CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: What's New

CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: What's New

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CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: What's New

Public Health Matters Blog - 3 Reasons Why Handwashing Should Matter to You

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:00:00 EST

Most of us are familiar with the parental-like voice in the back of our minds that helps guide our decision-making-asking us questions like, "Have you called your grandmother lately?" For many that voice serves as a gentle, yet constant reminder to wash our hands.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Protecting our Future: Emergency Preparedness and Children's Mental Health

Tue, 09 Oct 2018 09:00:00 EST

Among the many lessons learned during the 2017 Hurricane season, we recognized that addressing children's mental and behavioral health needs is a major concern in hurricane-affected areas.CDC's At Risk Task Force (ARTF) was established in 2017 to ensure identification and prioritization of the mental and physical health needs of at-risk populations, including children. ARTF's first Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation was on Aug. 31, 2017, in response to Hurricane Harvey, the first of three consecutive hurricanes to hit the United States and its territories in a five-week period. ARTF's mission was to address the needs of at-risk populations in affected areas throughout the response and recovery phases.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 415 - Hurricane Florence-Clinical Guidance For Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 13:45:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding clinicians seeing patients from the areas affected by Hurricane Florence to maintain a high index of suspicion for CO poisoning. Other people who may be exposed to the same CO source may need to be identified and assessed.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Personal Protective Actions You Can Take in a Flu Pandemic

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:00:00 EST

Every fall and winter the United States experiences epidemics of seasonal influenza (flu). Sometimes a flu pandemic occurs due to a new flu virus that spreads and causes illnesses around the world. We cannot predict when a flu pandemic will occur, but over the past 100 years, we have documented four flu pandemics resulting in close to 1 million deaths in the United States alone.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 414 - Advice to Clinicians about Leptospirosis in U.S. Travelers Returning from Northern Israel

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:45:00 EST

The Israeli Ministry of Health is reporting an outbreak of leptospirosis in persons with exposure to natural water sources in the Golan Heights region of northern Israel after July 1, 2018. As of September 6, 2018, three persons with leptospirosis who traveled to Israel have been identified in the United States, with additional suspected cases reported and under investigation. Early symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, conjunctival suffusion (conjunctival redness without exudates), jaundice, and sometimes a rash. Clinicians should consider leptospirosis as a diagnosis in any patient who develops an acute febrile illness within 4 weeks of travel to one of the areas in northern Israel listed below since July 1, 2018.

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Public Health Matters Blog - The Power of Preparedness: Prepare Your Health

Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:00:00 EST

The devastating hurricanes of 2017 reminded us how important it is to prepare for disasters. These potentially life-threatening situations have real impacts on personal and public health. During Hurricane Irma, existing medical conditions and power outages increased the likelihood of death. Being prepared with supplies and an Emergency Action Plan can help you protect the health of your family until help arrives.September is National Preparedness Month (#NatlPrep), and the perfect time of year to remind people of The Power of Preparedness. This year's call-to-action of Prepare Your Health (#PrepYourHealth) and four weekly themes highlight the roles that individuals, state and local public health, and CDC play in creating community health resilience. It takes everyone "pulling in the same direction" to create families, communities, and a nation that can withstand, adapt to, and recover from personal and public health emergencies.The first week focuses on personal preparedness, and the importance of nonperishable food, safe water, basic supplies, and the personal items you need to protect your health until help arrives.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Kentucky Takes a Novel Approach to Fight the Opioid Crisis

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 09:00:00 EST

The opioid overdose epidemic is a public health emergency. The state of Kentucky has the third highest rate of drug overdose in the country. The website bridges a gap between Kentucky residents and timely access to substance use treatment facilities and services. It provides near real-time available openings at local area substance use disorder (SUD) facilities.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Arizona's ERIC Program Works to Improve Access to Emergency Information

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:00:00 EST

Vicki Bond is not surprised at how hot, but at how cold the temperatures can get out on a wildfire. "I've worked on responses to more wildfires in freezing temperatures than in extreme heat," she says.Coincidentally, making sure people aren't left out in the cold in an emergency is why she has so much experience with the weather.Bond works for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) as a licensed American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and deployment coordinator for the Emergency Response Interpreters Credentialing (ERIC) program. She helps prepare licensed ASL interpreters and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioners to deploy for emergencies throughout the state.ERIC interpreters and captioners work alongside communicators to interpret and transcribe information presented at community meetings and media briefings, on websites and social media, and in evacuation shelters for people who are deaf and hard of hearing."The goal of the ERIC program," said Bond, "is to ensure deaf and hard of hearing community members have access to critical information during emergencies and disasters in the State of Arizona."People in Arizona are at risk from a variety of hazards, including extreme heat, floods, and wildfire. More than 1,500 wildfires occur in Arizona each year.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Preventing Prescription Opioid Overdoses in New York State

Wed, 08 Aug 2018 09:00:00 EST

Like many states, New York is suffering from the consequences of the opioid overdose epidemic. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of overdoses due to both prescription and illicit drug use in recent years. Overdoses are killing people of all races and ages. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is coordinating statewide prevention interventions to save lives and prevent opioid overdoses.

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Public Health Matters Blog - 10 Health Literacy Tips for Reporting Data

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 09:00:00 EST

We live in a complex world. Just as humans have left an impact on the environment, the environment also leaves an impact on us. Being exposed to certain physical and social environmental factors, like chemicals in the water, secondhand smoke, or poverty, can affect our health.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 413 - Rising Numbers of Deaths Involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs, Including Carfentanil, and Increased Usage and Mixing with Non-opioids

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 13:00:00 EST

This Health Alert Network (HAN) Update is to alert public health departments, health care professionals, first responders, and medical examiners and coroners to important new developments in the evolving opioid overdose epidemic, which increasingly involves illicitly manufactured fentanyl and an array of potent fentanyl analogs (i.e., compounds that are chemically related to fentanyl). It is the second update to the original health advisory, HAN 384, issued October 26, 2015, which alerted the public to the increase in unintentional overdose fatalities involving fentanyl in multiple states, primarily driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The first update to this health advisory was released on August 25, 2016 (HAN 395), describing the sharp increase in the availability of counterfeit pills containing varying amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, the continued increase of overdose deaths involving fentanyl across a growing number of states, and the widening array of fentanyl analogs being mixed with heroin or sold as heroin.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Using Trauma-Informed Care to Guide Emergency Preparedness and Response

