May 04 2015

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2015: A Presidential Proclamation!

A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA     Sports are a fundamental part of American culture.  They foster our country's competitive drive, help us stay healthy, and teach us what it takes to succeed -- not only on the softball diamond or the basketball court, but also in life. Sports and fitness reflect our national character, and they help us unlock our full potential.  During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we recognize parents, coaches, educators, and all those who instill in our children the importance of regular exercise, and we invite all people to invest in their own wellbeing by finding a way to be active each day. Physical fitness is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.  Regular exercise can produce long-term health benefits; it can help prevent chronic diseases, combat obesity, relieve stress, and increase the chances of living longer.  By making physical activity part of your daily routine -- at least 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children -- you can put yourself on the path to better physical and mental health. This year marks the fifth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, which has helped increase opportunities for physical activity and inspire Americans of all ages to lead healthy, active lives.  To celebrate, the First Lady is challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and ...

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Mar 01 2015

Measles Outbreak: Protect Your Child with MMR Vaccine

A Message from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):   In the United States, we are currently experiencing a large, multi-state outbreak of measles linked to an amusement park in California. Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can be serious for your young children. Protect your children by making sure they get MMR vaccine according to CDC's recommended schedule.  The large, ongoing measles outbreak in the United States likely started with a traveler who got measles overseas and then visited the amusement park while he or she was contagious, spreading the disease to others. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, if one person has it, 9 out of 10 of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not immune (through measles vaccination or having had measles before). Measles Can be Serious Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious for young children. About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage. 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even ...

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Jan 01 2015

The Latest News About The Flu

The most recent FluView report for the 2014-2015 flu season shows that flu season in the United States has begun and about half the country is experiencing high levels of flu activity. Reports of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths are elevated. Activity is expected to continue for several weeks, especially in parts of the country that have not yet seen significant activity. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. There are documented benefits from flu vaccination, including reductions in illnesses, related doctors' visits and missed work or school. Vaccination also prevents flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. While most of the viruses spreading this season are different from what is in the vaccine, vaccination can still provide protection and might reduce severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death. If you have not been vaccinated yet this season, get your flu vaccine now. CDC recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting flu: get vaccinated, take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs and takeantiviral medications to treat flu illness if your doctor prescribes them. For more information, please visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

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Dec 13 2014

US Children Have Easy Access To e-Cigarettes

More than 300 million Americans live in states without protection against indoor e-cigarette aerosol exposure Forty states have enacted laws prohibiting the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, to minors, but 10 states and the District of Columbia still permit such sales, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). More than 16 million children aged 17 and under reside in states not covered by these laws. The latest data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey showed 4.5 percent of all high school students and 1.1 percent of all middle school students had used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days in 2013. “We know e-cigarettes are not safe for youth,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “While ENDS may have the potential to benefit established adult smokers if used as a complete substitute for all smoked tobacco products, ENDS should not be used by youth and adult non-tobacco users because of the harmful effects of nicotine and other risk exposures, as well as the risk for progression to other forms of tobacco use.” While 26 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive smoke-free laws that prevent smoking in restaurants, worksites, and bars, only three of those states also prohibit ENDS use indoors: New Jersey, North Dakota, and Utah. Therefore ...

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Dec 07 2014

WARNING: CDC Reports Severe Flu Season Coming!

Early data suggests that the current 2014-2015 flu season could be severe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges immediate vaccination for anyone still unvaccinated this season and recommends prompt treatment with antiviral drugs for people at high risk of complications who develop flu. So far this year, seasonal influenza A H3N2 viruses have been most common. There often are more severe flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths during seasons when these viruses predominate. For example, H3N2 viruses were predominant during the 2012-2013, 2007-2008, and 2003-2004 seasons, the three seasons with the highest mortality levels in the past decade. All were characterized as “moderately severe.” 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, although vaccinated people may have a milder illness if they do become infected. During the 2007-2008 flu season, the predominant H3N2 virus was a drift variant yet the vaccine had an overall efficacy of 37 percent and 42 percent against H3N2 viruses. “It’s too early to say for sure that this will be a severe flu season, but Americans should be prepared,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We can save lives with a three-pronged effort ...

