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.
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost one in three deaths worldwide. CDC, the Pan American Health Organization, and other partners are collaborating to address this global problem. Together, they are launching the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project. The project will develop and implement a framework for standardizing the treatment of hypertension using medications. The project is designed to be feasible and flexible enough to be applied worldwide and to complement existing hypertension guidelines. Learn more about this project and access the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project Toolkit.
CDC, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service have developed a new method for understanding foodborne outbreaks. Scientists have analyzed outbreak data to find out which foods are responsible for illnesses related to four major bacteria. These four bacteria cause 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the US each year. Read their report to learn more about this new method and the results.
This week the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts initiative recognized 30 Hypertension Control Champions. These public and private health care practices and systems have made great progress in helping their patients control high blood pressure. Congratulations to the 2014 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions!
A new CDC study shows that 90% of new HIV infections in the US could be averted by diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment. Scientists used statistical modeling to develop these first US estimates of the number of HIV transmissions from people at different stages of HIV care. The research also shows that the further people progress in HIV care, the less likely they are to transmit their virus.
The United States health care and public health systems are currently undergoing a significant transformation. As more of the US population is covered by health insurance, tremendous opportunities emerge to improve health. This brief focuses on the interface of public health departments and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and highlights opportunities for enhanced collaboration between the two entities. Learn how ACOs work with public health departments in CDC’s new policy brief on ACOs.
CDC has reported the discovery of Bourbon virus. This virus may have contributed to the death of a previously healthy man in eastern Kansas in 2014. A new report details the progression of the man’s illness and actions taken by CDC, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and University of Kansas Medical Center to treat and investigate the case. Learn more about Bourbon virus, a thogotoviruses, and this case.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published a new resource to help American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) with new healthcare coverage. The “From Coverage to Care” brochure for AI/ANs can help newly covered AI/ANs understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. The brochure also explains coverage benefits and protections unique to AI/AN consumers. For example, partners can use the brochure and other resources to talk with consumers about enrolling during special enrollment periods throughout the year, cost-sharing to make coverage more affordable, and finding the right primary care or Indian healthcare provider for them.
CDC has posted a map of the ongoing measles outbreak originally linked to an amusement park in California. The map will be updated weekly on Mondays.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Global Polio Eradication: Reaching Every Last Child,” on Tuesday, February 17, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EST). This session will highlight innovative strategies being used in countries affected by insecurity to accelerate immunization and surveillance efforts to make the world polio-free. Join the discussion or ask a question by using hashtag #CDCGrandrounds on Twitter.
The “2015 Measles Outbreak: Exploring the Role of Public Health Law” webinar will examine the current measles outbreak in the United States and associated legal issues. The free webinar, presented by CDC’s Public Health Law Program, the Network for Public Health Law, and the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, will take place Thursday, February 19 from 1 to 2:30 pm (EST). Participants might qualify for CLE credit.
FastStats, a new mobile app from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, provides up-to-date health statistics on more than 100 public health topics. Users can search by topic, bookmark, highlight, annotate, and share statistics with colleagues on Facebook and Twitter—right from their iPhones or iPads. It will be available for Android devices soon. The app is available in the App Store.
CDC and Million Hearts® aim to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. This goal requires work, a commitment to change, and collaboration across agencies and between partners. You can share resources from Millions Hearts® with your communities to connect people to appropriate care and resources to improve blood pressure control.
In California, 27.7% of people who experienced serious psychological distress during 2011?2012 reported smoking, compared with 12.6% of the general population. The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) surveyed county and private behavioral healthcare programs to assess their readiness for adopting tobacco control strategies at behavioral health treatment facilities. CTCP then offered trainings that focused on the special smoking-cessation needs of people with mental illness or substance-abuse disorders. As a result, the number of California behavioral healthcare facilities that adopted tobacco-control strategies has doubled.
A new University of Pennsylvania study found that stores accepting nutrition assistance programs were more likely to display tobacco ads. According to the report, tobacco advertising is widespread in urban areas with racial/ethnic minority and low-income households that participate in nutrition assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Tobacco sales and advertising are linked to smoking and may add to the health issues low-income families face.
This research brief from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) gives the results of a national assessment of disability inclusion efforts by local health departments (LHDs). NACCHO will use the findings to develop a framework for education, training, and outreach materials to raise LHD awareness of health inequities experienced by people with disabilities.
