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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Health Officials Investigating Possible First Local Zika Transmissions

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

“Stripe on stripe” by coniferconifer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

MosquitoZika Virus has been on the minds of health officials for months, but until recently the main concern to average citizens regarding the virus was simply protecting themselves from transmission while traveling to infected countries, which include much of Central and South America, and many Caribbean islands. Florida health officials are now investigating two cases of Zika in Miami-Dade County and Broward County, which they believe may have been acquired locally, although they have not ruled out sexual transmission. If confirmed, this would be the first case of Zika transmitted by mosquito within the U.S.

In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted small local outbreaks may occur, specifically in the south of Florida and Texas because mosquitoes in those areas have also carried dengue and chikungunya in the past.

So far, more than 1,400 people have tested positive for Zika in the U.S., with all cases having been related to travel to an infected area.

To read more about local Zika transmissions, please see “Florida Investigating 2 Possible Local Zika Virus Infections.”

To learn more about how to protect yourself from Zika, please visit cdc.gov.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Says Hospitals Making Progress Against Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs But More Work Is Needed

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Multistate Foodborne Illness Is a Serious Problem

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Adapted from CDC (Vital Signs)

Foods that cause multistate outbreaks are often contaminated before they reach the public. The CDC reports that multistate outbreaks caused 56% of deaths in all foodborne outbreaks, although they accounted for 3% of all outbreaks from 2010 to 2014. This occurs when contaminated food is sent to several states and individuals become sick with the same germ. Officals investigating multistate outbreaks reveal that most problems occur on the farm, in processing or distributions centers. The federal government along with food industries must work collaboratively to save lives.

Food industries can:

  • Keep records to trace foods from source to destination.
  • Use store loyalty cards and distribution records to help investigators identify what made people sick.
  • Recall products linked to an outbreak and notify customers.
  • Choose only suppliers that use food safety best practices.
  • Share proven food safety solutions with others in industry.
  • Make food safety a core part of company culture.
  • Meet or exceed new food safety laws and regulations.

For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/foodsafety-2015/index.html#graphic

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The Society for Public Health and Education (SOPHE) is Celebrating March as National Nutrition Month

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Adapted from SOPHE:

The Society for Public Health and Education (SOPHE) has announced March as National Nutrition month. The organization wants YOU participate and take the pledge to eat healthy.

Why eat healthy?

  • To stay strong and active. Healthy foods have vitamins, mineral, and nutrients your body needs.
  • To lower your health risks. Choosing healthier foods can help you lower your risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • To manage your weight. Healthy diet and physical activity can help you stay at a healthy weight.
  • To set a positive example. If you have children, the healthy food choices your child sees you make now can impact their eating choices throughout their lifetime.

Top 10 easy ways to nutritious eating:

  1. Start breakfast with instant oatmeal and low-fat milk.
  2. Skip the fast food drive through.
  3. Keep low-fast yogurt, cheese and milk in your refrigerator.
  4. Snack on fruits and vegetables.
  5. Pack a healthy lunch and skip eating out.
  6. If you eat out, split the meal or only eat half.
  7. Eat thin crust pizza. Add veggies as toppings.
  8. Limit meat, fish and poultry to 5 ounces.
  9. Eat whole-grain breads.
  10. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sophe.org/national_nutrition_month.cfm

Adults Do Not Get Enough Sleep: A Good Night’s Sleep Is Critical For Good Health

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Adapted from: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Newsroom

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” Prevalence of healthy sleep duration varies by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, marital status CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments and CDC.

Key Findings:

  • Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).
  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.
  • A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.
  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).
  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit www.cdc.gov/sleep.

What is FDA Doing to Improve the Health of African-Americans?

