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Health Insurance Marketplace: Communication Toolkit for Health AgenciesOpen in a New Window

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.


Big Cities Health Inventory 2015: The Health of the Urban USAOpen in a New Window

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.


National Rural Health Day: Celebrate the Power of RuralOpen in a New Window

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 Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has awarded five-year national accreditation status to 17 more health departments—14 local and 3 state—on November 10, 2015.Open in a New Window

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).


Resources for States to Use to Engage Parents in Creating Healthy School EnvironmentsOpen in a New Window

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.


New CDC Web Resource to Improve Population Health: Social Determinants of Health WebsiteOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC Issues Challenge: Find Better Ways to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Blood ClotsOpen in a New Window

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.


The Flu Can Be Serious—Protect Groups at a Higher Risk for Serious ComplicationsOpen in a New Window

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.


November Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference Today: Working Together to Stop Multistate Foodborne OutbreaksOpen in a New Window

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.


Study Results Point to Imminent Public Health Workforce Exit—38% of State Workers Say They Plan to Leave by 2020Open in a New Window

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.


CDC “Teens Take the Wheel” Podcast Shares Strategies to Reduce Motor Vehicle DeathsOpen in a New Window

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.


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Study Reveals Why Drivers Text While Behind the WheelOpen in a New Window

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.


MMWR Reports on HPV Coverage Among Female Adolescents in Managed Care PlansOpen in a New Window

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.


Register for Upcoming Tribal Public Health Data and Surveillance: The Role of Law WebinarOpen in a New Window

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.


Trends in Quit Attempts Among Adult Cigarette Smokers—United States, 2001–2013Open in a New Window

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.


2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) Results ReleasedOpen in a New Window

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 Health Advisory: Increases in Fentanyl Drug Confiscations and Fentanyl-related Overdose FatalitiesOpen in a New Window

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 Releases Combined Summary of Notifiable Infectious, Noninfectious DiseasesOpen in a New Window

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.


Excessive Alcohol Use Negatively Affects US GovernmentsOpen in a New Window

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.


Urgent Need for Improved Prescribing Practices to Reduce Opioid AbuseOpen in a New Window

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.


E-cigarettes: An Emerging Public Health ChallengeOpen in a New Window

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.


WISQARS Mobile Updated with 2013 Fatality DataOpen in a New Window

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 Student Interview Teams Can Expand Surge Capacity During OutbreaksOpen in a New Window

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.


October Is Health Literacy MonthOpen in a New Window

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.


MMWR Report Reveals 7 in 10 Students Who Currently Use Tobacco Have Used a Flavored ProductOpen in a New Window

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%).


Every Dose, Every Day Toolkit: Strategies for Improving HIV Medication AdherenceOpen in a New Window

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.


MMWR Report: Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking Among Women of Childbearing Age—United States, 2011–2013Open in a New Window

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.


Online, Interactive NCHHSTP Atlas Tool Provides 10 Years of HIV, STD, TB Surveillance DataOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC Study of Injuries and Violence Shows Injuries Cost the US $671 Billion in 2013Open in a New Window

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. 


MMWR Report: Motor Vehicle Crashes, Medical Outcomes, and Hospital Charges Among Children Aged 1–12 Years—Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System in 11 States, 2005–2008Open in a New Window

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.


CDC’S 2014 State Maps Detailing the Prevalence of Adults with Obesity Now AvailableOpen in a New Window

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.


PHLP Publishes Menu of Selected Tribal Motor Vehicle Safety LawsOpen in a New Window

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.


MMWR Report: Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Healthcare Personnel—United States, 2014–15 Influenza SeasonOpen in a New Window

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 Commits $20 Million to Help States Combat Prescription Drug OverdoseOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC’s Special Session of Public Health Grand Rounds—“Lessons from Ebola”Open in a New Window

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.


CDC Recommends All Nursing Homes Implement “Core Elements” to Improve Antibiotic UseOpen in a New Window

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.


