Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Healthcare professionals deserve our support

To the editor:

I wish to comment on a letter to the editor from Craig Weinston, who was unable to resist criticizing the headline in the Record covering H1N1 and entitled: “Island County Hammered.” He feels it was irresponsible for Dr. Roger Case to be quoted as stating “that it’s all H1N1” without evidence to support it.

On Oct. 17, I had the occasion to speak with a local community physician at the clinic. She mentioned all her patient treatment rooms were full with patients, the waiting room moderately full, and they had run out of swabs for culturing.

As is often the case, the clinician on-scene has a good idea of what is going on in “real time,” before Purdue University and the rest of academia are able to publish “after the event” studies. Nurses and physicians on the front line have statistically significant impressions of what is going on relative to local seasonal variation in community-acquired upper respiratory infections.

Perhaps unknown to Craig Weinston, Dr. Case is not a newcomer to swine flu. As a flight surgeon on Guam (also an island, according to Purdue), he was involved in the wide-scale immunization of citizens in 1976 during President Gerald Ford’s administration. Furthermore, before Craig Weinston came to Whidbey Island, Dr. Case was an aggressive protagonist of handwashing, and was instrumental in establishing handwashing stations at the Island County Fair.

In the main, the Island County Health Department is doing an admirable job and is deserving of our respect, our support, but not our disdain. This is about quiet professionals doing the heavy lifting, and not about free advertising and self-promotion.

James B. Canby IV


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