Monday, December 17, 2018

HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention for Boys, Too!

"Every year in the United States, over 13,000 men get cancers caused byhuman papillomavirus (HPV). HPV vaccination could prevent most of these cancers from ever developing.  
HPV is a common virus that infects both men and women. HPV is so common that 8 out of 10 people will get an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own. But, sometimes, HPV infections don’t go away, and can cause certain cancers and other diseases.
HPV infections can cause cancers of the back of the throat (oropharyngeal cancer), anus, and penis in men. Cancers of the back of the throat have surpassed cervical cancer as the most common type of cancer caused by HPV. Unlike cervical cancer in women, there are no recommended screening tests for the other types of cancers that HPV causes, so they may not be found until they cause health problems.

HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys 11 or 12 years old.

Boys, like girls, should get the two doses of the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 to protect against cancer-causing HPV infections long before they are ever exposed.  The HPV vaccine series can be started as early as age 9, and should be finished before boys turn 13 years old.
If you haven’t already vaccinated your preteen or teen boys, it’s not too late. If your teen is 15 or older, and hasn’t started the HPV vaccine series, he will need 3 shots given over 6 months.."
HPV and boys

Tips for Eating Cannibal Sandwiches this Holiday Season

"With each holiday season, there are hundreds of people in the Midwest who are sickened after eating cannibal sandwiches – a dish featuring raw ground beef, often seasoned with spices and onions and served on bread or a cracker. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services stated that there have been eight outbreaks in that state linked to the consumption of raw ground beef since 1986. The dish, also known as “tiger meat,” or “steak tartare,” is dangerous because it is uncooked, meaning it can still contain harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, which are only killed by cooking ground beef to 160°F.
Don’t become a statistic this year. Raw meat is never safe to consume. Make sure that any meat products you consume are cooked to the proper internal temperature listed below:
  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, chops and roasts): 145°F with a three minute rest.
  • Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal: 160°F.
  • Poultry (whole or ground): 165°F.
If cannibal sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook the ground beef with the same spices and toppings, until it reaches 160°F, and serve it on top of bread or crackers. You may be surprised to find that it tastes better when cooked! Not to mention, you won’t be risking a trip to the hospital with every mouthful.."
Cannibal sandwiches

Saturday, December 15, 2018

BEA Releases First County GDP Numbers

"BEA Graphic on Percent Change in Real GDP by County, 2014-2015.

Real gross domestic product increased in 1,931 of the nation’s counties and decreased in 1,159 counties in 2015, according to prototype statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The inflation-adjusted data show GDP unchanged in 23 counties.
These prototype county GDP statistics, for the years 2012-2015, represent another step forward in meeting BEA’s long-standing goal of providing a more detailed geographic distribution of the nation’s economic activity. BEA is requesting feedback and comments on this prototype that will help us review and finalize the data sources and methodology of these statistics before their first official release, with more timely data, which is set for December 2019..."
County Gross National Product

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Right to Try: Access to Investigational Drugs

"The Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try (RTT) Act of 2017 became federal law on May 30, 2018. Over the preceding five years, 40 states had enacted related legislation. The goal was to allow individuals with imminently life-threatening diseases or conditions to seek access to investigational drugs without the step of procuring permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Another goal—held by the Goldwater Institute, which led the initiative toward state bills, and some of the legislative proponents—was focused more on the process: to eliminate government’s role in an individual’s choice.

The RTT Act (P.L. 115-176) offers eligible individuals and their physicians a pathway other than FDA’s expanded access procedures to acquiring investigational drugs. It defines an eligible patient as one who (1) has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or condition, (2) has exhausted approved treatment options and is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the eligible investigational drug (as certified by a physician who meets specified criteria), and (3) has given written informed consent regarding the drug to the treating physician..."
Investigatiional drugs

