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Informing, Involving and Educating CDC Partners

March Affiliate Newsletter 2012


A tip from a former smoker: Allow extra time to put on your legsNew Tobacco Campaign Launched— CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) launched a groundbreaking campaign on March 15, 2012, to raise awareness of the human suffering caused by smoking and to encourage smokers to quit.

The campaign, called Tips From Former Smokers, profiles people who are living with the significant adverse health effects due to smoking, such as stomas, paralysis from stroke, lung removal, heart attack, limb amputations, and asthma. The advertisements underscore the immediate damage that smoking can cause to the body and feature people who experienced smoking-related diseases at a relatively young age. Some of the people were diagnosed with life-altering diseases before they were 40 years old.

These hard-hitting ads will help people quit, saving lives, and decreasing the huge economic burden caused by tobacco use. The campaign will serve as an important counter to expenditures for marketing and promotion of cigarettes that exceed $1 million an hour—more than $27 million a day—in the United States. (Tips from Former Smokers Website)

Making Health Care Safer: Stopping C. difficile Infections—According to March's Vital Signs report, people getting medical care can catch serious infections called health care-associated infections (HAIs). While most types of HAIs are declining, one—caused by the germ C. difficile—remains at historically high levels. C. difficile causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 American deaths each year. Those most at risk are people, especially older adults, who take antibiotics and also get medical care. When a person takes antibiotics, good germs that protect against infection are destroyed for several months. During this time, patients can get sick from C. difficile picked up from contaminated surfaces or spread from a health care provider's hands. About 25% of C. difficile infections first show symptoms in hospital patients; 75% first show in nursing home patients or in people recently cared for in doctors' offices and clinics. C. difficile infections cost at least $1 billion in extra health care costs annually.

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Medication Leading Cause of Child Poisoning in U.S. —When children have access to a parent, sibling, or grandparent's medicines, it can be an accident waiting to happen, a new report shows. There are about 60,000 children per year that are rushed to the emergency room after getting into medications. (Web MD March 20; Up and Away Educational Program)

Foodborne Illness on the Rise—The number of foodborne disease outbreaks resulting from imported foods increased during surveillance years 2005 to 2010, according to the CDC. L. Hannah Gould, PhD, a CDC senior epidemiologist and colleagues, reported about 16% of food consumed in the United States is imported from another country, including nearly 84% of fish and 32% of fruits and nuts. (Medscape Medical News March 16)

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Trends in Tuberculosis—In 2011, a total of 10,521 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, an incidence of 3.4 cases per 100,000 population, which is 6.4% lower than the rate in 2010. This is the lowest rate recorded since national reporting began in 1953. The percentage decline is greater than the average 3.8% decline per year observed from 2000 to 2008 but not as large as the record decline of 11.4% from 2008 to 2009. This report summarizes 2011 TB surveillance data reported to CDC's National Tuberculosis Surveillance System. (MMWR March 23; United Press International March 23)

Smartphones more accurate, faster, cheaper for disease surveillance—Smartphones are showing promise in disease surveillance in the developing world. The Kenya Ministry of Health, along with researchers in Kenya for the CDC, found that smartphone use was cheaper than traditional paper survey methods to gather disease information, after the initial set–up cost. Survey data collected with smartphones also in this study had fewer errors and were more quickly available for analyses than data collected on paper. (CDC Press Release March 12)

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All events and seminars listed are open to CDC partners. To see more upcoming events or for more information on the below events, visit the CDC Calendar of Events.

The Quiet Sickness: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America
January 30 – May 25, 2012, David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Atlanta, GA
The Quiet Sickness is drawn from Earl Dotter's, an award-winning photojournalist, large archive of black and white photographs documenting workers in the mining, fishing, agriculture, textile, health care, and construction industries. The museum is free and open to the public.

Management and Leadership Skills for Environmental Health and Safety Professionals
March 26-28, 2012, Boston, MA
This Harvard program is designed to bridge the gap between the technical and leadership skills necessary for achieving organizational objectives that meet management system standards and sustainability requirements.

CDC Public Health Grand Rounds (Online Event – No Registration Needed)
April 17, 1 PM–2 PM (EDT), Topic: Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination
The Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly series created to further strengthen CDC's scientific culture and foster discussion and debate on major public health issues. Free continuing education opportunities are also available. Watch live and archived broadcasts.

CDC Weight of the Nation Conference
May 7-9, 2012, Washington, DC
Weight of the Nation is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies, and is framed around five intervention settings: early care and education; states, tribes and communities; medical care; schools; and workplaces

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March 28, 1979—The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania was the site of a power plant accident; within hours of the accident, CDC was working with state and local health departments and the FDA to evaluate the health risks of radiation. Health surveys of the living were later completed within a five-mile radius of the reactor. The accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community. It brought about sweeping changes involving CDC's emergency response planning, reactor operator training, human factors engineering, radiation protection, and many other areas of nuclear power plant operations.

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CDC Learning Connection Spotlight provides public health learning products and resources designed to help the public health community and others with an interest in TB.

CDC TRAIN provides access to learning products for the public health community, which includes public health agencies, as well as hospitals, clinics, private practices, community-based organizations, and individuals who work to improve a population's health.

Knowledge to Action Science Clips are designed to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge. Selected science clips are posted for the public health community that focuses on applied public health research and prevention science. This weekly digest is a service of the CDC Public Health Library and Information Center and CDC's Office of the Chief Science Officer.

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Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money Through Prevention

Staying Connected, a bi-monthly newsletter prepared by CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Communication, provides regular updates about agency and program priorities and other public health initiatives important to CDC’s partners and affiliates. Readers are welcome to comment by e-mail to

Subscribe to the Staying Connected newsletter.

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CDC Vital Signs™ – Learn about the latest public health data. Read CDC Vital Signs™…

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