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 09:00:00 EST

Exposure to a traumatic event or set of circumstances can negatively affect a person's mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being for a long time after the initial incident. We know that not all individuals respond to trauma in the same way and we know that individuals with a history of trauma, especially childhood trauma, are more likely to experience psychological distress and are at increased risk for the development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with future exposure to trauma.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 412 - Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Infections among Persons Who Use Drugs and Persons Experiencing Homelessness

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 08:00:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments are investigating hepatitis A outbreaks in multiple states among persons reporting drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts. This Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory alerts public health departments, healthcare facilities, and programs providing services to affected populations about these outbreaks of hepatitis A infections and provides guidance to assist in identifying and preventing new infections.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 411 - Update - CDC Recommendations for Managing and Reporting Shigella Infections with Possible Reduced Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 07:00:00 EST

This Health Alert Network (HAN) Update provides current recommendations on management and reporting of Shigella infections that have been treated with ciprofloxacin or azithromycin and resulted in possible clinical treatment failure. This is a follow-up to HAN 401: CDC Recommendations for Diagnosing and Managing Shigella Strains with Possible Reduced Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin (

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Public Health Matters Blog - 5 Communication Lessons Learned from Hurricane Maria

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 00:00:00 EST

When Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, CDC assembled a team of experienced communicators who were flexible, bilingual, and culturally sensitive communicators. This group of experts prepared to deploy to Puerto Rico on short notice to support the communication needs of the Puerto Rico Health Department. I was asked to lead content development, and as a native Puerto Rican I did not hesitate to go home and help in any way I could.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 410 - Outbreak of Life-threatening Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids Use

Fri, 25 May 2018 11:30:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing information on: 1) the current status of a multistate outbreak of coagulopathy from exposure to synthetic cannabinoid products containing a vitamin K-dependent antagonist agent, such as brodifacoum; 2) signs and symptoms of presenting patients from this outbreak and which patients are at risk; 3) laboratory testing options that are available to help identify and classify cases; 4) available resources that may help clinicians make decisions; and 5) to whom to report possible cases.

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EPIC Insider - May 17, 2018: Family Communication Plans

Thu, 17 May 2018 10:00:00 EST

Family Communication Plans

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CDC Emergency Partners is now EPIC!

Tue, 08 May 2018 13:43:00 EST

CDC's Emergency Partners has recently undergone some exciting changes and as our priorities have evolved, so has our name. We are EPIC- Emergency Partners Information Connection ( Our new name reflects our goal of sharing information with and through partners to help people stay safer and healthier during a public health emergency.We hope you'll enjoy the new look of our newsletters and join us for upcoming webinars, including our webinar on May 22, Travelers' Health, Summer, 2018 (

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Public Health Matters Blog - 4 Tips to Stay Healthy Around Your Pet

Mon, 07 May 2018 09:00:00 EST

Pets, whether covered in fur, feathers, or scales, are an important part of our lives-most American households own at least one pet. Many people see their pet as a member of the family that brings joy and amusement to their life. But did you know that having a pet can even help improve your health? Having a pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness. Pets can also encourage you to be active and get outside, and provide opportunities to socialize.

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Travelers' Health Webinar on May 22 at 1 PM ET

Fri, 04 May 2018 15:39:00 EST

Please join us online on May 22, 2018, at 1 PM ET for a webinar on traveler safety. CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is joining the CDC EPIC team to explain how to prepare for the summer travel season, including diseases to look out for in different parts of the world, suggested vaccinations, and other health considerations.

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CERC Webinar TODAY at 2PM ET

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:00:00 EST

Don't keep this great resource to yourself! Please share it with your colleagues and networks. If you would like more information on Emergency Preparedness and Response, visit CDC's Emergency Preparedness & Response website:

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Mon, 30 Apr 2018 12:35:00 EST

Join us on May 1, 2018, 2:00-3:00 PM EST for the "Introduction to CERC" webinar.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Raising Awareness to Prevent Prescription Opioid Overdoses

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 09:00:00 EST

In 2016, 115 Americans died every day from an opioid overdose - that is more than 42,000 drug overdose deaths that involved an opioid including prescription opioids, heroin, and/or illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Prescription opioids (like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine) are prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but have serious risks and side effects.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Moving the Dial on Preparedness: CDC's 2018 National Snapshot

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:00:00 EST

Every year, CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response publishes the Public Health Preparedness and Response National Snapshot, an annual report that highlights the work of CDC and our partners. No matter the type, size, or cause of a public health emergency, we must work together to respond to the best of our ability.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Evaluating Communication Campaigns

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:00 EST

Health communication and marketing campaigns that promote positive behavior change are a cornerstone of public health and behavioral science. Designing and implementing quality campaigns on a tight budget and in an urgent timeframe is a challenge that most health communication professionals share. Research and evaluation are critical for a successful campaign. CDC is using leading research and evaluation methods to develop quality campaigns, while keeping costs low and sticking to tight timelines.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Assessing Community Needs in Real-time

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:57:00 EST

What if there was a way to evaluate the needs of a community after a natural disaster? Or understand a community's attitudes and beliefs about a specific public health behavior? Enter CASPER: Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, a tool for health departments and public health professionals to assess community needs in real-time.

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Public Health Matters Blog - 7 Ways to 'Be Gutsy' this March!

