Radiation levels rise at Japanese nuclear plant

“Japan faces the growing risk of a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power station. At this point, the level of radiation released has already made this the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

There has been a significant spike of radioactivity around the plant, with levels at one point reaching 400 millisieverts an hour. That level of exposure means that workers at a U.S. plant would reach their maximum allowed annual dose in seven minutes, and exposure for 75 minutes would cause acute radiation sickness. ”

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Sources:

FP: Foreign Policy
Swati Patel, Vertices Intern

U.S. States ‘Poorly Prepared’ For Radiation Emergency

“As Japan struggles to bring its spiraling nuclear catastrophe under control, a new study in a journal published by the American Medical Association (AMA) finds that, from a public health standpoint, U.S. states are “poorly prepared” to respond to a major radiation emergency. ”

“The study found several gaps in states’ radiation emergency preparedness. For one, the survey reports that 73% of states “reported having minimal (53%) or no (21%) plans to conduct population-based exposure monitoring.” Meanwhile, only 13% of states surveyed reported having “any written or detailed operations plan for radiologic analyses of biological or clinical samples.” And 42% of states reported little or no planning to test first responders for radiation contamination. ”

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Sources:
TPM
Swati Patel, Vertices Intern

Another Measles Case Suspected In Boston

“Another person is suspected of having measles days after a woman who works in a Boston building contracted the illness.”

Public Health Officials of Boston are holding free vaccination clinic. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that if one person is stricken with measles, 90 percent of unvaccinated people close to them will get sick. ”

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Sources:
The Boston Channel
Swati Patel, Vertices intern

Americans and Canadians Get Different Drug Information Online

Researcher at the University of British Columbia concluded that there is a vast difference between the information on the prescribed drug found online by the people of Canada and America.

“Residents of the United States searching on Google for both brand and generic drug names get directed to the government-run National Library of Medicine. However, Canadians performing the same searches end up getting Wikipedia for generic drug searches.”

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Sources:
PHYSORG
University of British Columbia

Swati Patel, Vertices intern

Broader psychological impact of 2010 BP oil spill

A research undertaken by the University of Maryland shows that, “The people in Florida, where oil had not reached shore, showed similar elevated levels of anxiety and depression as those living in Alabama who had direct oil exposure. Both groups had similar high levels of worry about the impact of the spill on the environment, health and seafood safety.”

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Source:
University of Maryland Medical Center
Swati Patel, Vertices Intern

Public Health Assessment Teams Benefit from GPS/GIS

“Interview teams assisted by Team Epi-Aid, an award-winning volunteer group at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, are conducting cluster sampling studies using Ashtech handheld MobileMapper 6 smart GPS/GIS devices to navigate to designated survey sites and collect point-specific field data.”

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Source:
GIM International
Swati Patel, Vertices, Intern

New children’s nutrition law to improve cafeteria meals

Looking at the increasing rates of Obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other health care problems in children, “President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act on Dec. 13. Under the law, an additional $4.5 billion will be provided during the next 10 years for federal school nutrition programs — nearly 10 times the amount provided under the previous child nutrition reauthorization and the largest new investment in child nutrition programs since their inception.”

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Sources:
Washington News
American Medical News

Swati Patel, Intern, VERTICES INC