Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Letter to my Local News

(Foreword: I should mention as a geek, I am very annoyed at sloppy science reporting and even more annoyed at LAZY, sloppy science reporting. Seriously people, it is not rocket science all you have to do is ask a few questions...)

I am a long time viewer of Channel 5 news. The last few nights there have been stories about the increasing flu-like symptoms of people visiting the emergency rooms. After each story I think, what was the point of that story?

There is information missing from this report: Do the people at the emergency room have the flu or flu-like symptoms? How is this diagnosed (there is some question at the CDC and within the medical community as to what is the best and most reliable test for the flu? Of these people in the emergency room, how many have received the flu vaccine? Does the flu vaccine contain the same strain of flu as those in the emergency room? If the medical community doesn’t know, are they testing for it and when will they know?

If the goal of this report is to increase the number of people receiving the flu vaccine, then this seems like good information that would help convince them.

If the goal of the report is to stop people from reporting to the emergency room (most people are told to go home take aspirin or acetaminophen and drink fluids), then maybe a list of warning signs would be appropriate. Doctors say if you feel flu-like symptoms, rest, drink plenty of fluids and treat symptoms with aspirin and acetaminophen. Please contact your doctor is symptoms do not improve after several days or the patient shows sign of dehydration, etc.

Without these investigative details, the story reads as, “Ice is cold.”

I am sure you meant better.
Thank you for your time and attention,

How do I really feel about the flu vaccine?

this report

this report


Anonymous said...

You should send your thoughts to the tv station.

Robin said...

I had it ready to send and yahoo mail went down.. coincidence?

Rob said...

You are such a geek! (of course you realize that is high praise indeed!)

Clearly yahoo is in on the conspiracy!