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Nov 30 2014

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on The American Diet

  :F From the David J. Sencer CDC Museum: In Association with the Smithsonian Institution Food. We love it, fear it, and obsess about it. We demand that our Government ensure that it is safe, cheap, and abundant. In response, Government has been a factor in the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply. It has also attempted, with varying success, to change the eating habits of Americans. From the farm to the dinner table, explore the records of the National Archives that trace the Government’s effect on what Americans eat. Follow the story of the Government’s role in our complex relationship with food from farm to factory and kitchen to table. This exhibition was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, with support from the Foundation for the National Archives. The national tour of What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? is made possible by Mars, Incorporated. In Atlanta, the exhibition is sponsored by the Office of the Associate Director for Communication at CDC. About the David J. Sencer CDC Museum: The David J. Sencer CDC Museum was established in 1996 in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 50th anniversary. The CDC Museum is designed to educate visitors about the value of prevention-based public health, while presenting the CDC’s rich heritage and vast accomplishments. The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM, with hours extended to ...

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Nov 15 2014

Youth tobacco smoking rates putting millions at risk of premature death

  An important message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   More than 1 in 5 high school students use a tobacco product; 90 percent are tobacco smokers     Almost 23 percent of high school students currently use a tobacco product, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Of particular concern, more than 90 percent of those using a tobacco product are using combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes. Extensive use of combustible products is of special concern because tobacco smoking causes most of the tobacco-related disease and death in the United States. The 50thAnniversary Surgeon General’s Report released last January concluded that unless youth smoking rates drop rapidly, 5.6 million youth currently aged 0 to 17 will die early from a cigarette smoking-related illness. “Nine out of ten smokers tried their first cigarette by age 18,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “We must do more to prevent our youth from using tobacco products, or we will see millions of them suffer and die prematurely as adults. Fully implementing proven tobacco control programs would help keep our youth from falling victim to tobacco.” CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) found that in 2013, 22.9 percent of high school students and 6.5 percent of middle school students reported using a ...

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Sep 14 2014

Learn About The National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the nation’s medical research agency that is making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. Thanks in large part to NIH-funded medical research, Americans today are living longer and healthier. Life expectancy in the United States has jumped from 47 years in 1900 to 78 years as reported in 2009, and disability in people over age 65 has dropped dramatically in the past 3 decades. In recent years, nationwide rates of new diagnoses and deaths from all cancers combined have fallen significantly. NIH is made up of  27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. NIH Leadership plays an active role in shaping the agency's  research planning, activities, and outlook. More than 80% of the NIH's budget goes to more than 300,000 research personnel at over 2,500 universities and research institutions. In addition, about 6,000 scientists work in NIH’s own Intramural Research laboratories, most of which are on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The main campus is also home to the  NIH Clinical Center,  the largest hospital in the world totally dedicated to clinical research. NIH INSTITUTES National Cancer Institute (NCI) — Est. 1937 NCI leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI ...

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Sep 01 2014

World Health Organization Issues Report on E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed by manufacturers as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco, and require global regulation in the interest of public health, this new World Health Organization (WHO) report states. The report states that while e-cigarettes represent an “evolving frontier filled with promise and threat for tobacco control,” regulations are needed to: Impede e-cigarette promotion to non-smokers and young people; Minimize potential health risks to e-cigarette users and nonusers; Prohibit unproven health claims about e-cigarettes; and Protect existing tobacco control efforts from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. It explains that while additional research is needed on multiple areas of e-cigarette use, regulations are required now to address health concerns, in particular for: Advertising: An appropriate government body must restrict e-cigarette advertising, promotion and sponsorship, to ensure that it does not target youth and non-smokers or people who do not currently use nicotine. Indoor use: legal steps should be taken to end use of e-cigarettes indoors in public and work places. Evidence suggests that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol increases the background air level of some toxicants, nicotine and particles. Since 2005, the e-cigarette industry has grown from one manufacturer in China to an estimated US$3 billion global business with 466 brands, a market in which the tobacco industry is taking a greater stake. The report highlights WHO’s concern about the role of the tobacco industry in this market.   The regulations ...

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Aug 11 2014

The EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK of 2014-What You Need To Know

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:   The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. The CDC is surging resources by sending 50 more workers to the area to help bring the outbreak under control. What is Ebola? Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common. How is Ebola transmitted? Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. Can Ebola be transmitted through the air? No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air. Can I get Ebola from contaminated food or water? No. Ebola is not a food-borne illness.  It is not a water-borne illness. Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms? No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct ...

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