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I have a strange job! - Mo's Journal
November 30th, 2006
02:16 pm

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I have a strange job!
Some things that came across my desk this morning:


- Emergency Preparedness Recommendations for the Army/Navy game this weekend (Who knew football required emergency preparedness?)

- "End Homophobia to Cut HIV Among Blacks: Report" - an article about a report from the National Minority AIDS Council

- A Summary of Biological Warfare Agents (including such fun topics as Clinical Syndrome, Diagnostic Assay, Patient Isolation Precautions, Treatment, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

- Ethical Guidelines for Pandemic Influenza

- A report on injuries resulting from collisions between motor vehicles and moose in the state of Maine from 2000-2004 (the yearly collision rate with moose is 53 per 100,000 persons in Maine. What is it in your state?)


I love my job.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:hominysnark
Date:November 30th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
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Dude ... what *is* your job?
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From:mofic
Date:November 30th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
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I monitor bioterrorism, football and moose :-).

Seriously, I work for the city's health department, running a Health Alert Network that provides info on urgent and emergent public health issues to physicians and other medical providers.

And my icon is yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.
From:thelastgoodname
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
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Um, what are the ethical guidelines for pandemic influenza? Are they different from the medical guidelines for pandemic influenza?

And also, what in the world are the preparedness recommendations for the Army/Navy game? These are more things to add to the long and growing list of stuff I never knew existed.
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From:mofic
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
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There actually are a number of ethical questions that might arise. To quote from the CDC, they include "establishing criteria for distributing vaccines and antiviral medications equitably and implementing measures that will impact on personal freedoms, such as restricting travel, closing schools or offices, and use of quarantine."

As to Army/Navy football, the concern is that the public nature of the event and the military profile of many in attendance make it a potential terrorism target. You learn something new every day.
From:thelastgoodname
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Out of curiosity, do you know if last year's Army/Navy game a potential target? What about this year's Navy/Air Force or Army/Air Force?

Your job sounds really interesting.
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From:mofic
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
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LOL! I don't know about last year, or the other games. Maybe there have been warnings about football games all along and I just wasn't paying attention.

It is a fun job, and a kind of strange place to work. I spent most of my career on Wall Street and that's very different from public health. Two differences from when I first started here:

- I was the only person who didn't bring my lunch to the Chemical Warfare Brown Bag Lunch and Learn. No one else seemed to be bothered by looking at those horrific pictures while eating.

- When I took a course on searching medical literature and the instructor picked an example off of the top of her head to illustrate a search technique, she said, "Let's say you're searching for the occurrence of 'barebacking' in the paper." In finance, nobody used anal sex as an example of anything.

Since moving to public health, I've put some public health stuff in my fiction - bioterrorism, post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV.
From:thelastgoodname
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm kind of stunned by the name Chemical Warfare Brown Bag Lunch and Learn. I hope that's your term and not the official one; if it's the official term, then your coworkers have amazing constitutions.

Actually, I'll bet the financial world would be much happier if they started using anal sex as an example; at least, they'd be more relaxed.
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From:mofic
Date:December 1st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
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Of course that was the official name. People in public health are very direct. If they're going to have a brown bag lunch and learn about chemical warfare, they call it a Chemical Warfare Brown Bag Lunch and Learn.

I do remember people in finance saying things like "If X happens, we're totally fucked" but somehow it's not the same thing.
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From:eveningblue
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
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The bit about the moose reminded me of an Elizabeth Bishop poem called "The Moose," about a bus's encounter with (though thankfully not collision with) a moose.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15213

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From:mofic
Date:November 30th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
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Cool! I'll check it out. I note, though, that the injuries discussed in the moose/car collision injury report were all injuries to people. Who, I ask, is worried about the injured moose?

(No moose icon so I'll settle for a capybara)
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From:skyline3way
Date:December 1st, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
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I cannot fathom a more interesting job. I was just reading about monkeypox and giant rats from Ghana wandering loose in Texas and Florida. The CDC guy, Carroll I believe his name was, told a good story. I'm sure he'll have a book one day.

Meanwhile, the person who pulls off #3? Get them going on World Peace next year.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:December 1st, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
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It is a fun job. Too bad the pay and benefits are lousy.

About those giant rats from Ghana - when the embargo on buying/selling them came out, the CDC published a FAQ. One of the questions was "Can I trade my giant Ghanian rat at an African Rodent Swap Meet?" I filed "African Rodent Swap Meet" in my brain under Things I Never Knew People Did With Their Free Time.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 4th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)

Who listens to what music?

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Hello. Good day
Who listens to what music?
I Love songs Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton
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