Surveillance of Hepatitis A Outbreaks: State-by-State Counts from 2017-2018

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In the midst of newsworthy Hepatitis A outbreaks in Kentucky, San Diego, and Michigan, this map depicts the number of Hepatitis A incidents across the United States from 2017-2018. The number fluctuations in each state over the last year is alarming considering that there are few national regulations being put into place in the realm of food safety. Catherine Huddle from Food Safety News explains that although the CDC recommends that all children should be vaccinated at the ages of 1 and 2, ” the CDC has not recommended Hepatitis A vaccinations for food service workers” (Huddle, 2018). We can only hope that more information and awareness of Hepatitis A outbreaks can help force a decline in it’s prevalence. For more information of state reported Hepatitis A incidents you can visit the Food Safety News web page.

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Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence Texans’ Decision to Get Vaccinated? – A cartographic Approach

Texas has one of the highest vaccination rates for childhood diseases overall, 97.4%, according to CDC. But the number of children not vaccinated because of their parents’ “personal beliefs”—as opposed to medical reasons—has risen since 2003, when such exemptions were introduced, to more than 44,000 so far in 2017 according to CDC. The 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series is an overall measure that encompasses many vaccines that are recommended for children. Various demographic factors (sex, gender, race, availability of commercial health insurance) influence the decision to get vaccinated, were looked at.

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The county-level data on the socioeconomic factors were obtained from US Census Bureau (American Factfinder). The health insurance data was obtained from Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The vaccination rates were obtained from Texas Immunization registry through DSHS. The data was cleaned and geocoded to be analyzed in ArcGIS to produce maps as shown in Figure 1. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between vaccination rates and independent variable.

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The non-vaccination rates are higher around the major cities of Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, Houston and some northwest Texas counties. Population density has a positive correlation with the non-vaccination rate. Other demographic factors have a positive correlation in certain counties as opposed to others.

 

Source: American FactFinder, Texas Immunisation Registry

The limitation on the immunization data is it being an optional registry so it would not be accurate to run statistics off this information to estimate an immunization rate. In future, it is productive to expand this concept to use regression analysis to try to find the odds of the relationship expressed in the maps and to find if there is a significant association.

Preventive Dental Care for Children in GA – A look at the disparities.

Preventive oral health care is essential for one’s overall health. For children, it is important to address oral health needs earlier in life to prevent oral health issues from forming and progressing into adulthood. Below is a map of the percentage of children in Georgia with financial access to preventive dental care. This map comes from an article written by Cao, Gentili, Griffin, Griffin & Serban (2017) titled, “Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia.”

The authors of the article state that financial access is, “the percentage of children who either are eligible for public insurance or have the ability to afford dental care through commercial insurance or ability to pay out-of-pocket,” (Cao et al., 2017). Although there are plenty of children who are eligible to receive public funding for preventive dental care in GA, only 27.9% of the 4,123 dentists in GA who offer preventive dental services to children accept public insurance, (Cao et al., 2017).

What are your thoughts? What does financial access to preventive dental care mean to you? Is this an accurate representation of financial access? I invite you to read more of the article on the CDC’s website, here

GA preventive oral healh care for chilldren

Source: Cao S, Gentili M, Griffin PM, Griffin SO, Serban N. Disparities in Preventive Dental Care Among Children in Georgia. Prev Chronic Dis 2017;14:170176. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd14.170176.

Average Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) (µg/m³) By County (2011)

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Check out this map that shows the average fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) (µg/m³) by county for the year 2011. From the map we can see clusters with a higher average indicated by the darker shading. For instance, we can see a cluster consisting counties within for Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming. It is also apparent there are higher concentrations in many Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern states compared to western states. States such as, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky predominantly have a higher average.

By Julia Watson

NHSC and NCQA Certified PCMH Sites In Tennessee

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Check out this map that shows the number of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites in Tennessee as of 10/6/17 and the number of National Committee for Quality Assurance certified Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) sites in Tennessee as of 1/23/18.

For more information on the Patient Centered Medical Home click here.

By Julia Watson

Rate of Chromosomal Birth Defect Cases By County Per 10,000 Live Births in Tennessee (2008 – 2012)

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In recognition of National Birth Defects Prevention month check out this map of Tennessee which shows the rate of chromosomal birth defects by county per 10,000 live births by county for the state of Tennessee for the years 2008 to 2012. From the map we can see counties such as, Williamson, Johnson, Scott and Giles had a higher rate of chromosomal birth defects, ranging from 27.01 to 36.00 per 10,00 live births. Given a mothers age is a significant risk factor for certain types of chromosomal birth defects with older mothers having a higher risk it would be interesting to compare the age demographics of these counties.

By Julia Watson

Cervical Cancer Mortality Rate By County ( 2012 – 2016)

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Check out this map that shows the mortality rate per 100,000 population for cervical cancer by county for the years 2012 to 2016. From the map we can see that the lighter shaded areas had a decrease in mortality while the darker shaded areas had an increase in mortality. Although cervical cancer is not the leading cause of cancer death among women [1] it is still of concern. To learn more about cervical cancer and  what The American Cancer Society recommends click here.

By Julia Watson