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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP March 29, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

Travel Alert: Egypt

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5686.html

Travel Alert
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs

Egypt

March 29, 2012

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest. Egypt will hold the first round of presidential elections May 23-24, 2012, and if needed, a second round June 16-17, 2012. The new president is scheduled to take office no later than June 30, 2012. Political rallies and demonstrations are likely to occur in the period leading up to and following the elections and during the drafting of a new constitution. In the past year, demonstrations have degenerated on occasion into violent clashes between police and protesters, in some instances resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. The security situation in most tourist centers, including Luxor, Aswan, and the Red Sea Resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, continues to be calm. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert dated November 7, 2011 and updates information on the security situation and upcoming elections. This Travel Alert expires June 30, 2012.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations in Egypt, as even peaceful ones can quickly become violent and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. Several U.S. citizens have been arrested during demonstrations. Should security forces block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy during that time. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to carry identification and, if moving about alone, a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt.

The U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens’ Services by appointment. U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment. Visit the Embassy website to check the latest changes to Embassy hours or services. U.S. citizens with routine phone inquiries may call the Embassy’s American Citizens Services section at (20)2-2797-2301, Sunday to Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on (20)2-2797-3300. The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. federal holidays. U.S. citizens in Egypt are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website at travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. Download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 12:16 pm

FEMA 3/29/12 Briefing

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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 12:06 pm

Autism Spectrum Disorder: 1 in 88 US children

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http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0329_autism_disorder.html

CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder

CDC data help communities better serve these children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah. The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children.

The report, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 areas. It was published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“This information paints a picture of the magnitude of the condition across our country and helps us understand how communities identify children with autism,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “That is why HHS and our entire administration has been working hard to improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorders and their families by improving research, support, and services.”

“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are more children and families that need help,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

The results of CDC’s study highlight the importance of the Obama administration’s efforts to address the needs of people with ASDs, including the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IACC’s charge is to facilitate ASD research, screening, intervention, and education. As part of this effort, the National Institutes of Health has invested in research to identify possible risk factors and effective therapies for people with ASDs.

Study results from the 2008 surveillance year show 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children have been identified as having an ASD. This marks a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009. Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown. “To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research into risk factors and causes of autism spectrum disorders,” said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., M.S.Hyg., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

The study also shows more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12 percent for children born in 1994 to 18 percent for children born in 2000. “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the children in this study aren’t getting a diagnosis until after age 4. We are working hard to change that,” said Boyle.

The most important thing for parents to do is to act quickly whenever there is a concern about a child’s development.

To learn more about this study, visit www.cdc.gov/autism.

For information on CDC’s tools to help families track their child’s development, visit www.cdc.gov/actearly

To learn more about the research CDC is doing on autism, visit www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/research.html.

To learn more about the Administration’s commitment to combating autism, visit http://www.hhs.gov/autism/factsheet_autism_support.htmlExternal Web Site Icon.

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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 3:20 am

(Audio) March 29, 1982: Major earthquake and volcanic eruption (El Chicon) hits Mexico

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This was recorded on this day one year ago.

From: Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Website, February 2001

El Chichón is a small, but powerful andesitic tuff cone and lava dome complex that occupies an isolated part of the Chiapas region far from other Holocene volcanoes. Prior to 1982, this relatively unknown volcano was heavily forested and of no greater height than adjacent non-volcanic peaks. The largest dome, the former summit of the volcano, was constructed within a 1.6 x 2 kilometer summit crater, created about 220,000 years ago. Two other large craters are located on the SW and SE flanks. More than a half dozen large explosive eruptions have occurred since the mid-Holocene. The powerful 1982 explosive eruptions of high-sulfur, anhydrite-bearing magma were accompanied by devastating pyroclastic flows and surges and destroyed the summit lava dome. The eruptions created a new 1-kilometer-wide crater that now contains an acidic crater lake.


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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:56 am

Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2011.0029

Enhanced Communication and Coordination in the Public Health Surveillance Component of the Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System

To cite this article:
Chrissy Dangel, Steven C. Allgeier, Darcy Gibbons, Adam Haas, and Katie Simon. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 123-130. doi:10.1089/bsp.2011.0029.

“….By enhancing partnerships in the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Pilot, information silos that existed in each organization were replaced with interagency information depots that facilitated effective decision making.”

 



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:54 am

Decon of B. anthracis Spores: Lessons learned

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2011.0095

Decontamination After a Release of B. anthracis Spores

To cite this article:
Chris G. Campbell, Robert D. Kirvel, Adam H. Love, Christopher G. Bailey, Robin Miles, Jerry Schweickert, Mark Sutton, and Ellen Raber. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 108-122. doi:10.1089/bsp.2011.0095.

“….[L]essons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination…..”



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:51 am

Decontamination Cost of the Anthrax Letter Attacks: About $320 million

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2010.0053

Total Decontamination Cost of the Anthrax Letter Attacks

To cite this article:
Ketra Schmitt and Nicholas A. Zacchia. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 98-107. doi:10.1089/bsp.2010.0053.

“…..Our analysis indicates that the total cost associated with decontamination was about $320 million.”



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:45 am

The People’s Role in U.S. National Health Security

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2011.0108

The People’s Role in U.S. National Health Security: Past, Present, and Future

To cite this article:
Monica Schoch-Spana. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 77-88. doi:10.1089/bsp.2011.0108.

“…..In projecting what needs to occur over the next 10 years in biosecurity, 2 priority challenges emerge: retaining the lesson that a public prone to panic, social disorder, and civil unrest is a myth, and building an infrastructure to bolster the public’s full contributions to health emergency management.”



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:42 am

Bioterror & MCMs

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2012.0305

U.S. Medical Countermeasure Development Since 2001: A Long Way Yet to Go

To cite this article:
Philip K. Russell and Gigi Kwik Gronvall. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 66-76. doi:10.1089/bsp.2012.0305.

“The U.S. government has taken significant steps toward developing and acquiring vaccines, drugs, and other medical countermeasures (MCMs) to protect and treat the population after a biological attack. In contrast to 2001, there is now a procedure for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, license, and stockpile MCMs for civilian use. …..”



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March 29th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 2:40 am

Public Health Preparedness: On the Precipice?

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http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bsp.2011.0085

Assessing a Decade of Public Health Preparedness: Progress on the Precipice?

To cite this article:
Elin A. Gursky and Gregory Bice. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. March 2012, 10(1): 55-65. doi:10.1089/bsp.2011.0085.

“….Balancing traditional public health roles with new preparedness responsibilities heightened public health’s visibility, but it also presented significant complexities, including expanded lines of reporting and unremitting inflows of new guidance documents. Currently, a rapidly diminishing public health infrastructure at the state and local levels as a result of federal budget cuts and a poor economy serve as significant barriers to sustaining these nascent federal public health preparedness efforts……”



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