OSHA Zika Virus Webpage

From OSHA…

OSHA and NIOSH provide guidance for protecting workers from exposure to Zika virus

zika-mosquito_originalAedes aegypti mosquitoes, like the one pictured, can become infected when they bite infected persons and can then spread the Zika virus to other persons they subsequently bite.

An outbreak of Zika is spreading through Central and South America, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, including U.S. territories. Though Zika currently isn’t spreading on the mainland through mosquitoes—the main route of transmission of the virus—employers and workers should take steps to prevent or minimize the risk of Zika infection if transmission starts to occur or if they work with travelers returning to the U.S. with Zika. An OSHA and NIOSH interim guidance* provides recommendations on protecting workers who may be at risk for Zika virus infection through on-the-job exposure to mosquitoes or the blood or other body fluids of infected individuals. Visit OSHA’s Zika webpage for more information.

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Therapy Instead of Opiates

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On Friday March 15th 2016, the CDC issued guidelines concerning the prescribing of opiates for chronic pain for cases other than “active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.” They put together this guideline in order to address the epidemic of opiate addictions and overdoses evident in America today. Fact is that more people die each year from opiate overdoses than from guns or car accidents; most of those deaths, the CDC believes, could have been prevented with stricter guidelines on how and when to prescribe the drugs.

The bottom line is that the CDC recommends alternate therapy (exercise, Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). If opiates are, in fact, deemed necessary, healthcare professionals should prescribe the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. Patients who are given opiates should also be closely monitored to make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Questions remain, however, as to whether these new guidelines won’t, at least in the short-run, increase crime (as addicts break into homes and pharmacies to get the opiates that they are addicted to and can no longer get) and deaths (as addicts who can no longer get opiates start using heroin instead).

There is no doubt that tighter controls are needed. There is also no doubt that, in the long run, these new guidelines will help reduce overdose deaths, especially in people who’ve gotten addicted unintentionally. What, however, is missing in these guidelines is a plan to help those presently addicted to opiates.

You can read the complete CDC Guideline here.


CDC Announces New Lyme Disease Bacteria

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, have announced a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease.

lyme-disease

“Like B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii causes fever, headache, rash, and neck pain in the early stages of infection (days after exposure) and arthritis in later stages of infection (weeks after exposure). Unlike B. burgdorferi, however, B. mayonii is associated with nausea and vomiting, diffuse rashes (rather than a single so-called “bull’s-eye” rash), and a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood,” according to the release.

So far the new bacteria have only been identified in the Midwest and confined to six individuals. Standard antibacterial treatment has been successful.

It has yet to be seen if and when the bacteria will spread.

Read the full report on the CDC website.


CDC in Hot Water over Infographic

The CDC appears to be condescending to young women about their drinking habits. They put out an infographic about the risks of drinking too much, specifically targeted to young women. Here’s the infographic:

CDC

Do you notice anything interesting? Check the “For any woman” category at the top of the infographic. Apparently drinking can give you an STD and/or get you pregnant! Wow! If you need a reason to quit drinking that might do it!

Needless to say, a great number of people are a little miffed that the CDC seems to think that young women have no restraint when they drink and apparently are going to have sex with anyone, get pregnant and get a sexually transmitted disease.

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Pregnant Women and Filtering Facepiece Respirators

According to the CDC half of the workforce are women. It stands to reason therefore that at some point pregnant women will end up working while using filtering facepiece respirators (what most people know as “dust masks”).

Pregnant

Many pregnant women have reported shortness of breathe which have raised concern about whether pregnant women should actually wear filtering facepiece respirators at all and whether doing so might actually be harming the fetus.

Are recent study found that “The effects of wearing an N95 FFR for one hour are similar for healthy pregnant and non-pregnant women. Wearing an N95 FFR for one hour by healthy pregnant women does not have an effect on the fetal heart rate.

Read the complete report on the CDC website at N95 Respirator Use During Pregnancy – Findings from Recent NIOSH Research.


Health Implications of Drought: Infectious Disease

From the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drought/infectious.htm

Increases in infectious disease can be a direct consequence of drought.

  • Viruses, protozoa, and bacteria can pollute both groundwater and surface water when rainfall decreases. People who get their drinking water from private wells may be at higher risk for drought-related infectious disease. Other groups also at increased risk include those who have underlying chronic conditions.
  • Acute respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses are more easily spread from person to person when hand washing is compromised by a perceived or real lack of available water. During water shortages, the risk for infectious disease increases when hygiene is not maintained.
  • E. coli and Salmonella are examples of bacteria that during drought can more readily contaminate food and cause infectious disease. Food can serve as a vehicle for disease transmission during a drought because water shortages can cause farmers to use recycled water to irrigate their fields and process the food they grow. When used to grow crops, improperly treated water can cause a host of infectious diseases (such as those caused by toxin-producing E. coli and Salmonella), which can be life-threatening for people in high-risk groups. In addition, the likelihood of surface runoff, which can occur when rain fails to penetrate the dry and compacted soil that often accompanies drought, can cause the inadvertent contamination of crops.
  • Other infectious disease threats arise when drought leads to the contamination of surface waters and other types of water that are used for recreational purposes. When temperatures rise and rainfall declines, people are more likely to participate in water-related recreation. Persons exposed to contaminated recreational waters are more likely to become infected with pathogens that thrive in the shallow warm waters that exist during drought conditions.

Heads Up App to Help Diagnose and Deal with Football Concussions

If you’ve got friend or family member who plays football, you probably worry, knowing how common brain injuries can be in this sport.

The CDC wants to help. “Whether you are a parent, youth sports coach, high school coach, school professional, or health care provider, this site will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.

To do this they have created “Heads Up” an apps to teach you how to detect, respond to, recover from, and help prevent concussions.

Head to http://www.cdc.gov/HEADSUP/ to find out more about protection our kids from concussions and to download the Heads Up app.

Heads_Up


CDC Launches New Prescription Drug Overdose Site

Did you know that “since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled?”

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Every day in the US, 44 people will die from a prescribed drug overdose. Most of those deaths will be from drugs that fall in the Opiods category with these four being the main culprits:

  • Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin)
  • Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana)
  • Methadone (especially when prescribed for pain)

Because the problem is reaching epidemic proportions, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has launched a new website to help educate people about the dangers of prescription drugs. The website is meant, not only for consumers but also for healthcare professionals, trying to help them understand how and when to prescribe these drugs.

Checkout the CDC Rx Overdose page for yourself


CDC Not Practicing What They Preach

The purpose of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is to control diseases and keep them from spreading or so it would seem from the name of the organization. Turns out, however, that the CDC gets a fail grade on lab procedures and house keeping that would, in fact, keep diseases from spreading.

An independent evaluation of the CDC concluded

Prompting this investigation of the CDCs safety procedures is a set of lab accidents this past year in handling Anthrax, Bird Flu and Ebola. Fortunately no one was hurt but that, apparently had more to do with luck than anything that CDC might have put together to protect its workers.

Additionally, workers at the CDC are afraid to report problems and safety violations for fear of repercussions.

that measures are being taken to rectify these problems stating that additional safety training is being scheduled and new safety measures are now in place.

I don’t know about you but I’m sure I’ll sleep better at night knowing this!

 


The Cost of a Healthy Workforce (CDC Infographic)

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Did you know that the costs of lost productivity because of chronic pain range from$11.6 to $12.8 billion annually? Or  that heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing our nation today. Treatment of these diseases accounts for about $1 of every $6 spent on U.S. health care?

Check out the CDC’s new website “The Cost of a Healthy Workforce” page for more info.