(04/09/2002)
Opinion And Comment: Bob Weaver

It has been a sad and tragic event for a Calhoun woman to apparently be attacked by one of the nastiest diseases known, Necrotizing Fasciitis. Most people in this county knew about the problem several days before it was made public.

As we say here in the country, "She is a good woman and good neighbor," and it is painful to think of her body being attacked by this strange bacteria, and the hurt it has inflicted on her family, let alone the associated fear that surrounds such a terrible disease.

It has been a stranger experience trying to get public health officials to acknowledge the problem.

It was my belief the public has a right to know about the disease, and I am sure her family would have concerns for all of us. I set out to obtain clear, concise information about the case, to discover public health officials would not confirm nor deny the situation.

Even though I learned a Head Start official in Parkersburg, Glen Jones, had obtained information regarding how that agency needed to view the problem for the children in their care at a Grantsville center, he would not respond to public concern.

Maybe I am missing something, but part of this unfortunate problem centers on the questioning e-mails, stories, gossip and fear on the street about the incident. It would seem to me, public health officials should confirm or deny the disease and offer us comforting, professional opinions and information.

They will not, stating there are issues of confidentiality and the problem does not rise to a level where a public health warning is necessary, or "trust us, there is nothing that needs to be done." I must assume this is true. We have attempted to print accurate information regarding the prevention and recognition of the disease, mostly obtained over the internet.

So, we end up with mixed messages, because public health officials are saying if there is such a problem, this is what you should expect.

Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center in Grantsville and Dr. Hande were extremely competent and helpful with the issue. Thumbs up to our local health center.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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