Monday, December 13, 2010

Public Health Updates 12/13/10

NOROVIRUS GASTROENTERITIS

Maine CDC has recently investigated five reports of gastroenteritis outbreaks from Cumberland, Oxford, Kennebec, and Hancock counties. Four outbreaks occurred in long-term care facilities and one occurred in a school setting. Norovirus infections typically increase during the winter months, and Maine CDC routinely receives numerous reports of suspected outbreaks each year. Last winter season, December 2009-March 2010, there were 12 suspect and confirmed norovirus outbreaks reported, compared to 56 reported during the same time period the year before. Public health partners are encouraged to consider norovirus when assessing clusters of gastroenteritis and to act promptly to prevent the spread of illness. All of the above facilities have implemented preventive measures to control further spread of illness.

For more information, see this Health Alert: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=DHHS-HAN&id=163688&v=alert

HEALTH REFORM UPDATE

This 9-minute non-partisan animated video produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation explains health reform – what it does, what it proposes to do in the coming years, its challenges and opportunities: http://healthreform.kff.org/the-animation.aspx

Funding Opportunities

Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=58907) applications are due by Dec. 22.

Teaching Health Center (THC) Graduate Medical Education (GME) Payment Program (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=58913) applications are due by Dec. 30.

Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Program (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=59020) applications are due by Jan. 21.

OTHER UPDATES

· The Federal Plain Language Guidelines have been updated and are available at http://www.plainlanguage.gov

· Beware of lead hazards in some toys when holiday shopping: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/LeadInToys/?s_cid=tw_cdc250

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