Concerns of a state health official

October 29, 2008
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One of the people responsible for ensuring we stay healthy is Dr. Judy Monroe, who directs the Indiana Department of Health.

So, what keeps someone with a job like hers up at night?

A nightmare scenario is a new virus that quickly grows to pandemic status, Monroe says. Itâ??s possible, but not likely, that a virus resistant to every drug that society could throw at it would shoot around the world faster than scientists could concoct a cure, she says.

Monroe reminds that, historically, pandemics have occurred roughly three times every century. Among the better known are the bubonic plague in Europe in the 12th Century and the influenza outbreak of 1918. The flu was particularly scary because it claimed lives of even the healthiest young people within three days of the infection setting in.

Researchers found ways to whip polio, which worried parents in the â??50s, but have yet to find a prevention for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which emerged in the â??80s, she noted. However, neither of those diseases, awful as they are, rank with pandemics in terms of lives lost.

In other words, weâ??ve gone nearly a century without a true pandemic â?? beating the odds with science.

â??We take for granted how far our science has come,â?? Monroe said.

What are your thoughts? Will science be able to continue its successful ways? And how safe to you feel?

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.