Tracking of infectious diseases is a public health core function essential to disease prevention and control. Each state mandates reporting of certain infectious diseases to public health authorities. These laws vary by state, and the variation could affect the ability to collect critical information.
The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic served as a case study to examine the legal authority in the 50 states; Washington, DC; and New York City for mandatory infectious disease reporting, particularly for influenza and new or emerging infectious diseases.
New Jersey (NJ) implemented the first Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) decal provision in the U.S. in May 2010. An initial study reported a 1-year post-decal decrease in the crash rate among NJ intermediate drivers aged <21 years. Longer-term analysis is critical for policymakers in other states considering whether to implement a decal provision. This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, evaluates the longer-term (2-year) effect of NJ’s decal provision on overall and age-specific crash rates of young drivers with intermediate licenses.
A study released in the American Journal of Public Health finds that young men in New York City who report they’ve been stopped and questioned by police are also reporting higher levels of trauma and stress associated with those experiences, particularly when they report that the encounters were intrusive.
Childhood lead poisoning is widely recognized as one of the most significant environmental health problems impacting children in the United States, as well as many other countries. Lead is one of the longest-known, best-understood, and most well-monitored environmental toxins. Most (but not all) children with elevated blood lead levels are exposed to lead through lead hazards in older housing. Local policy approaches aim to reduce childhood lead poisoning by reducing the prevalence of lead hazards in high-risk housing, and do so by improving maintenance practices and controlling lead hazards.
A team from the LA Department of Health analyzed 20 different documents broadly defined as “joint use agreements.” The findings are displayed in this report, which provides a snapshot of the relative strengths and weaknesses of all 20 agreements through analysis and case studies from neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.
The Problem: Motorcycle crashes are a significant public health concern. In 2010, 4,502 drivers died in motorcycle crashes, and deaths related to such crashes increased 55% between 2000 and 2010, according to the CDC. The same report notes that the economic burden of motorcycle crashes was $12 billion in 2005. The public bears most of these costs through lost tax revenue, increased insurance premiums, and Medicaid spending.
This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, collected and characterized all statutes and regulations effective from 1998 through 2011 governing the operation of prescription monitoring programs. As of 2011, 10 states required PMPs to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, while only three required reporting to the patient’s physician. None required linkage to drug treatment or required all prescribers to review PMP data before prescribing. Few explicitly address data retention.
Illegal drug use is a persistent problem, prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and there is clinical evidence that drug use reduces driving performance. This study describes trends in characteristics of drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes who test positive for drugs, and finds that the profile of a drugged driver has changed substantially over time. An increasing share of these drivers is now testing positive for prescription drugs, cannabis, and multiple drugs.