strip bannernew-logo25By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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Maybe the country that claims to have the “best healthcare system in the771f56fe-dbad-11e3-9707-22000a98b2af-medium world” can get away with ignoring basic public health strategies that have worked for centuries. Perhaps we can say, “It can’t happen here.” After all, Ebola seems to have gone away, as epidemics do—sooner or later.

Some apparently even think that we can save the rest of the world by providing a safety valve for hot zones, right into American airports and schools.

Yet we may not be all powerful. Here is the word from top public health officials about some 400,000 cases of chikungunya, which is sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America: “We can only keep our fingers crossed—painful as that might be for many people infected with chikungunya—that the Caribbean epidemic will decline and the virus will depart from the Western Hemisphere.” So write David M. Morens, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., of the Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Sept 14, 2014, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Fauci’s name is familiar from his pronouncements on Ebola. More

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