The 2014 Diabetes Report Card Is Now AvailableOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC’s 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Data ReleasedOpen in a New Window

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 Healthy Schools Website Helps Create “Healthy Students, Ready to Learn”Open in a New Window

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 and Partners Created State Strategies to Maximize Care and Minimize CostsOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds: “Preventing Suicide: A Comprehensive Public Health Approach”?Open in a New Window

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.


Better Health, Lower Costs: State Strategies ToolkitOpen in a New Window

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.


IOM Population Health Roundtable Sept. 30Open in a New Window

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.


Step it Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable CommunitiesOpen in a New Window

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 Adolescent and School Health Website UpdatedOpen in a New Window

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.


What is Sepsis? CDC Releases Three Sepsis Fact Sheets to Aid in Prevention and TreatmentOpen in a New Window

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.


Help #VetoViolence on Social MediaOpen in a New Window

#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.


National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System—NARMS Now: Human DataOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Joint Report Links State Motor Vehicle DataOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC Releases New Vaccine Coverage ReportOpen in a New Window

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.


Planning for Health LiteracyOpen in a New Window

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.


Million Hearts Blood Pressure Control Challenge Brings Awareness to the Role of High Blood Pressure in Heart DiseaseOpen in a New Window

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: Understanding Teen Dating Violence PreventionOpen in a New Window

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 Among AdultsOpen in a New Window

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.


School Start Times for Middle and High School StudentsOpen in a New Window

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.


Most Middle and High Schools Start Too EarlyOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds presents “Adolescence: Preparing for Lifelong Health and Wellness”Open in a New Window

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.


Prescription Drug Overdose WebinarOpen in a New Window

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.


August Vital Signs: Healthcare Associated InfectionsOpen in a New Window

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).


Four More Health Departments Achieve AccreditationOpen in a New Window

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.


CDC Report Describes Ways to Reshape the Conversation Around ConcussionOpen in a New Window

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.


National, Regional, State, and Local Vaccination Coverage among Adolescents in the USOpen in a New Window

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.


EIS Fellowship Accepting ApplicationsOpen in a New Window

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.


Disability in the USOpen in a New Window

A new CDC study reports that 53 million adults in the US, or one out of every five adults, have a disability. Researchers found a higher prevalence of disabilities among those living in Southern states, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic groups, and people with an annual household income of less than $15,000.


CDC Clear Communication IndexOpen in a New Window

The CDC Clear Communication Index is a research-based tool to help you develop and assess public communication materials—so you can communicate more clearly about health with your intended audience. Learn more about this tool and add the widget to your website.


Teen Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and ChildbearingOpen in a New Window

Monitoring sexual activity and contraceptive use among US adolescents is important for understanding differences in their risk of pregnancy. In 2013, the US birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 dropped 57% from its peak in 1991, but this rate is still higher than that in other developed countries. Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, this report provides trends and recent national estimates of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing among teenagers aged 15–19.


Report on Antibiotic Use Knowledge and AttitudesOpen in a New Window

Using antibiotics appropriately is key to slowing the increase in antibiotic-resistant infections. Studies suggest that Hispanic consumers might differ from non-Hispanic consumers in their knowledge and attitudes about antibiotic use. To better understand healthcare provider and consumer knowledge and attitudes that influence antibiotic use, CDC analyzed survey data collected from participants living in the United States during 2012–2013. The study suggests that to maximize knowledge about appropriate antibiotic use among outpatients in the United States, public health initiatives should target Hispanic as well as general audiences.


Preventive Medicine and Public Health Issues Webinar SeriesOpen in a New Window

Join CDC from 2–3 pm, tomorrow, July 24 for the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Issues Webinar Series, Integrating Behavioral Health Into the Primary Care Medical Home Focusing on Community Health. The webinar will focus on what works in integrated care and how to promote it. To attend, visit the HRSA webpage and enter as a guest; pre-registration is not required. Conference call-in number: 888-469-2091, Passcode: 6130745


Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Linked to Frozen Raw TunaOpen in a New Window

As of July 20, 2015, 62 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) have been reported from 11 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Eleven ill people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Most ill people in the outbreak reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them about foods they ate before they became ill.


