Scott Hensley wants to make one thing clear: You should still get a flu shot after reading this article.
In southern Texas, the city of Laredo hasn’t confirmed a single case of dengue in nearly 20 years. Just a short walk across the border into Mexico, the city of Nuevo Laredo has confirmed hundreds of cases of the mosquito-borne disease. Hector Gonzalez says the difference lays in the city’s robust commitment to public health-led mosquito control.
In more encouraging public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccination rates among kindergarteners have remained stable, with the median vaccine exemption rate at 2 percent. Some states even reported an increase in immunization rates.
Guns are the third leading cause of injury-related death in the country. Every year, nearly 12,000 gun homicides happen in the U.S., and for every person killed, two more are injured. Whether Congress will do anything about this violence is a whole other (depressing) article. But there is evidence that change is possible.
Across the country, federally qualified health centers provide a critical safety net, delivering needed medical care regardless of a person’s ability to pay. And so it’s worrisome when researchers document a sharp increase in dissatisfaction among the clinicians and staff who make those centers run.
The idea that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer is one of those regularly debunked talking points that won’t disappear. So, here’s yet more evidence that the ACA has had very little impact on the labor market.
In July, public health departments across the country got a letter from the Trump administration abruptly cutting off funding for teen pregnancy prevention efforts in the middle of the program’s grant cycle. The move means that many teens will miss out on receiving an education that could — quite literally — change the trajectory of their lives.
Public trust in science is a fickle creature. Surveys show a clear majority of Americans believe science has positively impacted society, and they’re more likely to trust scientists on issues like climate change and vaccines. On the other hand, surveys also find that factors like politics, religion, age and race can greatly impact the degree of that trust. It presents a delicate challenge for agencies that depend on trust in science to do their jobs.
U.S. investments in global health research have saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable suffering. And by working to detect, treat and eventually eliminate infectious diseases worldwide, we’re protecting our own country too. That cliché about diseases knowing no borders is unfortunately very true. All that alone should be enough to remain committed to the cause.
Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.