News

23/Mar/2018

Pink, itchy eyes? Pink eye – or conjunctivitis – is common and spreads easily. It sometimes needs medical treatment, depending on the cause. Know the symptoms, when to seek treatment, and how to help prevent it.

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions in the world in both children and adults. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.

Stop Pink Eye from Spreading

Pink eye caused by a virus or bacteria is very contagious and spreads easily and quickly from person to person. Pink eye that is caused by allergens or irritants is not contagious, but it is possible to develop a secondary infection caused by a virus or bacteria that is contagious. You can reduce the risk of getting or spreading pink eye by following some simple self-care steps:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
  • Avoid sharing makeup, contact lenses and containers, and eyeglasses

See conjunctivitis prevention for more information.

MORE INFORMATION FROM CDC ON PINK EYE >>

 


13/Dec/2017

Contagion-Live-LOGO-sm

December 12, 2017 / Contagion® Editorial Staff

Do you want to know when the next vaccine-preventable outbreak will hit? You might want to check social media, according to a new study from investigators at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, who determined that predicting the next outbreak may be possible by analyzing trends on Twitter and Google.

Whether they love social media or hate it, the truth is that many adults utilize the platform for the latest news. According to a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center, about 62% of US adults get their news on social media. The nature of social media being what it is, this news is accompanied by commentary from social media users, anxious to share their opinions on the topics at hand. In a perfect world, one would be able to separate the news from opinion; however, these lines have become increasingly blurred to the point that bias has even leaked into “real news outlets” spurning the birth of sensationalism and “fake news.”

One of the top news topics is vaccination. Given the ability to reach millions of individuals in one fell swoop of a tweet, the antivaccine movement is booming on social media. Indeed, the top news article of the year for Contagion® in 2016 was on a study that examined how Facebook users expressed pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine viewpoints. The investigators on that study approached their research aware that although the internet has become a useful tool for information gathering on health issues, it has also become an “echo chamber” where misinformation about vaccines and anti-vaccination attitudes have spread. This has led to a decrease in vaccination rates and in some cases outbreaks of diseases once largely eradicated.

Now, in 2017, the Waterloo investigators are echoing that sentiment with their research and taking it one step further by suggesting that analyzing this information can help to predict outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Read full article>


16/Nov/2017

ACS Great American Smokeout November 16

You can quit smoking. Let the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout be your starting point.

Quitting smoking can be hard. But you have so much to win by quitting—lower risk for lung cancer and other diseases, easier breathing, more energy, and cleaner air. Start thinking of all the ways you can win when you begin a healthier, smoke-free life.

Today, there are now more former smokers than current smokers. You have the power to start your quit journey just like many others have already. Each year, the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout encourages all smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking on a specific day.

Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

Get Help Quitting Smoking >


07/Nov/2017

CDC November Natl Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month. Here’s to managing your diabetes for a longer, healthier life.

There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. What you do every day makes the difference: eating a healthy diet, being physically active, taking medicines if prescribed, and keeping health care appointments to stay on track.

The Basics

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it.

There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later).

With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin (a hormone that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy), so you need to take it every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes; about 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Most people with diabetes—9 out of 10—have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. If you have any of the risk factors below, ask your doctor if you should be tested for diabetes. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start making healthy changes that will benefit you now and in the future.

READ MORE >>


06/Nov/2017

CDC MILESTONE TRACKER APP

Milestones matter! Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.

From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun!

Learn more at cdc.gov/MilestoneTracker


24/Oct/2017

CDC NATIONAL CO POISONING WEEK

Prevent Children’s Exposure to Lead

Lead poisoning can be prevented. The key is to keep children from coming in contact with lead. If children are lead poisoned they must be treated. Learn how to prevent children’s exposure to lead.

There are many ways you can reduce children’s exposure to lead before they are harmed. Lead hazards in a child’s environment must be identified and controlled or removed safely. Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell.

Sources of Lead

A child’s environment is full of lead. Children are exposed to lead from different sources (such as paint, gasoline, solder, and consumer products) and through different pathways (such as air, food, water, dust, and soil). Although there are several exposure sources, lead-based paint is the most widespread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure for young children.

At-Risk Populations

Children at higher risk for lead exposure

  • are poor,
  • are members of racial-ethnic minority groups,
  • are recent immigrants,
  • live in older, poorly maintained rental properties, or
  • have parents who are exposed to lead at work.