CDC Rebroadcasts “Climate Change and Health: From Science to Practice” TodayOpen in a New Window

CDC will broadcast an encore presentation of “Climate Change and Health: From Science to Practice” today, July 21, at 1 pm (EDT). This rebroadcast of a presentation from CDC’s Public Health Grand Round series features a new introduction from US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and a “Beyond the Data” update from George Luber, chief of CDC's Climate and Health program.


More Than Half of Americans Report Watching or Reducing the Amount of Sodium in Their DietsOpen in a New Window

A recent CDC MMWR finds that more than half of Americans report watching or reducing the amount of sodium in their diets. These findings show progress toward healthier choices with scientific evidence linking excess sodium intake to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. To continue the positive momentum, CDC has put together a digital press kit filled with quotes, images, and related resources to help you continue the conversation around sodium and health. 


Analysis of US Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake RecommendationsOpen in a New Window

The July 10, 2015 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report included findings from a CDC analysis of median daily frequency of fruit and vegetable intake from 2013 BRFSS for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This analysis was then applied to develop new prediction equations to BRFSS to calculate the percentage of each state’s population meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations.


Webinar on Radiological Legal PreparednessOpen in a New Window

The Network for Public Health Law is hosting a webinar, Radiological Legal Preparedness: Considerations, Research, and Lessons Learned, on Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 12:30–2:00 pm (ET). This free webinar will provide an overview of state authorities to isolate, quarantine, and restrict the movement of individuals contaminated or potentially contaminated with radiation. Learn more or register here.


July Vital Signs: Today’s Heroin EpidemicOpen in a New Window

Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. The latest CDC Vital Signs presents information about how the federal government, states, and health care providers can play a central role in prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts for this growing epidemic. Join staff from CDC, US Food and Drug Administration, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Vermont Department of Health, and Boston University School of Medicine for the next Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Addressing the Current Heroin Abuse and Overdose Epidemic: The Role of States and Localities,” today, July 14, at 2:00 pm (EDT).


Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) Clinical Training Available OnlineOpen in a New Window

Every 13 seconds an older US adult is treated for injuries from a fall. And every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from one of these falls. To help prevent these injuries and deaths, CDC created the STEADI initiative and online training. STEADI provides established clinical guidelines and proven interventions aimed at reducing falls in older Americans, so they can stay healthy, active, and independent longer.


The Road to Zero: CDC versus EbolaOpen in a New Window

Since the Ebola outbreak began in 2014, CDC has sent more than 1,200 experts in various disciplines to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and surrounding countries. Today, CDC is releasing a multimedia report, The Road to Zero: CDC’s Response to the West African Ebola Epidemic, 2014–2015, describing the experiences of the agency’s Ebola responders. The report highlights CDC employees’ work testing blood samples in field laboratories, traveling remote trails and rivers to track case contacts, teaching Ebola prevention strategies in local communities, protecting borders by screening and monitoring travelers, and strengthening hospital infection control practices.


Most Adults Favor Raising the Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco ProductsOpen in a New Window

Three out of 4 American adults—including 7 in 10 cigarette smokers—favor raising the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21. In most states, the minimum age of sale for tobacco is 18; however, several states, cities, and counties across the US have adopted laws raising the minimum age. Read more about these and other CDC findings reported in a new article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Current US Sodium Intake Is Substantially Higher than RecommendedOpen in a New Window

According to a July 3, 2015 MMWR report, sodium intake in the United States is still much higher than recommended. Increased sodium is an important risk factor for hypertension. In 2013, among 26 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the median prevalence of taking action to reduce sodium intake was 51%, ranging from 39% to 73%. These data highlight the opportunity to increase the proportion of health professionals who advise their patients to reduce sodium intake.


