Feb 10 2012

Public Health News Roundup: February 10

Measles at the Super Bowl?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sent out an advisory yesterday that the Indiana State Department of Health is tracking two confirmed and two probable cases of measles in the state, including one person who attended Super Bowl festivities at the Super Bowl village in Indianapolis on Feb. 3.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children be vaccinated against measles at age one, and again at four to six years of age before entering kindergarten.

"The vaccine is very effective, which is why we don’t see many cases of measles in the U.S. today," said Dr. Block. "But the virus is still out there, and people who are not immunized—including infants who are too young to be immunized—are at risk. Measles can be deadly. High rates of immunization in the community help to slow the transmission of diseases like measles, protecting everyone."

Read more news on vaccines.

HHS Issues Rule on Making Private Health Insurance Benefits Easy to Understand

Under a rule announced yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), health insurers must provide consumers with clear, consistent and comparable summary information about their health plan benefits and coverage. The new explanations will be available about the end of September and will benefit the 150 million Americans who currently have health insurance, according to HHS.

The new rule will provide consumers two important documents to help understand their health insurance choices, including a short, easy-to-understand summary of benefits and a uniform glossary of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage, such as “deductible” and “co-payment.” Read more on access to health care.

More People Now Get Plastic Surgery Advice from Social Media than from Friends

A growing number of Americans are getting advice and information about facial plastic surgery from social networking sites rather than friends, a new survey indicates. About 42 percent of patients in 2011 got information from social media such as Facebook and Twitter, a substantial increase from 29 percent of patients in 2010. The number of patients who sought information from friends fell from 63 percent in 2010 to 48 percent last year. The findings are from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery's annual poll of member surgeons.

Growing Number of Physicians Advising Patients to Get Regular Exercise

The number of American adults who received advice from their doctor to engage in regular exercise has increased steadily and by 10 percent over the past decade, according to new research from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Results included:

  • Female patients were more likely to have been urged to exercise than male patients
  • The percentage of adults aged 85 and older who were told to exercise nearly doubled from 15.3 percent to 28.9 percent over the course of 10 years.
  • Hispanic adults had the largest percentage point increase over the decade.

Get the latest physical activity news.

Tags: Access to Health Care, Health Literacy, News roundups, Physical activity, Public and Community Health, Vaccines