No Playbook And A Lot Of Fear: A Look Back At The Origin Of AIDS Epidemic 35 Years Later
In 1981, a cluster of Los Angeles men suffered from a rare form of pneumonia. Local physicians and researchers were puzzled. Based on the initial research from those cases as well as the work of others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identified the symptoms in its first published report on June 5, 1981.
The Los Angeles Daily News:
35 Years Ago, The AIDS Riddle Unraveled In Los Angeles
The disease didn’t yet have a name, but it was spreading. So were fear and uncertainty. By the end of 1982, it had claimed 500 lives. Experts now say that 71 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 34 million people have died of AIDS and its complications. But back then, health professionals and researchers didn’t know the scope the epidemic would attain. They only knew it was bad. “At the very beginning, there was no guidance, no playbook,” Gottlieb said. “There was a lot of fear. It became a political circus.” (Lucas and Abram, 6/4)
In other public health news —
Capital Public Radio:
Health Officials Prepare For Zika In The Sacramento Region
California health experts are warning pregnant women to avoid traveling to places where there is a high risk of contracting Zika virus. Since 2015, 52 Californians have contracted the virus while traveling to other countries, according to the California Department of Public Health. Of those cases, 13 have been pregnant women. (Johnson, 6/3)
Los Angeles Times:
Medical Technician Suspected Of Contaminating Instruments At Hospitals Tests Positive For HIV
Rocky Elbert Allen, the medical technician suspected of stealing drugs and contaminating surgical instruments at six Western hospitals, has tested positive for HIV, the Denver U.S. attorney’s office said. Confirmation that Allen has the virus that causes AIDS poses an added concern for 6,400 surgical patients in California, Washington, Colorado and Arizona who may have been exposed to infection by Allen’s alleged needle swapping, said an attorney who has filed lawsuits against five of the hospitals. (Anderson, 6/3)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Do Anti-Soda Rules Help Kids Lose Weight?
Amid the fight against childhood obesity, Chula Vista has become the latest city to consider embracing rules aimed at curbing soda consumption — even as some health experts question the wisdom of such strategies and research remains inconclusive...Chula Vista’s proposal follows the lead of the Northern California city of Davis, which requires packaged kids’ meals — most commonly found at fast-food restaurants — to include water or milk by default. Juice and soda are still available but only if parents request them. (Smith, 6/4)