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 05:00:00 EST

Let's face it: your colon isn't exactly a dinner party topic. It takes a lot of guts to bring up colorectal cancer-to your parents, your spouse, your doctor, your friends. Don't be afraid to pipe up about the second-leading cancer killer of both men and women, because it's proven that simple steps save lives.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Shouting in the Dark: Emergency Communication in USVI After Irma and Maria

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 05:00:00 EST

Communication experts often say, "When you're communicating during an emergency, always think about what you'd say to your mom. What information would she need the most? How would you explain it to her? What would you need to know for sure before you told her? And just how far would you go to reach her?"When Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in September 2017, this wasn't just advice for Nykole Tyson. Nykole is the USVI Department of Health's (DOH's) Director of Public Relations. She serves as the DOH spokesperson and emergency communicator. Like all of USVI's responders and government officials, she is a survivor who was impacted by the storms. Nykole's home had water and roof damage and she was without water or power for four months. "I caught rain water in barrels and used solar lights sent to me by friends living stateside," Nykole said. She lived on a cot in her office in the DOH for several weeks between and after both storms. .The storms destroyed most of the territory's communication infrastructure, making both personal and mass communication nearly impossible. Nykole was unable to reach her own family for four days after the second hurricane. However, within hours of both storms, she was on the radio talking to her community about how to stay safe, find shelter, and stay strong. Nykole wasn't just talking to the public, she was talking to her neighbors, her community, her family, and even her mom.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Tackling eHealth Literacy

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 04:00:00 EDT

As I waited in the exam room on a recent visit to my doctor's office, I noticed there was a large wall display with an interactive screen. It resembled a smartphone and I could use the touchscreen to scroll and learn about various conditions, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and colon health. Each menu included signs and symptoms of illness, and information on diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The designs were bright, jargon was kept to a minimum and defined when used, and navigating was simple for routine smartphone users. The display also included short videos supporting the on-screen text."Great!" I thought, "But what about patients who don't have strong English skills or those who don't feel confident engaging with the display? How do they get the information if they don't directly ask for it?"

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Upcoming COCA Call: March 13, 2018: Coordinating Clinical and Public Health Responses to Opioid Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 04:00:00 EDT

The nonmedical use of prescription opioids and illicit opioids causes significant morbidity in the United States. The latest data indicate that rates of overdoses treated in emergency departments are rising across all regions and require a coordinated response between public health, clinicians, public safety, and community organizations. During this COCA call, clinicians will learn about the increases in opioid-related morbidity and steps clinicians can take in advancing protocols to reverse these trends.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Norovirus Illness is Messy - Clean Up Right Away

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 04:00:00 EDT

When norovirus strikes in your own home, you can be prepared by having the supplies you need to immediately clean up after a loved one vomits or has diarrhea.Norovirus is a tiny germ that spreads quickly and easily. It causes vomiting and diarrhea that come on suddenly. A very small amount of norovirus can make you sick. The number of virus particles that fit on the head of a pin is enough to infect over 1,000 people.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Rural America in Crisis: The Changing Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 04:00:00 EDT

In America, 15 out of 100 people live in a rural area. I loved growing up in a rural community, where there were actually no stop lights, everyone knew their neighbors, and doors were always open. But, my years of working in public health has taught me rural areas are not that different from urban areas when it comes to the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.The rate of drug overdose deaths in rural areas has surpassed rates in urban areas, and it is a huge public health concern. Understanding how rural areas are different when it comes to drug use and drug overdose deaths, including opioids, can help public health professionals identify, monitor, and prioritize their response to this epidemic.

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Public Health Matters Blog - ABCs of Viral Hepatitis

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:00:00 EDT

Viral hepatitis is the term that describes inflammation of the liver that is caused by a virus. There are actually five types of hepatitis viruses; each one is named after a letter in the alphabet: A, B, C, D and E.The most common types of viral hepatitis are A, B and C. These three viruses affect millions of people worldwide, causing both short-term illness and long-term liver disease. The World Health Organization estimates 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. In 2015, 1.34 million died from viral hepatitis, a number that is almost equal to the number of deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV combined.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Preparing to quit: 10 tips to help you quit smoking

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 04:00:00 EDT

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit during the Great American Smokeout. Most people who smoke want to quit, but they also know quitting is can take several attempts to succeed.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Everyone can be a flu vaccine advocate!

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 04:00:00 EDT

With the holidays quickly approaching, there will be more opportunities to spend time with family and friends. Now is the time to ensure that you and those around you are protected from flu. Now is the time to get your seasonal flu vaccine if you haven't already gotten it. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.-so it's important to get vaccinated now, before the flu begins circulating in your community.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Loving Someone With Epilepsy

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 05:00:00 EST

When Zayan first told me that he has epilepsy, I didn't believe him. "You mean seizures, right?" I was embarrassed at how much I didn't know.Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that triggers recurrent seizures. It can be caused by different conditions that affect a person's brain. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures that are not caused by another medical condition such as a high fever or low blood sugar.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Partner, Train, Respond: Increasing Global Emergency Management Capacity

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 05:00:00 EST

Countries in Africa are no strangers to major disease outbreaks that can result in illness and death of millions of people. In the past two years alone the continent has experienced infectious disease outbreaks of cholera, meningitis, Ebola Virus Disease, Lassa fever, and Yellow fever, and other public health emergencies such as drought and famine.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Halloween Rules of the Road

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 05:00:00 EST

Halloween is an exciting time for kids and adults - the delight of dressing up in a fun costume, all of the spooky decorations, and of course let's not forget the candy. Traditionally, kids trick-or-treat at night - going house-to-house in their costumes. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Children are at Trick-or-Treat Checklist: first aid kit, warm clothes, water, cell phone, emergency contact card, trick-or-treat route, reflective strips or tape, well-fitting costume, comfy shoes, flashlight or glow sticks, trick-or-treat baggreater risk of injury than adults because they are small, have trouble judging distances and speeds, and have little to no experience with traffic rules.

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New: Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 408 - Advice for Providers Treating Patients in or Recently Returned from Hurricane-Affected Areas, Including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:30:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with federal, state, territorial, and local agencies and global health partners in response to recent hurricanes. CDC is aware of media reports and anecdotal accounts of various infectious diseases in hurricane-affected areas, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (USVI). Because of compromised drinking water and decreased access to safe water, food, and shelter, the conditions for outbreaks of infectious diseases exist.The purpose of this HAN advisory is to remind clinicians assessing patients currently in or recently returned from hurricane-affected areas to be vigilant in looking for certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza. Additionally, this Advisory provides guidance to state and territorial health departments on enhanced disease reporting.

