etymologia Malta fever by mikeholy



departments. Even then, we doubt that         the public health utility of the method                  Lars Eisen*
the quality of data gleaned would jus-        against the time and cost required for              and Rebecca J. Eisen†
tify the cost incurred.                       the public health system to implement        *Colorado State University, Fort Collins,
      We fail to see that the quality of      it and 2) comply with existing patient       Colorado, USA; and †Centers for Disease
information gathered by using the             privacy laws. The point-radius method        Control and Prevention, Fort Collins
point-radius method would be an im-           clearly fails on the first count and also
                                                                                           DOI: 10.3201/eid1408.080561
provement over our suggestion. In our         likely will present substantial problems
original article, we suggested using          in terms of patient privacy.
sets of standardized questions that are            We agree that presenting data for
tailored to a given vector-borne dis-         case counts and disease incidence by          1.   Peterson AT. Improving methods for re-
ease. We also indicated that a critical       ZIP code or census tract falls short of            porting spatial epidemiologic data [letter].
minimal need includes a basic assess-         the desired level of spatial precision.            Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14:1335–6.
                                                                                            2.   Eisen L, Eisen RJ. Need for improved
ment of whether pathogen exposure             However, this realistic compromise                 methods to collect and present spatial epi-
likely occurred in 1) the peridomes-          1) is a marked improvement over                    demiologic data for vectorborne diseases.
tic environment, 2) outside the peri-         the current practice to display only               Emerg Infect Dis. 2007;13:1816–20.
domestic environment but within the           county-based spatial patterns for case
county of residence, or 3) outside the        counts or incidence; 2) incurs only          Address for correspondence: Lars Eisen,
county of residence (2).                      minimal added time and cost for the          Department of Microbiology, Immunology
      The challenge of how to most ef-        public health community; and 3) can          and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort
fectively collect and present spatial ep-     be implemented, especially for census        Collins, CO 80523-1690, USA; email: lars.
idemiologic data is neither conceptual        tracts, with minimal concerns regard-
nor technologic; rather, it is logistic and   ing patient privacy.
legal. Any new method must 1) weigh


   Genus of gram-negative, aerobic coccobacilli of the family Brucellaceae, named after Sir David Bruce (1855–
   1931), a Scottish physician who served abroad with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He investigated Malta fever, a
   mysterious undulating fever that affected many British soldiers. In 1887 Dr. Bruce established a causal relationship
   between the disease and an organism later designated Brucella melitensis (from Malta). Brucella spp. include
   animal parasites and pathogens, transmissible to humans through dairy products or contact with infected animal

   Source: Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 31st ed. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier; 2007;

                            Emerging Infectious Diseases • • Vol. 14, No. 8, August 2008                              1337

To top