Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, and is of particular concern during pregnancy. Current information about possible sexual transmission of Zika is based on reports of three cases. A new MMWR report provides interim recommendations for the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus. CDC has also updated its interim guidelines for US healthcare providers caring for pregnant women during a Zika virus outbreak. The update also expands guidance to women of reproductive age who reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission.
In honor of American Heart Month, CDC TRAIN features, "A Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Resource for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke (2015)." Public health professionals can inform CHWs in their communities about this evidence-based training that includes hands on activities and links to relevant websites and products. The training incorporates the latest research, guidelines and prevention strategies for heart disease and stroke.
The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has released an updated “Guide to National Public Health Department Initial Accreditation.” The guide contains several policy and process revisions, many of which went into effect February 1. Revisions include a shorter time frame for submitting applications to PHAB and requirements for health department directors to certify at the time of application.
CDC has released a health advisory: Flu Season Begins: Severe Influenza Illness Reported. CDC urges rapid antiviral treatment for suspected influenza (flu) in high-risk outpatients, those with progressive disease, and all hospitalized patients, without waiting for testing results. Flu activity is increasing across the country, and CDC has received reports of severe flu illness. Recommendations are available for clinicians about treatment of flu.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the de Beaumont Foundation seek teams of interested state health agencies and Big City Health Coalition members to apply for the Public Health Workforce Interest and Needs Survey (PH WINS) learning collaborative. The learning collaborative works to foster partnerships and improve workforce development practices in state and local health agencies. Selected teams will address a workforce development project related to PH WINS findings within their jurisdiction. Applications are due February 15.
CDC’s Health Literacy website contains a new Federally Funded Research section with a resource about plain language for grant writing from the National Institutes of Health. Grant writers can use the plain language examples to communicate more clearly the research intent and value in grant applications.
CDC has released a health advisory: CDC Urging Dialysis Providers and Facilities to Assess and Improve Infection Control Practices to Stop Hepatitis C Virus Transmission in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis. CDC has received an increased number of reports of newly acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis. Infection control lapses in dialysis care could expose patients to HCV. Any case of new HCV infection in a patient undergoing hemodialysis should prompt immediate action. Recommendations are available for dialysis providers and facilities about to address proper infection prevention and respond to a new case.
CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) has launched the first-ever national public service campaign to raise awareness about prediabetes. In the United States, 86 million adults have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know it. DDT developed the campaign in partnership with the Ad Council, American Diabetes Association, and American Medical Association. The campaign includes lifestyle tips, links to CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, an integrated SMS texting initiative, and humorous public service announcements to encourage people to take a short online test at www.DoIHavePrediabetes.org to learn their risk and the risk factors associated with the condition.
The United States has seen a significant increase in large-scale animal farming. Large-scale animal farms are classified as either animal feeding operations or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), depending on the number of animals housed. Odors originating from CAFOs might cause deterioration of mental health and an increased sensitivity to smell. CDC’s Public Health Law Program has released a Menu of State Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Laws Related to Odors, which examines state laws on CAFOs and the environmental odors they produce, and a Research Anthology for CAFOs and Public Nuisance Law.
The 2016 series of ads kicks off the fifth year of CDC’s "Tips From Former Smokers" national tobacco education campaign. The ads, which will run for 20 weeks beginning January 25, highlight the harms of smoking and benefits of quitting and tell moving, personal stories of Americans suffering from smoking-related illnesses. Public health professionals can use campaign materials to help reduce tobacco use in their communities.
The Public Health Law Program (PHLP) is accepting applications for summer 2016 internships and externships. The internships and externships provide entry-level experience for rising and current 3rd year law students who are interested in exploring careers in public health law. PHLP provides services and resources, such as technical assistance, publication access, and workforce development to CDC programs and state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. Applications for summer 2016 are due by midnight (EST), February 28, 2016.
CDC has issued interim travel guidance related to Zika virus for 14 countries and territories in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. This Health Alert Network advisory follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women are advised to consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. The following countries are included in the travel alert: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The American Bar Association Health Law Section’s Public Health and Policy Interest Group, along with CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Human Services, are offering the last webinar in a three-part series, “Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project: A Focus on Healthcare-Associated Infections,” January 25, 2016, 1–2:30 pm (EST). This webinar will cover legal and policy issues used to prevent and address healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), central line-associated bloodstream infections, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and will describe the legal approaches states and communities have taken to avoid HAIs and improve health outcomes.
