Public Health News Roundup: November 14
RWJF Pledges $5 Million to Support Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts in New Jersey
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., will provide $5 million to selected non-profit agencies to help New Jersey residents recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. That includes two grants, already distributed, of $250,000 each to the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The additional funding will be given to help with recovery, rebuilding and social service support, including mental health services for individuals and families in the state. Foundation executives will be meeting with state and local government agencies, relief and social service organizations and civic leaders to determine allocation of the funds. Read more on disasters.
House, Senate Holding Hearings on Meningitis Outbreak
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is set to hold a hearing titled "The Fungal Meningitis Outbreak: Could It Have Been Prevented?" to investigate the outbreak that has caused 32 deaths and infected 438 other people. It is believed the source of the outbreak is tainted steroids from the New England Compounding Center, in Framingham, Mass. Many members of Congress have suggested the outbreak demonstrates the need for increased regulation of compounding pharmacies. The Senate is also holding hearings, with U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg scheduled to testify about the outbreak before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Read more on infectious disease.
Worldwide Diabetes Cases at Record High
The number of diabetes cases worldwide is at a record high, according to a new report released today on World Diabetes Day. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that approximately 371 million people have diabetes, with as many as 187 million of those still undiagnosed. Diabetes can lead to serious medical problems such as nerve damage, kidney damage and blindness; about 4.8 million people die due to complications from diabetes each year. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, which can be managed through changes in diet, weight loss, regular exercise and medication. Read more on diabetes. While traditionally found most often in western countries, it is spreading in poorer areas such as sub-Saharan Africa. Read more on diabetes.