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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
The Public Health Community Platform (PHCP) is an Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) initiative created to develop a space to find solutions for common public health informatics problems that STLT agencies and their partners experience. ASTHO is looking for feedback to inform the development of the PHCP and has released a Request for Information (RFI). Learn more about PHCP and access the RFI response form to send them your feedback by Friday, June 12, 2015.
A new video has been posted to the Public Health Associate Program’s (PHAP) website, featuring CDC Director, Tom Frieden, talking about PHAP associates and the work they do on the frontlines of public health, protecting people from health threats. He also describes his ideal candidate and the qualities they hold, as well as how highly he regards this public health training program.
Eligible health departments may apply to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PS16-1601: National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS). This funding is available to help health departments continue NHBS—an ongoing bio-behavioral surveillance system among high-risk populations (including men who have sex with men, persons who inject drugs and heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection). The application submission deadline is August 3, 2015.
Foodborne illnesses represent a substantial, yet largely preventable, health burden in the United States. In 10 US geographic areas, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) monitors the incidence of laboratory-confirmed infections caused by nine pathogens transmitted commonly through food. This report summarizes preliminary 2014 data and describes changes in incidence compared with 2006–2008 and 2011–2013.
CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health has released the 2013 National, State, and District Combined Datasets on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) website. The YRBS combined datasets are unique because they include more than 1.3 million records from 820 YRBS high school surveys conducted from 1991–2013. The standard variables have been aligned across the years to facilitate trend analyses and combining data. The datasets also include selected additional data from optional questions about sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, HIV testing, bullying, and other topics.
CDC’s new toolkit can help you prevent transmission of Lyme disease. Information on preventing tick bites, signs and symptoms of the disease, treatment options, and additional resources are available for use in your community.
This year’s theme is “Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs” and focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries. Find materials to help you inform the public, media, community leaders, and others about Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Dengue and Chikungunya in Our Backyard: Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Disease,” on Tuesday, May 19, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). Outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases depend on many factors and are especially difficult to predict, prevent, and control. Because there are no licensed vaccines available to prevent dengue or chikungunya, controlling mosquito populations and reducing bites are currently the most effective prevention measures. This session will discuss the importance of preventing Aedes mosquito-borne diseases and the need for improved diagnostic, prevention, and control measures.
In July 2014, a norovirus outbreak linked to swimming in a lake in Oregon sickened 70 people. More than half of those who got ill were children under 10 years old. The likely cause of the outbreak was a sick, infected swimmer who had diarrhea or vomited in the swimming area; other swimmers apparently swallowed the contaminated water. A new MMWR report recommends that public health officials can benefit from guidance for determining when to reopen untreated recreational water venues associated with outbreaks. The report also links to public-facing health communication resources that officials can use to promote healthy swimming and prevent recreational water–associated illness.
Many adults in the US are not getting the recommended screening tests for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers, according to a recent MMWR. Among adults in the age groups recommended for screening, about 1 in 5 women reported not being up-to-date with cervical cancer screening and about 1 in 4 women reported not being up-to-date with breast cancer screening. About 2 in 5 adults reported not being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. More Americans can access important preventive services, such as screening for some cancers, by getting health care coverage that fits their needs and budget through the Affordable Care Act.
Hispanics and Latinos make up about 17% of the US population—making them the largest minority group in the US. May’s Vital Signs presents findings from CDC’s first national study of the leading causes of death, disease prevalence, risk factors, and access to health services among Hispanics in the US. Join staff from CDC, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center for the next Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Hispanic Health in the US,” today, May 12, at 2:00 pm (EDT).
Salmonella can cause serious infections, particularly among vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly. In recent years, salmonella outbreaks linked to pet turtles have increased throughout the United States. This menu addresses state and territorial laws governing the sale of turtles, as well as other laws that limit turtle use and distribution.
CDC’s National Asthma Control Program helps people with asthma and their caregivers learn how to manage this chronic disease. In the United States, 25 million people live with asthma—about half of them do not have control over preventable attacks. Public health professionals can use these resources to help those with asthma better manage their symptoms.
State, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments using small drinking-water systems not regulated under the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act are invited to apply for funding for drinking water programs to reduce water exposures. Funding will improve recipients’ ability to identify and address drinking water program performance gaps, improve efficiency and effectiveness of drinking water programs, and identify and reduce contamination of drinking water. If interested, submit your letter of intent by Wednesday, June 17, 2015, and apply before the June 19, 2015 deadline.
CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has posted a new funding opportunity for community health projects to increase the capacity to identify, address, and improve community health in revitalizing Brownfield/Land Reuse sites and communities. There is a focus to identify and address health issues prior to redevelopment and assessing changes in community health associated with reuse plans and redevelopment. Brownfield/Land Reuse sites may be the source of potentially harmful exposures because of contamination from previous property uses. If interested, submit your letter of intent by Wednesday, May 20, 2015, and apply before the June 22, 2015 deadline.
Population health surveillance can be costly, time consuming, and limited, depending on the data source. Clinical quality measures (CQMs) reported to the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program reflect aggregate data on all patients seen by the provider during a given measure’s reporting period and therefore represent a substantial proportion of the US population. These data are reported as a function of another federal program and are the result of automated extraction from an EHR, which might streamline the reporting process for the health care provider, resulting in data that are a useful resource in public health surveillance.
CDC and The Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a microneedle patch that could make measles vaccinations and other vaccine-preventable diseases easier to administer. The patch measures about one square centimeter and is administered with the press of a thumb. It is designed for ease of use by minimally trained workers and will simplify storage, distribution, and disposal compared with conventional vaccines.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that allowing more basic emergency medical services (EMS) staff to administer naloxone could reduce deaths from opioid overdoses. Naloxone is a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of prescription opioid and heroin overdose, and it can be life-saving if administered in time. CDC recommends expanding training on the administration of naloxone to all emergency service staff and helping basic EMS personnel meet the advanced certification requirements.
The Indiana State Department of Health and CDC are investigating a large outbreak of recent HIV infections among persons who inject drugs. Many of the HIV-infected individuals in this outbreak are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Recommendations are available for health departments and healthcare providers to help identify and prevent HIV outbreaks among injection drug users.
State and local health officials, CDC, and FDA are collaborating to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection (listeriosis) linked to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream products. To date, 10 people have been infected with several strains of L. monocytogenes in four states: Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Information suggests that ill people likely acquired L. monocytogenes infections from ice cream products they consumed while hospitalized for unrelated causes. CDC recommends that hospitals and long-term care facilities not serve or sell any Blue Bell brand products. People at higher risk for listeriosis include pregnant women, adults 65 and older, people with weakened immune systems, and hospitalized patients.
American Indian and Alaska Native teens and preteens are more likely to die from diabetes than youth of other races. On the Yakama Nation Reservation in Washington, healthcare workers have created a program to reduce diabetes complications and deaths. The results show that patients enrolled in the program are twice as likely to have their glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control as patients who are not enrolled. Find out how Yakama achieved this success in CDC’s latest Public Health Practice Story from the Field.
CDC is looking for women aged 18–44 willing to share their breast cancer stories as part of the new Bring Your Brave campaign. Contributors can help young women learn about their risk for early onset breast cancer and hereditary breast cancer through stories of survival. If you know someone who has a story to share, please ask her to visit our site to learn more about joining the campaign.
Public health practitioners can help make our nation healthier by using the evidence-based strategies and programs highlighted in the CDC Winnable Battles Progress Report 2014. This update to the first CDC Winnable Battles Progress Report captures recent data and contributions across each CDC Winnable Battle topic: tobacco, nutrition/physical activity/obesity, food safety, healthcare-associated infections, motor vehicle injuries, teen pregnancy, and HIV.
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) periodically sends a questionnaire to state epidemiologists to count the epidemiologic workforce and measure current core epidemiology capacity. This report summarizes the results from the 2013 questionnaire sent to epidemiologists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Results indicate that overall state-level epidemiology capacity and the epidemiology capacity in many program areas has increased markedly since 2009. However, >50% of states reported minimal-to-no epidemiology capacity in occupational health, oral health, substance abuse, and mental health, and most health departments still lack critical technology capacity.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Prevention and Control of Skin Cancer,” on Tuesday, April 21, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). Skin cancer is a serious public health concern affecting 5 million people each year. Most cases are preventable, but despite efforts to address risk factors, skin cancer rates have continued to rise. This session will discuss prevention and control of skin cancer, with particular attention to how we all can help people protect their skin and their lives while enjoying the outdoors.
