Newsroom Story Ideas Archive: 2009
There are more than 6 billion people in the world, living in Greenland’s icy climate to the harsh heat of the Sahara, staying in one city their entire lives or moving every few years. CDC’s public health work extends far beyond U.S. borders when our Epidemic Intelligence Service officers are called in to help with investigations, when our field staff help train local public health officials in epidemiology and laboratory science, when members of our Special Pathogens Branch respond to outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever in Africa or when our public health experts lead vaccination campaigns to fight polio and malaria. Below are some of the ways CDC is going global.
All Around the World
In today's world of increasing globalization, the United States continually faces new challenges and opportunities in public health. In partnership with other parts of the U.S. government, public health officials throughout the world, and host countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works to protect and promote global health in many areas, including HIV/STD/TB prevention and control, malaria and polio eradication, refugee health, maternal and prenatal care, nutrition assessment and interventions and more.
- CDC’s Global Presence
- CDC’s Global Disease Detection Program
- Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health
- Q&A on CDC Recommendations for International Adoptees with TB
Promoting Reproductive Health among Displaced Women
Eighty percent of the world’s 34 million displaced people are women and children who have been displaced due to conflict. The Reproductive Health Assessment Toolkit for Conflict-Affected Women was developed by CDC with these women and children in mind. Using the Toolkit, workers collect information about: safe motherhood practices, family planning, sexual history, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS education, gender-based violence, female genital cutting, emotional health and well being. Information collected helps health service providers best determine how to improve the reproductive health of refugee women and their families. An essential feature of the Toolkit is its ease of use; it was designed to be used by staff with limited survey expertise through step-by-step instructions on implementing information gathering and assessment.
- Global Reproductive Health: Homepage
- CDC Features – article on the Toolkit
- Reproductive Health in Crises: Homepage
- Reproductive Health in Crisis - Publications
Good Nutrition is Micronutrient Nutrition
Deficiencies in micronutrients affect nearly one-third of the world's population, and the consequences can be devastating. The International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) Program works with global partners to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies (micronutrient malnutrition) among vulnerable populations throughout the world. Established by the CDC in 2000, IMMPaCt focuses primarily on helping eliminate deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, iodine, and folic acid. By helping countries develop and operate appropriate assessment, monitoring and evaluation, systems, IMMPaCt and its global partners work to enable national governments, food industries and civic organizations to successfully implement interventions such as mass food fortification, supplementation and home fortification in order to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Safe Water is More than Just Clean Water
The CDC Safe Water System (SWS) is a three-pronged approached to alleviate the negative impact of unsafe drinking water. These approaches include: Treating water at the point of contact, safe water storage, and behavior change techniques at both the individual and community levels. The SWS has been distributed at national or sub-national levels in 19 countries through social marketing campaigns in partnership with the social marketing Non-Governmental Organizations, Population Services International. The SWS has saved numerous lives after Cholera outbreaks and natural disasters. The SWS is now integrated as part of the Global AIDS Program for routine use to improve quality of life.
As students begin going back to school, it is important to make sure they are prepared for the year ahead and staying healthy in and out of the classroom. Students should get a certain amount of exercise, maintain good hand hygiene practices and follow good health habits to prevent the flu. The story ideas below are intended to help you and your readers get prepared for a healthy back to school!
College. It’s a rite of passage for young adults. It means independence, possibly moving away from home, freedom and the responsibility of taking care of yourself. And that means studying, interacting with new people, finding your way around new places and making sure you are staying healthy. It can also be hard to deal with the pressures to drink, look thin, smoke, use drugs, or be sexually active. However, by taking these small, daily steps, the college years can be fun, safe, and healthy.
