Infectious Diseases

Public Health Film Goes to War

The National Library of Medicine has released a very interesting addition to their History of Medicine collection: World War II-era public health films.

These films cover a wide range of public health issues pertinent to this era. Five animated films starring ÔÇ£Private SnafuÔÇØ inform on issues like Personal Cleanliness, Cleaning Mess Gear and Drinking Water. There are also non-animated films that once educated military personnel on yellow fever, malaria and the use of DDT which was believed would cure common diseases. Interested to learn what information was important for women at war? Don’t worry- there is a film on that as well.

Available films have minor defects and scratches but are definitely worth watching!

Zombie Apocalypse

Since the Centers for Disease Control is often featured in popular movies and books about deadly outbreaks, their emergency preparedness blog has created a post for the most deadly of emergencies, the Zombie Apocalypse.

We’d like to think the CDC was partially inspired by the 2006 Zombrarian visit to our campus.


NLM exhibit

NLM exhibit

With the news that Cholera has taken over 100 lives in Haiti, a National Library of Medicine exhibit on the history of the disease came to mind.

Louisiana has had its own battle with the disease. As recently as 1986, cases of cholera were reported in South Louisiana, including Jefferson Parish. Not to mention the over 4,000 people who died of the disease in New Orleans in 1832.

Happy Anniversary to Streptomycin

October 19th was the 67th anniversary of the discovery of streptomycin which proved to be effective against tuberculosis and other penicillin resistant infectious diseases.

Flu Shots

Flu shots will be offered to LSUHSC New Orleans faculty, staff and students during the first week of October, brought to you by the School of Nursing. This year the flu shot will be administered in one dose and will help protect you and others against H3N2, influenza B, and the H1N1 viruses.

Those who should avoid vaccinations are:

  • Infants under 6 months of age
  • People with egg allergies
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
  • People with a mild to severe illness
  • People who have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of getting the flu vaccine

What: Flu Shots
When: October 6th, 7th & 8th b/w 9am ÔÇô 2:30pm
Where: School of Nursing ÔÇô Room 5B12 (5th floor)
Cost: $15.00 for faculty & staff; payable to LSUHSC-NO by check or money order (Cost is free for students)

James Carroll & Yellow Fever

110 years ago today, Major James Carroll, a US Army Physician, “allowed an infected mosquito to feed on him in an attempt to isolate the means of transmission of yellow fever. Carroll developed a severe case of yellow fever, helping his colleague, Army pathologist Walter Reed, prove that mosquitoes transmit this often-deadly disease (from the Library of Congress).” James Carroll is one of the Yellow Fever Commission physicians featured on the Enrique Alferez frieze in the LSUHSC Library Commons. The featured men are Walter Reed, Aristides Agramonte (for whom the Library was originally named), Jesse Lazear, and James Carroll.

Conquest of Yellow Fever frieze by Enrique Alferez

Conquest of Yellow Fever frieze by Enrique Alferez


Physiology Department Head, Patricia Molina has been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health for the study of how cannabinoids produce subtle changes in gene activity that affect how a person responds to HIV infection. The award was announced via EurekaAlert and LSUHSC twitter feed.

As the Times-Picayune reported the grant “will study how marijuana components called cannabinoids produce changes in gene activity that affects the body’s response to the AIDS virus.” The award will be dispersed over five years.

Award Recipients

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library was chosen as a recipient for the Historical Preservation and Digitization Award. This $25,000 grant is awarded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region.

The title of the project is ÔÇ£Digitization of the Aristides Agramonte Collection on Yellow FeverÔÇØ and will be led by the Principle Investigators, Deborah Sibley and Molly Knapp.

The goal of the project is to digitize 149 rare books and journals identified as the first materials acquired for the LSU medical school library. The books belonged to Dr. Aristides Agramonte, a prominent pathologist and a proposed department chair at LSU before the School of Medicine opened; he passed away before he could begin his position. His collection includes a large number of early publications on yellow fever. Dr. Agromonte is a central figure in the historical Enrique Alferez frieze entitled ÔÇ£The Conquest of Yellow Fever.ÔÇØ This sculpture now hangs in the Library Commons.

Iconography of Contagion

Drink Only Approved Water

Drink Only Approved Water

The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine has a new online exhibit, the Iconography of Contagion, an exhibition of twentieth century health posters. The exhibition offers some posters from NLM’s collection as well as an historical perspective on their necessity.

Infectious Disease iPhone apps

May’s issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases features a column on infectious diseases resources for the iPhone. You can read the entire article here. Two apps that may interest students are Microbiology Wiz with Immunology ($0.99) and Lange Microbiology and Infectious Disease Flash Cards ($34.99). Both are flashcard style review applications, allowing you to study microbiology on your iPhone.

Surfing The Web: Infectious Diseases Resources for the iPhone
Richard L. Oehler, Kevin Smith, and John F. Toney
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010 50:9, 1268-1274

World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day. 2009 is the 21st observance of this day. AIDS cases in Louisiana have increased with New Orleans ranking 2nd & Baton Rouge ranking 3rd according to a recent WWL-TV report.

The Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program has a “Statewide Coordinated Need & HIV Comprehensive Plan” (pdf) for 2009 which was issued in early November.

Swine flu rap

Today’s the last day to vote for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services 2009 Flu Prevention PSA contest. Who could resist the swine flu rap, by Dr. Clarke?

Spoonful of Medicine also points out a swine flu rap done by cute little pigs. It’s in Chinese but there are subtitles.

Seasonal Flu Shots@LSUHSC

Speaking of being prepared, seasonal flu shots will be available September 23, 24 and 25 (next Weds. – Fri.) from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the School of Nursing, 1900 Gravier Street, 5th floor IV lab. Free for students and $10 for Faculty & Staff payable by cash or check.

~EDIT~ Shots were cancelled due to a shortage of vaccine. edited 9/21/09 @ 8:44 a.m.

LSUHSC has also created a H1N1 info portal, with updated swine flu information. Our campus is also applying to become a point of distribution for the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. The H1N1 flu vaccine will be distributed in accordance with the CDC?óÔé¼Ôäós priority group vaccination recommendations.

Free Influenza Resource from EBSCO

Influenza: Evidence Based Resources is a FREE database offered by EBSCO Publishing (from whom the Libraries purchase a number of databases). It is comprised of selected resources from a number of its health related databases. And includes information for clinicians, nurses and patients.

Flu Statistics for LA

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has released its Influenza Surveillance Report through the end of August. It finds that:

  • 11% of swine flu patients are 4 or younger.
  • 70% are 5 to 24 years old
  • 18% are 26-64
  • 1% are 65 are older
  • Further the report states that “there are 737 lab confirmed cases of 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) in Louisiana. Based on an extrapolation from CDC data, the real case count in Louisiana is closer to 39,000.”

    Don’t forget to follow the CDC guidelines for staying healthy.