|Short news items with a Post-Polio element gleaned
from 'here, there and everywhere'. Contributions welcomed. Email email@example.com.
Please make it clear that your news item is for inclusion in NewsBites
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29th March 1999
RESPONAUT - A television documentary in the making
Richard Hill has started to research and write a 30 minute documentary
RESPONAUT - LIFE WITH THE LUNG. It's about people whose lives have been
affected in some way by the iron lung. He needs to hear from as many people
as possible who have experiences or resources (archive pictures, film
etc.) relating to the iron lung.
Full details of the project including an optional questionaire and programme
synopsis can be found at http://www.richardhill.co.uk/responaut/
Richard is also responsible for the Virtual
Museum of the Iron Lung.
26th March 1999
Paralytic poliomyelitis associated with live oral poliomyelitis vaccine
in child with HIV infection in Zimbabwe: case report
This week's BMJ publishes a case report of a boy of 4½ years who
two weeks after receiving the second dose of oral poliomyelitis vaccine
during national immunisation days, developed paralysis of the right leg.
He had a high titre of antibodies against poliovirus type 2, as well as
antibodies against HIV-1, a low CD4 count, a ratio of CD4 to CD8 count
of 0.47, and hypergammaglobulinaemia. He did not have any antibodies against
diphtheria, tetanus, or poliovirus types 1 and 3, although he had been
given diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis and oral polio vaccines during
his first year and a booster of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
vaccine at 24 months. He had no clinical symptoms of AIDS, but his mother
had AIDS and tuberculosis.
The paper by Inam Chitsike, paediatrician,
and Ralph van Furth, Unesco-Unitwin professor of
immunology and infectious diseases; emeritus professor of internal medicine
and infectious diseases, Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands,
concludes "Paralytic poliomyelitis in this child with HIV infection was
caused by poliovirus type 2 after oral poliomyelitis vaccine."
The BMJ highlights the following key messages:
- The WHO's goal of eradicating poliomyelitis by 2000 means that children
are given live, oral poliomyelitis vaccine during national immunisation
days regardless of their vaccination history
- Live vaccines are contraindicated in people who are infected with
HIV because of the risk of infection from attenuated micro-organisms
- The incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis associated with vaccination
is low in children who are not infected with HIV
- A boy positive for HIV infection developed paralytic poliomyelitis
after receiving his second dose of oral poliomyelitis vaccine during
national immunisation days in Zimbabwe
- As the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of infection with
wild poliomyelitis virus, oral poliomyelitis vaccine should continue
to be used in countries where HIV infections are endemic
BMJ 1999;318:841-843 ( 27 March )
Full Text: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/318/7187/841
For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory
Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication
24th March 1999
NIH's plans for online publishing could threaten journals
The following news item appeared in this week's British Medical Journal
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) may set up a single electronic
repository for peer reviewed, biomedical research papers in what would
mark the most radical shift in scientific publishing since the first
peer reviewed journals appeared in 1665. Such a web based service would
free up millions of dollars spent by libraries on journal subscriptions,
while leaving the business plans of many scientific publishers in shreds.
It would be a logical extension of the National Library of Medicine's
PubMed service, similarly funded by the US taxpayer but freely available
worldwide. Whereas PubMed provides electronic access to Medline's nine
million citations, the new service would provide the full text of articles
as well---all available from one place.
Pat Brown, a genetics researcher at Stanford University and one of
the driving forces behind the new proposals, complains that journals
currently "just balkanise the literature and then charge a toll for
The main inspiration has been the success of the high energy eprint
server set up by Paul Ginsparg in 1991. Physicists now routinely submit
their completed articles to this fully automated electronic archive,
which is freely accessible over the world wide web. About 2500 articles
are submitted each month, and the service has supplanted traditional
journals as the means of first publication in many areas of physics.
Most of these articles are subsequently submitted to traditional peer
What is different about the NIH's plan is that it will add some form
of peer review---thus making peer reviewed journals redundant. David
Lipman, the director of the US National Council for Biotechnology Information,
has spoken of trying to develop a "third way"---not the traditional
journal or an eprint server, "but a completely different model with
a different philosophical basis."
Details of what this might be are scarce, and the NIH's ideas for peer
review are apparently undergoing rapid evolution. Last week Science
suggested that articles might be posted alongside the comments of two
peer reviewers. Another recent version had traditional journals retaining
their functions as guarantors of quality and stamping their approval
on articles they deemed worthy of it.
The idea was first aired publicly by Harold Varmus, the institute's
director, last week. He plans to publish a fuller discussion within
the month, acknowledging the need for more input and discussion before
proceeding. Despite the funds at NIH's disposal Science quotes Varmus
as saying that this "doesn't mean a thing if the scientific community
doesn't want to play."
The announcement has set off waves of excitement and fear among academic
circles and scientific publishers. Many learned societies pay for their
activities from their publishing profits.