- Podcast: Tips for college health and safety
- Vaccinations for college students
- Education: college students
- Physical activity guidelines
- Tips for coping with stress
- More information on college health
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
A child’s life is precious. And vaccines recommended by CDC are one of the forms of protection parents can use to keep their children safe, as well as their friends and classmates. Not only do vaccines protect children against common seasonal diseases like influenza, they also help prevent much rarer diseases. Without vaccinations, the U.S. could see new epidemics of diseases such as polio. This year in particular, with the novel influenza A (H1N1) circulating as well as seasonal flu, it will be important for children to get vaccinated. The following are CDC’s recommendations for childhood vaccination:
- Childhood immunization schedule (ages 0-6)
- Adolescent immunization schedule (ages 7-18)
- Catch-up scheduler (ages 4 months to 18 years)
- Recent recommendations by the ACIP against novel influenza A (H1N1)
Meningococcal disease can claim the life of a child in just 24 hours. With symptoms that resemble the flu, the disease can be hard to detect. But it’s easy to prevent. Meningococcal disease, including viral meningitis and the rarer forms of bacterial meningitis, can be prevented with vaccination. Although anyone can get meningitis, pre-teens and adolescents and college students who live in dormitories are at an increased risk for meningococcal disease. Make sure your students read up and get the protection they need.
Keep Your Cool in School
As an estimated 55 million students head to school this fall, they are more likely to be concerned about stocking up on school supplies and homework assignments than violence. While U.S. schools remain relatively safe, acts of violence, such as bullying, fighting, and weapon use do happen at schools. However, less than 1 percent of all homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds or on the way to and from school. So the vast majority of students will never experience homicide at school. School violence is a subset of youth violence, a broader public health problem. There is no single reason why students become violent. Being a victim of violence, performing poorly academically, associating with gangs, being rejected by peers, feeling disconnected from family, and having diminished economic opportunities are some of the circumstances putting students at risk for committing violence. Use the tips below to make sure the schools in your area stay safe:
- Understanding school violence fact sheet
- Risk and protective factors for school violence
- How environmental design impact school violence
- School health guidelines for preventing unintentional injuries and violence
Take Our Tip: Planning a Balanced Lunch
Healthy eating is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle and we know that dietary habits and preferences form in childhood and become habitual over time. As students move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, their dietary intake of key nutrients, such as iron and calcium, decreases. The following are some tips for planning a balanced lunch:
- Getting to know the food groups
- How much do I need of what?
Act Against AIDS
Right here in the United States, every 9½ minutes, someone′s brother, mother, sister, father, neighbor or co–worker is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Men account for roughly three–quarters of those living with and newly infected with HIV, but studies show that some of the populations with the highest rates of infection, such as men, either do not recognize their risk or believe that HIV is no longer a serious health threat to them. How much do your male readers know about HIV? How prevalent is HIV awareness among men in your community?
- CDC′s Act Against AIDS campaign
- Risk factors for HIV transmission
- Other at–risk populations
Workin′ 9 to 5
Jobs might be hard to come by, but the local Dairy Queen, movie theatre and swimming pool need staffing. It seems teenage freedom starts with a car and continues when they get a job. Approximately 2.6 million adolescents aged 16 to 17 years worked in the U.S. in 2007. An estimated one–third of work–related injuries are seen in emergency departments; therefore, it is likely that approximately 158,000 youth sustain work–related injuries and illnesses each year. Because they may be inexperienced and they may not be familiar with safe work procedures, among other factors, young workers have unique and substantial risks for work–related injuries and illnesses. Make sure the teens in your community are staying safe on the job with some of the following tips to employers, teens, and parents:
- NIOSH Alert: Preventing Deaths, Injuries and Illnesses of Young Workers
- Youth@Work: Talking Safety State by State Occupational Curriculum
- Are you a working teen? What you should know about safety and health on the job
Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. Rodent-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through bite wounds, consuming food or water that is contaminated with rodent feces, coming in contact with surface water contaminated with rodent urine, or through breathing in germs that may be present in rodent urine or droppings that have been stirred into the air. In some cases, ticks, mites, or fleas act as the disease reservoirs. This is similar to when millions of people in Europe died from plague in the Middle Ages because human homes and places of work were inhabited by flea-infested rats. Although the rats around the neighborhood are probably not carrying plague, they could be carrying something else, so get those rodents scurrying away with these tips.
