By JC Sevcik, http://www.upi.com
The department announced their have been eight cases of invasive meningococcal disease in the county so far this year, the L.A. Times reports.
Invasive meningococcal disease causes meningitis, an inflammation of the the meninges, the protective membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can be spread through exposure to sneezing and coughing and contact with saliva and mucous. Kissing, sharing beverages or cigarettes, and living in group settings can transmit the bacteria responsible for infection.
Symptoms usually onset within five days of exposure to the bacteria, and may include a high fever, stiff neck, aches, and an aversion to bright lights.
Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends public health actions be initiated.
A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC, is committed to eliminating this burden to public health.
October 20 – 26th is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. During this time the CDC will strive to:
- Raise awareness about lead poisoning;
- Stress the importance of screening the highest risk children younger than 6 years of age (preferably by ages 1 and 2) if they have not been tested yet;
- Highlight partners’ efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning; and
- Urge people to take steps to reduce lead exposure.
For more information on how you can prevent lead poisoning in your home and community visit the Lead Paint Resources page at Occupational Knowledge International.
- Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2013: What Can You Do To Prevent Lead Paint Exposure? (medicaldaily.com)
- Raising Awareness of Lead Poisoning (voanews.com)
By Liz Szabo, http://www.usatoday.com
Pediatricians and public-health advocates are working to revive programs to protect children from lead poisoning, after what they describe as a series of devastating blows to their efforts.
Congress all but eliminated federal funding to prevent lead poisoning in 2012, cutting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead budget by more than 90%. There is no safe level of lead, the CDC estimates that 535,000 American kids have enough lead in their blood to put them at high risk for lead poisoning, which causes intellectual impairments and behavioral problems.
Although lead is no longer used in gasoline or paint, many children are still exposed by living in old housing with peeling paint. USA TODAY also has documented the hazards to children from shuttered lead smelting factories, which left layers of lead in backyards and playgrounds across the USA.
“It’s like they’re declaring victory in a war that has not been won,” says Jerome Paulson, a professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on environmental health. Read More
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- Colorado flood cleanup advice: Be safe, be patient, keep records (denverpost.com)