In Maryland Health agency tells doctors to watch for...

Regional Digest

May 18, 1999|By From staff reports

In Maryland

Health agency tells doctors to watch for Pfiesteria signs

A federal health agency has told the nation's doctors to watch for problems that could be associated with Pfiesteria piscicida, the microorganism blamed for making some Eastern Shore watermen and boaters ill two years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its alert, similar to one issued last spring, because the approach of warm summer weather increases the chance of a Pfiesteria outbreak. Researchers say the tiny dinoflagellate takes its toxic form only when water temperatures are warm.

The CDC said the health risk to those exposed to Pfiesteria while fishing, swimming or boating is unclear, but people should avoid areas with large numbers of diseased, dying or dead fish.

No major Pfiesteria outbreaks were reported in 1998.

Campsite reservation fee increases despite toll-free line

A new toll-free number makes it easier, but costlier, to reserve a Maryland state park campsite. The system puts all 26 campgrounds, from sandy Assateague to pine-scented Swallow Falls, on one line, reachable any day, any time.

The number is 888-432-2267.

The calls are handled by a private firm in Madison, Wis., giving park workers more time to serve visitors and police the campgrounds, State Forest and Park Service officials promise.

Campers who make reservations, which are recommended for summer weekends, will pay a higher price than last year for the service. For example, the non-refundable service charge of $8 is $1 higher than last year, and it applies to each campsite reserved, rather than each reservation made.

Spiggle elected president of state medical society

Cumberland internist Dr. Wayne C. Spiggle has been elected president of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the state medical society. He succeeds Dr. Allan D. Jensen.

Spiggle, who received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia, practices at the Braddock Medical Group in Cumberland. He helped found Allegany Health Right, which provides health care for poor and uninsured residents of Allegany County. He also has served on MedChi's board and its task forces on regulatory reform and privacy.

MedChi, now celebrating its 200th anniversary, represents more than 6,500 physicians in 50 specialties.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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