- Precautions for campers and hikers in rodent-prone areas
- How to get rid of rodents
The Strategic National Stockpile
Since the H1N1 pandemic influenza virus began to spread, the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has been critical to the CDC’s response. This year the SNS commemorates its 10th anniversary, a significant milestone that represents a decade of dedication and commitment for the nation’s premiere medical materiel preparedness and response organization. As the largest federal stockpile, the SNS represents a $3.5 billion repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies and medical/surgical items which are available to protect the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The SNS is also a part of a nationwide public health preparedness program for state and local health departments, first responders and governmental partners. To better prepare the nation for receipt of federal medical materiel, SNS related training courses are offered regularly by the CDC, guidance is provided daily on the maintaining of medical materiel stockpiles, and tools, templates, and information continue to be developed to help state, local, territorial and tribal communities respond to public health emergencies.
Coming Next Month
Check back next month for back-to-school story ideas, including how to recognize the signs of school violence, a healthy way to send off your college-bound kid and celebrating nation immunization awareness month.
June Story Ideas: Dive into Summer
It′s Okay to go in the Water
School is out, summer is here and the pools are full. Swimming is the second most popular sports activity in the United States and people make approximately 339 million visits to recreational water venues each year. But despite its popularity, swimming can be dangerous. In the past two decades, there has been an increase in the number of recreational water illnesses (RWI), illnesses that are spread by swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated water, associated with swimming pools, water pars, hot tubs, lakes, rivers and oceans. Two parasites - Cryptosporidium and Giardia – cause most outbreaks of diarrhea, the most common RWI, among swimmers in the United States. Cryptosporidium causes particular concern because it′s extremely infectious and is not very susceptible to chlorine, which kills many other germs. Jaws was fictional, but RWIs are not! Remind your readers there are ways they can be safe in the water.
- What are RWIs?
- How can I prevent an RWI?
- Pool chemicals send thousands to ER each year
- Tips for
Soak Up the Sun
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Exposure to the sun′s ultraviolet (UV) rays appears to be the most important environmental factor involved with developing skin cancer and tends to be greater during the summer months. The two most common types, called basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable. However, melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous, especially among young people. Between 65 percent to 90 percent of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light in sunlight. Help your readers understand the power of the sun and how it can affect their summer plans.
- Basic information about skin cancer
- Risk factors for developing skin cancer (scroll down)
- What you can do to protect yourself from the sun
- Play it Safe in the Sun: A Guide for Parents
- Skin cancer prevention and education initiative fact sheet (4 page)
It′s Hot Out There
While working in the great outdoors is a way of life for millions of Americans, people tend to spend more time outside during the hot, hazy days of summer. Whether you′re working construction, planting crops in the fields or just mowing the lawn, working under the blazing sun can be deadly. Heat-related illnesses claim the lives of hundreds of people each year. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating but under some conditions, sweating just is not enough. In such cases, a person′s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Make sure your readers are prepared when they step out the door.
- Tips for preventing heat-related illness
- Beat the heat podcast
- Heat stress resources for
Snap, Crackle and Pop
Peony, crossette, chrysanthemum, rings, waterfall and shell of shells. These names might not sound like anything other than random words, but come July 4th you′ll ohh and ahh at them. They are names of popular fireworks – exciting to watch – but dangerous if you don′t know how to handle them. Typically, 60 percent of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday. In 2005 an estimated 10,800 people were treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. Injuries from fireworks most often affect the hands, eyes, and the head, face, and ears. So, remind your readers that fireworks should be used only by trained professionals and keep an eye on the sky.
- Fireworks-related injuries fact sheet
- Fireworks safety month
- How to prevent fireworks-related injuries
It′s Time to Get Your Hands Dirty
Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The best way to ward against the flu is by getting the seasonal vaccine; using sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer; and properly washing your hands can help prevent various types of infections. Hand hygiene practices are key prevention tools in healthcare settings, in daycare facilities, in schools and public institutions, and for the safety of our food. Basic advice could help save many of your readers lives.
- Clean hands save lives
- CDC TV clip: Put Your Hands Together
- Living in a clean and health world podcast
- Hand hygiene in healthcare settings
May 2009 Story Ideas
What Would Mom Do?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 82.8 million mother is the U.S. in 2004. Although mothers range in age, experience, education, and income, their health should always be a priority. This means eating healthy, being active, getting regular check-ups, having a “stress-less” lifestyle and more. Help recognize mothers everywhere, whether they are expecting, shuttling the kids from school to soccer practice or empty nesters, and keep them in good health, too.
