Jul 5 2013

Public Health News Roundup: July 5

HHS: 2013 So Far Sees 8 Foodborne Outbreaks, 2 New Global Diseases, 37 Disasters
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $916 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a variety of public health threats in every state, eight U.S. territories and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. “Already in 2013, local and state health agencies have responded to eight food borne outbreaks, two new global diseases, and 37 disaster and emergency declarations, a clear indication of the breadth of threats that public health departments must be capable of responding to,” said Ali Khan, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office for Public Health Preparedness and Response. The grants have included funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement. The programs encourage health care and state and local public health departments to work together to maximize resources and prevent duplicative efforts. Such coordination of activities with emergency management and homeland security programs supports “whole community” planning to improve national preparedness efforts.. Read more on preparedness.

DOT Issues New Rules to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced new safety regulations to reduce truck driver fatigue:

  • The maximum hours per week a truck driver can drive has been reduced from 82 to 70.
  • Truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week can resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from 1 to 5 a.m.  
  • All truck drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. 
  • As before, truck drivers have a daily 11-hour driving limit.

Read more on injury prevention.

Sleepy Teenagers Often Make Poor Food Choices
Well-rested teenagers tend to make more healthful food choices than those who are sleep deprived, according to a study by preventive medicine researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York State. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. The study looked at the relationship between sleep duration and food choices in a national survey of more than 1,300 teenagers, finding that those teens who reported sleeping less than seven hours per night were more likely to consume fast food two or more times per week and less likely to eat healthful food such as fruits and vegetables. “Teenagers have a fair amount of control over their food and sleep, and the habits they form in adolescence can strongly impact their habits as adults,” said Allison Kruger, MPH, a community health worker at Stony Brook University Hospital and lead author of the study. Read more on obesity.

Tags: Injury Prevention, News roundups, Obesity, Preparedness, Public and Community Health