The United States is experiencing a large multi-state measles outbreak that started in California in December 2014 and has spread to six additional states and Mexico. CDC and state health departments are investigating the outbreak, which is associated with travel to Disneyland resort theme parks. This Health Alert Network advisory provides guidance to public health departments, healthcare facilities, and healthcare providers. Please disseminate this information to healthcare providers in hospitals and emergency rooms, primary care providers, and microbiology laboratories.
CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control published state-by-state fact sheets with data, information, and strategies about drunk driving and restraint use that can help you implement strategies to save lives. You can download state datasets, maps, charts, and graphs to use on your websites or in presentations. Data are available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, in partnership with CDC and more than 35 partners, released its second report of the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI™). The NHSPI™ graded the nation’s preparedness for natural disasters, terrorism, and disease pandemics at 7.4 out of 10.
To help state health agencies address STDs, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) compiled resources for health officials that give a snapshot of current STD trends and opportunities for leadership engagement. State health leaders can use these resources and recommendations to raise awareness about STD issues and demonstrate the value of infrastructure and collaboration at the state level. ASTHO, CDC, and partners examined the integration of STD services and identified opportunities for collaborative efforts.
CDC's Public Health Law program compiled a table of state-by-state Ebola protocols to help law and policy makers prepare for and respond to Ebola-related situations. The table will be updated as states modify their Ebola response protocols.
CDC's interactive diabetes atlas displays state-level diabetes data and trends. The atlas has customizable maps and graphics of diabetes surveillance data, an interactive application to view state-specific trends by age and sex, and downloadable maps, charts, and data tables that can be used in grant applications, reports, articles, and publications.
According to new data, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations experienced higher rates of new infections than non-Hispanic white populations in 14 of 26 reportable infectious diseases during 2007–2011. Although incidence rates of some infectious diseases have declined in AI/AN populations, disparities between groups remain. Interventions are needed to reduce disparities in chlamydia, gonorrhea, West Nile virus, spotted fever rickettsiosis, and other infections among AI/AN and NHW populations.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety. CDC’s annual “National and State Healthcare-Associated Infection Progress Report” expands on and updates previous years’ reports about progress toward the goal of eliminating HAIs. The report summarizes data submitted to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, the nation’s HAI tracking system.
The Public Health Associate Program is a CDC-funded training program for recent graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. It offers frontline public health experience at health agencies; community-based organizations; public health institutes and associations; academic institutions; and CDC quarantine stations across the country. The application period is open January 12–16, 2015.
On January 12, 2015, on the radio program American Indian Living, Dr. Doris Cook shared real-life tribal public health success stories of Native American communities serving as public health role models. The stories were drawn from a partnership between CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and the Association of American Indian Physicians. The stories are intended to increase awareness and knowledge of culturally appropriate, evidence-based tribal public health intervention and strategies that can be replicated in other tribal communities.
Approximately 38 million US adults report binge drinking an average of four times per month and consuming an average of eight drinks per episode. Alcohol poisoning is typically caused by binge drinking at high intensity. Join staff from CDC, Boston University and the New Mexico Department of Health for the upcoming Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference, “Alcohol Poisoning Deaths: A Deadly Consequence of Binge Drinking,” Tuesday, January 13, at 2:00 pm (EST). The teleconference will describe key steps that states, communities, and health professionals can take to reduce alcohol poisoning deaths by reducing the prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking.
CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, has announced a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA), PS15-1505: Enhancing HIV Prevention, Communication, and Mobilization Efforts Through Strategic Partnerships. The purpose of this FOA is to support the Act Against AIDS campaign materials, messaging, and other CDC resources that support HIV prevention and to implement national engagement efforts focusing on HIV prevention and awareness. Learn more about this opportunity and apply by March 13, 2015.
Become a Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) host site and enhance your ability to deliver public health services. PHAP hires recent graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and assigns them to work in state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies; community-based organizations; public health institutes and associations; academic institutions; and CDC quarantine stations to fill critical staffing gaps and gain broad experience in public health program operations. Interested host sites can apply January 5–23, 2015.
In this fun, interactive app, users get to be disease detectives, analyzing clues and data to Solve the Outbreak and save lives. The app is now available on the CDC website, not only on mobile devices.
