According to a study released August 26, 2009 by the British Medical Journal, more than half of Hong Kong's healthcare workers surveyed said they would refuse the H1N1 shot, which is not yet available, because they are afraid of side effects and doubt how safe and effective it will be. More importantly, the study suggested the trend would be repeated worldwide. "The truth is that vaccines aren't effective, generally carry dangerous side effects, and in many cases actually fuel the spread of pandemics, " said Dr. Leonard Horowitz, a Harvard University trained medical researcher who also holds a Master's Degree in Public Health. "The fact is that most healthcare workers know this, and they don't trust that any swine flu vaccine will do anything but cause more problems and potential harm to the patients they care for.
After a day of meetings with senior White House officials to discuss the U.S. preparations for H1N1 (swine) flu Tuesday, President Obama urged Americans to take the proper precautions to protect themselves from infection, the Associated Press/Boston Herald reports (9/1). "I don't want anybody to be alarmed, but I do want everyone to be prepared, " Obama said during remarks to reporters in the Rose Garden, the Hill writes (Youngman, 9/1). "Obama [said] the federal government is taking a coordinated approach to fighting the expected outbreak, including ramping up what he says will be a 'voluntary but strongly recommended' H1N1 flu vaccination program, " the Washington Post writes (Fletcher, 9/1).
While the total mortality rate from unintentional injury increased in the U.S. by 11 percent between 1999 and 2005, far larger increases were seen in some subgroups analyzed by age, race, ethnicity and type of injury by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Their analysis found that white women between 45 and 64 years old experienced a 230 percent increase in the rate of poisoning mortality over the study period. White men in this age group experienced an increase of 137 percent. The study is available online at the website of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in advance of publication in the September print edition of the journal.
Researchers are developing computer models to comb through thousands of injury reports in large administrative medical datasets or insurance claims data to automatically classify them based on specific words or phrases. "One goal is to identify the most important causes of injuries so that efforts could be directed toward reducing the burden of injuries in society, " said Mark Lehto, an associate professor in Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering. The reports, usually filled out by employers, health-care professionals or claimants themselves, are currently classified by manual coders hired by users such as the National Center for Health Statistics, hospital staff or insurance industry handlers who review thousands of "injury narratives" included in reports.
Three Federal Agencies Join With Sesame Workshop To Launch National PSA Campaign Stressing Healthy Habits To Prevent H1N1 Flu Infection
The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, have teamed up to launch a new, national public service advertising campaign designed to encourage American children and families to practice healthy habits and to take steps to prevent the spread of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. The PSAs featured in this campaign can be viewed on http://www.flu.gov. During the spring, the Sesame Workshop produced four different versions of a television PSA featuring Sesame Street's Elmo and Gordon explaining the importance of practicing healthy habits such as washing your hands, sneezing into the bend of your arm, and avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth.
A US study found that despite risk factors such as being overweight and smoking, blacks were more likely to die from pancreatic cancer than whites. The cohort study was the work of Dr Lauren D Arnold, a postdoctoral research associate in the department of surgery at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and colleagues, and appears in the 1 September online issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Arnold told the media that: "Reducing overweight/obesity and smoking will help reduce pancreatic cancer overall, as well as prevent other diseases." But she added that: "We still have a long way to go towards understanding pancreatic cancer disparities.