This is Public Health

Ecigarette 1

More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey.

Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows.

Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report being released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.

Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th graders and 14 percent of 12th graders.

“I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.

Click here to read the full article from the AP. 

winter-preparedness-pic

Avoiding illness throughout the winter months can be hard especially with ever changing temperatures!  Outside is cold and rainy whilst shops and offices are pumping out heat like you’re in a sauna.  This constant fluctuation confuses your body and often leaves one feeling under the weather.  Crowded streets and transport result in close proximity to potential carriers. So what can you do about it?

Click here to check out several tips for staying well and feeling better!

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

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.RGB-FOR SCREEN and WEB

The Louisiana Public Health Institute has been designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Center and the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition. LPHI received this designation because it provides time, space, and support for employees who breastfeed or pump milk to feed their babies.

Businesses that support employees who are breastfeeding have lower health care costs, lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and positive public image in their communities. To qualify as Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, workplaces must offer:

  • reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day;
  • one or more permanent breastfeeding rooms, or a clean, private, and safe space with an outlet, other than a toilet stall that mothers can use for lactation when needed;
  • a working sink near the breastfeeding location where mothers can clean pumping equipment;
  • and lactation support communicated to all current and future employees.

The Mary Amelia Center recognizes businesses as Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces to honor the work that family-friendly businesses are doing to support the health and well-being of women and children in our community.

For more information about LPHI or employment opportunities, click here.

anti-smoking

In recognition of today’s 19th annual Kick Butts Day (KBD) (March 19, 2014), Representative Frank Hoffmann, Senator Rick Gallot, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)  and a number of youth from across Louisiana stood up to tobacco companies who continue to target those under age at the Capitol building today.

Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana using tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). Additionally, across our state anyone under the age of 18 can purchase electronic nicotine devices because they are not regulated. In fact, there has been an increase in the sale, advertisement and marketing of the electronic nicotine devices to youth in particular.

Youth are targeted everyday by big tobacco, which these statistics clearly show. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against the big tobacco companies at hundreds of events from coast to coast. Three mock stores were set up to show legislators, media and visitors the extent of tobacco advertisements that our youth are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, a rally and press conference took place, which discussed KBD, e-cigarettes and the Defy program. Rep. Hoffmann and Senator Gallot also discussed upcoming tobacco-related legislation as well as interacted with the Defy youth, learning about their work over the past year.

Click here to read the full story.

bike-lane

Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street — especially if you’re walking the streets in Louisiana. According to a recent study, the Pelican State has the fifth highest pedestrian death rate in the country.

The report, prepared by the Center for Planning Excellence and the Louisiana Public Health Institute, evaluated 10 years of federal fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report demonstrates a need for more state and city planners to incorporate pedestrian and cyclist safety into traffic plans, according to Rachel DiResto, CPEX executive vice president.

Read the full story from The Advocate and review the documents 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.