- CDC′s Women′s Health
- Tips for a healthy life
- Expecting mothers information
- Healthy information for older adults
It′s All in the Genes
Genomics, the way traits are passed down from one generation to another, plays a part in nine of the ten leading causes of death in the United States. All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in genetic makeup, but differences in the remaining 0.1 percent may hold important clues about the causes of disease. CDC′s National Office of Public Health Genomics seeks to integrate genomics into public health surveys and investigations. In 2008 CDC provided funding for five innovative, high-impact projects that include looking into the increase in folic acid fortification and supplementation and its affect on pregnant women, the development of a rapid-screening test to detect environmental pollutants that could be a trigger for autism and research that hopes to reduce the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss by integrating genetic tests into worker safety programs. Do your readers know about the field of genomics and how it plays a role in their life?
- CDC′s National Office of Public Health Genomics
- Genomics & your health
- Genomics in practice
- Genomics funding projects
Tick Tock, Tick Tock
More cases of Lyme disease are reported than any other bug-borne disease in the United States. There were more than 27,000 reported cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. in 2007; most of these cases are reported from the Northeast and upper Midwest. As people start spending more time outdoors during spring and into summer, it′s important to be aware of the risk of tick bites. Gardening, camping, hiking, and just playing outdoors are all great spring and summertime activities, but make sure your readers make tick protection part of their outdoor plans as well.
- Learning about Lyme disease
- How to prevent Lyme disease
- Symptoms of tick-borne diseases
- How to remove a tick
Each year Americans make about 500 million visits to dentists, which cost an estimated $102 billion in dental services as of 2008. Oral health is often taken for granted, but is an essential part of our everyday lives. Good oral health enhances our ability to speak, smile, and kiss; smell, taste, touch, chew, and swallow; and convey a world of feelings and emotions through facial expressions. Oral health problems are common, costly and usually controllable. Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2-5 and half of those aged 12-15. Children and adolescents of some racial and ethnic ground and those of lower income experience more untreated decay, including 40 percent of Mexican-Americans compared to 25 percent of non-Hispanic whites. How is the oral health in your community? Help your readers understand the importance of maintaining a healthy smile.
- Racial and ethnic disparities in oral health
- Children′s oral health
- Adult oral health
- Community water fluoridation
It′s about that time of year – the days are getting longer, the grass is growing and the mortar boards are flying. Whether it′s preschool, middle school, high school or college, graduation is an important time in anyone′s life. If you′re planning on celebrating with a vacation, remember to check out CDC′s traveler′s health section; if you′re planning a party, remember to drink responsibly and if you′re attending graduation ceremonies outside, make sure you know tips on preventing heat exhaustion as the weather gets warmer. CDC congratulates every graduate on their accomplishments and wishes them the best. And if you′re looking for ideas for the next step, check out some of CDC′s information on careers in public health. Help the graduates in your area celebrate in a safe and healthy way.
- College health and safety
- Traveler′s Health
- Air travel and cruise ships
- Alcohol: frequently asked questions
Reaching the Boiling Point
About 73 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Researchers estimate that high blood pressure will cost more than $73 billion in direct and indirect costs in 2009. High blood pressure, the “silent killer,” acts as an underlying chronic condition that can seriously complicate your reader′s lives, even if they catch something like the flu. Remind your readers that they are in control and that high blood pressure is treatable.
- High blood press fact sheet
- High blood pressure education month
- MMWR article on lower sodium intake recommendations
April 2009 Story Ideas: Addressing the Effects of Climate Change
Flowers have started popping up, the days are getting longer and spring is in the air. April 22nd is Earth Day and April story ideas center on the environmental health effects of a changing climate and positive ways you can encourage your readers to change the world around them. Although scientific understanding of climate change is still evolving, there is a pressing need to prepare for any potential health effects. CDC has identified 11 ways to lead the public health response to climate change and works everyday to accomplish these goals.
Floods, Heat Waves and Wildfires, Oh My!
