Storify about the event. Continue reading

AIDS conference coverage online

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Once again, the Kaiser Family Foundation is offering extensive coverage of the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Today’s program features sessions about people with HIV and tuberculosis; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; HIV testing; the role of families in prevention, treatment and care; policies and measure ins Europe and more.

The Foundation is offering webcasts of sessions and interviews with newsmakers, as well as daily observations from Science magazine reporter Jon Cohen.

The conference website include slides, audio synched to the slides, rapporteur reports, links to abstracts and webcasts.

In related news, health journalists have been discussing an embargo break on a study that was presented at the conference. AHCJ board member and Reuters Health Editor Ivan Oransky has covered the situation here and here on his Embargo Watch blog.