Public Health
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. (What is Public Health? Association of Schools of Public Health )

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Americans More Likely to Avoid Drinking Soda Than Before
July 28, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they avoid soda in their diet, while more than half say they avoid sugar. Meanwhile, more than nine in 10 Americans claim they try to include fruits (92%) or vegetables (93%) in their diet — slightly more than said this previously.
These data are from a July 7-10 Gallup poll that asked Americans about their consumption habits. Americans have become increasingly wary of drinking soda since Gallup began asking them about their dietary choices in 2002. At that time, only 41% said they actively tried to avoid soda, a percentage that has now jumped to 63%.
Studies continue to reveal the adverse health effects of consuming soda, and high-profile attempts to ban the purchase of large individual servings of soda or to tax it have apparently raised Americans’ consciousness about drinking it, even if closer to half still consume the beverage. At this point, 13% of Americans say they don’t think about soda intake, down from 24% a decade ago.
(From Gallup)

Americans More Likely to Avoid Drinking Soda Than Before

July 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they avoid soda in their diet, while more than half say they avoid sugar. Meanwhile, more than nine in 10 Americans claim they try to include fruits (92%) or vegetables (93%) in their diet — slightly more than said this previously.

These data are from a July 7-10 Gallup poll that asked Americans about their consumption habits. Americans have become increasingly wary of drinking soda since Gallup began asking them about their dietary choices in 2002. At that time, only 41% said they actively tried to avoid soda, a percentage that has now jumped to 63%.

Studies continue to reveal the adverse health effects of consuming soda, and high-profile attempts to ban the purchase of large individual servings of soda or to tax it have apparently raised Americans’ consciousness about drinking it, even if closer to half still consume the beverage. At this point, 13% of Americans say they don’t think about soda intake, down from 24% a decade ago.

(From Gallup)

nprglobalhealth:

Taliban In Pakistan Derails World Polio Eradication
Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door-to-door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.
"Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn’t understand why he was taking out the gun," Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.
"But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life," she says. "My first thought was that I won’t be able to see my children again."
Jaffar was shot four times: twice in her arm and twice in her chest. She spent the next three weeks in an intensive care unit.
Three of her colleagues weren’t as fortunate and died in the attack. They are among the more than 60 polio workers who have been killed since the Pakistani Taliban banned polio immunization in 2012.
Today the militant group continues to threaten to kill not only vaccinators, but also parents who get their children immunized. That threat has had a chilling effect on anti-polio efforts nationwide. And it completely halted vaccination drives in some Taliban-controlled areas. It’s in these places that the crippling virus has come roaring back — and threatened to stymie global efforts to wipe out polio.
The worldwide campaign to eradicate polio has been going on for more than two decades. It has cost more than $10 billion. Now the success of the campaign hinges on whether Pakistan can control the virus.
At its peak in the 1950s, polio paralyzed about 350,000 people a year around the world. This year, so far, there have been only 128 cases recorded. Ninety-nine of them have been in Pakistan. And the South Asian nation is the only country in the world where the number of polio cases is rising significantly.
Continue reading.
Photo: A health worker gives a child the polio vaccine in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. More than a quarter million children in Taliban-controlled areas are likely to miss their immunizations. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

nprglobalhealth:

Taliban In Pakistan Derails World Polio Eradication

Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door-to-door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.

"Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn’t understand why he was taking out the gun," Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.

"But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life," she says. "My first thought was that I won’t be able to see my children again."

Jaffar was shot four times: twice in her arm and twice in her chest. She spent the next three weeks in an intensive care unit.

Three of her colleagues weren’t as fortunate and died in the attack. They are among the more than 60 polio workers who have been killed since the Pakistani Taliban banned polio immunization in 2012.

Today the militant group continues to threaten to kill not only vaccinators, but also parents who get their children immunized. That threat has had a chilling effect on anti-polio efforts nationwide. And it completely halted vaccination drives in some Taliban-controlled areas. It’s in these places that the crippling virus has come roaring back — and threatened to stymie global efforts to wipe out polio.

The worldwide campaign to eradicate polio has been going on for more than two decades. It has cost more than $10 billion. Now the success of the campaign hinges on whether Pakistan can control the virus.

At its peak in the 1950s, polio paralyzed about 350,000 people a year around the world. This year, so far, there have been only 128 cases recorded. Ninety-nine of them have been in Pakistan. And the South Asian nation is the only country in the world where the number of polio cases is rising significantly.

Continue reading.