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New: Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 407 - Rifampin/Penicillin-Resistant Strain of RB51 Brucella Contracted from Consumption of Raw Milk

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:30:00 EST

The Texas Department of State Health Services, with assistance from CDC, is investigating Brucella RB51 exposures and illnesses that may be connected to the purchase and consumption of raw (unpasteurized) milk from K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas. Symptoms of brucellosis can include: fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache, fatigue, muscle & joint pain, and potentially more serious complications (e.g., swelling of heart, liver, or spleen, neurologic symptoms).

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New: Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 406 - Hurricane Harvey-Clinical Guidance for Carbon

Sat, 09 Sep 2017 17:30:00 EST

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if present in sufficient concentration in the ambient air. During a significant power outage, persons using alternative fuel or power sources such as generators or gasoline powered engine tools such as pressure washers might be exposed to toxic CO levels if the fuel or power sources are placed inside or too close to the exterior of the building causing CO to build up in the structure. The purpose of this HAN advisory is to remind clinicians evaluating persons affected by the storm to maintain a high index of suspicion for CO poisoning.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Empowering Kids to Make Their Families Safer

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 05:00:00 EST

After graduating from college I moved to Anchorage, Alaska for a year of post-graduate service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW and AmeriCorps. I served as the Preparedness and Casework Specialist for the American Red Cross of Alaska. Though often overlooked, Alaska is the largest state in the country (more than twice as big as Texas!) and has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined. While a large portion of the population lives in Anchorage, dozens of Native Alaskan villages are scattered all across the state, often hundreds of miles apart.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Beat the Heat at DragonCon

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 05:00:00 EST

"This is a bad idea," she said."No, it's cool. I have it all planned out," I replied."Yeah, I'm not so sure about that but ok..."The topic was my costume. The problem was the weather; namely that it was 90° F degrees outside with 85% humidity, making it feel closer to 100 degrees. I was covered from head to toe in clothing that, while not heavy, did not promote airflow. My only exposed body parts were my face and one of my hands. Unfortunately, both were painted red and covered with two layers of barrier spray to prevent sweating and make the makeup water resistant. I'd worked hard on my Hellboy cosplay and DragonCon was the reward for my six weeks of work."It'll be fine. What's the worst that can happen?" I said.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Safety Tips Every Contact Lens Wearer Should Know

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:00:00 EST

Are you one of the 45 million people in the United States who wear contact lenses to correct your vision? Eye infections related to improper contact lens wear and care are serious and can lead to long-lasting damage, but they are often preventable. Six out of seven adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 who wear contact lenses report at least one habit that increases their chances of an eye infection, including: · Not visiting an eye doctor at least once a year · Sleeping or napping while wearing contact lenses · Swimming while wearing contact lenses Parents of adolescents can model and encourage healthy contact lens wear and care habits so their children can develop and maintain healthy behaviors as young adults and adults.This year, in observance of Contact Lens Health Week, you can learn the science behind some of the important contact lens wear and care recommendations

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New: Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 405 - Increase in Reported cases of Cyclospora cayetanensis Infection, United States, Summer 2017

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:00:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State and Local Health Departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an increase in reported cases of cyclosporiasis. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities and to provide guidance to healthcare providers of the increase in reported cases. Please disseminate this information to healthcare providers in hospitals and emergency rooms, to primary care providers, and to microbiology laboratories.Healthcare providers should consider a diagnosis of cyclosporiasis in patients with prolonged or remitting-relapsing diarrheal illness. Testing for Cyclospora is not routinely done in most U.S. laboratories, even when stool is tested for parasites. Healthcare providers must specifically order testing for Cyclospora, whether testing is requested by ova and parasite (O&P) examination, by molecular methods, or by a gastrointestinal pathogen panel test. Cyclosporiasis is a nationally notifiable disease; healthcare providers should report suspect and confirmed cases of infection to public health authorities.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Predicting community resilience and recovery after a disaster

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 05:00:00 EST

After 9/11, I was asked by the Baltimore City Health Commissioner to help prepare the city for a radiation terrorism event, because my entire career up until that point had been in radiation-based medical imaging. I didn't know anything about public health preparedness at the time, but I found it very fulfilling to work with the city health department and other first responders, especially fire and police. Public health preparedness science and research is more than multi-disciplinary, it's trans-disciplinary, which is what makes it fun.

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Public Health Matters Blog - You are what you eat...and so is your baby

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 05:00:00 EST

"As a mother of a baby born in 1973 when nobody was breastfeeding, I didn't know why, but I instinctively knew breastfeeding was the best thing to do." After my first son was born, I went back to school to become a nurse. During my interview I said, "I'm not interested in sick people, but I want to work with new moms and babies." So, I worked in labor and delivery for 10 years. During my time on the labor and delivery floor I dedicated all of my free time to helping new mothers initiate breastfeeding. I realized this was my true passion, so I became a certified lactation consultant and have been helping mothers and babies ever since.Today, I want to share four things you might not know about breastfeeding.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Pediatrics and Public Health: Working Together to Prepare for Emergencies

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:00:00 EST

Did you know that one in four people in the United States are children? Children represent a considerable portion of our population and they are among our nation's most vulnerable citizens. When a public health emergency or disaster strikes, children are often the most severely affected.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Step it up outdoors

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 05:00:00 EST

Physical activity can improve your health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students. Walking is an easy way to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle, and parks are a great place to start.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Avoid Food Poisoning During Summer Picnics

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 05:00:00 EST

When I think about summer picnics, I think about family. I think about my cousins, aunts, uncles, kids running around, a pavilion, and an enormous buffet table loaded with delicious food. The quantity of side dishes and desserts is exceeded only by the number of dad jokes we're forced to endure. Since I've been working with foodborne disease, I've made a point to share tips with family members who are preparing food so we can avoid getting sick from food poisoning.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 404 - Patients Receiving Eculizumab (Soliris®) at High Risk for Invasive Meningococcal Disease Despite Vaccination

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:00:00 EST

Eculizumab (Soliris®) recipients have a 1,000 to 2,000-fold greater risk of invasive meningococcal disease compared to the general U.S. population. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescribing information for eculizumab includes a black box warning for increased risk of meningococcal disease, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends meningococcal vaccination for all patients receiving eculizumab. Recent data show that some patients receiving eculizumab who were vaccinated with the recommended meningococcal vaccines still developed meningococcal disease, most often from nongroupable Neisseria meningitidis, which rarely causes invasive disease in healthy individuals.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Prepare to be patriotic!