CDC Offers Hope in Fighting Brain-Eating AmebaOpen in a New Window

A drug available from the CDC Drug Service helped treat the first American since 1978 to survive illness from Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating ameba found in untreated, warm freshwater. These special drugs are kept onsite at CDC and are acquired from the drug manufacturer, as needed.


Community Health Improvement NavigatorOpen in a New Window

CDC launched a website for people who lead or participate in community health improvement work within hospitals and health systems, public health agencies, and other community organizations. It is a one-stop shop for expert-vetted tools and resources for making the case for collaborative approaches to community health improvement, establishing and maintaining effective collaborations, and finding interventions that work for the greatest impact on public health and well-being. Resources are available to download, including, infographics, slides, and fact sheets.


Resources Available to STLT Health AgenciesOpen in a New Window

CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support has developed a fact sheet to identify resources, other than grant funding, that CDC can offer state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) health agencies. Resources include information on training fellowships, program development, implementation, and evaluation, and technical assistance.


Influenza Toolkit for Long-term Care EmployersOpen in a New Window

Influenza is a serious health threat, especially for vulnerable populations like older adults and people living with long-term disabilities. It’s especially important that people who live with or caring for frail, disabled and/or aging persons—including people who work in long-term care—get vaccinated for influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases. This comprehensive toolkit includes resources intended to help long-term care employers provide access to influenza vaccination for their workforce.


Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection Released by CDCOpen in a New Window

CDC and its partners are closely monitoring a MERS outbreak in the Republic of Korea, the largest known MERS outbreak outside the Arabian Peninsula. MERS is a respiratory illness that has caused fever, cough, and shortness of breath in most people who have the disease. Healthcare providers should evaluate patients suspected to have MERS using CDC’s guidelines and work with health departments to consider testing for patients under investigation.


Study: Helping Asian Smokers QuitOpen in a New Window

Until recently, in-language telephone quitline services for smokers who speak Asian languages were available only in California. In 2012, CDC funded the national Asian Smokers’ Quitline to expand this service to all states. Within 2 years, the quitline was able to enroll more than 5,400 smokers in 48 states.


New Videos Feature PHAP Associates Talking About the Unique and Exciting Work They DoOpen in a New Window

Every associate has a unique experience in the Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). For the first time in PHAP history, you can hear directly from associates as they talk about some of their favorite experiences in these new videos.


National HIV Testing Day Resources ReleasedOpen in a New Window

Help encourage HIV testing on National HIV Testing Day—June 27, 2015. Spread the word in your community and raise awareness about the impact of HIV, the importance of HIV prevention and testing, the effects of stigma, and how you can work together to increase support for those living with HIV.


New State Legislation, Regulations, and Hospital Guidelines for Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart DefectsOpen in a New Window

Critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) occur in approximately two of every 1,000 live births. In September 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary endorsed the recommendation that CCHD be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for all newborns. In 2014, CDC collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics to assess states’ actions for adopting newborn screening for CCHD. This report summarizes the results of that assessment.


HAN: Clinical Considerations for the Evaluation of Ill Travelers from Liberia to the United StatesOpen in a New Window

Travelers from Liberia are at extremely low risk of exposure to Ebola virus at this time. For more than two months, there have been no cases of Ebola virus disease in Liberia. As a result, CDC recommends that healthcare providers consider not only Ebola virus disease (EVD), but also other much more likely infectious diseases, including malaria, when evaluating ill travelers from Liberia to the United States.


Rapid Large-Scale Deployment of TB Testing in a High SchoolOpen in a New Window

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent that causes tuberculosis (TB), can spread from person to person through the air, which can make contact investigations particularly complex in heavily populated settings such as schools. This report describes use of an Incident Command System (ICS) to rapidly deploy a large-scale TB testing operation. An ICS should be considered as a management and response tool for large-scale TB screenings that might be warranted by abnormally high TB test conversion rates during an initial contact investigation.


