Every ecosystem IS a petri
By Dr. Ann Hupe
June 21, 2006
Hate to say it, folks, but every ecosystem IS a petri dish, ship
and island included.
There is no way that anyone can prevent an epidemic once it started.
And bandying words like: "Do these people (island and/or
cruise ship) know how to wash their hands?" is petty and
Instead of blaming one another, the important thing is to have
protocols set up to keep an epidemic from advancing any further.
The cruise ship's captain does have this protocol. So does Ketchikan
and the surrounding communities and islands.
Having had served during bad viral epidemics as well as a particularly
nasty tuberculosis outbreak in the Midwest in the early 1990's,
I can tell you that communication is THE most important part
Let us not use this situation as a political pinata. There are
better ways to deal with this and future events. This isn't the
first and it will definitely not be the last time we will face
a contagious disease. If this had been an epidemic from avian
flu, our current behavior would have killed ALL of us -- cruise
ship and islands included.
If this had been a test, we all flunked it.
Reminds me of a lesson I learned while working up in Kotzebue
one very cold winter: "If we do not work together, we all
Let's hope we all do better next time.
Dr. Ann Hupe
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Local physician in Ketchikan,
becomes a large Petri dish in the summer.... By Robert Glenn
- New York, NY - USA
A Happy, Healthy Tourist Season By Marie L. Monyak - Ketchikan,
AK - USA
By Joan Hurilman - Ketchikan, AK - USA
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