The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the top 5 threats for 2014. Check out #4. #HPV We're two weeks into the New Year. Let's get you checked. Later is today.
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-- Dr. Dale
Top 5 health threats looking ahead in 2014:
1. Antibiotic Resistance & Advanced Molecular Detection
Coping with untreatable infections in The End of the Antibiotic Era
Every year, more than 2 million people in the U.S. get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result. CDC recently reported a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs that have the most impact on human health and identified four essential steps to combat antibiotic resistance. In 2014, CDC will continue to work with federal, state, and local partners towards improving antibiotic use, preventing infections and the spread of resistance, gathering data on antibiotic-resistant infections, and developing diagnostic tests to track the development of resistance. Also, with advanced molecular detection (AMD), CDC, public health partners, and healthcare facilities will be better able to track and stop the spread of drug-resistant infections in healthcare facilities, thereby protecting patients and saving lives. (Right photo: CDC microbiologist, Tatiana Travis, sets up real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect drug-resistant pathogens.)
2. Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose
Reducing the number of misuse, abuse or overdose amidst a growing epidemic
Deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade, and more than 16,500 people died from painkiller overdoses in 2010. CDC is working to reduce the misuse, abuse and overdose of prescription painkillers while ensuring patients with pain have access to safe, effective treatment. CDC continues to track prescription drug overdosetrends to better understand the epidemic. And, in 2014, will continue to focus on comprehensive state efforts to develop, implement and evaluate promising strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse and overdose.
3. Global Health Security
Securing our global health borders knowing that disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours
Infectious disease outbreaks, whether natural, intentional, or accidental, are still among the foremost dangers to human health and the global economy. With patterns of global travel and trade, disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours. That’s why the ability to prevent, detect and respond to these disease threats must be developed and strengthened overseas and not just here in the U.S. Through strategic investments in critical public health systems, CDC is working with Ministries of Health to increase their ability to prepare for and respond to public health threats and reduce the risk of these threats crossing borders.
Preventing cancer in the U.S. by vaccinating preteens and teens
For both boys and girls, HPV vaccination rates continue to be well below the Healthy People goals for 2020, leaving an entire generation susceptible to HPV-related cancers. CDC will continue to monitor adolescent vaccination coverage levels via the National Immunization Survey (NIS) – Teen. Additionally, we will provide technical assistance to 11 immunization program awardees that received funding to improve HPV vaccination coverage levels among adolescent girls and boys. We will also continue outreach and education to clinicians through continuing medical education, partnership with professional associations, and other educational opportunities to help strengthen vaccine recommendations and eliminate missed opportunities for HPV vaccination. Finally, utilizing partnership building and media outreach, CDC will continue awareness activities aimed at parents of 11-12 year olds to help promote understanding and uptake of HPV vaccine.
Coming together to end polio once and for all
The world is closer than ever to ending polio everywhere, thanks to the efforts of CDC and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. However, challenges must be addressed in 2014 to meet the goal of eradicating polio once and for all. Insecurity is the biggest challenge. Active conflict, military operations and/or local bans on immunizations prevent polio vaccinators from reaching approximately two million children in high-risk areas. Overcoming this challenge is a critical step towards ending polio and improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Working together as part of a committed global effort, we are confident that we will be able to change history and end polio forever. (Left photo: Child polio drops in Nepal. Photo Credit: Adam Bjork, 2011)