This is Public Health

schoolnurse-and-boy

Infections with enteroviruses are usually common in the United States during summer and fall. This year, beginning in mid-August, states started seeing more children in hospitals with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Since then, CDC and states have been doing more testing, and have found that EV-D68 is making people sick in almost all states. Most of the cases have been among children. EV-D68 is not new, but it hasn’t been as common in the past. While this has been a big year for EV-D68 infections, CDC expects the number of cases to taper off by late fall.

Take some basic steps and precautions outlined by the CDC to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

important

Sam’s Club has sent out an advisory over their baby wipes.

According to an e-mail they sent out to consumers who had purchased Simply Right baby wipes, the supplier of those wipes, are warning about a possible bacterial contamination.

This affects Simply Right branded baby wipes offered for sale beginning June 30 of this year.

According to the CDC, this bacteria poses little medical risk to healthy people. However, people who have certain health problems can be affected.

Sam’s club has directed all clubs to remove the products from the shelves. They are asking anyone who purchased the wipes to stop using them and return the rest of the product to Sam’s Club for a full refund.

Click here for more information.

mosquito

 

“Six people in Louisiana have been diagnosed with chikungunya virus, most in the Greater New Orleans area.

State epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said each of the six cases — four in Jefferson Parish, one in Orleans Parish and one in Tangipahoa Parish — were contracted while the individuals were traveling in the Caribbean.

Like West Nile virus, chikungunya virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Though it is not usually deadly, people who are infected with chikungunya usually develop fever and joint pain as well as headaches and sometimes a rash. There is no vaccine to prevent it.”

Click here to read the full story from NOLA.com

kids-medicine-safety

The number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show a similar increase during the same time period.

More than half (51.1 percent) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children under age 5, and about 42 percent of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.

Read the full story here.

flu-shot

Two more Louisiana children are dead from the flu, bringing the total number of terminal pediatric flu cases this season to four, health officials report.

Department officials will not release the age of the children or the parish in which they lived, citing federal patient confidentiality laws. But they did say that the two latest deaths are from southeast and southwest Louisiana.

The two previous deaths were reported in the northwest and southeast portions of the state.

Since Oct. 1, Louisiana has tracked a total of 53 deaths attributable to influenza. But health experts say that number doesn’t likely reflect the full picture of flu or flu-related deaths since hundreds of people die annually without being diagnosed.

Click here to read the full story.

car-seat

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped, but is refusing to recall seven other infant seat models, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice.

In the seats being recalled, the buckles may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. That increases the risk of injury in a crash, fire or other emergency when a speedy exit from the vehicle is required.

Click here to read the full report.

Three Soda Bottles

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of caramel colorings used in a variety of foods, including colas and other dark soft drinks, to determine whether the agency should act to limit consumers’ exposure to a chemical created during the manufacturing process.

The agency’s announcement came in response to a Consumer Report investigation that prompted the watchdog group Consumers Union to call for limits on 4-methyliminazole, or 4-Mel, an impurity produced in the production of some caramel colorings, as well as for labeling of products containing caramel coloring.

Click here to read the full story.

flu-shot

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have devised a flu predictor that could pinpoint peak cases as much as nine weeks early.

That could help to contain the yearly flood of influenza cases, which stretch from December to April and can surge unpredictably. Knowing when specific cities or regions might be hit especially hard could help people to be more vigilant about washing their hands, as well as allow doctors and public health officials to stockpile vaccines and other flu remedies.

Click here to read the full story from Time and to check out the Forecaster for yourself.

flu-shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today web published the September 2013 Influenza Update which provides useful information and resources for the 2013-2014 flu season.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The upcoming season’s flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine.

Click here to view the PDF 3-brief.

Mosquito Bite

“State health officials are reporting seven new West Nile cases, bringing this year’s total to eight.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says there were two neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, with one each from Calcasieu and Ouachita parishes. That’s the most serious type of the virus, infecting the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.

DHH also reports four West Nile fever cases, milder viral infections, with one each in Ascension and St. Tammany parishes and two cases in Lafayette Parish.

In addition, there was one asymptomatic case reported in St. Tammany Parish. The majority of people who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. Those cases are typically detected through blood donations or routine medical tests.”

Full story reported from AP/WWL-TV. Click here.