Photo: A health worker gives a child the polio vaccine in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. More than a quarter million children in Taliban-controlled areas are likely to miss their immunizations. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

(From CDC)
Ebola since 1976
Ebola outbreak: Liberia shuts most border points
Most border crossings in Liberia have been closed and communities hit by an Ebola outbreak face quarantine to try to halt the spread of the virus.
Screening centres are also being set up at the few major entry points that will remain open, such as the main airport.
Meanwhile, Nigeria largest’s airline, Arik Air, has suspended all flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone after a man with Ebola flew to Nigeria last week.
The virus has killed at least 660 people in West Africa since February.
The outbreak began in southern Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is the world’s deadliest so far.
Nigeria has put all its entry points on red alert after confirming that a Liberian man died of Ebola after arriving at Lagos airport on Tuesday.
Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.
It spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
Arik Air said it took the decision to halt flights as a precautionary measure and called for all inbound flights to Nigeria from Ebola-affected countries to be suspended.
"We feel especially compelled to take the business decision to immediately suspend flight services into the two Ebola affected countries due to our interest in the well-being of Nigerians," the airline, which operates routes across West Africa, said in a statement.
(More from BBC)

Ebola since 1976

Ebola outbreak: Liberia shuts most border points

Most border crossings in Liberia have been closed and communities hit by an Ebola outbreak face quarantine to try to halt the spread of the virus.

Screening centres are also being set up at the few major entry points that will remain open, such as the main airport.

Meanwhile, Nigeria largest’s airline, Arik Air, has suspended all flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone after a man with Ebola flew to Nigeria last week.

The virus has killed at least 660 people in West Africa since February.

The outbreak began in southern Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is the world’s deadliest so far.

Nigeria has put all its entry points on red alert after confirming that a Liberian man died of Ebola after arriving at Lagos airport on Tuesday.

Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

It spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.

Arik Air said it took the decision to halt flights as a precautionary measure and called for all inbound flights to Nigeria from Ebola-affected countries to be suspended.

"We feel especially compelled to take the business decision to immediately suspend flight services into the two Ebola affected countries due to our interest in the well-being of Nigerians," the airline, which operates routes across West Africa, said in a statement.

(More from BBC)

nprglobalhealth:

Volunteer Recap: A Summer With Her Mind On The Toilet
Dionna Fry, a 2014 graduate from Emory University, spent last summer in Ethiopia devoting herself to toiletry. For six weeks, she worked with nonprofit organization Catholic Relief Services, going door to door to interview village leaders and families in different communities about how they liked Arborloos, low-cost and ecologically-friendly pit latrines with a concrete slab to squat over. The waste falls into the pit.
Introduced over the past 10 years in Ethiopia, the latrines protect families from diseases spread by open defecation and also turn human waste into an agricultural resource — the food to feed a plant tree that could eventually becomes a source of food and income for the family.
She says families, for most part liked it, and have grown trees that are taller than people.
Fry’s mind was on the toilet for most of the trip, but here’s a peek at her overall experience.
Did you try the toilet? What was it like?
All the Arborloos I used provided privacy [with lightweight walls] and had little odor. Users apply a mix of ash and soil to the pit after use. This decreases odor and the prevalence of flies.
Local habit you liked?
In Ethiopia they tear off a piece of injera [a spongy flatbread], wrap it around some food on the plate, mush it together and feed it to somebody. It’s a sign of respect and love, and the larger the piece the stronger the bond.
Culture clash?
The hand that you clean yourself with after defecation, in many cultures, is the left hand, and so that’s considered the dirty hand. The thing is I’m left-handed, and you’re supposed to eat with your right hand. Sometimes I would forget and eat with my left hand, and I would think, “Oh shoot, people are going to think I’m gross.”
Animal encounter?
About 30 to 40 Gelada baboons, whole families with babies, were sitting on the road just hanging out, which caused a huge traffic jam.
Continue reading.
Photo: An Ethiopian woman and her child stand next to an Arborloo latrine. (Courtesy of Dionna Fry)

nprglobalhealth:

Volunteer Recap: A Summer With Her Mind On The Toilet

Dionna Fry, a 2014 graduate from Emory University, spent last summer in Ethiopia devoting herself to toiletry. For six weeks, she worked with nonprofit organization Catholic Relief Services, going door to door to interview village leaders and families in different communities about how they liked Arborloos, low-cost and ecologically-friendly pit latrines with a concrete slab to squat over. The waste falls into the pit.

Introduced over the past 10 years in Ethiopia, the latrines protect families from diseases spread by open defecation and also turn human waste into an agricultural resource — the food to feed a plant tree that could eventually becomes a source of food and income for the family.

She says families, for most part liked it, and have grown trees that are taller than people.

Fry’s mind was on the toilet for most of the trip, but here’s a peek at her overall experience.

Did you try the toilet? What was it like?

All the Arborloos I used provided privacy [with lightweight walls] and had little odor. Users apply a mix of ash and soil to the pit after use. This decreases odor and the prevalence of flies.

