Infectious diseases know no boundaries
I see measles has reared its head again (“9th measles case confirmed in Western Washington outbreak”). We can’t forget that measles is so contagious that 90 percent of people who aren’t immune and around someone who has it will also catch it. And that in general, 1 in every 10 kids with measles will get an ear infection, which may lead to permanent hearing loss.
We had measles under control, then we dropped the ball. This is somewhat like the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. Since its inception in 2002, the Global Fund has cut deaths from these three scourges by a third. But lack of political will and under funding threaten to sabotage our gains. A core function of the Global Fund is investing in local health infrastructure. This curtails the spread of AIDS, TB and malaria and also helps prevent the outbreaks of pandemics before they can reach our shores.
Did you know that every $1 invested in the Global Fund creates $19 in economic returns and health gains? This reduces conflict in regional areas. We need a stable, healthy world. We need to support the Global Fund — and to get vaccinated!
Sitting ducks at the Capitol
I happened to walk into our beautiful state Capitol building the other day and was immediately struck by this thought: I didn’t have to walk through any metal detectors or security checkpoints to gain access to the building and its occupants. For someone who used to work in law enforcement, that was an unsettling thought.
I know people who work in that building and the lack of security is a topic of concern. Word is that the metal detectors that used to be in the building were nixed when lobbyists and legislators complained that they impeded their access to the building. Sounds like they had little concern for anybody who goes to work there on a daily basis.
Maybe that security situation needs a second look. You would hate to see changes made after someone was hurt or killed.