HAN: Outbreaks of Multidrug-Resistant Shigella sonnei Infections in the USOpen in a New Window

CDC continues to receive reports of infections with Shigella strains that are not susceptible to ciprofloxacin and/or azithromycin, the antimicrobial agents most commonly used to treat shigellosis. Most cases have been reported among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Illinois, Minnesota, and Montana and among international travelers, but cases are also occurring among other populations. Shigellosis is very contagious and can spread quickly through communities and across different segments of the population. This health advisory provides information about the current status of outbreaks, recommendations for clinical management and prevention, and information about testing.


New Additions to CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking NetworkOpen in a New Window

When temperatures increase, communities across the country are vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses include cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and may even lead to death. A new heat stress illness data and information module is now available on the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) to help you help your communities decrease the risk.  


What States and Organizations Can Do About Misuse of Prescription PainkillersOpen in a New Window

Prescription opioid painkillers are used to treat pain from surgery, injury, and health conditions such as cancer. Inappropriate prescribing and use of these painkillers is linked to dangerous health outcomes such as abuse, overdose, and death. But, there are promising strategies available.


HAN: Updated Guidance on MERS-CoV PatientsOpen in a New Window

The largest outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, outside of the Arabian Peninsula, has been confirmed in the Republic of Korea. Updated guidance for the evaluation of patients for MERS-CoV infection is available for state health departments and healthcare providers.


Relationship Between Abuse and Neglect in Childhood and Diabetes in AdulthoodOpen in a New Window

Diabetes mellitus is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. A CDC study released in May looked at associations between self-reported child abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional abuse) and neglect, and diabetes or prediabetes in young adulthood. Researchers used data from 14,493 participants aged 24 to 34 years from Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine these relationships.


Antibiotic Resistance in Foodborne Germs Is an Ongoing ThreatOpen in a New Window

A new report from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS)   tracks changes in the antibiotic resistance of six types of common foodborne germs found in ill people, retail meats, and food animals. In 2013, NARMS tested more than 5,000 germs from sick people for antibiotic resistance and compared them with previous years’ data to assess changes in resistance patterns.


New Fact Sheet About Moderate DrinkingOpen in a New Window

Excessive alcohol use in the United States contributes to 88,000 deaths each year, including contributing to 1 in every 10 deaths among working age adults. Get important recommendations to help Americans make healthier choices about alcohol use from CDC’s Alcohol & Public Health program’s new fact sheet.


2013 Cancer Screening Use Data Show No ProgressOpen in a New Window

A May MMWR study shows that the most recent US data about the use of cancer screening reveal no progress toward meeting Healthy People 2020 targets. Mammography use in women aged 50–74 years was 72.6% (target 81.1%; Pap test use in women aged 21–65 years was 80.7% (target 93.0%); and colorectal cancer screening in men and women aged 50–75 years was 58.2% (target 70.5%).


CDC’s 2016 Yellow Book Is HereOpen in a New Window

CDC Health Information for International Travel (commonly called the Yellow Book) is published every two years as a reference for public health professionals who advise international travelers about health risks. The latest edition features comprehensive updates, a variety of new sections, and expanded disease maps (including country-level yellow fever vaccine recommendation maps).


HAN: Bird Infections with Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza A VirusesOpen in a New Window

CDC has released a health advisory, Bird Infections with Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) Viruses: Recommendations for Human Health Investigations and Response. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) viruses. More than 40 million birds have been affected in 20 states. Recommendations are available for healthcare providers on investigating potential human cases and surveillance and testing for HPAI H5 virus infection.


Tdap Vaccination Coverage Before, During, and After PregnancyOpen in a New Window

Infants have much higher rates of pertussis and pertussis-related deaths. Maternal vaccination with tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine protects infants from pertussis. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended in 2012 that pregnant women be vaccinated with Tdap during each pregnancy regardless of immunization status. Efforts educate pregnant women and their providers on the importance of Tdap vaccination during pregnancy are needed to increase coverage of Tdap among pregnant women.


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