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 05:00:00 EST

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate Uncle Sam, enjoy the summer weather, and spend time with family and friends. Keep these five things in mind as you plan your 4th of July celebration.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Teaching skills that save lives

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:00:00 EST

We observed CPR and AED Awareness Week ( at the beginning of June. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Stacy Thorne, a health scientist in the Office of Smoking and Health, who is also a certified first aid, CPR and AED instructor.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Keep your pets safe in an emergency: 5 things to know

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:00:00 EST

Emergencies come in many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of extreme weather or a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet?

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Public Health Matters Blog - "Surviving" Dadhood: A Practical Guide

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 05:00:00 EST

Sunday is Father's Day-a holiday that is less exciting to my daughter than National Lollipop Day on July 21. Then again, she's only two.Though I am still learning how to be a father, I've made some observations worth sharing. Yes, there are dads out there who have parented for longer, but I also know that every parent has a unique perspective. Mine happens to be influenced by years of work in emergency preparedness. Allow me to expand on some lessons I've learned.

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Public Health Matters Blog - June is National Safety Month - Stand up to Falls

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:00:00 EST

June brings summer to our doorstep, along with National Safety Month. This year's theme encourages us to "Keep Each Other Safe." One of the best ways to keep each other safe is to "Stand Up to Falls."

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Public Health Matters Blog - Why Diarrhea & Swimming Don't Mix

Tue, 30 May 2017 05:00:00 EST

The summer swim season is here, and millions of Americans will be flocking to local pools for fun in the sun and exercise. However, swimming, like any form of exercise, does not come without health risks. The good news is that we can all take a few simple but effective steps to help keep ourselves and other swimmers we know healthy and safe.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Think it's a stroke? 4 reasons it's better to call 9-1-1 than drive yourself to the hospital

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:00:00 EST

Stroke-also called a "brain attack"-can happen to anyone at any time. On average one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes. Most strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked, causing brain cells to die. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of long-term disability.Your best chance for surviving a stroke and having a full recovery is getting to the hospital quickly. But did you know that 1 in 3 stroke patients doesn't call an ambulance? Instead, they may not recognize they're having a stroke, try to wait to see if their symptoms go away, or may try to drive themselves or have another person drive them to the emergency room. All of these things actually increases your risk for disability and death.

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COCA Call: May. 24: Potential for Falsely Low Blood Lead Test Results from LeadCare® Analyzers

Fri, 19 May 2017 08:00:00 EST

On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication warning about the use of Magellan Diagnostics' LeadCare® analyzers with venous blood samples because they might result in falsely low test results. FDA is now advising that Magellan Diagnostics' LeadCare® analyzers should no longer be used with venous blood samples. The safety alert does not apply to capillary blood lead test results collected by fingerstick or heelstick. During this COCA call, clinicians will learn the importance of lead testing for children and pregnant or lactating women, which patients may be impacted, and CDC's recommendations for re-testing.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 403 - Potential for Falsely Low Blood Lead Test Results from LeadCare® Analyzers

Wed, 17 May 2017 05:00:00 EST

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety communication warning about the use of Magellan Diagnostics' LeadCare® analyzers (LeadCare, LeadCare II, LeadCare Ultra and LeadCare Plus) with venous blood samples because they might result in falsely low test results. FDA is now advising that Magellan Diagnostics' LeadCare® analyzers should no longer be used with venous blood samples. The safety alert does not apply to capillary blood lead test results collected by fingerstick or heelstick. The purpose of this Health Advisory is to notify state and local health departments, healthcare providers, and laboratories about CDC's re-testing guidance in light of the safety alert.

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Public Health Matters Blog - National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 7-13, 2017): It Only Takes One!

Mon, 08 May 2017 05:00:00 EST

As the saying goes, "all politics are local." The same goes for hurricanes. A busy hurricane season is not just defined by the total number of hurricanes in a season, but rather if any hurricane hits your local community. It only takes one. This mantra provides the impetus every May for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners to participate in the National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The goal of National Hurricane Preparedness Week is to motivate communities, businesses, and individuals to know their risks, take steps to prepare, and encourage their loved ones, neighbors, and social network to do the same.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 402 - Prolonged IgM Antibody Response in People Infected with Zika Virus: Implications for Interpreting Serologic Testing Results for Pregnant Women

Fri, 05 May 2017 07:30:00 EST

In July 2016, CDC issued Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women with Possible Zika Virus Exposure - United States, July 2016 ( that includes Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) testing of pregnant women. However, some flavivirus infections can result in prolonged IgM responses (>12 weeks) that make it difficult to determine the timing of infection, especially in testing of asymptomatic people. Emerging epidemiologic and laboratory data indicate that Zika virus IgM can persist beyond 12 weeks in a subset of infected people. Therefore, detection of IgM may not always indicate a recent infection. Although IgM persistence could affect IgM test interpretation for all infected people, it would have the greatest effect on clinical management of pregnant women with a history of living in or traveling to areas with Zika virus transmission. Pregnant women who test positive for IgM antibody may have been infected with Zika virus and developed an IgM response before conception.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Autism and Preparedness

Mon, 01 May 2017 05:00:00 EST

There is a new neighbor on Sesame Street ( Her name is Julia and she's helping dispel decades-old stereotypes about autism. Julia is a little girl with autism and her move to "where the air is sweet" coincided with April being Autism Awareness Month. Our new neighbor is helping us think about the challenges of parenting a child of autism. One of those challenges is preparing children with special needs for public health emergencies.