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Adapted from  posted  on  

By: Jovonni Spinner, M.P.H., C.H.E.S. Public Health Advisor in FDA’s Office of Minority Health

Every February, Black History Month is celebrated as a time to reflect, celebrate, and honor the contributions of African-Americans to our society. Achieving and maintaining good health is a long-standing issue for this group, many of whom may experience worse health outcomes in critical areas like heart disease and diabetes. By focusing on the positive and providing consumers with health education materials to support healthy behavior changes the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Minority Health www.fda.gov/minorityhealth have made progress in eradicating the health equity gap, and the gap has narrowed over time, but there is still significant room for improvement. Here are few things that the Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) and the Office of Minority Health www.fda.gov/minorityhealth (OMH) have done over the past year to reduce health disparities. More than 29.2 million blacks/African-Americans are on social media — and we want to meet consumers where they are. FDA and OMH are using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms and electronic communications (e.g. our newsletter and e-blasts) to educate African- Americans on issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and sickle cell disease among others, and also provide tangible solutions to help manage these chronic conditions. For example, to mark American Heart Month in February, we developed a social media toolkit to help our stakeholders engage with their members and partnered with the Association of Black Cardiologists to spearhead an http://www.abcardio.org/articles/lovemyheart.html #ILoveMyHeart social media campaign. The FDA and OMH  have cultivated relationships with a core set of partners to better understand their health needs, aligned our priorities to meet those needs, and worked together to leverage each other’s resources for the common good. By doing so, the FDA and OMH have increased the stakeholder’s capacity to communicate with the agency on regulatory issues. For example, multicultural stakeholders are now better able to make their voice heard in FDA-sponsored public meetings and on open dockets.  In regards, to Minority Health Research  FDA and OMH has worked with academia to fund African-American-based research projects (e.g. HIV/AIDs and triple negative breast cancer) and research fellows working on topics like genomics and digital communications. This allows us to increase the knowledge base on these issues and ensure a diverse workforce is in place to solve these complex health problems. FDA and OMH’s Minority Health education Resources , offer infographics and fact sheets, tailored to African Americans. The FDA website has valuable information on sickle cell disease and lupus, both of which affect African Americans more than any other racial/ethnic group. FDA and OMH are working to continue to work toward increasing clinical trial diversity, to ensure that medical products are safe and effective for everyone!

President Obama has said, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” OMH will continue walking down the path to improving health equity and we want you to join us, because this work cannot be done alone.

Visit FDA’s OMH at: www.fda.gov/minorityhealth

Follow us on Twitter @FDAOMH

Jovonni Spinner

U.S. Task Force Recommends Doctors Should Screen Teens for Major Depression

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends primary care doctors should screen patients between 12 and 18 years for major depression, but not in younger children. The task force believes that the screening of young adults should be accompanied by diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Experts believe major depression can hinder an adolescent school and work performance as well as developing positive relationships with family and friends. If the situation persists, there is an increased risk of suicide. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157131.html

Additional Resources:

Depression

Teen Mental Health

Study Shows Direct Relation Between Asthma-Flair Ups and School Year Calendar

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)

A recent study may explain why children with Asthma tend to suffer cold systems after a school long holiday or break. Experts believed that environmental factors, such as air quality was the culprit. Researchers analyzed asthma-related hospitalizations of children across Texas for seven years. The study concluded that the school year calendar was the primary cause. Researchers found that when children are not at school for a long period, they will be less likely exposed to other children with colds and their immunity decreases. When they return to school, there is an increase in their exposure to cold viruses and their immune systems are not ready. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157134.html

Additional Resources:

Asthma in Children

Common Cold

School Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guide to Lead in Water

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Due to the ongoing lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided an outline about lead in water. The outline covers the effects of high lead exposure to  the removal of lead contamination in water. For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

MedlinePlus posted a warning from the World Health Organization last week entitled “Zika Virus Expected to Spread North Through U.S.: WHO“.

As this is an emerging threat with new updates daily, here are a couple of websites to consult for the latest news:

And the NIH Director’s blog is always good for health news, plus MedlinePlus’ Latest Health News page.

As of January 27 there are also two new Medical Subject Headings available for searching MEDLINE/PubMed: Zika Virus Infection and Zika Virus.

map of zika affected countries