Top Five Threats of 2014
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named the top five health threats it expects to tackle in 2014. Be aware of:
- Increased Antibiotic Resistance:
Every year, more than two million people in the U.S. get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result. “We are approaching a cliff,” Dr. Michael Bell, Deputy Director of CDC’s Healthcare Quality Promotion warned. “If we don’t take steps to slow or stop drug resistance, we will fall back to a time when simple infections killed people. “
- A Prescription Drug Overdose Epidemic:
Deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade, and more than 16,500 people died from painkiller overdoses in 2010. CDC is working to reduce the misuse, abuse and overdose of prescription painkillers while ensuring patients with pain have access to safe, effective treatment. “The problem of prescription painkiller overdoses has reached epidemic proportions. The annual number of overdose deaths from these drugs now exceeds deaths from heroin and cocaine combined,” according to Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN.
- Preventing Infectious Disease Outbreaks:
“There may be a misconception that infectious diseases are over in the industrialized world. But in fact, infectious diseases continue to be, and will always be, with us. With patterns of global travel and trade, disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours” according to Dr. Tom Frieden. CDC is working with Ministries of Health to increase their ability to prepare for and respond to public health threats and reduce the risk of these threats crossing borders.
- Combating Low HPV Vaccination Rates:
For both boys and girls, HPV vaccination rates continue to be well below the Healthy People goals for 2020, leaving an entire generation susceptible to HPV-related cancers. CDC will continue to monitor adolescent vaccination coverage levels via the National Immunization Survey (NIS) – Teen. It’s recommended to deliver the HPV vaccine to both boys and girls between the age of 11 and 12 to protect them from HPV-related cancers in the future.
- The Global Threat of Polio:
The world is closer than ever to ending polio everywhere, thanks to the efforts of CDC and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. However, challenges must be addressed in 2014 to meet the goal of eradicating polio once and for all. Active conflict, military operations and/or local bans on immunizations prevent polio vaccinators from reaching approximately two million children in high-risk areas. Overcoming this challenge it seems, will be a critical step towards ending polio for good.