Tony Delamothe, BMJ
BMJ 1999;318:754 ( 20 March )
The above news item can be found at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/318/7186/754/a
along with links to responses and related BMJ articles. The BMJ recently
announced that it will for the moment continue to provide free online
access to full text content of the Journal.
For information on how to use Medline and links to NIH PubMed see our
library section Library Assistant
22nd March 1999
Post-Polio Conference in Omaha, Nebraska
Early notice for Friday, September 17,
POST POLIO CONFERENCE, Friday, September 17, 1999, Embassy
Suites Hotel, 555 South 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska. Sponsored by
Nebraska Polio Survivors Association; Madonna
Rehabilitation Hospital and BryanLGH Medical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Principal Speaker: Burk Jubelt, M.D., Professor of neurology,
Microbiology and Immunology; Chairman, Department of Neurology and Director
of the Post Polio Syndrome Research and Treatment Center of the State
University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Syracuse, New York.
Subjects: Overview of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome and Pathogenesis in
Post Polio Syndrome.
David Diamant, M.D., a physiatrist at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
and Director of the Post Polio Clinic.
Subjects: Exercise in Post Polio syndrome and Pulmonary Manifestations
of Post Polio Syndrome.
Mark Hakel, Ph.D., Director of Research and Education at Madonna Rehabilitation
Hospital and a nationally acclaimed speech pathology and swallowing specialist.
Subject: The Effects of Post Polio syndrome on Swallowing.
Shari Jondle, a registered dietitian with many years of experience with
cardiac nutrition and eating disorders. She is a polio survivor.
Subject: Eating for Health and Enjoying it: Looking Forward to Every Meal.
Registration: 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Conference: 9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Cost: $35.00 per person through August 15, $40.00 afterwards.
Rolls and coffee at registration, lunch, and afternoon refreshments are
included in the registration fee.
Further information is available from
Marian Barnett, Executive Director, Nebraska Polio Survivors Association,
PO Box 45139, Omaha, Nebraska 68145-0139.
For updated information on this conference see Conference
Card #0005 in our World-Wide
Conference and Seminar Diary
20th March 1999
Congo polio immunisation campaign gets go ahead
According to the British Medical Journal, UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan has announced an initiative to negotiate several special ceasefire
agreements called "Days of Tranquillity" in the Democratic Republic of
Congo so that some 10 million children under the age of 5 can be immunised
against polio between July and September 1999.
A joint WHO-Unicef planning mission will go to Kinshasa in April to advise
the Congolese Ministry of Health, which has primary responsibility for
the areas under governmental control. The £9.4m ($15m) projected
budget is expected to cover three rounds of immunisation to bring population
immunity to the highest possible level. "To succeed in eradicating polio,
we need access to children living in pockets of unrest and strife," Dr
Brundtland said. "The right to immunisation goes beyond conflict; all
children have this right."
BMJ 1999;318:756 ( 20 March )
For other Polio eradication related resources see our directory Polio
Virus, Vaccine and Eradication
10th March 1999
Health On the Net Foundation (HON) March/April 1999 Survey
Invitation to Participate
The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) is conducting a new short survey
during March/April 99 on the evolution of the Internet usage for medical/health
If you wish to participate, please go to one of the following URLs:
English version: http://www.hon.ch/Survey/quest_internet.html
French version: http://www.hon.ch/Survey/quest_internet_f.html
HON are trying to assess the value, level and ease of use of the Net
and attitudes towards anonymity. Two new questions have been added to
the previous surveys. HON are interested in the views of medical professionals
This survey follows the ones conducted in Feb/March 97, Aug/Sep 97, and
May/Jun 98. For more information on the surveys: http://www.hon.ch/Survey/
Like the previous surveys conducted by HON the results of the findings
will be published when the survey closes.
9th March 1999
PPS to be discussed on National Public Radio (U.S.A)
A recording of the broadcast in RealAudio originally available
at http://www.lcmedia.com/mindprgm.htm and latterly removed,
can now be heard at http://spacecon.net/pps/ra/tim998.ram.
Background information on the broadcast can still be found at http://www.lcmedia.com/mind998.htm.
This week, National Public Radio's "The Infinite Mind" will
focus on PPS.
For local broadcast times for "The Infinite Mind," call your
local NPR station or call (212) 765-6600 or go to: http://www.lcmedia.com/.
Featured will be Sparkie Lujan, President and Founder of P.R.Y.S. (http://www.PRYS.net/),
Dr. Lauro Halstead of the Nat'l Rehab Hospital, and Dr. Richard L. Bruno,
Chairperson of the International Post-Polio Task Force and Director, The
Post-Polio Institute, at New Jersey's Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
"The Infinite Mind" will be broadcast in New York City at 3:00
PM on Sunday, March 14 on WNYC AM 820.
Articles by Dr. Halstead can be found in our Lincolnshire Post-Polio
Library. See the catalogue for:
Halstead, Lauro S., MD
Articles by Dr. Bruno can be found in our Lincolnshire Post-Polio Library.
See the catalogue for:
Bruno, Richard L., Ph.D.