The United States is in the midst of an epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses, and states are facing unique and challenging issues in fighting it. But, promising strategies and success stories for states can be found on CDC’s prescription drug overdose website.
CDC’s NPAO database collects state-level behavior, policy, and environmental indicators from multiple data sources. You can search the data by location or by NPAO-related indicators like weight status, breastfeeding, and television viewing. Access the database on CDC’s website and post the “Data, Trends and Maps” web button on your website to link your users directly to this tool.
About 43% of teens ages 15–19 have had sex. While more than 4 in 5 used birth control the last time they had sex, less than 5% of teens used the most effective types. Join staff from CDC, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy for the next Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Preventing Teen Pregnancy: A Key Role for Health Care Providers,” Tuesday, April 14, at 2:00 pm (EDT). This town hall will discuss what steps states, doctors, parents, and teens can take to increase the use of the most effective types of birth control to prevent teen pregnancy.
President Obama has declared April 6–12, 2015, National Public Health Week (NPHW). In conjunction with NPHW, the Administration has announced a series of executive actions to help the nation better understand, communicate, and reduce the health impacts of climate change. Actions include a Climate Change and Public Health Summit, a healthcare facilities toolkit, a report highlighting the actions of state and local health departments to reduce the impact of climate change, and integrating climate considerations into national health and safety policies. Check out the fact sheet to learn more about these efforts to combat climate change and protect the health of Americans.
Seven teens die in car crashes every day, making it the number one killer of teens. CDC’s new study about driving patterns among teens can help states tailor their efforts to protect teen drivers. For example, the number of teens reaching age 18 with little or no driving experience is substantial, especially among blacks and Hispanics in cities. This inexperience can put them at greater risk for being in crashes. Read the report to find out more about how to prevent these deaths.
CDC recently announced more than $185 million in funding to fight HIV among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The funding can also be used in efforts to fight HIV among transgender people–particularly those who are African American or Latino. This increase in funding includes up to $125 million to help state and local health departments expand the use of two new, powerful HIV prevention strategies. The first uses pre-exposure prophylaxis for MSM and transgender people who are HIV-negative, but at substantial risk. The second uses ongoing medical care and antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV to prevent transmission to others.
Deaths from drug overdoses have risen steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the US. The US Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Burwell have made it a priority to implement evidence-based approaches to reduce opioid overdoses and overdose-related mortality and the prevalence of opioid use disorder. Learn more about the three priority areas to reach these goals.
In a new report from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (9vHPV; Gardasil 9) is recommended as one of three HPV vaccines that can be used for routine vaccination; the report provides recommendations for use. Similar to the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, 9vHPV protects against HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 and five additional types: HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.
The White House has the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. The plan outlines federal activities over the next five years to prevent and contain outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections, maintain the efficacy of current and new antibiotics, and develop and deploy next-generation diagnostics, antibiotics, vaccines, and other therapeutics.
This year’s Tips From Former Smokers Campaign features former smokers who suffer from smoking-related illnesses, such as vision loss and colorectal cancer. Learn more about the Tips campaign and find resources for your health department and partners.
Following recent outbreaks of CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) related to duodenoscopes, CDC has developed an interim protocol to help combat antibiotic-resistant infections related to these procedures. CDC used input from healthcare facilities, partners, and stakeholders to develop the protocol for testing for bacteria contamination after the cleaning and disinfection process. The new protocol provides a step-by-step approach for facilities that want to test their duodenoscopes for contamination with bacteria, including CRE.
Learn how to educate healthcare providers about the dangers of falls. When an older adult falls, it can lead to injuries that reduce mobility, limit social interactions, decrease physical fitness, lower quality of life, and increase the risk of early death. CDC has developed the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) tool kit to educate healthcare providers about keeping older adults safe from falls. Older patients can also use the tool kit to stay healthy, active, and independent longer.
