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Personal Log, Stardate 42552.6.

Personal Log, Stardate 42552.6

   Awaiting the alien delegation from Sarona VIII
   To scan them for communicable space disease,
   I think of history and can't help but now speculate
   If our ancestral officers in duty were at ease
   At their own quarantining stations, earthbound ports of entry,
   There watchful for all ancient scourges crossing borders
   (tuberculosis ... measles ... influenza ... coxsackie),
   Assessing travelers sans medical tricorders,
   But using only judgment and with epi skills equip'd
   To help determine meaning in a cough, a rash;
   And knowing what they saw was barely the berg's tip
   Considering all the infected travelers they didn't "catch"--
   Ah, the delegates just beamed aboard to be met;
   Let's see what interstellar parasites we detect!

Dr Kim is a quarantine medical officer at the CDC Detroit Quarantine Station, Detroit, Michigan. Her primary research interest is traveler's health.

Author affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Address for correspondence: Curi Kim, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Detroit Quarantine Station, 2613 World Gateway Pl, Detroit, MI 48242, USA; email:

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Author:Kim, Curi
Publication:Emerging Infectious Diseases
Article Type:Poem
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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