Recently in U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category

October 25, 2012

No Correlation between Car Accidents and Size of Cities

Frequency of Car Accidents is completely unrelated to the size of the city in which you live in. A recent report released by the automobile insurance Allstate, which was conducted in various major cities has come to show that the size of the city does not directly influence the likelihood of an automobile crash. The report is titled "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report". The report states that the District of Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland have the shortest time between accidents, while Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Boise, Idaho and Fort Collins, Colorado have the longest periods between accidents. Therefore; Allstate considers Sioux Falls drivers the "safest drivers" in the United States.

Living in a larger city does not necessarily mean you are at a higher risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Car accidents are a major health hazard, regardless of where you live, because they are the leading cause of death for persons between 5-24 years of age. In 2009, 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers ended up in emergency rooms as a result of automobile crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2011, the U.S. saw the fewest number of automobile fatalities since 1949, but that still meant that 32,000 people were killed.

Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. It is up to the driver to stay alert, follow driving laws, not drink and drive, wear their safety belts and not text or talk on a handheld device while driving.

October 11, 2012

There Are More Gun Deaths Then Automobile Deaths in the DMV

According to a report published by the Violence Policy Center, in 2010, gun deaths outnumber motor vehicle deaths in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control was used to complete this report.

In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) there were a total of 1,512 gun deaths in 2010 and 1,280 motor vehicle deaths. Specifically: 99 firearm deaths and 38 motor vehicle deaths in the District of Columbia, 538 firearm deaths and 514 motor vehicle deaths in Maryland, and in Virginia there were 875 firearm deaths and 728 motor vehicle deaths.

Firearm deaths, nationwide, in 2010, were 31,672 and 35,498 motor vehicle deaths. Firearms are the only consumer product sold in the United States that is not regulated by the federal government for health and safety. Automobile safety, however; has been overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 1966.
Deaths as a result of firearm use almost equal motor vehicle deaths even though there are about three times as many vehicles on the road then firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is responsible in enforcing the U.S.'s limited gun laws, but it has none of the health and safety regulatory powers as the NHTSA. The health and safety regulations of firearms are left to the individual state.

The report published by the Violence Policy Center offers a few policy recommendations in order to improve data collection on firearms violence, increase regulation of the firearms industry and to reduce gun deaths and injuries. Some of their suggestions are:

- Detailed and timely data collection of gun production, sale, use in different crimes;
- The analysis of the types, make and models of firearms that are commonly or most often associated with injury, crimes and death;
- The implementation of safety standards for firearms
- Ban the sale of non sporting purpose guns;
- Limit the firepower of guns sold to the public;
- Expand the categories of persons prohibited from owning and possessing guns;
- Implement better restrictions on the carrying of loaded guns in public places;
- Person with a history of domestic violence and mental health issues should be restricted from being able to own and possess firearms; and
- Educate the public, through campaigns, about the risks associated with firearms.

If, these suggestions are taken into consideration by local, state and the federal governments, firearms deaths could be prevented. For more information visit the various websites sited.

July 5, 2012

How Common Are Seizures While Driving?

Seizures are defined as episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are two main types of seizures. The first is Primary Generalized seizures, which involve both sides of the brain and the second is Partial seizures, which involve smaller regions of the brain.

Suffering a seizure while driving is extremely rare, but it is far more likely to end in death than suffering a seizure anywhere else. In a 2009 report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it was determined that:

- only about 1.3% of all drivers have been involved in a medical emergency crash;

- older drivers are more likely to be involved in medical emergency crashes;

- drivers involved in medical emergency crashes usually are aware of their medical
condition prior to the accident;

- drivers who suffer from a medical condition and are involved in medical emergency crashes are more likely to be severely injured or to die as a result; and

- the most dangerous time of day for medical emergency crashes are between 6am and noon.

Therefore; drivers who suffer from seizures should contact their state's motor vehicle department to see what their rules are in regards to drivers with this medical condition. Rules vary from state to state and some states may bar you from driving for a period of time.

June 19, 2012

Helmet Laws Reduce Motorcycle Accident Deaths

Motorcycle.jpgStates that have helmet laws implemented have fewer motorcycle accident deaths than those that do not, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report states that five times more motorcyclists die as a result of not being required to wear a helmet in the states that do not have helmet laws when compared to the states the do. In 2010, there were 4,502 motorcycle accident deaths in the U.S. That means that about 14% of traffic deaths were motorcycle deaths. That number is huge, considering that motorcycles represented less than 1% of vehicles on the road that year.

There are 20 states and the District of Columbia that have helmet requirements. Maryland and Virginia are included. In 2010, 739 deaths involved bikers not wearing helmets in these 20 states and the District of Columbia and there were 504 in the three states that do not currently have helmet laws. The three states that do not have helmet laws are Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.

In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia all riders must wear a helmet and in Maryland that includes low-power cycles as well. Low power cycles are mopeds, scooters and various other 2-wheeled cycles.

September 20, 2011

Listeria Outbreak Reported in 17 States Due to Rocky Ford Cantaloupes

Listeria-Cantaloup.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Issued a Rocky Ford Cantaloupe recall on September 14, 2011, following an investigation, due to reports of listeriosis outbreaks that have so far made 22 people in seven states sick. Nine other outbreaks of listeriosis were also reported in New Mexico, of which three resulted in deaths.

The recall was issued in 17 states in connection with this listeria food poisoning outbreak. Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, pose risks for children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. For pregnant women, it can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate is about 25%. Listeria can however be treated with antibiotics, once it is diagnosed through blood testing. Symptoms include: muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, sever headaches and fever. If the infection spreads to other organs or even in the bloodstream it could cause meningitis and other health complications. Therefore, it is important that you get the necessary blood work done to determine whether what you are experiencing is listeriosis or not.

This Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall affects the following states: Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the FDA, the CDC and your local state health department.

August 22, 2011

High Levels of Lead Found in Grafton Ridge Developments in Harford, Maryland

Local health officials in Harford County, Maryland are investigating a possible contamination in the running/drinking water of residents in Fallston, Maryland. Residents in Fallston, Maryland may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in their drinking/running water.

Health officials in Harford County, Maryland are warning residents in Grafton Ridge housing developments to boil their drinking water. The water in those developments had lead levels which exceed the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and therefore, may be unsafe and cause health risks.

The source of the lead exposure and contamination has not yet been determined, but an investigation is underway. Health officials are not sure how long the lead levels have been over the EPA established limit and are therefore, conducting extensive testing of all area water.

Testing to date has determined that 14 out of 16 homes in the Grafton Ridge housing developments have had high levels of lead in their drinking water. Richmond American Homes, the builder of these homes in the Grafton Ridge Development, will be replacing the brass parts with stainless steel ones to see if that improved the water lead levels.

Residents in Saddle View, Watervale Farm, Deer Hollow and Martin Meadows should be careful as well, as they too are part of the Grafton Ridge communities.

The elevated lead levels could pose a risk of lead poisoning, which may result in nervous system injuries, brain damage, seizures, convulsions, growth or mental retardation, coma and even death in children. If you are a resident in the Grafton Ridge Developments and experience any health problems, please see your physician immediately. Go to your nearest emergency room and call the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

November 30, 2010

What States Have the Safest Roadways in the U.S.?

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) released a report in early October 2010 that shows that the two safest roadways are in Washington and Oregon, according to their 2010 ENA National Scorecard of State Roadway Laws. The District of Columbia has a score of 12, Maryland a score of 11 and Virginia a score of 9.

The 2010 ENA National Scorecard ranks states based on 14 types of legislation that address such things as seat belt use, motorcycle helmet requirements, devices to prevent drunk driving and cell phone use laws. States receive one point for each type of legislation they currently have. Oregon and Washington both had a score of 14, making them the safest roadways to travel in the United States.

Date collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that someone dies in a car crash in the US every 12 minutes and someone is injured, taken to and treated in an emergency department for injuries as a result of an automobile accident every 10 seconds. These injuries and deaths are preventable through roadways laws and enforcement of these safety laws, it is the passing of these safety laws that save lives.

Twenty six states and the District of Columbia have passed or enacted laws that prevent the entering, sending, reading or otherwise retrieving data for all drivers using wireless communication devices (i.e.: cell phones). 5,474 people died in 2009 as a result of distraction-related automobile accidents, according to the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA). This means that 18% of annual fatalities are a result of distracted drivers nationwide.

To view the full 2010 ENA National Scorecard and State Roadway Laws report please visit www.ena.org.

November 22, 2010

E. Coli Contamination Outbreak in Maryland

A food poisoning case was filed in Baltimore, Maryland as a result of E. coli contamination found in Baugher's Orchard Apple Cider. This apple cider is sold in Maryland and Pennsylvania and has since been taken off the market. Consumers are instructed not to drink this cider and to dispose of it immediately. Several cases of E. coli food poisoning were reported.

What is E. coli?
- a bacteria that can survive in an environment with or without air and can produce hair-like structures that allow the bacteria to move and attach to human cells. These bacteria most commonly live in the intestines of animals and humans. Though there are many types of E. coli in the United States, the most common is E. coli O157:H7.
E. coli.gif
Symptoms of E. coli Infections:
- nausea
- vomiting
- mild fever
- stomach cramps, and
- diarrhea that is often bloody

If E. coli infections go untreated they can lead to hospitalizations and in rare instances Hemolytic-Uremia Syndrome (HUS), which is a form of kidney failure, that occurs when the toxin/bacteria enters the blood stream. If left untreated, it can lead to dehydration and potentially life-threatening illnesses. However, most adults recover from food poisoning cause by E. coli within a few weeks. Young children and the elderly are at higher risks for more sever illnesses.

The most common type of E. coli is E. coli O157:H7. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 70,000 people are affected with this specific type of E. coli each year. This type of E. coli is most commonly associates with hamburger meats; therefore, it is commonly referred to as the hamburger disease. It is also associated with contaminated water, foods and unpasteurized dairy products.

If you believe that you may be suffering from E. coli food poisoning please seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower the risk of potential health complications.

September 27, 2010

One Third of Homeowner Insurance Liability Claims are Dog Bite Lawsuits

Dog Bite Law Suits.jpgIn 2009, $412 million was spent on dog bite lawsuits, a 6.4% increase from 2008. This figure averages out to about $24,840 per claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Insurance coverage for dog bite claims provide compensation for injuries associated with animal attacks, such as medical expenses, lost wages, permanent scarring and pain and suffering.

In the United States alone, about 4.5 million dog attacks are reported each year. The majority of these incidents are not reported. Most people affected are postal workers and delivery people.
Dog Bite Law Suit Chart.jpeg
Here are some steps recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the I.I.I. to prevent your dog from biting someone:

- Dog owners should consult with a veterinarian about suitable breeds for their home and neighborhood.

- Prospective owners should spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it and should make sure that the dog is not aggressive towards infants and/or toddlers.

- Have your dog spayed or neutered.

- Make sure children do not disturb the dog while eating or sleeping, and never leave a child alone with the dog.

- Socialize your dog so that it knows how to behave around other people and animals.

- Play non-aggressive games with your dog. For example: fetching the ball, as opposed to tug-of-war.