Join us for the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Modeling and Public Health Decision-Making,” Tuesday, January 19 at 1:00 pm (EST). In a process known as modeling, scientists analyze data using complex mathematical methods to predict and understand situations during emergency responses. These models can help decision-makers better prepare for the future. The Grand Rounds panel will discuss what insights models can provide, how modeling has informed responses in public health, and where modeling can lead the public health community in the future.
The US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture have released the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a resource for evidence-based nutrition recommendations that are the foundation for nutrition policies and programs across the United States. Intended for policy makers and health professionals, the guidelines outline how people can improve their overall eating patterns.
A report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveals that most states are ill-prepared to prevent an infectious disease outbreak. “Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases” finds that more than half of states scored a five or lower out of ten key indicators about preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and responding to outbreaks. The report found that the United States must increase efforts to better protect the country from new infectious disease threats, such as MERS-CoV and antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and resurging illnesses like whooping cough, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea.
United Health Foundation released America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. The report is a comprehensive state-by-state study of our nation’s health. It shows improvements in several key indicators, including decreases in smoking and sedentary behavior. But it also reveals higher rates of drug deaths and more children living in poverty. Public health professionals can use the report to understand how their states compare on healthy behaviors, determinants of health, and health outcomes.
CDC updated its Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) to include 2014 data from the National Vital Statistics System. These data are now available in the following WISQARS modules: Fatal injury reports, leading causes of death, and years of potential life lost. Researchers, practitioners, and other public health professionals can use WISQARS data to learn more about the public health and economic burden of injuries in the United States.
The National Association of City and County Health Officials is offering technical assistance to local health departments about including people with disabilities in health department preparedness planning and response, as well as in all health promotion programming and activities (e.g., obesity prevention, tobacco prevention, flu vaccinations). Applications for technical assistance will be accepted from now until February 1, 2016, and are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Become a Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) host site and enhance your agency’s ability to deliver essential public health services. PHAP hires recent bachelor’s- or master’s-level graduates and assigns them to work in public health agencies, community-based organizations, public health institutes and associations; academic institutions, and CDC quarantine stations to fill critical staffing gaps and gain experience in public health program operations. Interested host sites can apply January 4–22, 2016.
The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a CDC-funded training program for recent graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees. It offers frontline public health experience at health agencies; community-based organizations; public health institutes and associations; academic institutions; and CDC quarantine stations across the country. The application period is open January 4–8, 2016.
CDC reports that the opioid overdose epidemic hit record levels in 2014, with more than 47,000 deaths caused by misuse of opioid pain relievers and heroin. Opioid overdose death rates increased significantly in 14 states since 2013, according to data published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The new data point to four key ways to prevent overdose deaths: limiting initiation of opioid misuse, expanding access to evidence-based treatment, increasing access to naxolone (a drug that can reverse the symptoms of an overdose), and improving detection of and response to opioid overdose outbreaks.
The National Board of Public Health Examiners board of directors announced new eligibility criteria for the Certified in Public Health exam. People who have a bachelor’s degree and at least five subsequent years of public health work experience are now eligible to take the exam.
The application period for the Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) will open on January 4, 2016! To learn more, check the PHAP website for a description of the program, details on how to apply, success stories from past associates, and a video from CDC Director Tom Frieden describing what he thinks makes a great PHAP associate.
Hosting a PHAP associate can enhance your agency’s ability to deliver essential public health services. PHAP offers two PowerPoint slide sets to help you decide if PHAP is right for your agency. PHAP 101 provides an overview of the typical host site and what they can expect, and PHAP 201 shows host sites how to develop a PHAP associate to their fullest potential and determine if they would make a good host site. Interested host sites can apply January 4–22, 2016.
CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health released the 2014 School Health Profiles, a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, and territories. The 2014 release includes a comprehensive report with results from surveys conducted in 48 states, 19 large urban school districts, and 2 territories. There are also fact sheets, presentations, and other communications materials available to help keep you informed about healthy schools.