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Public Health Matters Blog - What's in an environment?

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:00:00 EST

Every year, more than 193 countries celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. Earth Day reminds all of us of our personal and collective responsibility to preserve and protect the environment. Protecting the environment also helps us protect our health.The word "environment" means different things for different people. For some the environment is the natural world-mountains, forests, rivers, oceans, animals, and the air around us. Others think of "tree huggers," the green movement, or the motto "Reduce, reuse, recycle." But everything in the world around us is part of the environment - it is the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil beneath our feet, and much more. When environments are polluted or contaminated, they can cause harmful health effects in people.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 401 - CDC Recommendations for Diagnosing and Managing Shigella Strains with Possible Reduced Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:00 EST

This Health Advisory describes the identification of emerging Shigella strains with elevated minimum inhibitory concentration values for ciprofloxacin and outlines new recommendations for clinical diagnosis, management, and reporting, as well as new recommendations for laboratories and public health officials. Current interpretive criteria provided by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) categorize these strains as susceptible to ciprofloxacin, which is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and a key agent in the management of Shigella infections.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Battling Biting Mosquitoes and Jumping Genes in 2016

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 05:00:00 EST

Last year, an expert from the CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (NCEZID) found himself in an unlikely position: guest starring on a popular Navajo language radio program to field questions about hantavirus infection. Hantavirus is caused by contact with mouse droppings and can sometimes be fatal.

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Public Health Matters Blog - 10 Ways CDC Gets Ready For Emergencies

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 05:00:00 EST

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to learn from a wide range of experiences. We have an obligation to not only respond to emergencies today, but to prepare for tomorrow by learning from the past. Our work extends to households affected by disease, communities ravaged by disasters, and U.S. territories battling new and changing threats. In fact, all over the world - we try to get ahead of, and manage, complex responses that touch many lives through ever changing circumstances. In an ideal world the health in every community would be at a level that would make recovery and reliance easier. The reality is that emergencies happen in all kinds of environments and populations.

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Public Health Matters Blog - 5 Spring Safety Tips Brought to You By Adorable Animals

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 05:00:00 EST

Spring is in the air, and that means warmer weather, blooming flowers...and the potential for extreme weather conditions (! Some of our favorite animals remind us of what steps we can take to keep ourselves safe if bad weather strikes.Mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders, such as anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and learning problems, often begin in early childhood and can affect life-long health and well-being. Children with these disorders face challenges at home, at school, and with friends. About 1 in 7 US children aged 2-8 years have a mental, behavioral, and/or developmental disorder reported by a parent.

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Public Health Matters Blog - How We Can Help Children In Rural Communities Thrive

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 05:00:00 EST

When children grow up in a safe and nurturing home environment, have opportunities to learn, and time to interact and build relationships with other children, they are more likely to reach their full potential. This is especially true for children with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders.Mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders, such as anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and learning problems, often begin in early childhood and can affect life-long health and well-being. Children with these disorders face challenges at home, at school, and with friends. About 1 in 7 US children aged 2-8 years have a mental, behavioral, and/or developmental disorder reported by a parent.

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Public Health Matters Blog - John Snow: A Legacy of Disease Detectives

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 05:00:00 EST

London, 1854: A cramped Soho neighborhood teems with people and animals living in cramped and dirty quarters. A deadly outbreak of cholera is spreading. Doctors and scientists believe it's caused by "miasma," or bad air. They theorize that particles from rotting matter and waste are getting into the air and making people sick.Enter John Snow. An accomplished physician, he becomes convinced that something other than the air might be responsible for the illness. Through carefully mapping the outbreak, he finds that everyone affected has a single connection in common: they have all retrieved water from the local Broad Street pump.

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Public Health Matters Blog - How CDC Is Using Advanced Molecular Detection Technology To Better Fight Flu!

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 04:00:00 EDT

Flu (influenza) is a serious disease caused by influenza viruses. Flu viruses change constantly. They are among the fastest mutating viruses known. These changes can impact how well the flu vaccine works, or can also result in the emergence of new influenza viruses against which people have no preexisting immunity, triggering a pandemic. Year round, scientists from CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners monitor the influenza viruses that are infecting people. These scientists study the viruses in the laboratory to see how they are changing.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Stockpile Expert Helps Responders Prepare for Emergencies

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 04:00:00 EDT

In the United States, most of us take it for granted that if we need medicine - cough syrup, aspirin, or even most antibiotics - we can just run down to the pharmacy and get it. That's because our medical supply chain - the series of organizations, companies, and systems that make sure those shelves are stocked - works well. In an emergency, we even have a stockpile of medicines ( on hand and people with the skills and resources to deliver it anywhere in the United States within 12 hours.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Tips to Protect Yourself from Norovirus

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 04:00:00 EDT

If you haven't ever been sick with norovirus, chances are you will. Most people will get sick with norovirus several times during their life.The symptoms of norovirus can be miserable and include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea, and stomach pain. Most people who get sick with the virus get better within 1 to 3 days, but it can lead to dehydration or more serious illness, especially in young children and older adults.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Behind the Clipboard: Adventures of a Lab Inspector

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 04:00:00 EDT

You might think being a laboratory inspector is a boring job - the kind of work that's suited to glasses-wearing, clipboard-carrying types who hate adventure and love enforcing rules. However, during a recent sit-down with a small group of CDC inspectors, I discovered their jobs are anything but dull.Select agents are biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal or plant products. CDC's Division of Select Agents and Toxins regulates those labs that handle germs and poisons that can cause disease in humans.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Feb. 16: 2016-2017 Influenza Season Activity and Recommendations for Clinicians

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 07:00:00 EDT

Influenza activity in the United States began to increase in early December, remained elevated through mid-January, and is expected to continue for several more weeks. Influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been most common this season, and influenza A(H3N2)-predominant seasons are often associated with more severe illness, particularly among young children and people 65 years and older.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Don't Skip A Beat: Prepare for Heart Attacks

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 04:00:00 EDT

Preparing for a potential heart attack now could save a life later.A crisis often strikes without warning, whether it's a tornado, an earthquake, or a heart attack. Although heart attacks can happen suddenly, you can take steps now to prepare in case one should ever happen to you or a loved one. February is American Heart Month, a perfect time to ask yourself, "Would I know what to do in the event of a heart attack?"

