Infectious Disease

Promoting Health Equity Through State Orders for COVID-19 Testing

July 22, 2020|12:24 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

In order to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread, rapid testing is key. Rampant and efficient testing determines who has the virus and who may be at risk of transmitting it, and allows for effective management of isolation and quarantine activities for the infected or exposed. While testing has increased over the past months across the country—by mid-July the number of tests reached between 700,000 to 800,000 per day, double the number of daily tests performed in May. However, that number is still well below the estimated 1.2 million daily tests needed to contain the outbreak and 4.3 million tests per day that would suppress the virus. Read More »

Getting Ahead of the COVID-19 Vaccine

July 15, 2020|4:20 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Scientists are working quickly to develop a safe and effective vaccine to provide immunity to COVID-19. Once a vaccine is approved, it will likely be imperative for states to authorize as many health care professionals to administer it, since the demand is expected to be extremely high. In addition, legislation authorizing alternative providers within the immunization neighborhood (e.g., pharmacies, schools, workplace, and other clinical sites) can expand the places where vaccines are available and increase access to vaccination among vulnerable populations. By recognizing that not every person is reliably linked to a healthcare provider, these policies can allow for timely and consistent immunization services. Read More »

What State Legislatures Did About Vaccine Exemptions in 2015

March 21, 2016|1:27 p.m.| Scott Briscoe

The measles outbreak traced to Disneyland was one of a growing number of preventable infectious disease outbreaks caused in part by the antivaccination movement. With that backdrop, ASTHO looks at how state legislatures approached immunization laws last year. Read More »

State Health Agencies Prep for Zika

January 29, 2016|9:06 a.m.| Scott Briscoe

As Zika news grips the U.S. public, state health agencies have been preparing for weeks. Read More »

U.S. Rates of STDs Increase

November 19, 2015|9:38 a.m.| Scott Briscoe

The CDC released its annual report on STD rates in the nation, which highlights which segments of the population are leading a trend that is headed in the wrong direction. Read More »

Recent Legionnaires’ Outbreaks not Uncommon; States Work to Protect Public

September 10, 2015|11:59 a.m.| Scott Briscoe

Recent spate of outbreaks are not unusual in late summer. New York, Florida, and Nevada among many states doing extensive work to safeguard the public. Read More »

Report: Opportunistic Infections Still Kill Many Individuals with HIV-AIDS

July 02, 2015|1:56 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

A new study reviews 30 years of HIV/AIDS treatment, revealing progress and future challenges. Read More »

California Takes Step to Remove Personal and Religious Vaccine Exemptions

June 26, 2015|11:04 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

The recent measles outbreak touched off a pointed debate about the antivaccination movement, leading the California legislature to close vaccination exemptions. Read More »

Wisconsin and Arkansas Increase Hepatitis C Testing Rates for Older Adults

June 25, 2015|2:37 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Two states used innovative strategies to implement CDC’s recommendation to test baby boomers for hepatitis C. Read More »

How Indiana Identified the First U.S. Case of MERS in 2014

June 12, 2015|11:43 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

About a year ago, Indiana identified the first case of MERS on U.S. soil. With the recent outbreak of the disease in South Korea, it's worth a look back to see how Indiana identified the disease and the steps they took to limit its spread. Read More »

CDC Releases Latest Data on Antibiotic Resistance of Common Foodborne Germs

June 10, 2015|11:07 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria continues to show both positive and challenging trends, according to new CDC report. Read More »

State Health Agencies Play a Critical Role in Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance

June 02, 2015|8:09 a.m.| Virginia Dolen

As the threat of antimicrobial resistance rises throughout the world, the White House has convened more than 150 major food companies, retailers, and human and animal health stakeholders to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Read More »

During STD Awareness Month, Reflecting on How State Health Agencies Make an Impact

April 22, 2015|10:46 a.m.| Kristen Lewandowski

A roundup of issues that state health agencies face on the front lines of STD prevention and treatment and resources for agencies and their partners. Read More »

Indiana Improves Vaccination Rates, Access, and Tracking Thanks to Partnership-Driven Legislation

April 16, 2015|10:10 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

In five years, Indiana passed three laws that dramatically reduced vaccine-covered meningococcal disease, expanded immunization administration capability for pharmacists, and improved vaccine tracking across the state. Read More »

New Ebola Cases Drop to Lowest Level in Almost a Year, but Burial Traditions Continue to Spread Virus

April 09, 2015|12:10 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The number of new Ebola cases reached the lowest rate since May 2014. Read More »

White House Announces Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

March 27, 2015|4:12 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The White House has announced a five-year national plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, identifying the critical actions that key federal departments and agencies will take. Read More »

In the News: Food Providers Curbing Antibiotic Use

March 11, 2015|4:25 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Use of antibiotics in animals in the food supply contributes to the public health problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Several food supply companies have recently committed to curtailing the practice. Read More »