Local habit you liked?

In Ethiopia they tear off a piece of injera [a spongy flatbread], wrap it around some food on the plate, mush it together and feed it to somebody. It’s a sign of respect and love, and the larger the piece the stronger the bond.

Culture clash?

The hand that you clean yourself with after defecation, in many cultures, is the left hand, and so that’s considered the dirty hand. The thing is I’m left-handed, and you’re supposed to eat with your right hand. Sometimes I would forget and eat with my left hand, and I would think, “Oh shoot, people are going to think I’m gross.”

Animal encounter?

About 30 to 40 Gelada baboons, whole families with babies, were sitting on the road just hanging out, which caused a huge traffic jam.

Continue reading.

Photo: An Ethiopian woman and her child stand next to an Arborloo latrine. (Courtesy of Dionna Fry)

Chronic disease overlap cuts life expectancy
Stephanie Desmon-JHU
Struggling with multiple chronic illnesses shortens life expectancy dramatically, and for older Americans, it threatens to reverse recent gains in average lifespans.
Nearly four in five older Americans now live with multiple chronic medical conditions, which perhaps could explain why increases in life expectancy for US seniors are already slowing, report researchers.
“Living with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart failure is now the norm and not the exception in the United States,” says lead author Eva H. DuGoff, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“The medical advances that have allowed sick people to live longer may not be able to keep up with the growing burden of chronic disease. It is becoming very clear that preventing the development of additional chronic conditions in the elderly could be the only way to continue to improve life expectancy.”
Life expectancy in the US is rising more slowly than in other parts of the developed world. Many blame the obesity epidemic and related health conditions for the worsening health of the American population.
More…
(From Futurity.org - Source: Johns Hopkins University)

Chronic disease overlap cuts life expectancy

Struggling with multiple chronic illnesses shortens life expectancy dramatically, and for older Americans, it threatens to reverse recent gains in average lifespans.

Nearly four in five older Americans now live with multiple chronic medical conditions, which perhaps could explain why increases in life expectancy for US seniors are already slowing, report researchers.

“Living with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart failure is now the norm and not the exception in the United States,” says lead author Eva H. DuGoff, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“The medical advances that have allowed sick people to live longer may not be able to keep up with the growing burden of chronic disease. It is becoming very clear that preventing the development of additional chronic conditions in the elderly could be the only way to continue to improve life expectancy.”

Life expectancy in the US is rising more slowly than in other parts of the developed world. Many blame the obesity epidemic and related health conditions for the worsening health of the American population.

More…

(From Futurity.org - Source: Johns Hopkins University)

Ebola Kills Liberian Doctor, 2 Americans Infected
(MONROVIA, Liberia) — One of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa — the largest ever recorded.
A second American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, was also taken ill and was being treated in isolation there, said the pastor of a North Carolina church that sponsored her work.
Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a top Liberian health official, was treating Ebola patients at the country’s largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, when he fell ill. He died Saturday, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister. A Ugandan doctor died earlier this month.

The American physician, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly, was in Liberia helping to respond to the outbreak that has killed 129 people nationwide when he fell ill, according to the North Carolina-based medical charity, Samaritan’s Purse.

He was receiving intensive medical care in a Monrovia hospital and was in stable condition, according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Melissa Strickland.

“We are hopeful, but he is certainly not out of the woods yet,” she said.Early treatment improves a patient’s chances of survival, and Brantly recognized his own symptoms and began receiving care immediately, Strickland said.
(More… from TIME)

Ebola Kills Liberian Doctor, 2 Americans Infected

(MONROVIA, Liberia) — One of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa — the largest ever recorded.

A second American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, was also taken ill and was being treated in isolation there, said the pastor of a North Carolina church that sponsored her work.

Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a top Liberian health official, was treating Ebola patients at the country’s largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, when he fell ill. He died Saturday, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister. A Ugandan doctor died earlier this month.

The American physician, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly, was in Liberia helping to respond to the outbreak that has killed 129 people nationwide when he fell ill, according to the North Carolina-based medical charity, Samaritan’s Purse.

He was receiving intensive medical care in a Monrovia hospital and was in stable condition, according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Melissa Strickland.

“We are hopeful, but he is certainly not out of the woods yet,” she said.Early treatment improves a patient’s chances of survival, and Brantly recognized his own symptoms and began receiving care immediately, Strickland said.