Membership in one of these groups does not predict risk in every community, and children in these groups who are not exposed to lead do not have elevated blood lead levels.

Check out our information on

Get Treatment if You Think Your Child Has Been in Contact with Lead

If you think your child has been in contact with lead, contact your child’s health care provider. He or she can help you decide whether to test your child’s blood to see if it has high levels of lead.

A blood lead test is the only way to find out if your child has a high lead level. Most children with high levels of lead in their blood have no symptoms.

Your child’s health care provider can recommend treatment if your child has been exposed to lead.

See frequently asked questions about lead and possible lead exposure.

More info on lead poisoning prevention at CDC >


01/Sep/2017

CDC Safe Clean Up from Harvey

From CDC:

Highlights

  • Stay away from damaged buildings or structures that have not been examined and certified by an inspector.
  • Wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole cleanup work.
  • Carbon monoxide can cause illness and death.
  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected.
  • Never turn power on or off or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.

Reentering Buildings

  • Stay away from damaged buildings or structures until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector or other government authority. You may want to wait to return to buildings during daylight hours, when it is easier to avoid hazards, particularly if the electricity is off and you have no lights.
  • Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises that signal that the structure may fall or if you smell gas or suspect a leak. If you smell gas, notify emergency authorities and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to the house until you are told it is safe to do so.
  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

General Safety Measures

  • Have at least two fire extinguishers, each with a UL rating of at least 10A, at every cleanup job.
  • Wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank) for cleanup work.
  • Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.
  • Use teams of two or more people to move bulky objects. Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person).
  • When using a chain saw, operate the saw according to the manufacturer’s instructions, wear appropriate protective equipment, avoid contact with power lines, be sure that bystanders are at a safe distance, and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that have gotten bent or caught under another object. Use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock when using an electric chain saw. For tips on safely operating a chain saw, see Preventing Chain Saw Injuries During Tree Removal After a Disaster.
  • If there has been a backflow of sewage into your house, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of the affected area.
  • In hot weather, try to stay cool by staying in air-conditioned buildings, taking breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms, drinking water and nonalcoholic fluids often, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing. Do outdoor activities during cooler hours. For more information on protecting yourself against heat-related illness, see the CDC Extreme Heat Web site.

Carbon Monoxide Exposure

  • Never use generators, pressure washers, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper—or even outside near an open window, door, or vent. Carbon monoxide—an odorless, colorless gas from these sources that can cause sudden illness and death—can build up indoors and poison the people and animals inside.

For more information, see Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster.

Mold and Cleanup

  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and paper products).
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

See Mold After a Disaster and the CDC Flood Web site for further guidance on safely reentering flooded homes, cleaning up flood or storm water, worker safety issues, and mold cleanup issues.

Electrical Issues

  • If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off.
  • Never turn power on or off or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
  • Do not connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices. If a generator is on line when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard and it may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.

For more information, see Protect Yourself and Others from Electrical Hazards After a Disaster.

Hazardous Materials Issues

  • Call the fire department to inspect or remove chemicals, propane tanks, and other dangerous materials.
  • Wear protective clothing and gear (for example, a respirator if needed) when handling hazardous materials.
  • Wash skin that may have come in contact with hazardous materials.
  • Wear insulated gloves and use caution if you have to remove a car battery. Avoid any acid that may have leaked from a car battery.

For information about possible dangers posed by chemicals, see the Chemical Emergencies page. For information about possible dangers posed by pollution from large farms and agricultural facilities, see the CDC Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) website.

Hygiene and Infectious Disease Issues

  • After completing the cleanup, wash with soap and water. If there is a boil-water advisory in effect, use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing). Or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use (solution of 1/8 teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water). Let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, use a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • If you have any open cuts or sores that were exposed to floodwater, wash them with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
  • Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.

For more tips on washing your hands, see Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations.

Water Issues

  • If the building is flooded, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.
  • If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. (See also Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations .)
  • To reduce cold–related risks when standing or working in water which is cooler than 75 degrees F (24 degrees C), wear insulated clothes and insulated rubber boots, take frequent breaks out of the water, and change into dry clothing when possible.

See also Food, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Information for Use Before and After a Disaster or Emergency and Reentering Your Flooded Home.

Monitor your radio or television for up-to-date emergency information.

More at CDC >


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