Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 4

p h i l a m e d s o c .org

Letter from the president

A New Nationwide Exercise -
Social Distancing
James Cristol,
MD

President

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A

s I am writing to you, we have seen the first COVID-19 death in
Pennsylvania. The victim - Grace Fusco, a 73-year-old Northampton
County woman -- was the matriarch of her family. Two of her children
in their 50s have also died from the virus. Four of her other 11 children are in the hospital
with COVID-19 - three of them are in critical condition. Mrs. Fusco had attended a
large family gathering in New Jersey. This family tragedy is an example of the dangers,
complexities and unpredictable nature of the virus.
COVID-19 has now infected dozens of Philadelphia residents. Hundreds of low-wage
workers at Philadelphia International Airport are being laid off because of a monsoon
of passenger cancelations that's costing airlines about $10 billion a month. SEPTA is
reducing its bus, trolley and train schedules, schools are closed, restaurants are being
confined to offering takeout, and we're all being urged to keep our get-togethers to no
more than 10 people. And if we're in our 60s and up, we're told to refrain when possible
from going out of the house. Officials tell us to wash our hands frequently and practice
what has become the phrase of the year - social distancing.
Amid all of this there's a possible glimmer of hope. China, if their statistics can be
believed, has recorded its first day since the outbreak, without a new case.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is engaged in an intense
citywide effort to help hospitals, physicians and other caregivers respond effectively to the
virus. Our cover story - written by Steve Alles, MD, and Jessica Caum at PDPH - gives
a thorough, in-depth snapshot of the coronavirus, the local effort to confront it, and
what you can do to try to keep your patients safe.
We have much more to offer you in this issue. The United States is in the throes
of record high STD cases - and it's a lot worse in Philadelphia. The city's syphilis,
gonorrhea and chlamydia cases are more than double the national rate. The segment of
our population that is driving up the numbers is men having sex with men (MSM). The
CDC reports that they are about 4% of the population but represent 54% of syphilis
cases in the country. Syphilis cases among MSM are 104 times higher than the syphilis
rate among men who have sex only with women.
Dr. Lenore Asbell, medical specialist for the STD Control Program of PDPH,
told Alan Miceli, our editor, "Part of the problem is that so many of the partners are
anonymous." They use social media to find partners that do not have to identify themselves.
That process makes it very difficult to track down the partners of syphilis patients.
EDITORIAL BOARD
*	 Corina Graziani, MD
*	 Alan Miceli, MA, Editor

4

Philadelphia Medicine : Spring 2020

*	 Susan Robbins, MD, MPH, FAAP
*	 Paul D. Siegel, MD


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Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020

Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 1
Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 2
Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicineFallWinter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Winter2017x
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine_Spring2017
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