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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
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 ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
Jun 26 2014

Food Allergies: Autoimmune Update Part Three

Imagine what life would be like if you had to constantly check out the ingredients in your favorite foods to make sure your life wasn’t in danger after eating even a tiny bit. For some people with severe food allergies, that’s become their way of life. Food allergies cause about 30,000 severe allergic reactions and 150 deaths every year in the United States. They affect nearly 4% of adults and about 7% of children under 4 years old. Several studies show that food allergies are becoming more common. Food allergies occur if your immune system has an abnormal reaction to food. Normally, your immune system protects you from germs and disease by fighting off the harmful organisms that can make you sick. When your immune system makes a mistake and attacks a harmless substance you eat, it can cause serious, even life-threatening, allergic symptoms. Symptoms of food allergy can include coughing; tingling in the mouth; skin reactions like hives and itching; and nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea. Food allergies can also cause a sudden and severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis brings life-threatening symptoms, which can include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure and narrowing of the airways and wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe). Foods that can cause allergies include fish and shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster and crab; eggs, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts such as walnuts. Peanut ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
Jun 07 2014

Head Lice-Are Your Children At Risk?

It's the summer and kids are going to camp. That generally means they are sharing towels, hair brushes and whatever else. We are talking about close contact. And that also means you need to be aware of that dreaded-HEAD LICE. In the United States, infestation with head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) is most common among preschool- and elementary school-age children and their household members and caretakers. Head lice are not known to transmit disease; however, secondary bacterial infection of the skin resulting from scratching can occur with any lice infestation. Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment. Head lice are mainly spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. The most common way to get head lice is by head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Such contact can be common among children during play at: • school, • home, and • elsewhere (e.g., sports activities, playgrounds, camp, and slumber parties). Uncommonly, transmission may occur by: • wearing clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons worn by an infested person; • using infested combs, brushes or towels; or • lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person. Reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States are not available; however, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share
May 26 2014

The CDC Guide To The 2014 FIFA World Cup In Brazil

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup is a football (soccer) tournament held every 4 years with teams competing from all over the world. The 2014 World Cup is scheduled from June 12 through July 13, 2014 and will be located in twelve cities across Brazil. If you plan to travel to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, follow the recommendations below to help you stay safe and healthy. What can travelers do to protect themselves? Before your trip: • Schedule a health appointment at least 4–6 weeks before you depart on your trip. Talk to your doctor or nurse about vaccines and medicines recommended for Brazil. See the Find a Clinic webpage for help in finding a travel medicine clinic near you. o CDC recommends all travelers be up-to-date onroutine vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and flu. o Other recommended vaccines may includehepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, yellow fever, and rabies. o Medicine for malaria and travelers’ diarrhea may be recommended. • Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance. • Pack a travel health kit. • Monitor travel warnings and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State. • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home. During your trip: • Follow security and safety guidelines. US travelers may be targets for criminals during mass gatherings. o If possible, don't travel at night, avoid questionable areas, and ...

Posted in: Editor's Page,Home

  • Share