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 400 - Investigation of Seoul Virus Outbreak Associated with Home-based, Rat-breeding Facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:00:00 EDT

CDC and health officials from Wisconsin and Illinois are conducting an investigation of Seoul virus infections among pet rats and persons exposed to rats at rat-breeding facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois. Seoul virus is a member of the hantavirus group of rodent-borne viruses. Trace-back and trace-out investigations of possibly infected rodents have identified distribution chains in other states that may require additional investigations. People who become infected with this virus often exhibit relatively mild or no symptoms, but some will develop a form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) with death in approximately 1-2% of HFRS cases. Although serologic studies have indicated the presence of Seoul virus in wild rats in the United States, this is the first known outbreak associated with pet rats in the United States.

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Public Health Matters Blog - How Much Radon is In Your Home?

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:00:00 EDT

Knowing how much radon is in your home could save your life. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. If you smoke and live in a home with high radon levels, you increase your risk of developing lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General's office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Looking Back: 5 Big Lessons from 2016

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 04:00:00 EDT

CDC is always there - before, during, and after emergencies - and 2016 was no exception. Through it all, we've brought you the best and latest science-based information on being prepared and staying safe. Here's a look back at 5 big lessons from a very eventful year. Follow the links to discover the full stories!

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 399 - CDC Guidance for Travel and Testing of Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age for Zika Virus Infection Related to the Investigation for Local Mosquito-borne Zika Virus Transmission in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 12:57:00 EDT

On November 28, 2016, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) reported the first case of locally acquired mosquito-borne Zika virus infection in the city of Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. On December 9, 2016, four additional cases in people living in proximity to the first case were reported. TDSHS continues to investigate Zika virus transmission in Brownsville.

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Public Health Matters Blog - My Daughter Died From a Vaccine Preventable Disease

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 04:00:00 EDT

Scarlet Anne Taylor was only 5 when she became sick with the flu and was sent home from school in December 2014. Two days later, Scarlet was admitted to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing. Once admitted, her condition only seemed to worsen. Four hours after bringing her daughter to the hospital, her mother, Rebecca Hendricks, learned that she had died of complications from flu. "My daughter died from a vaccine preventable disease," Rebecca recounts.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Dec. 13: Effectively Communicating with Patients about Opioid Therapy

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:00 EDT

Effective communication between patient and provider is critical when initiating opioid therapy. Often providers will need to adjust prescribing practices and motivate patients to stay committed to the changes. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn how to apply principles of motivational interviewing and a six-step process that is patient-centered and supports clinical judgment when conflict arises. Presenters will review two case studies in which they will apply communication strategies, and provide examples of patient-provider dialogue.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Dec. 8: Gearing up for the Travel Season: How Clinicians can Ensure Their Patients are Packed with Knowledge on Zika Prevention

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:00:00 EDT

Throughout this holiday season, many clinicians will see patients who plan to travel or have recently traveled to areas with active Zika transmission. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about current CDC travel recommendations, how to determine which patients should receive Zika testing after traveling to an area with Zika, and the recommendations for patients before and after travel to help them protect themselves and others from Zika.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Dec. 6: Risk Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Opioid Overdoses

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 05:05:00 EDT

When prescribing opioids, risk mitigation strategies can be an effective way to reduce abuse and overdose. Strategies described in CDC's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain include reviewing prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data, urine drug testing (UDT), and co-prescribing naloxone. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about steps they can take when concerning information is discovered through PDMP checks or UDT. Presenters will review how to evaluate factors that increase risk for opioid overdose and how to determine when co-prescribing naloxone would be beneficial. In addition, a case study of a 46-year-old man with chronic low back pain, on high-dose opioid, will be presented to illustrate how PDMP and UDT results and medical evaluation can be used for opioid treatment decision-making.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Updated CDC Zika Laboratory Testing Guidance

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 09:45:00 EDT

CDC and several state and local health departments are testing for Zika virus. Every day, CDC learns more about Zika. CDC has recently released revised Zika virus laboratory testing guidance. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about the updated recommendations in CDC's Guidance for U.S. Laboratories Testing for Zika Virus Infection and understand their role in testing specimens collected from patients. In addition, subject matter experts from CDC, the American Society for Microbiology, and the Association of Public Health Laboratories will discuss changes to the CDC Trioplex Real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) Assay Emergency Use Authorization, examine the use of non-CDC developed assays, and review recommendations for plaque reduction neutralization testing in Puerto Rico.

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Public Health Matters Blog - 5 Holiday Tips for a Home Safe Home

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:00:00 EDT

As the season of togetherness rolls in, regular routines roll out. You do things you don't normally do: decorating, cooking, hosting guests (and their germs), or playing a pick-up game of football in the backyard. As you channel your inner Julia Child, Aaron Rodgers, or Martha Stewart in preparation for your holiday gatherings, here are five things you should remember.

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Upcoming COCA Call: Assessment and Evidence-based Treatments for Opioid Use Disorder

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 04:00:00 EDT

One substantial risk associated with prescribing opioids for chronic pain is opioid use disorder (OUD). This disorder is associated with specific criteria, such as unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use, as well as use resulting in social problems and a failure to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home. During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about OUD diagnosis criteria, evidence-based treatment options, and patient education techniques. Presenters will use actual case studies to illustrate how clinicians can use recommendations from the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to select OUD evidence-based treatment options such as medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine or methadone in combination with behavioral therapies.

