Categories: U.S. Disease Outbreaks
June 3rd, 2014 3:55 pm ET -
Norovirus often gets a lot of attention for outbreaks on cruise ships, but those account for only about 1 percent of all reported norovirus outbreaks. Most norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food occur in food service settings such as restaurants and catering or banquet facilities, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infected food workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands. The Vital Signs report provides key recommendations to help the food service industry prevent norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food. The recommendations, which underscore provisions in the Food and Drug Administration model Food Code and CDC Guidelines include:
- Wash hands carefully and often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid preparing food for others while sick.
- Report suspected illness from food to your local health department.CDC’s analysis looked at which foods were commonly implicated in norovirus outbreaks. Of 324 outbreaks with a specific food item implicated, more than 90 percent were contaminated during final preparation (such as making a sandwich with raw and already cooked ingredients) and 75 percent were foods eaten raw. Leafy vegetables, fruits, and mollusks, such as oysters, were the most common single food categories implicated in these outbreaks.
CDC analyzed norovirus outbreak data reported by state, local, and territorial health departments from 2009 to 2012 through CDC’s National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS).
What can everyone do to stop norovirus outbreaks?
- Wash hands carefully and often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid preparing food for others while sick.
- Report suspected illness from food to your local health department.
For more information read the Vital Signs report.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
May 7th, 2014 2:50 pm ET -
Did you know that more than 21 million US working age adults (between 18 and 64) have a disability? Adults with disabilities are 3 times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer. The best way to avoid these chronic diseases is through aerobic physical activity, and most activities may be modified, adapted, to get everyone physically active, shows a new CDC Vital Signs report.
Nearly half of adults with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity. Yet adults with disabilities do follow healthcare provider guidance.
“Physical activity is key to better health for people of all abilities and all ages,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Too many of the more than 21 million US adults with disabilities don’t get aerobic physical activity, but we can change that. Doctors can play an important role. Our research has found that adults with disabilities were more than 80 percent more likely to be physically active if a doctor recommended it.”
Take a look at key findings of the CDC Vital Signs report:
- Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer than adults without disabilities.
- Inactive adults with disabilities were 50 percent more likely to report at least one chronic condition than were active adults with disabilities.
- Nearly half of all adults with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity, an important protective health behavior to help avoid these chronic diseases.
- Adults with disabilities were 82 percent more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it.
Doctors and other health professionals can recommend physical activity options that match the abilities of adults with disabilities and resources that can help overcome barriers to physical activity. These barriers include limited information about accessible facilities and programs; physical barriers in the built or natural environment; physical or emotional barriers to participating in fitness and recreation activities, and lack of training in accessibility and communication among fitness and recreation professionals.
For this report, CDC analyzed data from the 2009-2012 National Health Interview Survey, specifically looking at the link between physical activity levels and chronic diseases among US adults aged 18-64 years with disabilities, by disability status and type. Adults with disabilities have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs; hearing; seeing; or concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
March 20th, 2014 11:49 am ET -
Yellow-green fluorescence of Clostridium difficile (or C.diff)
Antibiotics save lives, but poor prescribing practices are putting patients at unnecessary risk for preventable allergic reactions, super-resistant infections, and deadly diarrhea. Errors in prescribing practices also contribute to antibiotic resistance, making these drugs less likely to work in the future. Because we’ve used antibiotics so widely and for so long, the infectious organisms antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them and made the drugs less effective. Over time, if we don’t use antibiotics correctly, we’ll lose them.
“Part of [CDC’s] role is to sound the alarm about health threats and do whatever we can to address those threats,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., “As an infectious disease doctor myself, I recall running out of antibiotic options for my patients, and I don’t want to see that kind of situation spread in this country.”
Antibiotic resistance is already a serious problem in U.S. healthcare. Each year in the United States, more than 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 people die as a result.
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Categories: Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
January 24th, 2014 12:38 pm ET -
Image above: Digitally-colorized image of a collection of influenza A virions. The predominant influenza A virus this year is H1N1.
Every season, flu causes on average 200,000 Americans to go to the hospital and kills thousands to tens of thousands of people depending on the severity of the season. Because flu is unpredictable, each season is different. That’s why CDC works hard to protect people by tracking flu every season. CDC identifies where flu viruses are circulating, those that are most affected by this season’s viruses, and communicates that information to the public.
Here are some things to know about the 2013-2014 flu season so far and steps you can take to protect yourself from flu.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Global Health Threats, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
December 17th, 2013 2:03 pm ET -
As the year comes to a close, CDC, America’s health protection agency, looks back at top five health concerns in 2013 and previews the five health threats that loom for 2014.
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC increases the health security of our nation year in and year out.
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