Arctic Report Card: Update for 2018

"Continued warming of the Arctic atmosphere and ocean are driving broad change in the environmental system in predicted and, also, unexpected ways. New emerging threats are taking form and highlighting the level of uncertainty in the breadth of environmental change that is to come.
  • Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to warm at twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe. Arctic air temperatures for the past five years (2014-18) have exceeded all previous records since 1900.
  • In the terrestrial system, atmospheric warming continued to drive broad, long-term trends in declining terrestrial snow cover, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lake ice, increasing summertime Arctic river discharge, and the expansion and greening of Arctic tundra vegetation.
  • Despite increase of vegetation available for grazing, herd populations of caribou and wild reindeer across the Arctic tundra have declined by nearly 50% over the last two decades.
  • In 2018 Arctic sea ice remained younger, thinner, and covered less area than in the past. The 12 lowest extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last 12 years.
  • Pan-Arctic observations suggest a long-term decline in coastal landfast sea ice since measurements began in the 1970s, affecting this important platform for hunting, traveling, and coastal protection for local communities.
  • Spatial patterns of late summer sea surface temperatures are linked to regional variability in sea-ice retreat, regional air temperature, and advection of waters from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • In the Bering Sea region, ocean primary productivity levels in 2018 were sometimes 500% higher than normal levels and linked to a record low sea ice extent in the region for virtually the entire 2017/18 ice season.
  • Warming Arctic Ocean conditions are also coinciding with an expansion of harmful toxic algal blooms in the Arctic Ocean and threatening food sources.
  • Microplastic contamination is on the rise in the Arctic, posing a threat to seabirds and marine life that can ingest debris..."
    2018 Arctic report

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Geographic Mobility Data Released

"The U.S. Census Bureau has released new statistics that highlight geographic mobility at different levels of geographic detail. Geographic mobility and migration both refer to the movement of people from one location of residence to another.
These geographies are outlined below:
  • National- and regional-level estimates as well as updates to historical tables and historical graphs are available from the 2018 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The 2017 to 2018 one-year migration tables provide estimates of geographic mobility, including detailed information about different types of moves completed in the past year, characteristics of people who moved, and the main reason for moving.
  • State-to-state migration flows data come from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The one-year state-to-state migration flows table provides estimates of the number of people moving between origin and destination geographies. These geographies include the fifty states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and abroad (for movers to the United States).
  • County-to-county migration flows data are available from the 2012-2016 ACS five-year data. These include the minor civil division level for some states and municipios in Puerto Rico..."

Geographic mobility data

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Background and Selected Options for Further Reform

"Prior to the establishment of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 1976 and 1977, respectively, Congress did not take much interest in conducting oversight of the Intelligence Community (IC). The Subcommittees on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the congressional Armed Services Committees had nominal oversight responsibility, though Congress generally trusted that IC could more or less regulate itself, conduct activities that complied with the law, were ethical, and shared a common understanding of national security priorities. Media reports in the 1970s of the CIA’s domestic surveillance of Americans opposed to the war in Vietnam, in addition to the agency’s activities relating to national elections in Chile, prompted Congress to change its approach. In 1975, Congress established two select committees to investigate intelligence activities, chaired by Senator Frank Church in the Senate (the “Church Committee”), and Representative Otis Pike in the House (the “Pike Committee”).

Following their creation, the Church and Pike committees’ hearings revealed the possible extent of the abuse of authority by the IC and the potential need for permanent committee oversight focused solely on the IC and intelligence activities. SSCI and HPSCI oversight contributed substantially to Congress’s work to legislate improvements to intelligence organization, programs, and processes and it enabled a more structured, routine relationship with intelligence agencies. On occasion this has resulted in Congress advocating on behalf of intelligence reform legislation that many agree has generally improved IC organization and performance. At other times, congressional oversight has been perceived as less helpful, delving into the details of programs and activities..."
Congressional intelligence oversight

12th Amendment

"Passed by Congress December 9, 1803, and ratified June 15, 1804, the 12th Amendment provided for separate Electoral College votes for President and Vice President, correcting weaknesses in the earlier electoral system which were responsible for the controversial Presidential Election of 1800..."
12th Amendment

Friday, December 7, 2018

FTC Releases FY 2018 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book and Mini Site

"The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2018. The FTC’s National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry lets consumers choose not to receive most legal telemarketing calls. The data show that the number of active registrations on the DNC Registry has increased significantly over the past year, while the total number of consumer complaints decreased for the first time in five years.
Now in its tenth year, the Data Book contains a wealth of information about the DNC Registry for FY 2018 (from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018). The Data Book provides the most recent information available on robocall complaints, the types of calls consumers reported to the FTC, and a complete state-by-state analysis.
FY 2018 Registration and Complaint Data
According to the Data Book, at the end of FY 2018, the DNC Registry contained 235,302,818 actively registered phone numbers, up from 229,816,164 at the end of FY 2017. The number of consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls significantly decreased, from 7,157,337 in FY 2017 to 5,780,172 in FY 2018...."
Do Not Call

Thursday, December 6, 2018

CBO’s Long-Term Social Security Projections: Changes Since 2017 and Comparisons With the Social Security Trustees’ Projections

"Each year, the Congressional Budget Office updates its projections of the Social Security system’s finances to incorporate newly available data and information from the research community. The agency also updates its models to incorporate improvements in methods and feedback on its analytical approach. CBO’s latest longterm budget projections were published in June 2018.

