Monday, July 29, 2013

Suicide Prevention Trainings

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program has announced its 2013-2014 schedule of trainings. The complete schedule and registration information is available at

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program is a statewide suicide prevention initiative led by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in collaboration with the Departments of Education, Labor, Corrections and Public Safety. Its training program is housed at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine Office (NAMI Maine) in Augusta and is being delivered through collaboration with Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine (CCSME) and Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA).

For more information about suicide prevention in Maine, visit the Maine Suicide Prevention Program’s website:

Thursday, July 25, 2013


World Hepatitis Day is July 28. In recognition of the day, Maine CDC is highlighting US CDC’s Know Hepatitis B Campaign.

Hepatitis B is common worldwide, especially in many parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. In the US, Hepatitis B disproportionately affects Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). While AAPIs make up less than 5% of the U.S. population, they account for more than 50% of Americans living with Hepatitis B. One in 12 AAPIs has Hepatitis B.

For more information about the campaign, visit

For general information about World Hepatitis Day, go to

Friday, July 5, 2013

Going to the fair? Exercise good judgment

Maine’s fair season kicks off in July, with 24 licensed agricultural fairs throughout the state.  Fairs offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy agricultural events, exhibits, food, amusement rides, and other attractions.  Fairs also may increase the risk of certain diseases, to both humans and animals.

Influenza A H3N2v is associated with pig exposure, most commonly during fairs. Twelve cases were confirmed in 2011 from five states, including two in Maine. Last year, that number increased to more than 300 cases in twelve states. Indiana has already reported 4 cases associated with a fair last month.

Other diseases that may increase during fair season include Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections (STEC), Salmonellosis, Cryptosporidiosis, and Campylobacteriosis.  The risk of these diseases can be reduced through good hand hygiene.

Recommendations for fair goers:
  • Do not attend a fair if you are ill. You are risking infecting not only the people around you, but also the animals. Many animals are susceptible to human illnesses, including the flu.
  • Always ask the owner for permission before you touch an animal. Before and after touching animals, wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand gel. This will help reduce the risk of spreading illness from you to the animal and from the animal to you.
  •  Before eating, wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand gel. This will help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal illness, such as Salmonella.
It is important that we do everything we can to make fairs as safe an experience as possible, both for the people and the animals, and following these simple rules will help assure good health for everyone involved.

For more information:

Monday, July 1, 2013

3 Reasons to Teach Kids Food Safety

Here are 3 very important reasons for doing more, right now, to teach kids about safe food handling:
  1. US CDC estimates nearly half of all reported foodborne infections occur in children under 15 years of age.
  2. The long-term effects of foodborne illness in young children can be serious, including impaired brain development, kidney failure, or even death.
  3. Children under 9 account for 56% of hospitalizations from salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis - the two most common causes of foodborne illness.
Engage kids early, so they develop safe food handling practices they will use for life. Visit for access to free resources you can use to teach kids food safety.