In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are one of the top 10 causes of death for people aged 1–54, and more than 30,000 people are killed in crashes each year. In 2013, crash deaths resulted in $44 billion in medical and work loss costs. New state fact sheets highlight current cost data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and evidence-based strategies to reduce the number of injuries and deaths and their related costs. Also newly released is CDC’s updated, online, interactive calculator: Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States, 2.0. This tool calculates the expected number and monetized value of injuries prevented and lives saved at the state level for a suite of 14 interventions, as well as implementation costs and available resources.
Join today’s session of Public Health Grand Rounds: “Strengthening a Culture of Laboratory Safety,” from 1:00 to 2:00 (EST). Laboratory safety is supported by complex and ever-changing science. More than 2,000 laboratory scientists in labs across CDC work with specimens to identify new health threats, stop outbreaks, and gain new knowledge. In today’s session of Public Health Grand Rounds, the panel will discuss how standards of laboratory safety have improved over the years, what they’ve learned from past incidents, and how establishing safety protocols and training systems can lead to an overall culture of workplace safety.
CDC used information reported to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Program to summarize the estimated national cumulative and annual average numbers of injuries from the 2009–2010 through 2013–2014 school years. The study results indicate that sports-related injuries can have a substantial impact on the health of student-athletes. Data indicated that, among men’s sports, the highest injury rates are in football and wrestling. For women, the highest injury rates are in soccer and gymnastics. The injury surveillance data can be used to compare injury incidence across sports, develop, and evaluate rule and policy changes, and focus injury prevention research and programs.
CDC’s Chronic Disease Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Exchange is an online forum for learning and sharing techniques for using GIS and maps to enhance chronic disease prevention and treatment. You can learn introductory and advanced GIS techniques, explore GIS resources, view maps that document geographic disparities in chronic diseases from communities across the United States, and add your own maps to the Map Gallery. Use the GIS Training Curriculum to learn how to leverage this tool in your public health work.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million cases treated per year at a cost of $8.1 billion. Reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation could prevent most of these cases. Comprehensive skin cancer prevention programs, like those discussed in the report, can reduce the future burden of skin cancer and be cost-effective.
CDC, state and local health departments, and other partners will observe National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) this week. NIVW highlights the importance of annual flu vaccination and fosters greater use of the flu vaccine in December, January, and beyond. CDC’s NIVW website has more information about event-specific educational materials, web tools, and CDC's planned activities for the week.
Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year from cardiovascular diseases—that’s one in every three deaths—and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor. Nearly half of the Americans eligible to take cholesterol-lowering medications are not taking them, according to a CDC MMWR. Blacks and Mexican Americans are even less likely than whites to take cholesterol-lowering medications. This study reveals ways to reduce existing disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs.
American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking compared to all other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. AI/ANs have a higher risk of experiencing tobacco-related disease and death due to high prevalence of cigarette smoking and other commercial tobacco use. Among AI/ANs, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. Learn more about national tobacco control programs, best practices, and other resources available in your state and community with this evidence-based guide.
Asians and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) are fast-growing US minority populations at high risk for type 2 diabetes. This report is the first to provide state-specific estimates of self-reported, diagnosed diabetes prevalence among Asians and NHPIs in the United States. CDC partners can use the findings of this study to support programs to prevent and control diabetes in vulnerable populations.
Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. Many people who can benefit from PrEP aren't taking it. In 2015, 1 in 3 primary care doctors and nurses had never heard of PrEP. If more healthcare providers know about and prescribe PrEP, more HIV infections could be prevented. The latest CDC Vital Signs presents information about increasing PrEP use. Join today’s Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV: Reaching People Who Could Benefit from PrEP,” at 2:00 pm (EST) to find out more.
CDC’s Everyday Words for Public Health Communication is a new resource that offers expert recommendations from CDC’s Health Literacy Council and other agency communicators about how to reduce jargon and replace difficult terms to improve understanding. This resource combines years of experience and formative research by CDC’s communication staff, who have tested materials with diverse audiences. Everyday Words for Public Health Communication offers tips on common pitfalls of writing for public health audiences and highlights real examples of hard-to-read writing.