Restaurants will create healthier menus when they are involved in community programs to address childhood obesity, Texas State University researchers find. The Best Food for Families, Infants, and Toddlers program aimed to improve children’s access to healthy diets through partnerships with restaurants in San Marcos, Texas. The restaurants removed sugar-sweetened beverages, decreased the number of energy-dense entrées, and/or increased fruit and vegetable offerings on their menus. Sixteen independent restaurants and 1 chain restaurant implemented new menus as part of the program.
The Office of Management and Budget has streamlined federal policies relating to the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements. This reform will impact federal agencies and non-federal entities (states, local governments, Indian tribes, IHEs, and nonprofit organizations) that receive Federal awards as a recipient or subrecipient, and their auditors. Parts of the guidance may also apply to for-profit entities and to foreign entities or organizations. This Uniform Guidance was released on December 26, 2013, and the implementation date was December 26, 2014. Awards made prior to December 26 will continue to be governed by the terms and conditions of the existing federal award. Crosswalks and side-by-sides that show the language from the old guidance next to the new language are available at http://go.usa.gov/e93H.
A recent study from RTI International found that a tobacco-cessation media campaign urging Florida smokers to use telephone quitlines and web-based cessation services led to an increase in weekly use of those services. Researchers found that an increase in 100 weekly media-market–level target-rating points—a measure of the exposure of a target audience to an advertisement—was associated with an increase of 7 weekly Florida Quitline registrants and 2 Web Coach registrants in an average media market.
On December 9, 2014, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) awarded five-year accreditation status to six more health departments: California Department of Public Health, Frederick County Health Department (Maryland), Green River District Health Department (Kentucky); Houston Department of Health and Human Services (Texas), Salt Lake County Health Department (Utah), and Worcester County Health Department (Maryland). Since the program’s launch in 2011, 60 health departments have been awarded five-year accreditation status, bringing the total population now served by a PHAB-accredited health department to more than 111 million.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems and 9-1-1 public safety answering points play an important role in the pre-hospital identification, management, and transport of suspected or confirmed patients with Ebola. The updated “Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points for Management of Patients Who Present with Possible Ebola Virus Disease in the United States” clarifies the minimum personal protective equipment levels for EMS personnel and first responders.
CDC has releases its annual snapshot of the three nationally reported STDs in the US—the 2013 STD Surveillance Report. The report shows that STDs continue to pose a risk of lifelong health consequences for millions in this country.
The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $665 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 28 states, 3 territories, and DC to design and test healthcare payment and service-delivery models that will improve healthcare quality and lower costs. Together with awards released in 2013, 34 states, 3 territories, and DC—representing nearly two-thirds of the population—are participating in efforts to support comprehensive state-based innovation in health system transformation.
There now are thousands of Ebola survivors in West Africa, but they often face stigma, discrimination, income loss, and both grief and survivor guilt over the loss of family and friends. Programs and support services are now available in Liberia and Sierra Leone to help Ebola survivors reintegrate with their communities and resume their lives.
The last day to enroll in the Health Insurance Market place for 2015 coverage is February 15, 2015. Healthcare.gov’s website has information to share with your communities to encourage them to enroll, including a one-page fact sheet about the Health Insurance Marketplace, guidance about next steps to get started, and a tool to find local help when applying for health coverage.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Climate Change and Health—From Science to Practice,” on Tuesday, December 16, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EST). Discuss strategies, programs, and partnerships currently being used to confront the challenges associated with global climate change. Follow @CDC_eHealth on Twitter and participate in the event using the hashtag #CDCGrandRounds.
The average annual number of outbreaks due to drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk more than quadrupled from 1993–2006 to 2007–2012, according to a new study published in CDC’s Emerging Infectious Disease journal. Raw milk-associated outbreaks continue to increase as more states allow the sale of raw milk. CDC recommends against consuming raw milk and products made with raw milk as they can pose severe health risks, especially in children, senior citizens, and people with weakened immune systems.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in partnership with CDC and more than 35 development partners, released its second report of the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI™). The NHSPI™ graded the nation’s preparedness for natural disasters, terrorism, and disease pandemics at 7.4 out of 10.
The US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, state and local health departments, and other health agencies will observe National Influenza Vaccination Week December 7–13, 2014. This week of observance highlights the importance of continuing influenza vaccination. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and older. CDC has educational materials, web tools, and other activities you can share with your community to observe National Influenza Vaccination Week.
