Archive for CDC

Biggest one-year drop in abortions in a decade; strict laws did not play a role in decline

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Drat that pesky birth control, it's always intruding on conservative memes and contributing to women's health and well-being and stuff.

(AP) -- U.S. abortions fell 5 percent during the recession and its aftermath in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, perhaps because women are more careful to use birth control when times are tough, researchers say. [...]

While many states have aggressively restricted access to abortion, most of those laws were adopted in the past two years and are not believed to have played a role in the decline.

That last part was my favorite.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the details, and 2009 was the most recent year for which statistics were available.

We previously learned that red states have higher traffic death rates than blue states. Now we're seeing that a red state also has the highest teen birth rate:

Mississippi had the lowest abortion rate, at 4 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age. The state also had only a couple of abortion providers and has the nation's highest teen birth rate.

Here's an idea: Make contraception easily accessible and affordable, and just like that, the abortion rate will drop even more. Despite GOP rumors to the contrary, nobody is "pro-abortion." Who in their right mind would want to go through any painful medical procedure, let alone one that is so traumatic and emotionally draining?

And once and for all, to those who are so self-righteously judgmental, keep your so-called "small" government out of our uteri.

More details at the link.

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Florida sends TB patients to $35-a-night motel

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(GARY CORONADO/Palm Beach Post)

As you may recall, Florida was accused of covering up of the worst TB outbreak in 20 years. Of course, poor black men were most affected, most likely uninsured poor black men.

Here's a refresher course from my earlier post:

According to the Post, the coverup began as early as last February, “when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”

That decision now appears to have gone terribly awry, partly because the disease appears to have already spread into the general population but also because just nine days before the CDC warning was issued, Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed a bill downsizing the state’s Department of Health and closing the A.G. Holley State Hospital that had treated the most difficult tuberculosis cases for over 60 years.

The Palm Beach Post:

However, the itinerant homeless, drug-addicted, mentally ill people at the core of the Jacksonville TB cluster are almost impossible to keep on their medications.

The entire state of Florida is in danger from this highly infectious disease, but Gov. Rick Scott was probably too busy suppressing votes with his voter purge-apalooza, covering up this new scandal, and refusing to implement health care laws to concern himself.

Now, today, again from the Post, we have this:

[F]or at least two years, TB patients were routed by Duval County health officials to the Monterey Motel and told to stay put. [...] until they no longer were contagious, state Department of Health spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds said.

The man-and-woman team responsible for cleaning rooms, who spoke only limited English, appeared confused when asked whether they had taken precautions. In fact, Kevin Davis, a former manager with the Duval County Health Department’s TB unit, questioned whether hotel managers had been briefed fully about TB transmission or precautions for staff.

You'd think they would have been informed as to what was going on, wouldn't you? Outrageous enough for you? Angry yet? Worried? Concerned? Stunned?

And why are we not seeing this reported all over the biased corporate news outlets instead of the Obama-bashing that was aired all morning?

Meantime, people in Florida are dying as the homeless are being tested:

On a recent weekday, a line snaked around the Clara White Mission starting before dawn, as homeless men and women lined up to have blood drawn by health department workers. “I know people who died,” said Lawrence Webb, who rode up on his bicycle to get tested. “They would sit under the expressway with their bag lunch, just coughing. That TB is out there.”

There are about 4,000 homeless people in Jacksonville. One unemployed construction worker summed it up perfectly: “They should have stopped this months ago. It’s inexcusable we didn’t know about it.”

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Florida accused of covering up of the worst TB outbreak in 20 years

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Raw Story is reporting what the Palm Beach Post is reporting, that for months Florida has been dealing with what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls the worst tuberculosis outbreak in the country in twenty years. This is a must-read.

Back in April, the CDC warned the state to take action, but the public didn't know about the TB problem until June. It took weeks for the Post to get the records they requested repeatedly, ones that "should have been freely available under Florida’s Sunshine Law."

So much for transparency and concern for the health and welfare of Floridians. Raw Story:

According to the Post, the coverup began as early as last February, “when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”

That decision now appears to have gone terribly awry, partly because the disease appears to have already spread into the general population but also because just nine days before the CDC warning was issued, Florida Governor Rick Scott had signed a bill downsizing the state’s Department of Health and closing the A.G. Holley State Hospital that had treated the most difficult tuberculosis cases for over 60 years.

Guess who was most affected? Poor black men. Most likely uninsured poor black men.

The Post:

However, the itinerant homeless, drug-addicted, mentally ill people at the core of the Jacksonville TB cluster are almost impossible to keep on their medications.

When health issues go unchecked, they spread. This is why it's so important to provide proper health care to everyone in the country.

In this case, the "underclass" was affected, and hey, why alert the rest of the state? And why should Rick Scott worry about one lousy hospital when he can save money preventing people he cares nothing about from having access to it for treatment? Besides, profits come first, so what was in it for him? He's clearly more interested in costly tests for drugs, not tests for TB.

Of course, now the entire state is in danger from this highly infectious disease, but that's neither here nor there. Scott was probably too busy suppressing votes and refusing to implement health care laws to concern himself anyway.

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