Map of Days Over the National Ambient Air Quality Stated for Ozone (2011)

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The map of today shows ozone days over the National Ambient Air Quality in the United States in 2011. From the map we can see the most polluted clustered areas are: California and Arizona; Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, east Texas and south Louisiana; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois; The northeastern coastal states.

Why do you think ozone pollution is particularly bad in these areas?

For more information and other Map of the Days, please check out: http://communitymappingforhealthequity.org/category/map-of-the-day/

Zika Virus Affects Fertility of Male Mice

baby albino rat held in hand with a glove by researcher

Recent studies by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have revealed some damage Zika virus could do to male mice. After infected with Zika, male mice start to lose their fertility function – lost of sperm and shrinking of testes up to 90%. The harm affects mice really fast, and are possibly irreversible even after the virus is cleared from the bloodstream.

Zika virus can stay in men’s sexual organs for up to 6 months. Data on how Zika virus affects human beings is lacking to make conclusions on how it could affect fertility in men. However, there are chances that the virus could destroy men’s sperm in a similar way that it does to mice. Men usually do not find out they are infertile until they try to have children. Therefore, it might take longer to have more cases to study how the virus influences men’s fertility function. More studies are underway.

To read more about this research, please visit http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/31/health/zika-shrinks-mice-testicles/

 

A New Approach To Fighting Zika – Releasing Infected Mosquitoes

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A group of international donors recently funded a new project that aims to fight Zika virus with $18 million. The project attempts to provide a “revolutionary approach” against mosquito-borne diseases, by infecting mosquitoes with a bug called Wolbachia which reduces their ability to spread viruses to people.

Wolbachia is a natural bacterium that infects most insects and does not harm human beings. Traditionally, it does not infect the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the host of Zika and other viruses, but scientists have found ways to inject the bug into these mosquitoes. The approach is likely to work in two days, by boosting the immune system of host mosquitoes so that they don’t carry viruses, and also by competing against viruses in resources within the host.

The program will unfold in early 2017. Preliminary studies have shown efficacy of the approach. Communities have expressed concerns about unintended consequences. Researchers point out that humans have been in contact with the bacteria and have not been harmed, and promise to monitor closely with the process.

To read more about this project, please visit http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37773274

 

Map of Percentage of Persons Who Speak English “Less Than Well” (2010-2014)

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Today’s map of the day shows the percentages of population in the United States who speak English “less than well”. The map shows a clear regional difference across the country, with states which accommodates a big immigrant population showing a higher percentage of lack of English fluency (Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, New York).

For more information and other Map of the Days, please check out: http://communitymappingforhealthequity.org/category/map-of-the-day/

Tennessee Ranks Average in National STD Rates

Total cases of STD (Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc.) in the United States are reaching a record-high level. Teens and young adults account for the majority of the cases. Many cases go undiagnosed and untreated, which are likely to induce further reproductive health problems.

Among all states across the country, Tennessee ranks 19th in chlamydia rate, 17th in gonorrhea rate, and 22nd in syphilis rate. Most cases are concentrated in the Davidson county.

The major cause of declining of provision of STD services is budget cut. While the country’s STD rates are climbing, STD services are eroding and closing. The challenge is to boosting the budget for STD prevention and treatment again.

For more information and data, please visit http://patch.com/tennessee/nashville/record-high-std-rates-u-s-where-davidson-tennessee-ranks

 

Map of Flu Vaccination Coverage on Population Over 65 (2013-2014)

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Today’s map of the day shows flu vaccination coverage for the population within the United States that are older than 65 years old. The map indicates that the northeastern states, the Great Lake states, Montana, Wyoming, Tennessee, Florida, Texas have high coverage of flu vaccinations for the older than 65 years old population.

What is the coverage for your state? Have you got your flu vaccination this year?

For more information and other Map of the Days, please check out: http://communitymappingforhealthequity.org/category/map-of-the-day/

 

Vice President Biden Pushes For “Cancer Moonshot”

Vice President Joe Biden initiated “Cancer Moonshot” last year, and recently reported his plans for the next administration to push forward cancer research and care.

While the vice president is optimistic about the future of the initiative that enable us to “re-imagine a cancer enterprise for the 21st Century.”, he points out several remaining barriers to progress: it takes “team science” to accomplish breakthroughs in research, which is lacking in the current system; clinical trials have trouble in retaining and recruiting participants, and the lack of open accessed and rapidly shared data.

President Obama designated $195 million this year for National Institute of Health to carry out the initiative. The Congress will be likely to boost the funding in the next fiscal year once election is passed. Though Funding isn’t certain, the initiative has bipartisan support so that future infusion of cash is under way. Various private partners also champion the moonshot initiative and will pool more funding for research.

To learn more about the Cancer Moonshot initiative, please visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/10/17/joe-biden-delivers-cancer-moonshot-recommendations/92289454/, and https://www.whitehouse.gov/CancerMoonshot

 

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