Posts Tagged ‘public health intervention’

6.4 Trillion Calories

January 21st, 2014

Can you picture 6.4 trillion calories? That’s the number of fewer calories sold by 16 major food companies in the last 5 years.  The companies include names like Campbell’s Soup and the Coca-Cola Company. All are part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and have pledged to remove calories from their products as a public health intervention. 

A study published last week found that the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation companies beat their pledged calorie reduction goal by 400% over the last 5 years.   This decrease translates to a reduction of 78 calories per person per day in the U.S.  Since the obesity epidemic is thought to be a result of just an extra 150 calories a day per person- this news shows we’re heading in the right direction. This study also shows how important the food industry is as a partner in our work to decrease the burden of obesity. 

Check out just some of the actions we’re taking to decrease obesity as part of our Strategic Plan to impact “Winnable Battles” here in Arizona.

Solve the Outbreak

March 4th, 2013

Check out CDC’s new iPad App, Solve the Outbreak, which lets you pretend you’re a disease outbreak investigator in the world-class Epidemic Intelligence Service by solving outbreaks based on real-life.  When new outbreaks happen, disease detectives are sent in to figure out how they started, before they can spread.  You get to investigate the outbreak and make decisions about confirming cases and implementing public health interventions like isolation and quarantine, social distancing, vaccine prioritization etc.  

The better your answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly you’ll save lives. You’ll start out as a Trainee and will earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.  Post your scores on Facebook or Twitter and challenge your friends to do better.  Download the free app today!  

BTW: Dr. Frieden (the CDC Director) paid us a visit during our monthly Local Health Officers meeting on Wednesday afternoon.  Check out the pictures on the Facebook.

Acing the Readiness Test

December 12th, 2011

Disease detection and swift and effective public health interventions are essential to saving lives in a public health emergency.  According to a new report from the CDC on Public Health Preparedness, Arizona’s public health system is ready and well-prepared. The CDC report outlines the Department’s ability to detect and respond to a wide range of public health threats including our ability to request, receive, and distribute emergency supplies through the Strategic National Stockpile.  This year, we scored 97 out of 100 on the review.  The evaluation for the Phoenix metropolitan area rose to 95.  You can see the complete report on the CDC’s website.

By the way, the CDC has developed a new National Strategic Plan for Public Health Preparedness and Response- which is a guide for the nation’s public health system.  The plan identifies eight core objectives which need to be achieved to reach the vision.


September 9th, 2011

In all my years in public health this is the first crack I’ve taken at being a movie critic- so give me a little slack on this one.  I checked out the new movie called Contagion- and really liked it. I won’t give up too much information and spoil the film, but it’s basically a fictional drama that portrays CDC and other public health folks responding to a new disease outbreak that ends up causing a pandemic.  While I thought some of the human behavior and public policy decisions in the film were over the top- I was pleasantly surprised that the Director made good efforts to capture the essence of epidemiology, surveillance and disease control, public health interventions, and laboratory science and how they fit together as part of a public health response.

Ok, so you might wonder as you leave the theater- “Could this really happen?”  The answer is “yes” and it kind of already has.  The 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic was remarkably similar to the core of what happens in ContagionSARS- which was a easily transmitted and had a case-fatality rate of more than 10% – rapidly spread from Hong Kong to 37 countries.  Fortunately, a robust international public health response that included effective public health interventions was able to prevent the virus from becoming a devastating global pandemic.

Public health from around the world worked to identify and isolate the virus and good and swift public health interventions were able to limit the spread of the disease.  Because of the quick and robust initial public health response it was fully contained – but it won’t ever be eradicated because it could still live in an animal reservoir and spread to people.  By the way- civet cats were the likely intermediate host for direct transmission of SARS to humans, but bats, or some other host, are likely the natural reservoir for the virus.

The good news is that you should still be able to sleep after you watch the film because you’re aware that a global, national, state and local public health system is in place that’s designed to quickly identify emerging infectious diseases.  Plus, we get better every day at crafting and implementing public health interventions.  Here’s a website called Contagion and CDC which was created by the CDC Foundation to help separate fact from fiction and to highlight CDC’s role in preparedness and response… Contagion Movie:  Fact and Fiction in the film, a CDC website….and CDC 24/7 – which is a website that includes information you may find useful on how the public health system protects us from outbreaks.

By the way- all the locations in the movie that depict the CDC were all taken on their campus.  I recognized their Emergency Operations Center in the movie- and have even been in meetings in the conference room you’ll see in the movie.  The lab’s you see are actually the CDC labs too… as are the rooms you see where staff are talking about the outbreak.