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Safeguarding Water Supplies: ORNL Scientists Hone Technique

A method to detect contaminants in municipal water supplies has undergone further refinements by two Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers whose findings are published on line in Water Environment Research. The new work demonstrates that the technology that uses algae as sentinels has broader applications than previously reported, according to authors Miguel Rodriguez Jr. and Elias Greenbaum of the Department of Energy's ORNL. For example, under real-world operating conditions, the sensitivity of the algae to toxins has a natural daily cycle that tracks the sun. "When the sun is overhead and shining brightly, the algae are less sensitive to the toxins, " Greenbaum said.

Ten Flu Prevention PSA Contest Finalists Chosen; Now The Public Votes For The Winner!

Help us select a winner! It's time for the public to vote for the best video in the HHS Flu Prevention Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. The producer of the winning video gets a $2, 500 cash award, and the winning PSA will be broadcast on national television! When HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced our contest asking people to help promote flu prevention, we had no idea what to expect. The response to the contest was amazing! Some 240 video PSAs were uploaded on YouTube! All videos were reviewed for adherence to message and length criteria. More than 100 videos qualified for the next step: review by a panel of expert judges.

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IOM Report Sept. 3: H1N1 Flu Protection For Health Care Workers

If the new pandemic flu virus creates a surge of patients during the upcoming flu season, it will be critical to protect health care workers given their important role in treating sick people and lessening the pandemic's overall impact. Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers in the Workplace Against Novel H1N1 Influenza A, a new report from the Institute of Medicine, recommends the best means to guard health care workers against infection via respiratory transmission. The report will be released on Thursday, Sept. 3. Source: Christine Stencel National Academy of Sciences

Government Of Canada, Government Of British Columbia, And First Nations Health Council Reaffirm Commitment To Tripartite First Nations Health Plan

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Federal Minister of Health, the Honourable Ida Chong, British Columbia's Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, and representatives of the British Columbia First Nations Health Council (FNHC) met today to receive an update on the progress of the BC Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, and to reaffirm their commitment to this agreement. "This meeting today is an important step in moving forward. Working together, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Council will ensure the success of the BC Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, " said Minister Aglukkaq. "Our goal is to enable First Nations to take the lead in designing and delivering healthcare for BC First Nations, thereby ensuring culturally-relevant and more effective health services that improve the health and well-being of BC First Nations.

Second Alabama Child Dies From Novel H1N1 Influenza

The Alabama Department of Public Health has been informed that a school-age child from Jackson County has died from influenza. It is presumed that novel H1N1 influenza is the likely cause of death because of its prevalence in Alabama. This would be the third known death in the state from novel H1N1 influenza. This death serves as reminder of the need for everyone to take additional precautions because of the early onset of influenza in Alabama. Source Alabama Department of Public Health

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The Effect Of Economic Recessions On Population Health

Paradoxically, mortality rates during economic recessions in developed countries decline rather than increase, according to an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). In poor countries with less than $5000 GDP per capita, economic growth appears to improve health by increasing access to food, clean water and shelter as well as basic health services. "In terms of business cycles, mortality is procyclical, meaning it goes up with economic expansions and down with contractions, and not countercyclical (the opposite), as expected, " writes Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, from the School of Public Health, University of Washington in Seattle, USA.

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