Friday, July 22, 2016

State Lab Improves Foodborne Illness Surveillance

Maine CDC's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) is a member of PulseNet, a national laboratory network that connects foodborne illness cases to detect outbreaks from people eating contaminated food. Since the network began in 1996, PulseNet has improved food safety systems in Maine by identifying outbreaks early and identifying the source of the contaminated food. This network is changing the test methods used to identify outbreaks. 

Through two U.S. CDC grants, the HETL has been able to upgrade its equipment and protocols to allow for the lab to conduct this next-generation DNA fingerprinting, known as ‘whole genome sequencing.’  This method allows the HETL to increase surveillance of antibiotic and antiviral resistance mechanisms, identify rare bacteria and viruses and increase foodborne illness surveillance.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Keep Cool, Drink Fluids and Reduce Activity to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

During these hot summer days we can all use a reminder to keep cool, drink fluids and lie low to prevent heat-related illness.
Older adults, infants, pregnant women, people who have chronic diseases and those who work outside or in hot environments are most at risk for heat-related illnesses. On hot days, people need access to air conditioning or shade and those who are working outside should be sure to drink more fluids to stay hydrated. 
It is also a good idea to check on the elderly and relatives who live alone to make sure they are able to stay cool.
For more on how to recognize and prevent heat illness:
Use the Maine Tracking Network to find data about heat illness in Maine:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cancer Registry Recognized

Maine CDC's cancer registry has been recognized by U.S. CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) as a Registry of Excellence for 2015.
Maine is one of 22 states to achieve this designation, which reflects the submission of high quality data for cancer prevention and control activities. The data met all of NPCR's standards for data completeness and quality.

In addition, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries has recognized Maine CDC's cancer registry for meeting its Gold Standard on quality, completeness and timeliness of 2013 data.

Friday, July 1, 2016

National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. U.S. CDC estimates that about 7,000 babies will be born with a cleft in the United States this year, a condition created when tissue in the baby’s upper lip or the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy, leaving an opening in the roof of the mouth.
Clefts are usually repaired surgically in the first year of life, though many children require additional surgeries and treatments through adolescence to correct challenges to breathing, eating, or speech development. Individuals born with cleft lip or palate often need specialized dental or orthodontic care throughout their lives.
For more information, visit