Our Latest News and Events.

-- NCDMPH Attended NHCPC 2014 —

Poster presentation

National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health staff recently returned from the 3rd annual National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference. The conference, from December 10-12 in Denver, Colorado, focused on a wide variety of topics in disaster preparedness, and provided opportunities for all the attendees to learn and share about the implementation of healthcare coalitions and coalition activities in our communities. Among the speakers were leaders from a number of fields, including general healthcare, public health, emergency medical services, emergency management, and healthcare coalitions.

In addition to attending presentations and discussions on a wide range of issues, we were delivering our own presentation, "Education & Training in healthcare Coalitions: An Interactive Discussion", as well as presenting a poster, "Translating Research to Practice: Producing Preparedness Learning Content". Both were a huge success, and allowed us to interact and open dialogues with other healthcare coalition members and leaders.

For more information, please visit the conference website, or search on Twitter for #NHCC14


December 9th 2014

-- More Severe 2014 – 2015 Flu Season is Possible --

Based on early data this season, CDC health officials theorize that this year’s flu season may be more severe than normal. The season has only just begun, but a large percentage of flu samples tested thus far are of the H3N2 subtype of influenza, and years in the past in which the H3 subtypes were more common tended to lead to more hospitalizations and deaths. Moreover, about half of those H3 subtypes are a new subtype that this season’s flu vaccine does not protect well against.

Flu map 2014-15

There are simple preventive measures that can decelerate the spread of flu. The most effective method of preventing infection or reducing flu symptoms is getting the flu vaccine. While the estimated flu vaccine effectiveness (VE) for the current vaccine could be less than in the past, even a moderate effectiveness can reduce flu symptoms, time lost from work, and use of antibiotic treatments.

In addition to receiving the vaccines, there are other ways to prevent infection. Frequent hand washing, keeping your hands away from your mouth, and avoiding people who show symptoms of the flu are effective. Symptoms can include: fever, sore throat, aches, fatigue, and muscle soreness. If you have a fever, avoid going to work or school for at least 24 hours or until the fever breaks.

If you are at high risk for flu-related complications and experience flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Your provider can prescribe antiviral medications, which work best when started within two days of the onset of flu symptoms.

A larger version of the map shown above is located at CDC's FluView.


December 2nd 2014

-- NCDMPH Releases First Public Annual Report --

NCDMPH Releases First Public Annual Report

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health recently released its annual report covering the period from March 2013 to February 2014 PDF . This is the center’s fifth annual report, and the first one that has been released to the public.

The report covers the wide range of activities undertaken by the Center during the year, including outcomes and impacts, current tasks, partnerships, outreach, and selected future plans. Among these were hosting a national disaster health workshop, launching a webinar series focused on disaster learning, and continuing partnerships with numerous organizations and government agencies.

This annual report is a valuable vehicle for explaining our mission, and offering more transparency to our current and future stakeholders. Learn more about how we aim to meet our mission, and about all the efforts and activities that have gone on and are going on at NCDMPH, by reading the report.


November 25th 2014

-- NCDMPH at APHA 2014 --

Last week, National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health staff members attended the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Exposition. The conference, from November 15 - 19 in New Orleans, focused on a wide variety of topics in public health. In an area so recently devastated by both Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there were an assortment of presentations related to disaster preparedness and recovery, and a number of disaster health leaders speaking.

2014 APHA Poster

In addition to attending numerous meetings and presentations with our colleagues from other public health organizations around the country and around the world, we were presenting our poster "Role of Local Public Health in Disaster Recovery: Successes and Challenges after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy". The poster was a huge success, and through it we engaged with a wide array of conference attendees, including people from the areas most affected by the storms we focused on, and a number of international conference participants.

For more information about APHA 2014, please visit the conference website, or search on Twitter for #APHA14.


November 18th 2014

-- Stay Warm and Stay Safe this Winter --

Much of the country is in the midst of the first major cold snap of the season this week, and with December and winter right around the corner, people in regions all around the country are going to be dealing with the first snow of the year, as well as cold temperatures, high winds, freezing rain, and other winter hazards. In winter 2012-2013, NCDMPH compiled a list of 12 winter preparedness tips to help you stay safe, here is that list updated for winter 2014-2015:

Staying Informed

NWS Weather Map
  1. Weather forecasts constantly change. Check your local news and the National Weather Service for detailed winter-weather updates.

  2. There are different categories of winter-weather and each type comes with different risks. Use this cheat sheet from NOAA when listening to the forecast.

  3. Make sure you dress appropriately when going outside after the storm.

  4. Drive only when necessary during and after severe winter weather. Always check local road conditions for any closures, detours, and accidents. Before the storm arrives, check your car's fluid levels and fix any leaks. National Public Radio's Car Talk has multiple resources regarding common winter driving hazards.

Prepare

  1. Read the Centers for Disease Control’s "Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety PDF ."

  2. Review the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia and understand basic first aid for these conditions.

  3. Create a plan for your family and office in case power goes out.

  4. Take time to teach your kids about disaster preparedness by involving them in the planning process.

  5. If you have pets, take the necessary precautions to protect them for winter weather.

  6. The CDC has various Winter Weather PSAs or PodCasts on topics like "Recognizing Hypothermia" and "Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During a Power Outage."

  7. Check the insulation in your home and service snow-removal equipment before weather arrives. Prepare both your home and car with supplies in case of an emergency.

  8. Keep your food safe by reviewing the USDA’s recommendations and invest in a food thermometer.


November 7th 2014

-- CDC Releases Journal Supplement --

CDC Releases Journal Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR), in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) recently released a supplement to the United States Public Health Service’s Public Health Report #29, entitled Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers: Outcomes from the Federal Investment in Public Health Systems Research to Strengthen Preparedness and Response.

The supplement focuses on examples of the work conducted by the CDC-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Centers (PERRCs), demonstrating how public health research improves our understanding of how to improve our preparedness for and response to disasters.

From 2008-2014, CDC, granted $57 million to sponsor research programs at nine PERRCs at accredited U.S. schools of public health. The findings from these research projects as detailed in the supplement will be used to help improve public health practice for preparedness and emergency response planning and policies at the local, state, federal, and tribal level.

NCDMPH salutes CDC and ASPPH for their continuing efforts to improve disaster readiness and response all across the nation.

For those interested in learning more about the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) Extramural Research Program, please visit Extramural Research Program (ERP).