Public Health Issues to Watch in 2015

March 03, 2015|3:16 p.m.| Jane Esworthy

As public health issues dominate the nation, health departments are predicting that many ongoing and emerging health threats are expected to make headlines this year. Read More »

Columbia University Researchers Develop 15-Minute Smartphone HIV and Syphilis Test

February 10, 2015|4:00 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Inexpensive testing device connects to a smartphone to produce rapid, accurate results. Read More »

Measles News and Analysis Worth a Look

February 04, 2015|4:51 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

A quick look at some of the atypical news and analysis articles about the ongoing measles outbreak. Read More »

Multistate Measles Outbreak Drives Up State Health Agency Costs and Points to Importance of Quality Immunization Communication

January 27, 2015|4:01 p.m.| Virgie Townsend

With the Disneyland measles outbreak up to 87 cases in seven states as of Jan. 26, state health departments are responding to the disease by educating primary care providers and the public about measles and conducting contact tracing. Read More »

California Reports 59 Confirmed Cases of Measles in Outbreak Traced to Disneyland

January 22, 2015|11:48 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

The California Department of Public Health announced yesterday that 59 cases of measles have been confirmed in California residents since the end of December 2014. Forty-two such cases have been linked to an initial exposure in December at Disneyland. Read More »

Virginia and Walgreens Team Up to Provide Free HIV Testing in the Commonwealth

January 20, 2015|11:10 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

After establishing that they share a commitment to addressing HIV, the Virginia Department of Health and Walgreens created a program that provides free, pharmacist-led HIV testing at select Walgreens sites. Read More »

Researchers Develop Promising New Method of Creating Powerful Antibiotics

January 07, 2015|4:46 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

A new way of growing bacteria in lab settings may help researchers in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Read More »

Researchers Say Surgeon General’s Infamous Remark at 1967 ASTHO Meeting Was Misquoted

January 06, 2015|3:31 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

There is no evidence that William H. Stewart suggested that the United States shift its focus from infectious disease to chronic disease. Read More »

How States Protect Americans from Infectious Diseases

December 24, 2014|10:40 a.m.| Scott Briscoe

Take a look at the key points in the Trust for America's Health report "Outbreaks" with examples from state health agency programs that work to improve on the issues the report raises. Read More »

Malaria Deaths Halved, But Global Progress May Be Slowed by Ebola

December 09, 2014|11:09 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Deaths from malaria fell by 47 percent worldwide between 2000 and 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today. In the WHO African Region, which accounts for about 90 percent of malaria deaths, the mortality rate decreased by 54 percent. Read More »

Value of Public Health and Healthcare Collaboration Evident as U.S. Designates 35 Hospitals to Treat Ebola

December 04, 2014|9:57 a.m.| Virgie Townsend

HHS announced on Dec. 2 that the United States has designated 35 hospitals as Ebola treatment centers—a process that involved working closely with state health officials. Read More »

Washington State Develops Statewide Plan to Reduce HIV Diagnoses

December 03, 2014|2:30 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Washington state launched the End AIDS Washington campaign as an effort to reduce the rate of new HIV diagnoses by 50 percent by 2020. Since 1981, more than 19,000 people in Washington have been diagnosed with HIV, with approximately 518 new cases each year, and more than 6,000 have died. Read More »

AIDS Has Reached ‘Beginning of End’ With Important Milestone, Says Campaign Group

December 01, 2014|11:05 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

The ONE campaign has announced that in the past year, for the first time, the number of people added to AIDS treatment was larger than the number of people newly infected with HIV. Read More »

WHO Reports Worldwide Increase in Measles Deaths

November 19, 2014|3:15 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Multiple factors are contributing to a resurgence in measles cases and deaths across the globe. Read More »

Influenza Vaccination Rates Remain Low Despite Ongoing Efforts

November 18, 2014|9:45 a.m.| Kristen Lewandowski

More than half of eligible individuals can't or won't get the flu shot this year. Read More »

States Continue to Build Preparedness and Response Capacity for Possible Ebola Cases in the U.S.

October 31, 2014|9:37 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Since the first three cases of Ebola were diagnosed in Texas and a subsequent fourth case in New York, states have continued to make preparations. Here’s a quick scan of some of the activities states have undertaken. Read More »

Influenza Outbreaks and the “Spanish Flu” Epidemic

October 24, 2014|1:36 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

With recent influenza outbreaks around the world, a recent study at Michigan State University may offer insight into infection control measures for the flu and other epidemic diseases. . Read More »

On the Front Lines: A Look at How States are Preparing for an Ebola Response

October 14, 2014|2:25 p.m.| Virgie Townsend

Before Ebola dominated U.S. news media or the first American citizens contracted the disease in West Africa, state and territorial health departments were mobilizing to respond to imported cases. Read More »