CDC and the National Library of Medicine will co-host a webinar about the updated Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) 2015 web application on Tuesday, March 24 and Thursday, March 26. CHSI is an interactive web application that produces health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. The experts who developed CHSI 2015 will explain how best to use this redesigned web application to raise public awareness of the range of factors that influence health. The webinar will also provide an overview of its new features.
Join CDC’s Injury Center in spreading the word about preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). A head injury can lead to a TBI, which can affect how a person feels, thinks, acts, and learns and has an impact on the entire family. But, TBIs can be prevented by wearing helmets, seat belts, and putting your child into a car seat. Whether you are a parent, school coach, or healthcare provider, you’ll want to learn more about how to recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.
State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments interested in public health improvement are encouraged to attend the 13th annual Public Health Improvement Training (PHIT): Advancing Performance in Agencies, Systems and Communities, June 9–10, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana. PHIT is produced by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), in collaboration with CDC and national organizations. Learn more about the benefits of attending PHIT and apply to register.
Learn about the components of the US public health system using the Public Health 101 Series. The Public Health 101 Series consists of six modules with course materials for classroom or self-directed learning. Use the materials to explore these core concepts: Public Health, Prevention Effectiveness, Surveillance, Public Health Laboratories, Public Health Informatics, and Epidemiology. All modules can be downloaded and customized for informational or educational purposes. The Public Health 101 Series materials are a great introduction to the fundamentals of public health practice.
The Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel were developed as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. These regulations establish minimum professional standards for school nutrition personnel who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. New requirements include regular training, which can potentially benefit all school-age children who participate in these nutrition programs.
Academic achievement and health are strongly linked for America’s youth. Access to healthful foods in school can help students become better learners. Students who eat breakfast perform and behave better in school. Students who skip breakfast, don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables, or who are hungry are not able to perform as well. A CDC podcast highlights evidence supporting the link between healthy eating and improved school performance. The podcast also provides tips to support school nutrition programs.
More than 86 million Americans are living with prediabetes, and nearly 90 percent of them unaware of it. CDC Centers for announced a joint initiative today with the American Medical Association to Prevent Diabetes STAT (Screen, Test, Act - Today™). This multi-year initiative expands the robust work already begun to reach more Americans with prediabetes and stop their progression to type 2 diabetes, one of the nation's most debilitating chronic diseases.
According to a report in today’s MMWR, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more. CDC scientists reviewed data on cases of invasive cancers reported to the National Program of Cancer Registries during 2011. Incidence rates for all cancer sites ranged from 374 cases per 100,000 persons in New Mexico to 509 cases per 100,000 persons in the District of Columbia.
CDC’s updated Community Health Status Indicators 2015 web application contains profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describe the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes. Organizations conducting community health assessments can use CHSI data to assess community health status and identify disparities; promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that can influence health; and mobilize multisector partnerships to improve population health.
On March 6, 2015, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded five-year accreditation status to seven more health departments: Allegany County Health Department (Maryland), Burke County Health Department (California), Clinton County Health Department (New York), District of Columbia Department of Health (District of Columbia), Harford County Health Department (Maryland), Linn County Public Health (Iowa), Pierce County Public Health Department (Wisconsin). Since the programs launch in 2011, 67 health departments have been awarded five-year accreditation status, bringing the total population now served by a PHAB-accredited health department to more than 112 million.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, has awarded fellowships to Alaska, Arizona, Rhode Island, and Virginia to submit hospital discharge and emergency department visits data as part of the 2015 Environmental Public Health Peer-to-Peer Fellowship Program. On the Tracking Network, you can view maps, tables, and charts with health data submitted by participating agencies. These data cover chemicals and other substances found in the environment, some chronic diseases and conditions, and the area where you live. Since launching in 2009, ASTHO’s tracking fellowship program has supported the capacity and infrastructure-building efforts of at least 25 non-funded health agencies to advance environmental public health tracking activities in their states and locales.
The Department of Health and Human Services has released the National Health Security Strategy 2015–2018 (NHSS). NHSS provides strategic direction to ensure that efforts to improve health security nationwide over the next four years are guided by a common vision and carried out in an efficient, collaborative manner. Learn more about the strategic objectives and implementation of this nationwide plan to address health security.