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace began on November 1 and runs through January 31, 2016. State, tribal, local, and territorial health agencies can help promote the Marketplace and encourage constituents to enroll, keep, or change current coverage. The Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support has resources to help agencies with promotion, including Facebook messages, tweets, and links to fact sheets, infographics, posters, and brochures.
The Big Cities Health Coalition has released a report detailing the state of health in 26 large cities across the country and exploring a range of health indicators. Most cities have made noticeable strides toward becoming healthier places to live, but there is still progress to be made. Want to learn more about health of your city? Explore the data by category and see how your city compares with many of its peer cities across the country.
Celebrate the power of rural today with the National State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). National Rural Health Day showcases rural America and highlights the efforts by NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health, and partners to address the unique healthcare needs of rural communities. Throughout the day, they will have several webinars, including “Rural Health Delivery System Reform,” “Partners Best Practices: Advocacy, Networks, and Workforce,” and “Federal Investments and Collaboration Models.”
The group was the largest since the program’s launch in 2011. Now, 45% of the US population, or nearly 139 million people, are served by an accredited health department. National accreditation status was awarded to the following: City of Wauwatosa Health Department (Wisconsin), Clay County Public Health Center (Missouri), Davis County Health Department (Utah), Erie County Health Department (Ohio), Huron County Public Health (Ohio), Jefferson County Department of Health (Alabama), Knox County Health Department (Tennessee), Medina County Health Department (Ohio), Mid-Michigan District Health Department (Michigan), Naugatuck Valley Health District (Connecticut), New Mexico Department of Health, Ohio Department of Health, Philadelphia Department of Public Health (Pennsylvania), Rhode Island Department of Health, Tarrant County Public Health (Texas), Tazewell County Health Department (Illinois), and Township of Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services (New Jersey).
Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning, so CDC developed resources called “Parents for Healthy Schools” to help engage parents to create healthy school environments. States and districts can collaborate with educational organizations, train groups that work with parents on how to use these resources, and share ideas for how parents can take action.
Visit the new Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) website to find CDC resources for SDOH data, tools for action, programs, and policies. Preventing diseases before they start is critical to helping people live longer, healthier lives. Learn how SDOH can improve individual and population health and advance health equity.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE)—blood clots occurring as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or both—affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year, leading to approximately 100,000 premature deaths per year. About half of all blood clots happen after a recent hospital stay or surgery. Preventing healthcare-associated venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE) is a national hospital safety priority. Some estimates show that as many as 70 percent of HA-VTEs are preventable. CDC has issued a challenge to hospitals to identify best practices to prevent healthcare-associated blood clots, increase the use of proven strategies, and encourage effective innovation in preventing blood clots.
While the flu can make anyone sick, some people are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia and bronchitis, which can lead to hospitalization or even death. Young children, older people, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions are especially vulnerable to complications from flu, making flu vaccination and the correct use of flu antiviral medicines very important for these groups. CDC has compiled resources and statistics about groups at greater risk for flu complications in a new CDC feature.
Local foodborne outbreaks are more common, but multistate outbreaks are more serious. From 2010 to 2014, they caused 56% of deaths in all reported foodborne outbreaks, although they accounted for just 3% of all such outbreaks. The latest CDC Vital Signs presents information about how—to protect the public’s health—government at all levels and food industries need to work together to stop outbreaks and keep them from happening in the first place. Join today’s Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Working Together to Stop Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks,” at 2:00 pm (EST) to find out more.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and de Beaumont Foundation recently released the results from the largest-ever study of the public health workforce. The Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) points to major changes for our nation’s public health system—with more than a third of state public health workers planning to retire or pursue positions in other sectors by 2020. The survey report also includes findings about a wide range of other issues affecting the public health workforce, like worker satisfaction and critical competencies.
One of the most noteworthy moments in a teenager’s life is earning a driver’s license, but it’s not without serious risks. In 2013, more than 2,000 teens, aged 16 to 19, were killed in motor vehicle crashes—that’s six teens every day. And for every teen who dies, about 125 teens are treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. States that have introduced primary seatbelt laws have helped reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
Traffic-related fatalities are the leading type of job-related deaths. Knowing what motivates texting while driving is necessary for designing and evaluating effective countermeasures in workplace safety programs. The study confirmed previous results that found participants who reported texting while driving were more likely than non-texting drivers to be impulsive.
