Photo: www.washingtonpost.comThis Washington Post’s story cited CDC staff who acknowledged that the agency was directed not to use certain words in fiscal 2018 budget documents.
A Washington Post article listing words reportedly prohibited for use by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in budget documents has some scientists worried, even as the agency’s director tried to smooth over the controversy.
A few days after the article appeared on December 15, U.S. health officials confirmed to the Post that they had sought to avoid using certain words, but insisted they were not outright banned. It is unclear which department or agency issued the initial directive, and the motive for the list is in dispute. Continue reading
As influenza activity has begun to pick up this winter, scientists working on global influenza surveillance increased their estimates of how many people worldwide die annually from the flu.
A study published Dec. 13 in The Lancet estimates that 291,000 to 646,000 people die from respiratory complications related to the flu each year. Previous annual estimates ranged from 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Continue reading
Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJBrenda Fitzgerald, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a briefing on public health emergencies at the CDC on Dec. 4.
Fellows in two of AHCJ’s health journalism fellowship programs attended today’s press briefing about ongoing public health emergencies with Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The journalists are attending a week-long training session at the CDC as part of the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowships and the Mid-Atlantic class of the AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellowship. Continue reading
Image: NIAID via FlickrColorized transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles.
Population explosion, ease of travel and factory farming of animals are all reasons that a flu pandemic – a fast-spreading, contagious flu with high mortality – is inevitable, public health experts said during an Oct. 10 AHCJ webcast on pandemic preparedness.
“What is the possibility of a pandemic? It’s absolute. It will happen,” said webcast participant Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “Are we ready? The bottom line is that we are not.” Continue reading
The Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of a new class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 11 journalists – supported through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust – will spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The AHCJ-directed fellowship program will include presentations, roundtable discussions and lab tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, obesity and other chronic diseases, vaccine safety, foodborne disease, influenza, antibiotic resistance, climate change and other topics.
Read about the 2017 AHCJ-CDC fellows and learn more about the program.
More people are living with Alzheimer’s than ever before — and more are also dying from the disease, according to a new report from the CDC. Alzheimer’s-related deaths in the United States more than doubled between 1999 and 2014 — from 44,536 to 93,541. That’s a 54.5 percent jump in 15 years. Rates were higher among women compared with men and among non-Hispanic whites compared with other racial/ethnic populations.
While most people with the disease still die in nursing homes, the proportion of older adults dying at home also increased significantly during this time frame — from 13.9 percent in 1999 to 24.9 percent in 2014. Continue reading