DHEC in the News: Cold weather tips, infant mortality, E. coli outbreak

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Health experts offer tips during cooler weather, warn about carbon monoxide exposure

Last week brought freezing temperatures, snow and ice across South Carolina, even as far as the Palmetto State’s coastal region when a winter storm blanketed beaches and palm trees with snow and ice.

When temperatures drop in cooler months, health experts often share a familiar message to residents in families – bundle up, stay warm and indoors (when necessary) to prevent cold-related illnesses.

A good way to be prepared for cold-weather health problems includes taking a first aid and emergency resuscitation (CPR) course, as well as taking preventative action by preparing homes and cars in advance for winter emergencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on cdc.gov.

Health in brief: CDC publishes updated infant mortality data, national rate shows no improvement

The rate of babies who die during their first year of birth has improved nationally in the last decade, but in recent years, improvement in this key public health metric has plateaued.

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there was no change in the national rate of infant mortality between 2014 and 2015, the most recent years for which it has published numbers.

South Carolina has a middling rate overall, compared to other states.

General Interest

CDC: E. coli outbreak could be linked to romaine lettuce

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are investigating reports of E. coli illnesses in 13 states possibly linked to romaine lettuce or other leafy greens, according to a statement issued by the CDC.

Arizona and California produce about 90% of the lettuce and other leafy greens grown in the United States. The produce also comes from Mexico.

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