As climates change, weather events like floods, hurricanes, droughts and heat waves could increase in their frequency and severity. According to the Red Cross, more than 250 million people are affected by such disasters each year (44 pages). Families are displaced when their home is engulfed by a rising river, children lose a grandparent after a heat wave sweeps through the city and a town looses a recreational spot following a wildfire that flies through a forest preserve. Injuries and drowning incidences increase when more rivers flood, ecosystems are disrupted when hurricanes constantly ravage the southeast coast and farmers feel a tightening around their wallets when drought causes a less-than-optimal crop season. You can provide your readers with tips to help them minimize their impact on the environment and prepare for extreme weather events if they occur.
- Climate change and extreme weather events
- Climate change and heat waves
- Preparing for a
Something is in the Air
Daisies are poking through the ground, bees are buzzing and the pollen count is off the chart. As global temperatures rise and more carbon dioxide is pumped into the air, plant metabolism and pollen production increase. The results? More time using an inhaler and less time outside getting ready for swimsuit season. Your readers need to know that with changes in climate come changes in how they should manage their health. Longer warm seasons coupled with higher producing flowers, grasses, molds and weeds lead to more opportunities for asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease sufferers to be sick. Help your readers fight back.
- Climate Change Effect on Air-Borne Allergens
- Asthma Surveillance Data
- National Institute of Health′s Allergic Diseases web page
- CDC′s Mold web page
Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance in the environment, just like oxygen, sulfur and gold. But unlike gold, which is lovely to wear, or the oxygen we need to breath, at certain concentrations and over a long period of time, asbestos can have severe health effects such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions. Asbestos exposure can occur in homes, at the workplace or in our community. Help your readers find out what they can do to prevent exposure and get help if they think they have been exposed.
- Types of Asbestos Exposure
- Asbestos photos
- Summary Report: Exposure to asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, Montana, at 28 processing sites in the United States
Buzzier Seasons Ahead
Does it feel like summer arrives a litte earlier and stays a little later each year? Is that anything to really complain about? If you don′t fancy mosquito bites that can lead to West Nile Virus or diarrhea due to Cryptosporidiosis, it might be. Despite the difficulties of predicting the incidence of insect or animal-borne diseases, scientists know that climate is one of the many variables known to affect the rates of these diseases. The potential for climate change to impact the range and incidence is unknown, but some of these diseases, such as Lyme disease and Hantavirus, show evidence of seasonality and the range of these diseases could change with a changing climate. Make sure your readers know all the information about enjoying the outdoors safely.
- Climate change and insect and animal-borne diseases
- Insect borne diseases
- Tick and other animal-borne diseases
- How to prevent
Step by Step
When was the last time you could walk to work from home? Or take your children for a walk without having to pack and unpack twice? Walkable communities, communities where work, shops, schools, libraries, and churches are all within walking distance, might not be seen in your lifetime, but they are the wave of the future. CDC supports the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system, a collaboration among the U.S. Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is the first national standard for neighborhood design that promotes walkable communities. Such communities promote physical activity, improve air quality, lower the risk of vehicular injuries, increase the social connection among a community and reduce negative, manmade contributions to climate change.
- Healthy Community Design fact sheet (2 pages)
- Podcast: Walkable Communities
- CDC and LEED-ND (2 pages)
March 2009 Story Ideas: The Road to Good Health
You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
There are more than 150 million women in the United States. They work in all professions, play every sport and everything from the air they breath to the medicine they use affects them. As mothers, teachers, businesswomen, nurses and more, women impact every aspect of our lives. Help celebrate Women′s History Month by making sure the women in your community are achieving longer, healthier, and safer lives.
- Timeline of CDC/ATSDR′s Contributions to Women′s Health
- Women′s health campaigns and projects
- Assisted reproductive technology success rates
- HIV/AIDS among women
- Intimate partner violence
- Women′s safety and health issues at work
The Cost of Healthy Living
The bottom line is on the top of everyone′s mind these days. But can pinching pennies and eating healthy equal a better you? Your readers are looking for ways to eat healthy, keep up with the proper nutrition guidelines and still have some money left over. Adding fruits and vegetables to their diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
- Health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables recipes
- Tips sheets on adding fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Eat more, weigh less?
