Category Archives: preparedness

CDC Media Update: Lung Disease Associated with E-cigarette Use or Vaping

By Kim Rodgers, Communications Manager, NACCHO

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief

In response to the multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with other federal, state, and local partners are involved in an on-going investigation. CDC has released a media advisory concerning the situation, and the Lung Injury Response Website has various available resources to educate the publichealthcare providers, and state and local health departments on key facts and recommendations.

At this time, 805 cases of lung injury have been reported from 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 10 states have reported 12 confirmed deaths. All reported cases have been linked to a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.

Healthcare providers are urged to support response efforts by continuing to report both suspected and confirmed cases of lung injury to their state or local health department. Specimen collection, storage, and submission guidance is available. Collaboration with states, local health departments, and additional relevant partners is also critical. State public health officials should contact CDC at eocevent101@cdc.gov regarding possible cases of e-cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury.

For information on technical assistance with epidemiologic investigation, laboratory testing, and/or data collection tools, please contact CDC at eocevent101@cdc.gov. Questions on the submission of non-tissue samples should be directed to NCEHSampleLogistics@cdc.gov.

On September 25, 2019, NACCHO sent a letter to Congress highlighting the role of local health departments in addressing youth use of e-cigarettes and the need for action to curb youth use of these products. The letter further explained how NACCHO supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

NACCHO has a liaison officer within the CDC Emergency Operations Center and is participating in national calls. For any questions, comments, and/or technical resource needs, please contact the NACCHO Preparedness Program at preparedness@naccho.org.

Dialogue with Indigent Communities: How the Voice of Public Health Makes an Impact that Matters

Erika S. Corle, MPH, Executive Assistant, Providence St. Joseph Health/St. Mary Medical Center

While finishing this blog post, two major earthquakes struck the very area that I am writing about. These earthquakes were the largest to hit Southern California in the past 20 years, striking Kern and San Bernardino counties. Being a member of the affected community, I can attest to the fear, the unknowing, and the hope that the areas hardest hit would not be left behind or forgotten while larger, more able areas were addressed. Continue reading

NACCHO Statement on Gun Violence in Texas and Ohio

By Lori Tremmel Freeman, NACCCHO CEO

“Gun violence is a profound public health crisis in America. The horrific loss of life and injury in Texas and Ohio once again fill us with sadness, anger, and frustration at yet another senseless act of violence.  These tragedies have reached epidemic proportions and as with other epidemics, we must act to protect our communities’ public safety and well-being. Continue reading

2018 Preparedness Summit First Plenary Session—“Extraordinary Events of 2017: State, Local and Territorial Perspectives on Hurricane and Wildfire Response”

This story originally ran in Preparedness Brief blog.

At the 2018 Preparedness Summit, speakers representing the state, local and territorial perspectives on last year’s hurricane and wildfire events gave an overview of what happened, what went well, and what could have been done better.

Susan Fanelli, assistant director, California Department of Public Health, provided the state perspective on the California wildfires. California developed the Public Health & Medical Response System several years ago to share resources and situational awareness to increase coordination across counties. Between this resource and the GIS-based (geographic information system) dashboard that allowed the state to capture updates in real-time to disseminate out to stakeholders, local health departments were equipped with the most accurate information available. Continue reading

Taking Action to Address the Public Health Impact of Wildfire Smoke

By Alan Vette, Acting Director, Air and Energy National Research Program (ORD), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Erika Sasser, Director, Health and Environmental Impacts Division (OAQPS), EPA

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Essential Elements blog.

During Air Quality Awareness Week (April 30 – May 4), a focus on wildfire smoke is timely for public health because the 2018 wildfire season is about to begin for most of the U.S., and it has already started in some areas.

Exposure to wildfire smoke is a community health issue that has gained the attention of public health professionals and organizations, especially in states where fires are becoming more frequent and intense. Wildfire smoke has significant health implications for those near the fire as well as for those living farther downwind. Continue reading

The Local Health Department Response to the Zika Virus: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead

By Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, NACCHO President and Executive Director of Harris County Public Health in Houston, Texas

Local health departments (LHDs) have been on the front lines of responding to the Zika virus since its emergence as a public health threat in the United States (U.S.) more than two years ago. The virus, spread by Aedes aegypti (L.) and Ae. albopictus Skuse mosquitoes, carries adverse and costly health risks for pregnant women and their babies and has affected communities across the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,395 pregnant women in the U.S. states and the District of Columbia have shown laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection to date. Additionally, NACCHO’s 2017 Forces of Change survey found that confirmed travel-related cases of Zika have been reported in nearly 90% of large LHD jurisdictions. LHDs incorporated a multi-pronged, One-Health approach to responding to the virus that included vector control, epidemiology, environmental public health, maternal and child health, community engagement, and advocacy activities. Continue reading

Influenza Season: Resources and Information for Local Health Departments

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief.

Flu season is upon us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports increasing and widespread flu activity across the United States. According to CDC surveillance, influenza-like illness activity is higher than it was during the peak of the 2014-2015 flu season and so far hospitalization rates are similar to that same time period. Continue reading