Submitted by Dr. Diana Yu
April 1, 2013
Public Health Protection # 1 – Vaccination
Vaccines have been developed in the last century to protect humans from diseases and their consequences. When we encounter a disease, disease-fighting antibodies are made by our bodies to recognize that these disease organisms are foreign to our bodies and need to get killed. This leads to “immunity.” Natural infection leads to natural immunity. In many instances, however, the initial infection causes death or disability that is permanent. Vaccination is one tool to protect you and your family. Risks and benefit of vaccination need to be weighed against risk and benefits of acquiring disease. Thank you Public Health Week April 1 – 5, 2013.
Public Health at Work – Food Safety
Public health staff provides information about food safety, instructions on proper food handling, regulate the food industry and investigates complaints about food-associated illness. However, the best protection against food-associated illness is awareness and understanding of: where your food comes from; how it has been handled; how it is prepared; and your own health limitations. Food borne illness can occur at anytime; many are due to home-prepared meals rather than restaurant meals. Thank you Public Health Week April 1 – 5, 2013.
Public Health – Water
Many Americans who travel to other countries are told “don’t drink the water out of the tap.” In the USA, municipal water systems are regulated and monitored. In some areas, water is chlorinated to make sure it is free of disease causing germs. In other areas, water has fluoride added to provide extra protection for children against tooth decay. What we do know is that water is safe to drink thanks to public health. Thank you Public Health Week April 1 – 5, 2013.
Public Health Monitoring – Disease Control
Public health workers help to protect the community from contagious diseases. Today, infections and contagious diseases no longer appear in the top ten causes of death or disability in the USA. Even though they are no longer the number one killers, public health workers continue to be vigilant about watching for emerging diseases and health threats. Somewhere around the world a new disease is emerging. Eventually it might make it to America because we are so globally connected. Public health monitors for old and new diseases so that we can be alerted to an emerging disease in time to take actions that will protect us. Thank you Public Health Week April 1 – 5, 2013.
Public Health Success – Sanitation
Over the last century the advances in health have been directly due to public health efforts such as sanitation, hygiene and vaccination against diseases. Typhoid, cholera, dysentery are not seen in the USA because we have standards for sanitation. Handling wastes and proper disposal of waste helps to control disease and keep vermin (rats, etc) under control. Thank you Public Health Week April 1 – 5, 2013.