Staying Safe in the Safest Place
Comfy beds, edible food and perhaps even bunny slippers might make hospitals more appealing, but what about safe? Increasingly, hospitals have become the setting for serious health threats, ranging from staph infections like MRSA to urinary track infections to pneumonia. In American hospitals alone, healthcare-associated infections account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. You might not be able to do anything about the lunch servings, but you can educate your readers on the threats to their safety in hospitals.
- What is CDC doing to prevent healthcare-associated infections?
- Hand hygiene in healthcare settings
- Tips on medication safety
- Tips on injection safety
Life flies by. Somewhere between elementary school and high school graduation, the beginning of college and that first promotion, the first date and your tenth anniversary, it hits you. Billions of dollars are spent each year, directly and indirectly, to treat preventable diseases like diabetes, obesity and complications from smoking. With life expectancy at a record high, make sure your readers and their families get the necessary information to see that college graduation, move to the corner office and celebrate a 25th anniversary.
- Take five for health: things to do in five minutes or less to stay healthy at any age
- Caregiving tips for families with special needs
- Safe and healthy kids and teens
- College health and safety
Don′t Lose Sleep Over It
Sleep, like the economy, is one topic on which everyone has an opinion. In these tough economic times, it′s no surprise that some people are losing sleep and having trouble staying awake during the day. But when does simply not getting enough sleep turn into serious health problems? Help your readers stay on top of their game with some information on healthy sleeping and recognizing the signs of sleep disorders.
- CDC feature on sleep disorders and fatigue
- Podcast on sleep disorders: Not Just Phantoms in the Night
- Press release: Undiagnosed Sleep Problems may Lead to Long Term Health Issues
- Sleep and sleep disorders: A public health challenge
- How much sleep do I need?
- Sleep disorders and symptoms
Way Down to Kokomo
The sun is peaking through the clouds and winter weather is being replaced by chirping birds and yellow daffodils. This might not be the picture where you are, but students across the United States are ready for it and ready to swap out their books and parkas for surfboards and swimsuits. Help make sure they know how to have a good time and be safe.
- Spring break health and safety tips
- Healthy swimming
- What you need to know about vaccinations and travel
- Basics on skin cancer and how to protect yourself
- Youth violence fact sheet
One month a child is playing with his friends, interacting with ease. The next month his social skills seem impaired and his behavior has changed. Developmental disabilities, especially autism, are serious childhood disorders that affect a person throughout their life. Autism, one of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), begins before the age of 3 and can manifest itself in any number of possible warning signs. Educate your readers, some of whom are parents and teachers, about autism, the misconceptions surrounding the disease and what to do if they think their child has a developmental disability.
- What is autism?
- Statement from HHS on recent omnibus autism rulings
- Lear the Signs. Act Early.
- Autism treatment and therapy
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It′s Off to Work We Go
The seven dwarves might have enjoyed their job at the mines, but they′re fictional characters and your readers are real, as well as their job problems. Hours may be longer than normal to make up for a shrinking workforce, expectations higher and the rewards not foreseeable in the near future. So now is the time to make sure that your readers are not burned out, exhausted or on the way to serious health issue because of the stress of their job. Use these links to get some ideas on how to make sure America′s workforce is relaxed and ready to go.
- Work organizations and stress-related disorders
- NIOSH quality of worklife questionnaire
- Occupational health psychology
- Addressing demanding work schedules
- Administrative professional health and safety tips
February 2009 Story Ideas: Focusing on the Heart
Since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February "American Heart Month." As the No. 1 killer of Americans, cardiovascular diseases, which includes stroke, are a serious public health threat. Below are some ideas to help you help your readers understand how these diseases affect them and how to prevent them.
Newsroom February Story Ideas
The Heart of the Matter
It′s no secret heart disease is the primary killer of men and women in the United States. But did you know that almost half of men who have a heart attack under age 65 die within 8 years? Heart disease is the leading cause for all races except Asian Americans, though it affects races, ethnicities, and genders differently. Getting the basic facts and figures correct will help your readers understand the staggering affects heart disease has on the American population.