CDC's National Center for Environmental Health supports the Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities (STAR) system, the nation’s first voluntary, self-reporting framework for evaluating, quantifying, and improving the livability and sustainability of communities. Learn more about STAR and the communities participating.
CDC has released a health advisory, “Potential for Circulation of Drifted Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses.” Influenza activity is currently low in the US as a whole, but is increasing in some parts of the country. This season, H3N2 viruses have been reported most frequently and have been detected in most all states. Increasing the risk of a severe flu season is the finding that roughly half of the H3N2 viruses analyzed are drift variants: viruses with antigenic or genetic changes that make them different from that season’s vaccine virus. This means the vaccine’s ability to protect against those viruses may be reduced. Guidance is available for clinicians on the use of influenza antiviral medications.
Norovirus causes many people to become ill with vomiting and diarrhea each year. CDC estimates that each year Noroviruses cause 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths. Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This leads to cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Encourage people in your communities to protect themselves and others by washing their hands often and following simple tips to stay healthy.
In 2011, more than 1.2 million people were living with HIV in the US; of those, only 4 in 10 were in HIV medical care. Viral suppression, having very low levels of HIV in the body, is key for saving lives for people with HIV. Seventy-six percent of people living with HIV and in HIV medical care achieve viral suppression. Join staff from CDC, Florida Department of Health, and Apicha Community Health Center in New York City for a Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference on the HIV Care Continuum, Tuesday, December 2, at 2:00 pm (EST).
CDC has released a health advisory, “Fatal Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis in an Infant Following Ingestion of Contaminated Dietary Supplement—Connecticut, 2014.” Subsequent testing of the same lot of unopened Solgar ABC Dophilus Powder revealed contamination with Rhizopus oryzae. Please disseminate this information to health care workers in neonatal intensive care units, hospital pharmacies, pediatricians, and primary care providers.
This informative video can help people in your community understand what they really need to know about Ebola. For example, Ebola is spread only once someone has symptoms, and if someone feels sick, he or she should think flu, not Ebola.
CDC’s Public Health Law Program has published an inventory of select tribal laws related to infectious disease control. The menu informs tribal public health practitioners, policy makers, and attorneys about tribes’ use of law as a tool to address infectious disease control.
Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the US! A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found the average annual cost for skin cancer treatment increased 126% between 2002–2006 and 2007–2011. Follow CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others from UV exposure.
CDC has found that Americans make nearly a million doctor visits for eye infections each year. Wearing contacts is the largest single risk factor for developing keratitis—an infection of the cornea that can lead to blindness. Promote eye health by focusing on the best ways to wear and care for contact lenses.
Thursday, November, 20 marks the 39th annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. You can help smokers quit for good!
Now available is guidance on how to screen pregnant women for Ebola and how to care for pregnant women with known or suspected Ebola, including considerations for pregnant healthcare workers. This guidance is intended to help US hospitals develop a plan for screening and treating pregnant women with known or suspected Ebola.
According to new data published in today’s MMWR, 23%, or more than 1 in 5 high school students currently uses tobacco. More than 90% of those using a tobacco product are using combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Implement proven strategies for reducing tobacco use among youth in your community, such as raising the price of tobacco products.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “Unusual Donor Derived Transplant-associated Infections—Just How Unusual?,” on Tuesday, November 18, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EST). Speakers will present some of the common themes that have emerged in unusual transplant-transmitted infections and learn what is being done to reduce the risk of unusual transplant-associated infections. Join the discussion or ask a question by using hashtag #CDCGrandrounds on Twitter.
State and local vaccination requirements for school entry can help maintain high vaccination coverage and protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases. This report describes vaccination coverage in 49 states and the Disctrict of Columbia during the 2013–14 school year. Median vaccination coverage for three vaccines was 94.7% for measles, mumps, and rubella; 95.0% for diphtheria, tetanus toxoid, and acellular pertussis; and 93.3% for varicella among states with a 2-dose requirement.
The chikungunya outbreak in Caribbean and Central and South American countries continues to spread with no sign of slowing down. CDC experts warn that the painful mosquito-borne disease will likely continue to infect travelers to the region during the rest of this year and beyond. The outbreak, which began last December, had caused an estimated 795,000 chikungunya fever cases in 37 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere as of the end of October. As of November, 4, 2014, more than 1,600 travelers returning to the United States with chikungunya fever have been reported. Before this outbreak, an average of 28 travelers with chikungunya fever returned to the United States each year.
