News tagged with public health

Related topics: children , health , centers for disease control and prevention , infectious diseases , physical activity

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

10 hours ago
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US health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

Public health officials in the U.S. are exasperated by their inability to persuade more parents to vaccinate their children, saying they're dealing with a small minority who are misinformed—or merely obstinate—about ...

Mar 03, 2015
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Should smoking be banned in UK parks?

Lord Ara Darzi and Oliver Keown at the Institute of Global Health Innovation want a ban to help smokers quit and to protect children from seeing people lighting up.

Feb 25, 2015
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Tagging drugs to fight counterfeit medicines

The U.S. and other countries are enacting rules to clamp down on the sales of fake pharmaceuticals, which pose a public health threat. But figuring out a system to track and authenticate legitimate drugs still faces significant ...

Feb 25, 2015
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Public health

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." (1920, C.E.A. Winslow)[citation needed] It is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic). Public health is typically divided into epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Environmental, social, behavioral, and occupational health are also important subfields.

There are 2 distinct characteristics of public health:

1. It deals with preventive rather than curative aspects of health 2. It deals with population-level, rather than individual-level health issues

The focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease. Hand washing, vaccination programs and distribution of condoms are examples of public health measures.

The goal of public health is to improve lives through the prevention and treatment of disease. The United Nations' World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

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