Category Archives: immunization and infectious disease

Cervical Health Awareness Month: Resources and Lessons from LHDs

By LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NACCHO

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a time when local health departments (LHDs) can increase awareness of cervical cancer, the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) as the leading cause of cervical cancer, and the importance of prevention and early detection in their communities.

Although the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased over time in the United States, thousands of women and their families, friends, and caregivers are affected by cervical cancer each year. Continue reading

World AIDS Day: How Local Health Departments are Acting Now to End the Epidemic

lamar-hasbrouck-headshot-2015By LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NACCHO

Today is World AIDS Day, a day to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS, reflect on our progress and the challenges that remain, and unite in our commitment to an AIDS-free generation. The U.S. theme for World AIDS Day 2015 is “The Time to Act Is Now.” This year presents an opportunity to celebrate tremendous progress in expanding access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care; focus on the ambitious—but feasible—targets to end the HIV epidemic; and achieve the UNAIDS vision of “zero new HIV infections, zero HIV deaths, and zero HIV stigma.” We know what it takes to prevent HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV. We must continue to build on our successes by scaling up what works, now. Continue reading

Immunizations Needed to Protect Children and Communities from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

By Dr. Swannie Jett, NACCHO President

Before students returned to school for the start of the current school year, many received required vaccines to stay healthy and avoid life-threatening diseases. Vaccines not only protect children and their long-term health, but also the health of their communities. While many states debate extending or restricting exemptions for vaccines, healthcare professionals at local health departments and in pediatricians’ offices are keeping students safe from diseases by providing necessary immunizations. Continue reading

Promote the Importance of Vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month

The following post was originally published on NACCHO’s new Healthy People, Healthy Places blog. The blog offers the latest news, resources, tools, and events for local health departments on issues such as climate change, vector-borne and infectious diseases, foodborne illnesses, and immunization. Visit the blog at http://essentialelements.naccho.org/.

IZ-month-logoRates of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased significantly in the last century with the development of safe and effective vaccines. Diseases like whooping cough and diphtheria used to kill thousands of people each year, but many doctors today have never even seen a case. The United States is also on its way to reaching 80% standard vaccine series coverage for children 19 to 35 months, with coverage rates increasing from 44.3% in 2009 to 68.4% in 2012. To capitalize on this success and keep the momentum going, your local health department can promote the importance of vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in August. Continue reading

Opioid-Associated Outbreaks: Preparation & Prevention Lessons from the Indiana HIV/HCV Outbreak among People Who Inject Drugs

19090293 needleBy Hilary N. McQuie, MA, Senior Program Analyst, HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis, NACCHO

This post originally ran on NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief blog. For more preparedness news and information, visit http://www.nacchopreparedness.org.

The HIV and related hepatitis C (HCV) outbreak among people who inject drugs (PWID), particularly oxymorphone (OPANA®), in Scott County, IN, is an unprecedented situation. However, the conditions that led to the outbreak are not unique to Scott County, which highlights the potential for a similar situation to occur elsewhere. Since December 2014, 160 new HIV cases have been diagnosed among the Scott County town of Austin’s 4,200 residents, representing a “higher incidence of HIV than any country in sub-Saharan Africa,” as CDC Director Thomas Frieden has remarked.[1] HCV rates among those diagnosed with HIV are estimated to be over 90% and the projected cost of treatment for these twin outbreaks is currently $100 million.[1] Continue reading

Barren River District Health Department Partners with Western Kentucky University for HPV Prevention Efforts

blog-hpc-university

Partners, including WKU students and administrators, brainstorm activities for their HPV action plan

By Alyson Jordan, MPA, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

To strategize how to increase vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV), NACCHO worked with the Barren River District Health Department (KY) to host an action planning meeting on April 30 and May 1. This meeting is one of ten action planning meetings with local health departments (LHDs) selected by NACCHO to identify strategies to improve vaccination rates against HPV, the leading cause of cervical and several other types of cancers.  Continue reading

NACCHO Launches Hepatitis C Educational Series during Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month

hep-cBy Alyssa Kitlas, Program Analyst, HIV/STI/HCV, NACCHO

May is Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that close to 5 million Americans are infected with chronic viral hepatitis (B and C) and that it is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplant in the United States.1 Local health departments play an important role in addressing viral hepatitis, from providing vaccinations for hepatitis A and B to assuring or directly conducting surveillance, prevention, education, screening, and linkage to care for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Continue reading