Dr. Julio Frenk, the former Mexican health minister who is the new dean of Harvard's School of Public Health, happened to be home in Mexico City over the weekend as the swine flu outbreak worsened. He spent Monday meeting with Mexican health officials, and offering whatever help the Mexicans might need from Harvard's epidemiological experts.
I wrote an article in today's Globe about Frenk's sense of the crisis, and his view that Mexico's elaborate national health surveillance system had helped identify the new swine flu virus relatively quickly. Frenk also noted that the entrenched Mexican tradition of self-medicating to treat symptoms of illnesses may have played a role in delaying more effective treatment for some victims. The flu responds well to anti-viral medication, but only if administered quickly.
You can listen to an audio clip from the interview here. And here's a direct link to the audio player:
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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