(More… from TIME)

nychealth:

Today is World Hepatitis Day!
The Health Department, the Fund for Public Health in New York and five community partners – the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Cornell Medical College, VNSNY Choice and HealthFirst – announced today that they have received a $10 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to focus on hepatitis C (HCV).
Project INSPIRE NYC (Innovate & Network to Stop HCV & Prevent complications via Integrating care, Responding to needs and Engaging patients & providers) aims to achieve:
Better care, by increasing the number of patients starting hepatitis C therapy, strengthening management of behavioral health problems, reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and maintaining a high level of satisfaction among enrollees;
Better health, with increased hepatitis C cure rates, fewer hepatitis C-related complications, and increased screening for depression and alcohol abuse; and
Lower costs, by reducing expenses from preventable hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and complications of hepatitis C infection.

Hepatitis C Facts:
An estimated 146,500 New Yorkers have chronic hepatitis C, though about half do not know that they are infected.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with hepatitis C enters the blood stream of someone who is not infected. Today, people most often become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions.
Most people living with hepatitis C have few symptoms of illness until 10 to 30 years after initial infection, when life-threatening complications can develop. People with hepatitis C are at risk for developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, and other types of liver damage.
Given unprecedented advances in hepatitis C treatment, a cure has become achievable for most. Treatment is now shorter, less toxic, and more effective than in the past.


 NYC Health is releasing a number of new resources including an updated website and site locator, informational video, Risk Assessment postcard, Hep C Facts booklet, and a City Health Information Bulletin for primary care providers, as well as a mobile app. New Yorkers can also text LIVER to 877877 to be connected with Hepatitis C testing and care services.
Read our Press Release for more information and the full resource list.

nychealth:

Today is World Hepatitis Day!

The Health Department, the Fund for Public Health in New York and five community partners – the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Cornell Medical College, VNSNY Choice and HealthFirst – announced today that they have received a $10 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to focus on hepatitis C (HCV).

Project INSPIRE NYC (Innovate & Network to Stop HCV & Prevent complications via Integrating care, Responding to needs and Engaging patients & providers) aims to achieve:

  1. Better care, by increasing the number of patients starting hepatitis C therapy, strengthening management of behavioral health problems, reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and maintaining a high level of satisfaction among enrollees;
  2. Better health, with increased hepatitis C cure rates, fewer hepatitis C-related complications, and increased screening for depression and alcohol abuse; and
  3. Lower costs, by reducing expenses from preventable hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and complications of hepatitis C infection.

Hepatitis C Facts:

  • An estimated 146,500 New Yorkers have chronic hepatitis C, though about half do not know that they are infected.
  • Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
  • Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with hepatitis C enters the blood stream of someone who is not infected. Today, people most often become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions.
  • Most people living with hepatitis C have few symptoms of illness until 10 to 30 years after initial infection, when life-threatening complications can develop. People with hepatitis C are at risk for developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, and other types of liver damage.
  • Given unprecedented advances in hepatitis C treatment, a cure has become achievable for most. Treatment is now shorter, less toxic, and more effective than in the past.


NYC Health is releasing a number of new resources including an updated website and site locator, informational video, Risk Assessment postcard, Hep C Facts booklet, and a City Health Information Bulletin for primary care providers, as well as a mobile app. New Yorkers can also text LIVER to 877877 to be connected with Hepatitis C testing and care services.

Read our Press Release for more information and the full resource list.

Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians
2 Americans Test Positive for Ebola in Liberia

By ADAM NOSSITER, July 27, 2014


KOLO BENGOU, Guinea — Eight youths, some armed with slingshots and machetes, stood warily alongside a rutted dirt road at an opening in the high reeds, the path to the village of Kolo Bengou. The deadly Ebola virus is believed to have infected several people in the village, and the youths were blocking the path to prevent health workers from entering.
“We don’t want any visitors,” said their leader, Faya Iroundouno, 17, president of Kolo Bengou’s youth league. “We don’t want any contact with anyone.” The others nodded in agreement and fiddled with their slingshots.
Singling out the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, Mr. Iroundouno continued, “Wherever those people have passed, the communities have been hit by illness.”
Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people  in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.
Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.
“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”
Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.
(More.. from The New York Times)

Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians

2 Americans Test Positive for Ebola in Liberia

KOLO BENGOU, Guinea — Eight youths, some armed with slingshots and machetes, stood warily alongside a rutted dirt road at an opening in the high reeds, the path to the village of Kolo Bengou. The deadly Ebola virus is believed to have infected several people in the village, and the youths were blocking the path to prevent health workers from entering.

“We don’t want any visitors,” said their leader, Faya Iroundouno, 17, president of Kolo Bengou’s youth league. “We don’t want any contact with anyone.” The others nodded in agreement and fiddled with their slingshots.

Singling out the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, Mr. Iroundouno continued, “Wherever those people have passed, the communities have been hit by illness.”

Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.

Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.

“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”

Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.

(More.. from The New York Times)

Remove Ticks Safely From Your Skin

(From Massachusetts Department of Public Health)