- Facts on Heart Disease in Men
- Facts on Heart Disease in Women
- Heart Disease Signs and Symptoms
- Heart Disease Risk Factors
- Heart disease death rates, 2000-4, Adults aged 35 and older by county
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (self-reported risk factors for heart disease)
- Common Killers Podcast: A Cup of Health with CDC
The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55 and more than 160,000 people die each year from it in the United States. As with most health conditions, stroke death rates are higher for African Americans than for whites, even at younger ages. And it has been noted for several decades that the southeastern United States has the highest stroke mortality rates in the country. It is not completely clear what factors might contribute to the higher incidence of and mortality from stroke in this region.
- Stroke Risk Factors
- Outcomes from a Stroke
- Stroke Prevention
- Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry
All Things Considered, I′m Fine
When you say heart disease, what do your readers think of? The heart attack their neighbor had last month? What else comes to their mind? While coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack, is the most common form of heart disease, there are multiple other life-threatening diseases that affect the heart. Such as angina, chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough blood, which is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease. Arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, the quivering of the top right chamber of the heart, affect an estimated 2.2 million adults in the United States. Besides educating your readers, let them know that a heart attack isn′t the only that could happen to them.
And the Beat Goes On
Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death among Americans. In 2008 cardiovascular disease cost $448.5 billion in health care services, medication and lost productivity. But what causes heart disease and stroke? Do your readers know what they can do to prevent these diseases? The following factors put people at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. The links describe the factor and ways to keep then in check to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Physical inactivity
- Dietary factors
January 2009 Story Ideas
Happy New Year! Here are the story ideas for January, along with the 2008 year-end bonus story ideas that look back at the health issues of 2008 and what is to come in 2009.
Sticking to Your New Year′s Resolution
Now that the celebrations are over and the decorations have come down, it′s time to focus on plans for the New Year and the resolutions you′ve made. Whether it′s eating healthier, trying to lose weight, or quitting smoking, the CDC has tips and helpful information to help you help your readers accomplish their goals.
- Prevent & manage stress
- Take folic acid
- Preventing diabetes
- Recommendations, best practices and guidelines for preventing chronic diseases
Health System Transformation
There is a lot of ongoing dialogue about the challenges that lie ahead for President Elect Barack Obama as he tackles one of his top priorities - reforming our healthcare system. The United States spends about $2.1 trillion, about $6,700 per person, on health each year. Right now, 75 percent of our current health expenditures target treatment for preventable conditions caused by tobacco use, poor diet and inactivity, alcohol and drug use, motor vehicle crashes, firearms, and other risks. As the Nation′s health protection agency, the CDC knows full well that “a dime of prevention is worth a dollar of cure.” CDC is in full support of a rapidly expanding movement that includes state and local health agencies, cities, states, small and large businesses, and private citizens that are committed to helping America become a “Healthiest Nation.”
- Alliance for the Healthiest Nation
- Health Protection Goals
- State-by-State Chronic Disease Profiles
- Quick Facts: Economic and Health Burden of Chronic Disease
- Quick Stats: Alcohol Use and Health
- Fastats: Illegal Drug Use
- Motor-Vehicle Related Injuries
- Firearms Laws and the Reduction of Violence
Protecting U.S. Borders
While the Department of Homeland Security works to protect U.S. borders from terrorists, the folks in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at CDC work to protect our borders from another, more discrete threat: infectious diseases. Quarantine, separating and restricting the movement of well people who may have been exposed to communicable diseases such as cholera, plague, smallpox or viral hemorrhagic fevers, has been around since the 14th century when cities experienced plague epidemics. Federal quarantine has only been used once in the last century, during the Spanish Flu of 1918-19.
- The History of Quarantine
- Quarantine stations, including a map of U.S. Quarantine stations
- Animal Importation
- Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health
The Importance of Being Vaccinated
Don′t be deceived by imposters who tell you and your readers that it′s too late to get a flu shot, because it′s not. Influenza activity usually peaks in February, so there is still time and enough vaccine available to be protected and help keep others protected. Since the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to provide protection from the flu, now is an optimal time to get vaccinated.
- Get the latest flu activity with the Weekly FluView
- Interim Antiviral Guidance for 2008-09
- Web site and contact information for public health flu clinics
- Information for Specific Groups
- Historical Document: 2009
- Content source: Office of the Associate Director for Communication
- Notice: Links to non-governmental sites do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.
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