On Monday, the medical establishment and the general public were put on alert by an emergency notification from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Florida’s Miami-Dade County had 14 confirmed cases of the Zika virus, the infectious disease which causes birth defects, and was at risk of continued active transmission. In the following days, the CDC has advised pregnant women and their partners to avoid Wynwood, a small community north of downtown Miami–the first time it has ever issued a travel alert in the United States for an infectious disease. It has also issued specific Zika guidelines for the Wynwood region for patients who have traveled to the area on or after June 15th.
Moments like these test our healthcare system and reveal its weaknesses. We’ve spoken often on this blog about healthcare’s connectivity problem: islands of information and data siloes that don’t talk to one another, sometimes to lethal effect. Public health crises demand that health information flow freely and that healthcare providers have the latest clinical guidelines at their fingertips.
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