CDC encourages clinicians to recommend HPV vaccination the same way and same day they recommend other vaccines for adolescents. To determine whether the recommended HPV vaccination series is currently being administered to adolescents with health insurance, CDC and the National Committee for Quality Assurance assessed 2013 data and found that the median HPV vaccination coverage level for female adolescents among commercial and Medicaid plans was 12% and 19%. The results of this study indicate that there are significant opportunities for improvement because HPV vaccination coverage among female adolescents was low for both commercial and Medicaid plans.
Tribal, state, and federal laws create avenues for the collection of health data that can be used for public health surveillance. However, jurisdictional issues can limit access to this data. CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) and the Network for Public Health Law are co-hosting a webinar on Thursday, November 5, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (EST) to address this limitation. The webinar will provide background on American Indian and Alaska Native public health data and surveillance issues and discuss the role of law in the access to this data.
To assess progress made toward the Healthy People 2020 target of increasing the proportion of US adult cigarette smokers who made a quit attempt during the past year to >80%, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the years 2001–2010 and 2011–2013 to provide updated state-specific trends in quit attempts among adult smokers.
SHPPS is a national study periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. CDC has released the 2014 SHPPS results on the Division of Adolescent and School Health Healthy Youth website. This release includes a comprehensive report on health education, safe and healthy school environment, community involvement, and more. It also includes public-use datasets and fact sheets highlighting trends over time.
CDC has released a health advisory: CDC and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating recent increases in fentanyl-related unintentional overdose fatalities in multiple states. CDC has recommendations for improving detection of fentanyl-related overdose outbreaks and reducing opioid overdose deaths.
CDC will begin to publish the summaries of all notifiable conditions—infectious and noninfectious—at the same time. Together, these two reports provide official statistics for all nationally notifiable conditions. Monitoring this data allows CDC and other public health authorities to detect and respond to sudden changes in the occurrence and distribution of health threats.
A CDC study, “2010 National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption,” reports excessive drinking cost the United States $249 billion in 2010—a significant increase from $223.5 billion in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the United States—mostly due to abuse and misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers, benzodiazepines (sedatives/tranquilizers), and stimulants. But, information from state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) can be used to detect and measure prescribing patterns that suggest abuse and misuse of controlled substances, according to an MMWR report. The multi-state report analyzes 2013 data from eight state PDMPs, representing about a quarter of the US population.
Join the today’s session of Public Health Grand Rounds, “E-cigarettes: An Emerging Public Health Challenge,” from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). E-cigarettes are an emerging challenge for public health. This session will explore the public health challenge of e-cigarettes, including the surveillance and research gaps that must be addressed to assess the impact on users’ health.
CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) is an interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury data from various sources. The new WISQARS mobile app provides on-the-go fatal injury data for iPhone and iPad users. WISQARS Mobile spotlights four preventable public health problems—motor vehicle-related injuries, drug poisonings, traumatic brain injuries, and violence against children and youth.
FoodCORE centers work together to develop new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to, and control outbreaks of foodborne diseases—but they often need additional resources during these outbreaks. Student teams are a successful model for addressing gaps in capacity and expanding the range and depth of surveillance and response activities. Students can help your community or organization extend its reach during an outbreak of foodborne illness.
Health Literacy Month spotlights how we communicate health information. Training in health literacy, plain language, and culture and communication is essential for anyone working in health information and services. Take one or all of CDC’s five online health literacy courses for health professionals to sharpen your health literacy skills. Continuing education credits are available.
About 70% of US middle and high school students who have used a tobacco product in the past 30 days have used at least one flavored tobacco product during this period, according to a CDC and FDA study. Approximately 18% of all high school students reported using at least one flavored product in the past 30 days; 5.8% reported using only non-flavored tobacco products. E-cigarettes (8.8%) were the most commonly used flavored tobacco product among high school students, followed by hookah (6.0%), cigars (5.3%), menthol cigarettes (5.0%), any smokeless tobacco (4.1%), and tobacco in pipes (0.7%).
CDC’s online toolkit offers healthcare providers and communities evidence-based strategies for improving medication adherence among patients living with HIV. Adherence to anti-retroviral therapy is critical to the success of HIV treatment and treatment as prevention. The Every Dose, Every Day toolkit features four HIV medication adherence e-learning modules and a mobile app.
