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Archive for the ‘Regional Information’ Category

U.S. Flu Season Already Off to Early Start

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Significant increases in flu activity in the United States have occurred in the last two weeks, indicating that an early flu season is upon us. These increases in activity overlap with National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) which was observed December 2-8, 2012.

According to CDC’s weekly surveillance report published on November 30, 2012, 48 states and Puerto Rico have already reported cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza and, nationally, the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza is rising fast. Influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity levels in parts of the country are already higher than all of last season. Nationally, the United States reached the baseline level for ILI the week ending November 24, 2012 and 5 states are already reporting the highest level of activity possible.

More info:  [CDC, Dec. 3, 2012]

New Model Uses Internet Search Data to Forecast Flu Outbreaks

Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Researchers have developed a new statistical model that uses Google search data and weather forecasting techniques to predict influenza outbreaks, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Los Angeles Times‘ “Science Now”.

Like meteorological models, the researchers’ flu model continuously updated itself with the latest information from Google Flu trends. Using the model, the researchers found that they could forecast the height of flu season using data from seven weeks before the peak occurred.

Read more: [iHealthBeat, Nov. 27, 2012]

60 Percent of America’s Biggest Cities now Smoke-Free

Monday, November 26th, 2012

According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thirty of America’s 50 largest cities are now covered by laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas of private workplaces, restaurants.  By late 2000, only one of the 50 largest U.S. cities—San Jose, Calif.—was covered by such a law. As of Oct. 5, 2012, 16 of the 50 largest cities were covered by local comprehensive smoke-free laws, and 14 more were covered by state comprehensive smoke-free laws.

Read more: [CDC Press Release, Nov. 25, 2012]

A Brief Look at how Public Health Fared in the Recent Election

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Voters from across the country cast their ballot last week for state and local measures that will have tremendous impact on the health of their communities. From fracking to tobacco control, here are a variety of initiatives with implications for public health that made their way to the ballot:  [Public Health Newswire, Nov. 8, 2012]

The storm is over: the clean-up begins

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern part of the United States hard.  The federal government has a number of information resources for those affected and responders.

At the Sandy page at the Department of Health and Human Services web site, there is information on clean-up and sanitation, mental health resources, public health concerns, daily updates and state-specific information:

Food Day is October 24, 2012

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Learn more about hosting or attending an event in your area and find additional resources at: [Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, Oct. 4, 2012 and the Center for Science in the Public Interest]

“What Works for Health” Online Searchable Tool

Monday, October 1st, 2012

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps has announced the release of What Works for Health: .

This tool is an  “online searchable menu of policies and programs focusing on factors that make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play.” Developed by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it allows local leaders to choose a health factor of interest  and browse through the evidence ratings for particular programs, policies, or system changes that address the specific health factor. [Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, Sept. 28, 2012]

ASPR Twitter Challenge Winner is MappyHealth

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Local public health officials can use a free new Web-based application, MappyHealth, to track health concerns in real time in their communities using Twitter. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced MappyHealth as the winning submission of the developers’ challenge on Friday.

Try it out at: More information at:  [HHS News Relese, Sept. 14, 2012]

Webinar this Week: Are our Neighborhoods Making us Sick?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is sponsoring a free webinar on Thursday, August 16 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST: “Are our Neighborhoods Making us Sick? The Intersection of Health, Philanthropy, Housing and Community Development.”

To register: [Wellness and Prevention Health Reform Digest, August 8, 2012]

New Red Cross Hurricane App

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Be ready for severe weather with Hurricane by the American Red Cross. Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

More information including a video on the app features: .