Officials have announced another area in Miami-Dade County, Fla. has mosquitoes which are spreading Zika locally—this time in the popular tourist destination of South Beach, an area of Miami Beach, Fla.
Health officials recently warned visitors and residents to avoid the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami-Dade County, as it was the first area they linked to local transmission of Zika through mosquitoes. This outbreak prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do something it had never done before—advise pregnant woman to avoid the area, marking the first time the CDC had ever advised people to avoid an area in the continental U.S. because of an infectious disease.
With the South Beach outbreak, CDC officials are cautioning the same thing, and advising South Beach visitors to wait at least eight weeks to get pregnant.
Health officials recently got the Wynwood outbreak under control and have cleared 17 blocks so far. And while health officials believe the Zika-carrying mosquitoes are only occupying a 1.5-mile strip of beach, they are worried they won’t be as easy to get rid of in South Beach. For one thing, the area’s high-rises pose a problem for aerial spraying, a method which they used in Wynwood. “In addition, it will be more difficult to convince people to wear long sleeves and pants in a part of the city where people go to spend time on the beach,” NPR reported.
Florida health officials recently confirmed that some mosquitos within the continental United States are carrying Zika virus, therefore making local transmission possible. If someone contracts Zika virus, their symptoms are mild and may not even warrant a visit to the doctor’s office; many times people won’t experience any symptoms at all.
Because the symptoms are so mild, it makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose a person with Zika virus without test results. So now consider this—if a person heads to their local blood drive or blood bank, how can the volunteers who draw the blood ensure a person isn’t infected? When there was a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013, 2.8 percent of blood donors tested positive for the virus.
In order to prevent the risk of donating contaminated blood, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that all blood banks in Miami-Dade County stop collecting blood immediately, as this is where local Zika transmission has occurred so far. The FDA has also released a set of recommendations for other blood banks to follow to decrease the risk of collecting Zika-infected blood. And finally, while not FDA-licensed, two tests have become available in April and June that allow blood to be tested for Zika.
However, the most effective and simple way to prevent the donation of contaminated blood is for those who have traveled to Zika-infected areas to wait to donate blood until they have been cleared by a doctor.
If you’d like to read more on what the CDC is doing to prevent blood donors with Zika from accidentally donating infected blood, please visit cdc.gov.
Zika 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.
Health officials report that U.S. hospitals are making huge strides in the fight against antibiotic-resistance superbugs nevertheless, far too many people are becoming infected in health care facilities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advocating doctors, nurses and other health professionals to lead the fight against infections.
Study senior author Dr. Clifford McDonald states, “It is reported that more than 700,000 patients in the United States are infected by bacteria and 75, 000 die from acquired infections.”
He also adds, “In some hospitals, more than one in four infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
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.
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.
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 visitwww.cdc.gov/sleep.
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 OMHhave 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.
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
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