October 17, 1990

Informing Physicians About Promising New Treatments for Severe Disease

Author Affiliations

New York City (NY) Department of Health

New York City (NY) Department of Health

JAMA. 1990;264(15):1947. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150045022

To the Editor.—  We agree with Drs Steinbrook and Lo1 that increasing the detailed information in "unconventional communications" indeed can provide timely and useful information to physicians. Our experience shows that diagnostic information may be transmitted quickly. In January 1990, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer Kelly J. Henning, MD, identified practitioners' need for additional clinical information on the newly recognized tryptophan-associated eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.The decision was made to publish an emergency alert issue of City Health Information, the monthly epidemiologic bulletin of the New York City Department of Health. We were at press within 24 hours with an issue that described clinical, laboratory, and roentgenographic findings in the first 96 cases of eosinolphilia-myalgia syndrome in New York State. Copies were mailed to New York City's 24 000 physicians and to 8000 other health care providers within the next 2 weeks. In addition, the department's public health advisers hand carried the