Er, why did CDC omit Dallas Ebola case from its weekly infectious-disease report?

Er, why did CDC omit Dallas Ebola case from its weekly infectious-disease report?

[Ed. – Bryan Preston has a good question here.]

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR, is the Centers for Disease Control’s premiere journal for reporting and tracking infectious diseases in the United States. …

The MMWR for the week ending October 4, 2014, is out, and may be found here. The important sections for this story are Table I and Table III.

Table Table I makes no mention of the Ebola case in Dallas, despite the fact that it was confirmed on September 30, 2014 — well within the week that this MMWR covers.

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever. The CDC specifically lists it as a notifiable disease in this 2010 report.

Yet the column covering such diseases for the week ending October 4, 2014, is empty of any diagnoses. …

Why?

That’s the question that I posed to our healthcare professional. …

The heathcare professional ruled out malice, characterizing it as a “strong word that I do not think currently fits this specific incident.” Error appears to be the cause. And that’s worrying.

“While I think there is a possibility that this incident was due to possible political factors, that is not what is important,” the professional said in email. “What is important is that a significant oversight has occurred at the CDC. If the ‘premiere journal’ has made such an oversight, what does it say about the agency’s practices? What does it say about its staff?”

Indeed. The healthcare professional highlighted previous cases in which the CDC has exhibited disturbing sloppiness.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.