Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maternal Deaths Decline Sharply Across the Globe

Great, some good news in public health! The NYTimes reports that maternal deaths are declining worldwide. The interesting point brought up in the article is that some advocates want to keep the news relatively quiet for fear of funding drying up because the problem is perceived as solved. The author of the study insisted that the new data are really positive and need to be shared with the world!
The data dispelled the belief that the statistics had been stuck in one dismal place for decades, he said. So money allocated to women’s health is actually accomplishing something, he said, and governments are not throwing good money after bad.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What We Learned From H1N1's First Year

This article by Richard Wenzel of the Virginia Commonwealth University discusses what we learned in the past year about H1N1. It brings up some interesting points, like the discrepancy in recommendations about masks, reducing risk of transmission, and community mitigation strategies.
It is not an easy task, but our public health authorities need to become clearer about the lexicon of uncertainty.
And Wenzel ends the article with a reality and a call to action:
But the struggle between people and pathogens is a part of life itself. We cannot continue to be surprised every time a new virus emerges. Instead, we must use the lessons we’ve learned during the year since H1N1 arrived to develop more effective public health responses.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

National Public Health Week!

It's been awhile since I did a posting of interesting links. Enjoy!
  1. National Public Health Week is this week! Go public health!

  2. Norovirus: Tara Parker-Pope has an article in the NYT about noro and how difficult it is to get rid of it. Take a look, and see CDC's page about noro for more information.
  3. Superbugs: This has been awhile, but it's an interesting Nick Kristof piece about antibiotics and the rise of superbugs and the implications of those superbugs.
  4. HIV prevalence in DC: Some promising news about the HIV epidemic in Washington, D.C. is explained in this article.
  5. Travel's impact on pandemics: An interesting Canadian study will analyze the impact of travel and travel restrictions on the H1N1 pandemic.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Summer's here!

Wow has it been a long time since I've posted. Sorry about that! It's been busy here at CSTE, and we've been working quite hard on everything from international influenza consultations to CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship interviews to Annual Conference planning.

Now it's April 5, and in Atlanta that means summer is here! Some summer public health tips:
  • Food safety
    Summer means picnics, baseball games, hikes, and lots of outdoor eating. Keep yourself salmonellosis free this summer, and follow tips from organizations like this one. The basics are clean, separate, cook, and chill. And if you do have a foodborne illness, notify your local health department!
  • Tick/bug bites
    Summer means bug bites, that's a fact, and there are a few things to do to keep yourself healthy and hopefully bite-free. This article gives some tips: stay on well-traveled paths, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in the woods, wear DEET-containing bug repellants, and check yourself, children, and pets carefully after walking in the woods. Here is some info from CDC about vectorborne and rickettsial diseases. Finally, some "Fight the Bite!" info about West Nile Virus.
  • Fun in the sun
    Use sunscreen - cover that delicate skin! Use safe sun practices to avoid the dreaded sunburn.
  • Be safe
    And, last but not least, be safe. Injury accounts for a huge number of deaths during the summertime, so keep an eye out for yourself and your loved ones. Fireworks, boating and swimming, and general injury prevention - all important.