CDC researchers found that 1 in 10 pregnant women aged 18–44 years old in the United States reports drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. Three percent of pregnant women reported binge drinking—defined as four or more drinks on one occasion. That means that about a third of pregnant women who consume alcohol engage in binge drinking, according to a CDC MMWR report.
The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas is an online, interactive tool that provides access to more than 10 years of the latest HIV, STD, TB, and viral hepatitis surveillance data available. Users can customize national maps, graphs, and tables for their state or county. With the advanced query function, users can more easily compare diseases, areas, and populations.
According to two MMWR reports CDC released last week, the cost associated with fatal injuries in 2013 was $214 billion; nonfatal injuries was $457 billion. The studies also show that each year in the United States, more than 3 million people are hospitalized, 27 million people are treated in emergency departments and released, and more than 192,000 die as a result of unintentional and violence related injuries. The studies reveal lifetime medical and work loss costs for injury-related deaths and injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments and break down costs by age, gender, and injury intent—such as, unintentional, suicide, or homicide.
States and communities can universally implement effective interventions to increase proper child restraint use and prevent motor vehicle-related injuries among children and their resulting costs. Read the new CDC surveillance summary.
Obesity continues to be a common, serious, and costly public health problem. CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity released its 2014 state- and territory-specific data on the percentage of adults with obesity using self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Public health organizations can use this information to create a supportive environment to promote healthy living behaviors that prevent obesity.
This menu of laws, published by CDC’s Public Health Law Program, offers tribal laws related to 1) primary seat belt laws, 2) child restraint laws, and 3) blood alcohol concentration laws. The menu informs tribal public health practitioners, policy makers, and attorneys about tribes’ use of law as a tool to address motor vehicle-related injuries and can be used by jurisdictions interested in developing or updating their own motor vehicle safety laws.
CDC recommends healthcare personnel (HCP) be vaccinated for flu every flu season to protect themselves, their patients, and their families from seasonal flu. Vaccination of HCP can reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality among HCP and their patients. Comprehensive, work-site intervention strategies that include education, promotion, and easy access to vaccination at no cost for multiple days can increase HCP vaccination coverage.
CDC is launching the “Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States” program to fight the prescription drug overdose epidemic. The program will invest $20 million in 16 states for resources and expertise to help prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids. The money will be distributed during the next four years as annual awards ranging from $750,000 to $1 million.
Join a special session of Public Health Grand Rounds, “Shifts in Global Health Security: Lessons from Ebola,” September 29, 1:00–2:00 pm (EDT). The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which has infected more than 28,000 people across 10 countries and has caused more than 11,200 deaths, highlights the importance of ensuring that every country is prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks and emerging health threats. This session will detail how CDC, other US government agencies, and global partners work to promote global health security.
In nursing homes, antibiotics are frequently prescribed medications; as many as 70% of residents receive antibiotics in a year. However, a large number (up to 75%) of antibiotics prescribed in nursing homes are given incorrectly. This antibiotic misuse can harm residents by putting them at unnecessary risk for allergic reactions, drug-drug interactions, highly resistant infections and Clostridium difficile. Improving the use of antibiotics in health care is critical to protect patients and reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.
This report card provides information on the status of diabetes in the United States, including information about diabetes, gestational diabetes, prediabetes, preventive care practices, risk factors, quality of care, outcomes, and progress made toward meeting national diabetes goals. Public health professionals, state health departments, and communities can use these data to focus their diabetes prevention and control efforts on areas of greatest need.
The BRFSS—a state-based surveillance system active in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam—collects information on health risk behaviors, clinical preventive health practices, and healthcare access. The BRFSS’s state-specific data, including racial- and ethnic-specific, provide a sound basis for developing and evaluating public health programs, including programs targeted to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in addressing health risks.
CDC’s new Healthy Schools’ website provides tools and resources for school administrators, teachers, and parents on school nutrition, physical activity, obesity prevention, management of chronic diseases in schools, and more!
