April 2-8, 2012 is National Public Health Week. This year's theme for the annual celebraton puts a focus on public health issues and how our community can work together to improve our health. Each day emphasizes a different health topic.
Monday- Active Lifestyle and Healthy Eating
Wednesday- Communicable Disease Prevention
Local health departments were founded after the 1918 pandemic flu, making communicable disease prevention one of our foundational responsibility. In Union County, the health department prevents the spread of disase through restaurant and pool inspections, water and well inspections, disease tracking, vaccination programs, and education campaigns.
Here are some quick facts about communicable disease:
- Each year, roughly one in six Americans (48 million people) gets sick from foodborne diseases.
- Most food poisoning is caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, rather than toxic substances in food.
- Vaccination is the only medical intervention that has ever completely eliminated an illness in humans.
- Cases and deaths from the most vaccine-preventable diseases targeted since 1980, such as chickenpox, have declined by 80 percent or more because of widespread immunization.