The nation has an increasing need for applied public health informatics and epidemiology professionals in state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. Project SHINE (Strengthening Health Systems through Interprofessional Education) aims to meet that need. It has three fellowships under its umbrella: 1) Applied Public Health Informatics Fellowship (APHIF), 2) Health Systems Integration Program (HSIP), and 3) Informatics Training in Place Program (I-TIPP). The common goal is to increase workforce capacity at health departments in informatics, epidemiology, and integration of public health and clinical health systems. All fellows are funded by CDC and provided at no cost to states. Apply to host APHIF and HSIP fellows by December 15, 2014.
More than 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year. As many as 93% of cervical cancers could be prevented by screening and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination. Join staff from CDC, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Cancer Alliance for a Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference on cervical cancer prevention, Wednesday, November 12, at 2:00 pm (EST).
CDC has released online personal protective equipment (PPE) training for healthcare workers caring for patients with known or suspected Ebola. The training using videos to demonstrate how to safely put on and take off PPE. Before caring for patients with Ebola, all healthcare providers involved in the care of Ebola patients must receive training and demonstrate competency in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices and procedures, specifically in donning and doffing proper PPE.
State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments can use and share CDC resources to stay informed about current and emerging public health issues. This new Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support’s web page gives links to subscribe to key CDC alert mechanisms, along with information about Ebola, Enterovirus D68, and emergency preparedness and response resources.
CDC published a special MMWR supplement that uses data from 19 surveillance sources to provide recent trends in the nation’s health. The report reviews population health in the United States and provides an assessment of recent progress in addressing high-priority health issues. It identifies important public health successes and challenges to help guide national policy and programmatic efforts to improve health and quality of life.
Effective today, October 27, 2014, travelers arriving in the United States from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone will be given a CARE (Check and Report Ebola) kit at the airport. Each CARE kit contains tools, including a thermometer and contact information to report symptoms, to help these travelers monitor Ebola symptoms for the next 21 days.
CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Associate Director for Tribal Support. The position requires awareness of the unique and complex cultural, environmental, social, economic, and political factors that affect the health of American Indian/Alaska Native populations. The application closing date is November 6, 2014.
CDC announced that public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea beginning October 27, 2014. Active post-arrival monitoring is an approach in which state and local health officials maintain daily contact with all travelers from the three affected countries for the entire 21 days following their last possible date of exposure to Ebola virus. Upon arrival, these travelers will receive a CARE (Check And Report Ebola) kit that contains resources to monitor Ebola symptoms.
The public comment period for Healthy People 2020 is now open. You are invited to comment on proposed new objectives to be added for arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic back conditions; early and middle childhood; heart disease and stroke; maternal infant and child health; and tobacco use. You can also propose new objectives to be included in one of the 42 existing topic areas. Comments will be accepted through 5:00 pm ET on November 7, 2014.
CDC is tightening previous infection control guidance for healthcare workers caring for patients with Ebola to ensure there is no ambiguity. The guidance focuses on specific personal protective equipment (PPE) healthcare workers should use and offers detailed step-by-step instructions for how to put PPE on and take it off safely. The enhanced guidance is centered on three principles: 1) rigorous and repeated training, 2) no skin exposure when PPE is worn, and 3) trained monitors to observe and supervise each worker taking PPE on and off.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) has released a new supplement, “The Public Health Workforce.” This supplement highlights data-driven research and critical issues relevant to the public health workforce, with an emphasis on work that addresses the rapidly changing public health system (such as changes in the public health and healthcare systems given the Affordable Care Act, the explosion of “big data” and the use of evolving technology).
New York City (NYC) is a frequent port of entry for travelers from West Africa and a home to health care workers who travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients. To ensure that NYC is prepared to manage Ebola cases and prevent disease transmission, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in coordination with local hospitals and clinicians, established systems around Ebola surveillance and management of suspected cases and contacts. Learn more about NYC’s efforts to prepare for and treat Ebola patients.
Join the next Public Health Grand Rounds, “How Pharmacists Can Improve Our Nation’s Health,” on Tuesday, October 21, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (EDT). Speakers will illustrate the impact of including pharmacists in team-based care, share CDC tools to facilitate incorporating pharmacists in public health initiatives, and give examples of how pharmacists are working in healthcare settings to prevent and manage diseases. Follow @CDC_eHealth on Twitter and participate using the hashtag #CDCGrandrounds.