Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Telemedicine Increases Diabetic Eye Exams

"Early diagnosis through screening and treatment of diabetes-related eye disease is 90% effective in preventing blindness. More participants were screened for eye disease at local health clinics using telemedicine than when referred out to eye care providers.
Oregon Health and Science University Prevention Research Center (PRC) is researching the effectiveness of using telemedicine to prevent blindness from diabetic retinopathy.
The leading cause of blindness in working-age adults is eye disease related to poorly managed diabetes.1 Diabetic retinopathy is significant because an 83% increase in diabetes is expected— 24 million in 2009 to 44 million by 2034.1
Minority populations including American Indian/Alaska Natives are two times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.1 There is a 78% chance that people with poorly managed diabetes for more than 15 years will develop eye disease..."
Telemedicine and diabetes

Cancer, the Flu, and You

"Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.
Living with cancer increases your risk for complications from influenza (“flu”). If you have cancer now or have had cancer in the past, you are at higher risk for complications from the seasonal flu or influenza, including hospitalization and death.

Get Your Flu Shot!

People with cancer or a history of cancer, and people who live with or care for cancer patients and survivors, should get a seasonal flu shot. Immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness from flu. Also, aging decreases the body’s ability to have a good immune response after getting a flu shot. Two vaccines are designed specifically for people 65 and older—
For more information, see What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older..."
Cancer and flu

A Child’s Health is the Public’s Health

"Preparing for unexpected events is an important part of keeping children safe and healthy all year long. Events like the spread of a serious infection, an explosion, an earthquake, or a weather event, such as a hurricane, may cause health problems for large numbers of people, and especially for children.
Children make up one in four people in the United States and they have special needs during and after emergencies. Although younger children are often more affected than adults during disasters, there are concerns for children of all ages during emergencies because
  • Children may not be able to follow directions or make decisions to keep them away from danger during a disaster.
  • Children’s bodies use energy quicker than adults’ do, and they need food and water more often. This means that they will absorb poisons or dangerous chemicals faster than adults will.
  • Children have thinner skin and breathe faster than adults do, making them more likely to take in harmful substances through the skin or breathe them in.."
    Children's health

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

"Prior to 1984, neither federal civil service employees nor Members of Congress paid Social Security taxes, nor were they eligible for Social Security benefits. Members of Congress and other federal employees were instead covered by a separate pension plan called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The 1983 amendments to the Social Security Act (P.L. 98-21) required federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. Because CSRS was not designed to coordinate with Social Security, Congress directed the development of a new retirement plan for federal workers. The result was the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 (P.L. 99- 335)..."
Congressional retirement benefits

New American Community Survey Statistics Provide Local Data for Every Community Nationwide

"The nation experienced an increase in commuting time, median gross rent and a rise in English proficiency among those who spoke another language. These are only a few of the statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates data release, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeowner rates and costs, health insurance and educational attainment.

“The American Community Survey allows us to track incremental changes across our nation on how people live and work, year-to-year,” said David Waddington, chief of the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division. “It’s our country’s only source of small area estimates for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. These estimates help people, businesses and governments throughout the country better understand the needs of their populations, the markets in which they operate and the challenges and opportunities they face.”

The survey produces statistics for all of the nation’s 3,142 counties. In addition, it is the only full dataset available for three-fourths of all counties with populations too small to produce a complete set of single-year statistics (2,322 counties). Each year, Census Bureau data helps determine how more than $675 billion of federal funding are spent on infrastructure and services, from highways to schools to hospitals..."
American Community survey 2016

Friday, December 8, 2017

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

"Everyone can practice food safety during the holidays.
  • Wash your hands. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, after touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables, and before eating or drinking.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature. Roasts, chops, steaks and fresh ham should rest for 3 minutes after removing from the oven or grill.
  • Keep food out of the “danger zone.” Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. After food is cooked, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours. The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F and the freezer at or below 0°F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes containing raw eggs. Salmonella and other harmful germs can live on both the outside and inside of normal-looking eggs. Many holiday favorites contain raw eggs, including eggnog, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, and Caesar dressing. Always use pasteurized eggs when making these and other foods made with raw eggs.
  • Do not eat dough or batter. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Do not taste or eat unpasteurized dough or batter of any kind, including those for cookies, cakes, pies, biscuits, pancakes, tortillas, pizza, or crafts. Do not let children taste raw dough or batter or play with dough at home or in restaurants.
  • Keep foods separated. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from meat, poultry, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags. Store eggs in their original carton in the main compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Safely thaw your turkey. Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly..."
    Holiday food safety

Day of Infamy" Speech:

"On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II..."
Day of Infamy

Thursday, December 7, 2017

AMERICAN EXPERIENCES VERSUS AMERICAN EXPECTATIONS:An updated look at private sector employment for Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and American Indians/Alaskan Natives in celebration of the EEOC's 50th Anniversary