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Public Health Matters Blog - This Is a Test: Georgia Practices for Bioterrorist Threats

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 04:00:00 EDT

It is November 2015, and Georgia's emergency personnel are preparing to respond to an outbreak of plague ('t worry, it's not the real plague. This is only a test. No one is actually sick or in any danger. But what if it were real?Armed with the knowledge that practice makes perfect, the Georgia Department of Public Health is conducting a statewide exercise to test its systems and practice responding to a large-scale public health emergency. In this case, the state is simulating a bioterrorist attack involving an intentional release of the communicable Category A biological agent Yersinia pestis, commonly known as plague. It is a giant effort involving the entire state: all 18 regional emergency operations centers are activating, and they are working closely with CDC.It's all pretend, but for those participating, the exercise is very real. There are real phone calls and real trucks and drivers delivering real pallets of materials with real bottles (of pretend medicine). Each pallet and bottle has a real lot number for tracking. Real people - volunteers - will test their ability to dispense medicine quickly in every corner of the state. It's a critical part of being ready to save lives in case of a bioterrorist attack.

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Public Health Matters Blog - This is Your Brain on Emergencies

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:00:00 EDT

There's a fire in your building. Your plane is about to crash. A woman beside you on the street suddenly collapses.What do you do?Well, that depends. Every one of us is at risk for these kinds of unexpected intrusions into our day-to-day lives. What you do about it depends on whether or not you're prepared - not just physically, but also mentally.In any situation, some things are likely to be out of your control: the size of the fire; who's flying the plane; what's wrong with the woman. Some things, however, are up to you. Being aware of how you might react can go a long way toward making a bad situation better.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Tips on Cleaning Mold After a Flood

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 05:00:00 EST

Returning to your home after a flood is a big part of getting your life back to normal. But you may be facing a new challenge: mold. What can you do to get rid of it? How do you get the mold out of your home and stay safe at the same time? CDC has investigated floods, mold, and cleanup, and offers practical tips for homeowners and others on how to safely and efficiently remove mold from the home.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Don't Be Scared, Be Prepared!

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

Jack-o'-lanterns glow on the front porch. Children wait anxiously in their costumes, ready to go house-to-house collecting buckets of treats. For kids (and, yes, adults too), Halloween can be a time of excitement and imagination. But as a parent, you need to protect your little ones from some very real dangers. What if they get separated from you? Are they prepared to safely cross the street? Did you remind them to not eat the candy before you check it?

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Public Health Matters Blog - How We Decide What to Say in Emergencies

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

A few years ago, there was an outbreak of Salmonella ( infections among people who ate peanut butter and products containing peanut paste, like crackers and cookies. People were scared. They needed to know which products were affected. Were they in their grocery store, or worse, already in their kitchen? They also needed facts about Salmonella infection: what are the symptoms, and how dangerous is it?Fact: You can't protect your health if you don't know what to do and how to do it.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 398 - CDC Updates Guidance for Pregnant Women and Women and Men of Reproductive Age for Zika Virus Infection Related to the Ongoing Investigation of Local Mosquito-borne Zika Virus Transmission in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:00:00 EST

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously issued travel, testing, and other guidance related to areas of active Zika virus transmission in Florida. Because local transmission of Zika virus continues to be reported in Miami-Dade County, CDC is strengthening travel recommendations for pregnant women to Miami-Dade County and also reinforcing recommendations for use of protective measures to prevent exposure to Zika. CDC is updating recommendations to emphasize testing for pregnant women with an epidemiologic link to Miami-Dade County. An epidemiologic link means that they lived in, traveled to, or had unprotected sex with someone who lived in or traveled to, the designated area. In addition, CDC has made specific recommendations for areas of identified active transmission.

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Public Health Matters Blog - After Matthew: The Hidden Dangers of Hurricanes

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

The thrashing winds have died down. Relentless rain has ceased. The clouds have cleared and the sun is shining. But this is no time to let your guard down.Last week, Hurricane Matthew pounded its way through the Caribbean before bearing down on the eastern U.S. coastline from Florida to North Carolina. Many lives and homes were tragically lost. But not all of the death and destruction happens during the storm itself. The aftermath is a treacherous time, with still-rising floodwaters, power outages, breaks in healthcare services, and increased risks for injury or illness. The mental and physical toll of a hurricane continues to mount even as it dispels and fades off into the ocean. We must remember that, although the storm has passed, danger remains present

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Public Health Matters Blog - Five Things You Might Not Know About Washing Your Hands

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to the people around you. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not cleaning your hands properly ( Here are five important things you might not know about washing your hands and why it matters.

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2016 Hurricane Matthew - CDC International Response

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 04:00:00 EST

Category 4 Hurricane Matthew struck the south-west coast of Haiti at 0700 local time (1200 GMT) on 4 October. Wind speeds of 230km/h were recorded, causing widespread damage, flooding and displacement. The most affected departments are Grand Anse, South, Nippes and South East, where heavy floods were recorded. West and North West departments were also affected. The government of Haiti has issued a Red Alert and the Haiti National Emergency Operation Center has been activated. Estimates are that over 2 million people could be affected.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 397 - CDC Advises Hospitals to Alert Patients at Risk from Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices Used during Cardiac Surgery

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:00:00 EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising hospitals to notify patients who underwent open-heart (open-chest) surgery involving a Stöckert 3T heater-cooler that the device was potentially contaminated, possibly putting patients at risk for a life threatening infection. New information indicates that these devices, manufactured by LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH), were likely contaminated with the rare bacteria Mycobacterium chimaera during manufacturing. Hospitals should advise potentially exposed patients to seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms such as night sweats, muscle aches, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or unexplained fever. In addition, hospitals that use or have used this device are strongly encouraged to make and execute a plan to communicate with potentially exposed patients and to increase awareness among healthcare providers.

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Public Health Matters Blog - A Safe Community Starts With You

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

The minutes, hours, and days immediately following a disaster are the most critical for saving lives. In times of crisis, local communities are first to respond. It's up to each of us to make sure our communities are resilient and can bounce back from disaster. We do this by being prepared to help ourselves and those around us.

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Public Health Matters Blog - Protect Your Child this Flu Season: Get a Flu Shot!

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 05:00:00 EST

As fall approaches, cold weather isn't the only thing you and your family need to prepare for. Flu season is on its way, and it will be here before you know it. Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are protected from flu by getting your flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

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