Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Florida latest place to declare emergency over hepatitis A

Officials have declared a public health emergency over the rising number of hepatitis A cases in Florida, the latest part of the country dealing with outbreaks of the liver disease.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Honduran hospitals overrun by dengue fever epidemic

Of Honduras' 32 public hospitals, 26 are overflowing with patients due to what health authorities are calling the worst dengue fever epidemic in the past half century.

Medications

Record drug deaths in Scotland are a national scandal

Every early death, like that of Karen McDade who died in Dundee aged 43, is a tragedy for that person and their family. Sadly, an increasing number of families in Scotland are affected by these tragedies.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Global measles cases up 300 percent year-on-year: WHO

Measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the UN said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

CDC: Measles cases reach 465 this year in the United States

(HealthDay)—The number of reported measles cases in the United States hit 465 as of April 4, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. That is 78 more than in the previous week's update, CNN reported.

Medications

Feds say heroin, fentanyl remain biggest drug threat to US

Opioid overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Public Health Emergency Preparedness

In the United States government, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (or ASPR), formerly the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (or OPHEP), is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, was established in June 2002 at the request of Tommy Thompson. In July 2006, a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response was introduced. On December 19, 2006 it became public law and OPHEP was officially changed to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

The first head of OPHEP was Donald Henderson, credited with having previously eradicated Smallpox. Soon Jerry Hauer, a veteran public health expert, took over as director, with Henderson taking a different role in the department. Hauer was removed from the job primarily for conflicts he had with Scooter Libby over whether the risks of smallpox vaccination were worth the benefit. Hauer charged that the Office of the Vice President was pushing for the universal vaccination despite the vaccine's health risks, primarily exaggerate the risk of biological terrorism.

The current head of ASPR is RADM W. Craig Vanderwagen, M.D., he was sworn into office on March 27, 2007 as the first Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. He is the Secretary's principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. He is responsible for coordinating interagency activities between HHS, other Federal departments, agencies, offices and State and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

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