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Don't Forget the Bacterial Threat

An opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal written by Dr. Mitchell J. Schwaber,director of the National Center for Infection Control of the Israel Ministry of Health and Dr. Yehuda Carmeli, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Tel Aviv Medical Center, praises the international public health response to H1N1 but cites the need for similar responses to bacteria-related diseases such as MRSA.

"In March of this year an epidemic of H1N1 influenza virus, otherwise known as swine flu, began in Mexico. It spread to the United States within weeks and has since affected over 100 countries. Between the start of the outbreak and the end of July, a total of 1,154 people worldwide had died of the virus, about one-third of them in the U.S. The World Health Organization and other public-health agencies have responded to the epidemic with appropriate urgency. International organizations have disseminated information and guidelines and coordinated with public authorities across the globe to ensure an effective response. The pharmaceutical industry is developing antiviral agents and vaccines and producing them on a mass scale. The U.S. also has responded rapidly and forcefully. Just two weeks after the report of the first case on American soil, President Barack Obama asked Congress to allocate $1.5 billion to fight the virus."

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