The Osterholm Quotes

"We don't pretend we're going to fix [supply chain issues] yet. We've just got to get people to understand the vulnerability."
"We know, based on our recent experience, that there will be more and more incidents where necessary drugs or medical supplies will be unavailable to those in crisis and, increasingly, the consequences are truly about life and death."
"I do believe that it is not a matter of if, but when, CWD crosses to humans."
"It's way too early to tell how effective this year's [flu] vaccine is." However, regarding timing, "Now's a great time, go get it today."
"It's very possible and maybe likely that there may be other enteroviruses [aside from D68] that are causing similar symptoms. This is a tough disease, because it doesn't fit a model of strict cause and effect."
"I don't know if that's what did it [awareness of last season's severe flu season] or if in fact there are more organized programs to get people vaccinated."
"What makes us quite convinced that this is actually an infectious process is that these cases are not located only in one area ... and if you look at the seasonality, it's very, very striking to see that the vast majority of cases that have occurred since 2014 have occurred in the months of basically August and September and then coming back down in October ... It has all the makings of being an enterovirus-like agent or agents."
"We are beginning to sit on the cliff edge of a post-antibiotic era. This is not just about a problem today, it's about a problem that our kids and grandkids are going to bear in a very big way."
"We're seeing rapid testing becoming much more of a reality — a faster and more specific diagnostic result could help bring better outcomes for your patients and your institution."
"The use of vaccines to curb antibiotic use has tremendous potential as an alternative approach to prevent and treat infections of resistant organisms. . . . If we had vaccines, we wouldn't have to deal with the actual infection and the potential for resistance."
"I don't want to say that there won't be new antibiotics developed, but they won't be the savior against antibiotic resistance. We must save the antibiotics we have now and ensure we use them as wisely as possible."
"Antimicrobial resistance is as much a part of our world as gravity. We've overprescribed and overused antibiotics over the past 100 years, so we shouldn't be surprised today that we're seeing resistance challenges as these microbes evolve to survive."
"We don't do much better with cytokine storms today than we did back in [the flu pandemic of] 1918. There are some machines that can breathe and circulate blood for you, but overall the outcome is still very, very bleak."
"If a pandemic causes disruption in the production and transportation of these [critical life-saving] drugs, we'll see people dying in short order. Collateral damage from a 1918-like pandemic could be dramatic."
"We already overwhelmed the healthcare system here in the US with just the seasonal flu this year [in 2017-18], and this wasn't even a particularly severe year. But it shows you just how limited our capacity is to respond to a major increase in cases."
"Influenza pandemics are like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis: they occur, and some are much worse than others. The idea that we would not have another 1918-like event is foolish. For all we know, it could be starting as we speak."
"Since 95 percent of flu outbreaks start in mid-December, it’s best to get the flu shot in early to mid-November."
"There's no one study that's going to be the Holy Grail. But there are going to be key studies upon which others can build. And this is one of them."
"Frankly, I'm much more concerned about people coming in and out of JFK or Chicago-O'Hare [than disease from immigrants]. Somebody exposed to the MERS virus on the Arabian Peninsula, who's going to check them? Nobody. If somebody picks up a drug-resistant infection while on some exotic tour, it gets to their community before they ever get screened. "
"You think of San Diego as a vacation destination and now, suddenly, you're hearing about hepatitis and unsanitary conditions. That contrast is going to get more media attention, sort of like a measles outbreak at Disneyland is going to get more attention than one at a school in a metropolitan area, even if they have the same number of cases."
"We have a number of indicators right now showing that our ability to quickly detect cases and follow up on their contacts has been seriously challenged by the safety issues. [Vaccine] can't be given to people you don't know exist."
"As far as the past year, clearly the Chinese began a very aggressive and comprehensive program to vaccinate poultry against H7N9 [avian flu]. That is by far the most likely explanation for what happened [to dramatically lower human cases], but even there we can't be certain."
"We have no sense of why the fifth [wave of H7N9 avian flu cases] was so high. There was just no reason that we can come up with beyond the spread in poultry."
"These kids are largely recovering. It’s not like a life-threatening bacterial infection. . . . Second, there is, in a sense, a treatment. We know that early and aggressive physical therapy intervention can actually be very, very important."
"[Seek medical care] if you start to sense any neck weakness or stiffness in the neck, which could also be signs of meningitis. You start to really get into [AFM's] clinical symptoms when you get drooping eyelids or facial droop, as well as difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. And, finally, [look for] a weakness in any of the limb."


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