CDC partnered with the National Governors Association and the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services to compile state strategies for controlling tobacco use, managing asthma, and preventing and treating tooth decay. Check out the State Strategies Toolkit’s evidence-based public health strategies and disease-specific technical packages, messaging, and social media content.
Join today’s Public Health Grand Rounds, “Preventing Suicide: A Comprehensive Public Health Approach,” from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). This session will explore strategies for promoting broader awareness of suicide and the role that public health can play in identifying factors that reduce suicide risk, and actions that protect people from engaging in suicidal behavior.
Need tools to maximize your state’s health care while minimizing costs? Check out the State Strategies Toolkit for disease-specific technical packages, messaging, and social media content. CDC partnered with the National Governors Association and the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services to compile this information about evidence-based public health strategies. Controlling tobacco use, managing asthma, and preventing and treating tooth decay can help states improve health outcomes while reducing care costs in as few as five years.
Register now for the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement webinar, “Advancing the Science to Improve Population Health,” on September 30, 2015. Speakers will discuss research design and frameworks for improving population health, assess opportunities and challenges with putting research into practice, and identify critical areas for future research.
Only half of American adults get enough physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Walking is an easy way to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle in your community, school, or public health organization. The new Call to Action provides recommendations to increase walkable communities everywhere. Learn what you can do to help your community become more walkable!
CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health’s website has a new look. The new site is in a responsive web design, which means that the content can be easily accessed via multiple devices, including smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The website has been reorganized to make it easier to find information on topics such as HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention.
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. More than 1 million cases of sepsis occur each year in the United States, and half of the patients who get sepsis will die. In collaboration with Sepsis Alliance, Rory Staunton Foundation, and CDC Foundation, CDC has released a series of fact sheets aimed to improve early detection and treatment of sepsis. All three fact sheets—Sepsis Fact Sheet; Cancer, Infection and Sepsis Fact Sheet; and Life after Sepsis—are available on CDC’s sepsis website.
#VetoViolence — all it takes are six words and one photo. Individuals, organizations, and agencies can help raise awareness about suicide prevention. Choose one of three themes: promoting an action that supports people and helps prevent suicide, educating others on how to save lives, or honoring National Suicide Prevention Month (September). Then, take a photo that shows your six-word message and post it with the hashtag #VetoViolence to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Learn more about how you or your organization can participate in this new campaign from CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.
A new data visualization tool tracks antibiotic resistance in four common food-borne germs across all 50 states. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System’s “NARMS Now: Human Data” tracks changes in E. coli 0157, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter over the past 18 years. Users can look up antibiotic resistance by state, bacterial serotype, and year (1996–2013) to get timely access to crucial data.
Successfully linking motor vehicle crash data reveals risk and protective factors for motor vehicle crash injuries. CDC partnered with NHTSA to learn more about successful state motor vehicle data linkage programs and assess barriers to success. States and other policy makers can use the results of this report to design or modify their own data-linkage systems.
Vaccine exemption levels for kindergarteners are low for most states, according to a new MMWR report. However, state exemption levels ranged from a low of less than 0.1 percent to a high of 6.5 percent. Maintaining high vaccination coverage among school-age children is critical for protecting children because diseases can quickly spread through schools and communities. Read more about these and other findings from this analysis of school vaccination data.
Improving your organization’s health literacy is easy—if you have a plan! Whether you need a plan tailored to your organization’s unique needs, step-by-step guidance, or justification for your health literacy efforts, CDC Health Literacy gives you the tools to make it happen. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, the CDC Action Plan, and the Developing an Organizational Plan webpage can guide your organization to greater health literacy. The site offers links to training, cultural competence, development, research, and evaluation tools.
Nearly one in three US adults (about 70 million people) has high blood pressure, and only about half of those have it under control. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death nationwide. The 2015 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge was developed by CDC in support of Million Hearts, an HHS initiative aimed at preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The website offers resources and messages for healthcare champions to share in their communities and information about how to join the challenge.
Dating Matters® is a free, online course available to educators, school personnel, youth mentors, and anyone dedicated to improving teen health. Using this web tool, you can follow a school administrator throughout his day as he highlights what teen dating violence is and how to prevent it. This course is the newest in CDC’s VetoViolence training and uses graphic novel scenarios, interactive exercises, and information gathered from leading violence prevention experts.
