Featured Resource

We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918

In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 - five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Where did the 1918 flu come from? Why was it so lethal? What did we learn?
Read More

Bringing the Public into Public Health

Dr. Michael Johansson of the CDC Dengue Branch describes the use of internet-based participatory surveillance to collect community health data. Participatory surveillance is a public health surveillance method that directly questions people in a community about their health rather than relying on more traditional physician based health reporting.
Read More

The Spread of Obesity in Social Networks

Video based upon material from N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years," New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-379 (July 2007).
Read More

France: 'Best' Health Care?

The French health care system has been dubbed "the best in the world." David Turecamo finds out why the French can afford to get sick.
Read More

Vaccines Don't Cause Autism: Healthcare Triage #12

There is almost no topic in health and health policy that immediately polarizes people more than the idea that vaccines cause autism. Even though the original big paper on this topic came out at the end of the last century, the anger this causes is still raw and potent. But there is a very, very large amount of research showing that vaccines and autism are unrelated.
Read More

Video Focus

George Luber: Why Climate Change Has CDC Scientists Worried

As the effects of climate change increase, so, too, will its effects on human health. “Heat waves [in America],” Dr. George Luber notes, “kill more people every year than all other extreme weather combined, more than flooding, more than hurricanes, more than tornadoes.”

Luber, who has researched subjects including heat stress in urban environments and harmful algal blooms, climate change will “increase the potential for the transmission of disease” as well as directly affect human health through an increase in severe weather events, including heat waves.

Luber is an epidemiologist and the chief of the Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and staff epidemiologist at CDC.

Additionally, Luber is a co-chair of the Climate Change and Human Health Interagency Workgroup at the US Global Research Program and a member of the American Anthropological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Climate Change. He is also a convening lead author and member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the US National Climate Assessment and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Report.

More.

Public Health 101

Vaccines Don't Cause Autism: Healthcare Triage #12

There is almost no topic in health and health policy that immediately polarizes people more than the idea that vaccines cause autism. Even though the original big paper on this topic came out at the end of the last century, the anger this causes is still raw and potent. But there is a very, very large amount of research showing that vaccines and autism are unrelated. More.

Epidemiology & BioStatistics

Vaccines and Herd Immunity

In the last few years the rates of vaccine preventable illness have been on the rise. This isn't just something that's happening in the United States – it's happening throughout the world. Often, these outbreaks begin with unvaccinated people. They spread through them, too. Outbreaks occur because of a breakdown in herd immunity. That's the topic of this week's Healthcare Triage. More.

Health Behavior

How to live to be 100+

To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100# More.

Health Services

France: 'Best' Health Care?

The French health care system has been dubbed "the best in the world." David Turecamo finds out why the French can afford to get sick. More.

Community Health

Brooklyn's Volunteer Ambulance Service

Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood is well past the notoriety it had in the 1980s and 1990s, when the area was neglected and crack dealers violently ruled the streets. Back then, two men began providing much needed help to their underserved community. The Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp was founded in 1988 by Captain James "Rocky" Robinson, an EMS tech, and Specialist Joe Perez. Rocky is still at the helm today, 26 years later, training a new generation to follow in his footsteps. With the community now much safer and better served, he has changed the BSVAC's original mission of saving lives to changing lives — helping young men and women who may not have any other options receive free training and eventually find jobs in the medical field. More.

Environmental Health

George Luber: Why Climate Change Has CDC Scientists Worried

As the effects of climate change increase, so, too, will its effects on human health. “Heat waves [in America],” Dr. George Luber notes, “kill more people every year than all other extreme weather combined, more than flooding, more than hurricanes, more than tornadoes.”

Luber, who has researched subjects including heat stress in urban environments and harmful algal blooms, climate change will “increase the potential for the transmission of disease” as well as directly affect human health through an increase in severe weather events, including heat waves.

Luber is an epidemiologist and the chief of the Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and staff epidemiologist at CDC.

Additionally, Luber is a co-chair of the Climate Change and Human Health Interagency Workgroup at the US Global Research Program and a member of the American Anthropological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Climate Change. He is also a convening lead author and member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the US National Climate Assessment and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Report.

More.

Global Health

Investing in Global Health Systems: Sustaining Gains, Transforming Lives

Health and life expectancy in poor countries have improved rapidly over a short time, contributing to a more prosperous, stable, and productive world. The United States has been a part of this success and therefore has an interest in protecting the health gains of the past few decades. In addition, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has drawn attention to the consequences of neglecting health systems development, as a strong health system allows for prompt response to pandemic threats and draws on the same skills and infrastructure that support routine health care. Vulnerabilities in this system pose financial, political, and health risks to developing countries and, in a larger sense, to the world.

An IOM study looked at how health systems improvements can lead to better health, reduce poverty, and make donor investment in health sustainable. The resulting report stresses the importance of the health system in making transformative investments that support health in developing countries, and outlines a broad donor strategy that can make effective use of the United States’ comparative advantage in science and technology to improve health for the world’s most vulnerable people. For more information, click here.
More.