Quarantine, Cont.

The case of the TB+ honeymooner continues to generate attention, some of it constructive. Today's NYTimes has an editorial calling on congressional oversight committees "to examine whether health officials dropped the ball — and what steps can be taken to ensure that patients infected with deadly contagious diseases protect others from infection." We'll see if that happens. Also, coincidentally the International Conference on Global Health is going on this week, and the Aeras Foundation gave an update on their work to develop TB vaccines, vaccines that could work against the XDR strains this man had. I had a chance to visit Aeras this spring, and the work they're doing is supremely promising. The vaccines are all cutting edge (and a great leap forward from the almost-century old vaccine now in use). One, for instance, inserts genetic material from TB into the shell of a adenovirus; this vector then delivers the immunogenic material directly to the immune system.

Oh, and the answer to the question of Why Is the CDC Based in Atlanta? The CDC was the successor to the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas. Named the Communicable Disease Center, they chose Atlanta because malaria was rife in the southern US at the time. Not for long, though: by 1951, it was deemed eradicated in the US.