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Chikungunya, NIAM, media topics, Vital Signs this Thursday
The monthly call this Thursday, July 24, at 2 p.m. Eastern promises to be a good one. Presentations will include Florida's preparation for and response to the emerging threat of Chikungunya Fever. Last week Florida reported the first locally acquired cases of Chikungunya. Up until that point, all of the more than 230 cases reported in 31 states had been imported. Other presentations will feature a tutorial on how you should be using the National Immunization Awareness Month toolkit for maximum impact next month, as well as an update on upcoming media releases and reports from CDC and the next Vital Signs report on children's fruit and vegetable consumption. Dial-in number is 877-491-3955 and the passcode is 82268545.
NPHIC Newsletter loaded with topical news
NPHIC's July-August newsletter is filled with key public health news. Read how Indiana's PIO responded to the intense challenge of the nation's first MERS case and how California's Health Department is helping tackle the Golden State's severe drought and wildfires. Other articles focus on the resurgence of measles; New York's new digital public health toolkit; how Alabama is addressing suicide as a public health issue; how two NPHIC members are seeking to reverse the appalling state of Native American oral health; how lead state PIOs are strengthening ties with the CDC; why animal diseases should concern you; and how you can "Speak up and go back to college." You can download the newsletter here.
First locally-acquired Chikungunya cases in U.S. reported
The Florida Department of Health on July 17 confirmed the first cases of locally acquired chikungunya fever in the U.S., one in Miami Dade County and the other in Palm Beach County. Previously, 232 cases of chikungunya, including 73 in Florida, have been imported to the U.S. by travelers, typically from Caribbean nations. The disease is spread by day-biting Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person. Symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, severe joint pain, mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Chikungunya is not contagious from person-to-person and is typically not life threatening. Florida's news release is here, CDC's national case count is here and digital press kit is here.
Wildfire season: check out Oregon's toolkit
The Oregon Health Authority has developed an excellent toolkit to assist local health departments with messaging during and after a wildfire. The Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication During Wildfires Toolkit contains talking points sample press releases, web pages, social media messages and more. The toolkit uses CDC's CERC phase-based message framework and is one of several that have been produced in Oregon.
Tracking outbreaks by mining social media
Chicago and New York are using data mining software to be on the cutting edge of tracking foodborne illness, according to this Digitalgov article. The first to do this was Chicago, monitoring Twitter for possible food poisoning references, and New York was close behind, scanning Yelp restaurant reviews for possible outbreaks. Both cities search posts for words that could signal food poisoning, like "sick," "vomit," "diarrhea" and, of course, "food poisoning." Staff then encourage those who post to file an official complaint. This may hold promise for other initiatives. Google is using similar data mining techniques to help track the flu.
State indicator report on physical activity released
A new report from the CDC reveals state-level data on physical activity behaviors and environmental and policy support for physical activity. For example one of the indicators is the percent of youth with parks, community centers and sidewalks in the neighborhood. The national average is 54.5%; the top state is Colorado at 69.9% and the worst state is Mississippi at 30.0%. For the indicator "met aerobic and muscle strengthening guidelines," Colorado is on top again with 27.3% and Tennessee and West Virginia are tied for rock bottom at 12.7%. For the indicator "no leisure-time physical activity," once again Colorado fares best at 16.5% while Tennessee and West Virginia claim the most couch potatoes at 35.1% The report is here.
Public health community mourns jetliner losses
Victims of the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over Ukraine included upwards of 100 officials who were headed to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Among them were World Health Organization spokesman Glenn Thomas and noted HIV/AIDS researcher Joep Lange. Thomas, top photo, was a 49-year-old Briton who had briefed journalists and responded to media requests for more than a decade with WHO. Thomas "will be remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health," a colleague said. Lange, bottom photo, researched HIV/AIDS for more than 30 years and was "considered a giant in the field, admired for his tireless advocacy for access to affordable AIDS drugs for HIV positive patients living in poor countries," according to a Reuters account. More here about Thomas and here about Lange.
Rabid bat news prompts educational opportunity
News about three recent incidents of persons being bitten by rabid bats certainly will stoke more fear about this widely misunderstood animal. The incidents occurred in Montgomery County, Tenn.; Lee's Summit, Mo.; and Pueblo, Colo. While public health officials need to stress that bats should never be touched or held, they also can take the opportunity to educate people about these beneficial creatures. A small brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night. Bats also are pollinators and seed-dispensers for many plants. Very few bats have rabies: Even among bats submitted for rabies testing because they could be captured, were obviously weak or sick, or had been captured by a cat, only about 6% had rabies, according to the CDC. More about bats here and here.
Vermont fact sheet responds to swimming hole deaths
The Vermont Health Department has put together a fact sheet titled "9 tips to keep you safe at the swimming hole this summer." The sheet's tips for swimming in natural bodies of water rant from "Don't swim alone" to "Bring a rope." The sheet is in response to multiple deaths at various swimming holes over the years, led by Huntington Gorge with more than 15 and Cobb Brook with 12 deaths. The sheet is here and a news release is here.
How to hashtag for Twitter success
Imagine if, with the stroke of a key, you could land your information in front of hundreds of people in your target audience. When it comes to Twitter, hashtags are small but mighty, and can help your department achieve its social media goals. Here are five ways to boost your tweets.
Maps reveal scope of HIV in 33 cities
An interactive online map project reveals the areas of the U.S. most impacted by HIV. Maps at the ZIP-code-level show areas of 33 cities that account for nearly 60 percent of the epidemic in the country. The project, called AIDSVu, was developed by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. By making the data widely available and locally relevant, it seeks to aid decision-making about the best use of HIV prevention, testing and treatment resources. The maps are here, as well as other resources such as HIV testing and care service locators.
Updated NCHCMM program information
A basic program agenda and information about four compelling workshops are now available online for the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. The basic program agenda is here and the workshop details are here. The workshops are titled Hands-on Social Media Strategy; Learning to use the CDC Clear Communication Index; Secrets to creating compelling public health video & audio content using your Smartphone or Tablet; and Storytelling for Social Media to create stories that change behavior. You may register for the Aug. 19-21 conference in Atlanta here and make hotel reservations here.
Climb aboard NPHIC's Facebook page
NPHIC has an active Facebook page with content added regularly. So get on board, "like" us, sign up as a "friend," and comment on posts. Our Facebook page is here. See you there!
Are you missing some sweet tweets?
What? You're not following NPHIC on Twitter?  What's the delay?  Join our growing ranks of public health and communications followers today.  Also feel free to suggest items to tweet or re-tweet.
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#publichealth New physical activity report says Colo. fittest and most couch potatoes in Tenn. and W. Va.
#publichealth First locally-acquired cases of Chikungunya fever reported today in U.S. See
NPHIC's July/August newsletter has just been published and it's loaded with #publichealth news. see
Promote the Importance of #Immunizations for Life with the 2014 NIAM #Communication Toolkit! via @nphic
RT @AHRQIX: These resources for public health communicators help with reports of cancer clusters in community settings

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.
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