Alcohol-impaired driving crashes account for nearly one-third of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in the US. To reduce alcohol-impaired driving, states and communities could consider using effective interventions such as publicized sobriety checkpoints, strict enforcement of 0.08 g/dL blood alcohol content laws and minimum legal drinking law age, ignition interlocks for all persons convicted of alcohol-impaired driving, and higher alcohol taxes. States and communities also might consider enacting primary enforcement seat belt laws.
Adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight; not engage in physical activity; suffer from depressive symptoms; drink, smoke, and use illicit drugs; and perform badly in school. But most US middle and high schools start the school day too early. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged middle and high schools to change start times to enable students to get adequate sleep and improve their health, safety, academic performance, and quality of life. Schools and school districts should consider this information when making determinations about school start times for middle and high schools. Educating parents and school system decision-makers about the impact of sleep deprivation on adolescent health and academic performance might lead to adoption of later start times.
Fewer than 1 in 5 middle and high schools in the United States started the school day at 8:30 AM or later during the 2011-2012 school year. A 2014 policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended starting middle and high school no earlier than 8:30 AM. Starting school too early makes it difficult for adolescents to get enough sleep. Among adolescents, insufficient sleep has been associated with adverse risk behaviors, poor health outcomes, and poor academic performance. Local stakeholders have the most influence on whether start times change in their communities. Read more in this recent August 7, 2015 MMWR report.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Adolescence: Preparing for Lifelong Health and Wellness,” on Tuesday, August 18, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). Of the 42 million 10–19 year olds in the US, 91% are enrolled in school, making schools and academic institutions an ideal place to foster lifelong healthy behaviors. This session will explore adolescent health, specifically how families, community organizations, schools, and government agencies can work together to encourage adolescents to avoid risk and adopt health-promoting behaviors.
CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) and the American Health Lawyers Association are co-hosting a free, six-part webinar series focused on legal issues at the intersection of public health and health care. The “Using Law to Address Prescription Drug Overdose—Emerging Issues” webinar will take place August 14, 2015, from 1–2:30 pm (EDT). This webinar will provide an overview of the prescription drug overdose (PDO) public health problem; describe PHLP’s assessment of seven legal strategies related to prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose; and examine how state are enforcing PDO legal strategies.
Antibiotic-resistant germs cause more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the US. The latest CDC Vital Signs presents information about how hearlhcare facilities; federal, state, and local health agencies; and prescribers can work together to prevent infections and improve antibiotic use in health care settings. Join staff from CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for the next Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Stop the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance and C. difficile Using a Coordinated Approach for Action,” today, August 11, at 2:00 pm (EDT).
On August 7, 2015, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded five-year accreditation status to four more health departments: Illinois Department of Public Health, Central Valley Health District (North Dakota), Thomas Jefferson Health District (Virginia), Washtenaw County Public Health (Michigan). Since the program’s launch in 2011, 79 health departments have become accredited. The benefits of national accreditation now reach 39% of the US population, or nearly 121 million people.
While concussion research is ongoing, there are action steps that coaches, health care providers, and school professionals can take now to help keep young athletes safe and supported while playing sports. CDC’s “Concussion at Play: Opportunities to Reshape the Culture Around Concussion” report offers a snapshot of current research on concussion knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and behaviors, and includes potential strategies to help keep athletes safe.
HPV vaccination is recommended as a routine immunization for adolescents aged 11–12 years by the Advisory Committee on Immunization to help protect girls and boys against HPV-associated cancers. A new MMWR article reports that national HPV vaccination coverage estimates remained low in 2013 and 2014, with wide variation in state and local coverage for adolescents. Greater coverage estimates for Tdap or MenACWY vaccinations among the same adolescents indicates missed opportunities for administering HPV vaccine at the same visits. Resources are available for use in multifaceted interventions that engage clinicians and other immunization stakeholders to increase community awareness and improve HPV vaccination coverage.
The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is a 2-year CDC fellowship program for physicians, doctoral-level scientists, and health professionals. EIS officers, known as disease detectives, investigate and respond to outbreaks and other urgent public health threats. Interested and eligible professionals must apply by Monday, August 17, 2015, to be considered for the 2016 class.