Public Health News Roundup: August 14
FDA Approves New Flu Vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved all six manufacturer vaccines for the 2012-2013 influenza season. Under the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee’s recommendations, the vaccines will target the A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus and B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus flu strains. “The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year,” said Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a release. “It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three virus strains used in this season’s influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year’s vaccines.” Read more on the flu.
12 States Have Obesity Rates Above 30 Percent
The obesity rate is greater than 30 percent in 12 U.S. states, according to a new study from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Mississippi tops the list with 34.9 percent. The analysis used date from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is a major cause of chronic diseases and health care costs, according to Jeffrey Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director. “The good news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity based on making healthier choices easier for Americans,” Levi said in a release. “The bad news is we’re not investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and see the returns in terms of health and savings.” Read more on the original CDC data.
Protective Eyewear Can Help Prevent Kids’ Sports-Related Injuries
In the midst of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and The Wilmer Eye Institute are reminding children, parents and caregivers that sports-related eye injuries in children can be easily prevented with protective eyewear. Goggles are especially important in sports such as fencing, boxing, soccer, basketball, softball, lacrosse and baseball, as eye injuries at a young age can lead to serious problems later in life. Proper eyewear can prevent 9 out of 10 injuries, according to specialists. Read more on injury prevention.