"American Experiences versus American Expectations illustrates the significant changes to the United States workforce during the 50 years since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opened its doors in 1965. The report is an updated look at the groundbreaking 1977 EEOC research Black Experiences Versus Black Expectations. Written by Dr. Melvin Humphrey, EEOC's then-director of Research, Black Experiences versus Black Expectations was the first major EEOC research report to use data collected through the EEO-1 survey to focus on the issue of racial inequality in the workforce. The report's title came from the gap between African American employment experiences in the workforce and expectations based on fair-share employment levels, defined at the time as the number of minorities employed at a rate equal to their employment availability. 
American Experiences versus American Expectations focuses on changes in employment participation from 1966 to 2013 not only for African Americans but also for Hispanics, Asian Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, and women. The participation rate represents the percentage of workers from each demographic group that hold positions in the variety of categories reported in the EEO-1 survey.
Beginning in 1966 all employers with 100 or more employees (lower thresholds apply to federal contractors) have been required by law to file the Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the EEOC. In FY 2013 approximately 70,000 employers filed an EEO-1. These forms indicate the composition of an employer's workforces by sex and by race/ethnic category[1]. The EEO-1 form collects data on nine major job categories.."
Minorities and Women employment data

Possible U.S. Policy Approaches to North Korea

"Since assuming office, the Trump Administration has raised the North Korea threat to a top-level foreign policy priority in response to the regime’s demonstrations of rapid military advances. Officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea has rebuffed U.S. and South Korean offers to negotiate on denuclearization since 2009 and has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In 2017, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapons test, and carried out two tests of long-range ballistic missiles that some observers believe have intercontinental range. All of these tests violate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

North Korea is on track to develop and deploy the capability to attack the U.S. homeland with nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). U.S. intelligence estimates note that North Korea already likely has the capability to mount nuclear warheads on mediumrange ballistic missiles that can reach Japan and Guam, both of which have major U.S. military installations. Official statements by the Kim Jong-un government suggest it is striving to build a credible regional nuclear warfighting capability that could evade regional missile defenses. (See CRS In Focus IF10472, North Korea’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs.)..."
U.S. and North Korea

Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea: In Brief

"Some analysts have suggested that, in response to the accelerated pace of North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing programs and its continued threats against the United States and U.S. allies, the United States might engage in an aggressive negotiation strategy. Since the early 1990s, successive U.S. Presidents have faced the question of whether to negotiate with the North Korean government to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program and ambitions. Questions for policymakers include the utility, timing, scope, and goals of diplomatic talks with Pyongyang.

The United States has engaged in four major sets of formal nuclear and missile negotiations with North Korea: the bilateral Agreed Framework (1994-2002), the bilateral missile negotiations (1996-2000), the multilateral Six-Party Talks (2003-2009), and the bilateral Leap Day Deal (2012). In general, the formula for these negotiations has been for North Korea to halt, and in some cases disable, its nuclear or missile programs in return for economic and diplomatic incentives. While some of the negotiations have shown progress, North Korea has continued to advance its nuclear and missile programs.."
North Korea nuclear negotiations

PIT and HIC Data Since 2007

"These raw data sets contain Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates and national PIT estimates of homelessness as well as national estimates of homelessness by state and estimates of chronic homelessness from 2007 - 2017. Estimates of homeless veterans are also included beginning in 2011. The accompanying Housing Inventory Count (HIC) data is available as well from 2007 - 2017.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Coping with Stress

"Find out how to manage stress after a traumatic event by following CDC’s tips for self-care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information to help individuals cope with stress.
Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.
Sometimes stress can be good. It can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. Stress can be harmful, however, when it is prolonged or severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control..."

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

"Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion..."
        Winter safety

Fight the Flu!

"December 3-9 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, now’s the time! An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against flu.
This year, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place December 3-9, 2017. NIVW highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

Vaccination is the Best Way to Prevent Flu!

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against flu. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February in the United States, although activity can last as late as May. Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks; the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely you are to be protected against flu when activity picks up in your community. View CDC’s influenza summary map for a weekly update on flu activity in the United States..."

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients

"Learn how to prevent infections. Call your doctor right away if you get a fever or feel sick during your chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get infections.Each year in the United States, 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized because their low white blood cell count led to a serious infection. One in 14 of these patients dies.
The immune system helps your body protect itself from getting an infection. Cancer and chemotherapy can damage this system by reducing your number of infection-fighting white blood cells, a condition called neutropenia. An infection can lead to sepsis, the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection.
Find out from your doctor when your white blood cell count is likely to be lowest, since this is when you’re most at risk for infection. This usually occurs between 7 and 12 days after you finish each chemotherapy dose, and may last as long as one week..."

Cancer patient infections