Comparison With CBO’s Previous Projections.
CBO’s June 2018 projections indicate a slight improvement in the Social Security system’s financial outlook compared with the previous year’s projections: • The projected 75-year actuarial balance, a commonly used measure of the system’s financial condition, has not changed as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) since last year, remaining at −1.5 percent of GDP (that is, a deficit of 1.5 percent). As a percentage of taxable payroll, the projected 75-year actuarial balance has improved slightly from −4.5 percent to −4.4 percent..." 
Social security projections

Five-Year Trends Available for Median Household Income, Poverty Rates and Computer and Internet Use

"Today, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the release of the 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeownership rates and costs, health insurance, and educational attainment. The ACS five-year data release produces statistics for all of the nation’s 3,142 counties. It is the only full data set available for the 2,316 counties with populations too small to produce a complete set of single-year ACS estimates.
 “The American Community Survey provides detailed profiles of communities nationwide. The ACS is an ongoing survey that offers vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people,” said Victoria Velkoff, Associate Director for Demographic Programs. “It’s our country’s largest source of small area estimates for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.”
 Some highlights from the report include that, when comparing the 2013-2017 period to the 2008-2012 period, median household income increased in 16.6 percent of all counties (521 counties) between the 2008-2012 period and the 2013-2017 period while poverty declined in 14 percent of all counties 441 counties). Alternatively, when comparing the same time periods, median household income declined in 222 counties (7.1 percent) and poverty rates increased in 264 counties (8.4 percent)..."
Median household income

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Suicide Rates by Major Occupational Group — 17 States, 2012 and 2015

"During 2000–2016, the suicide rate among the U.S. working age population (persons aged 16–64 years) increased 34%, from 12.9 per 100,000 population to 17.3 ( To better understand suicide among different occupational groups and inform suicide prevention efforts, CDC analyzed suicide deaths by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major groups for decedents aged 16–64 years from the 17 states participating in both the 2012 and 2015 National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) ( The occupational group with the highest male suicide rate in 2012 and 2015 was Construction and Extraction (43.6 and 53.2 per 100,000 civilian noninstitutionalized working persons, respectively), whereas the group with the highest female suicide rate was Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (11.7 [2012] and 15.6 [2015]). The largest suicide rate increase among males from 2012 to 2015 (47%) occurred in the Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupational group (26.9 to 39.7) and among females, in the Food Preparation and Serving Related group, from 6.1 to 9.4 (54%). CDC’s technical package of strategies to prevent suicide is a resource for communities, including workplace settings..."
Suicide rates by groups

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

"Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is Common
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, or HFMD, is a contagious illness caused by different viruses. It is common in infants and children younger than 5 years old, because they do not yet have immunity (protection) to the viruses that cause HFMD. However, older children and adults can also get HFMD. In the United States it is more common for people to get HFMD during spring, summer, and fall.
HFMD is usually not serious, and nearly all people recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. Rarely, an infected person can develop viral meningitis and may need to be hospitalized for a few days. Other even more rare complications can include polio-like paralysis, or encephalitis (brain inflammation) which can be fatal.
Child with a thermometer under her arm
Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease often include:
  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling unwell
  • Painful mouth sores that usually begin as flat red spots
  • Rash of flat red spots that may blister on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and sometimes the knees, elbows, buttocks, and/or genital area
These symptoms usually appear in stages, not all at once. Not everyone will have all of these symptoms. Some people may show no symptoms at all, but they can still pass the virus to others..."

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Mainly Affects Young Children

HFMD mostly affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. Although older children and adults can get it too. When someone gets HFMD, they develop immunity (protection) to the specific virus that caused their infection. But people can get the disease again because HFMD is caused by several different viruses.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

Say No to Raw Dough!

"There are many special occasions through the year that are perfect to spend time with loved ones while preparing delicious baked foods in the kitchen. Follow these safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy when handling raw dough.
When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked. But steer clear of this temptation—eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick. Children can get sick from handling or eating raw dough used for crafts or play clay, too.

Raw Dough Can Contain Bacteria That Cause Disease

Flour is typically a raw agricultural product. This means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs like Escherichia coli (E. coli). Harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or at other steps as flour is produced. The bacteria are killed when food made with flour is cooked. This is why you should never taste or eat raw dough or batter—whether made from recalled flour or any other flour. In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick. Flour products have long shelf lives and could be in people’s homes for a long time. If you have any recalled flour products in your home, throw them away..."
Raw dough

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 patients