In the fall of 2014, the attention of state leaders and their constituents was focused on the Ebola epidemic in Africa and how to prevent its spread to the United States. In the days since the first U.S. case was diagnosed in Texas, federal and state leaders have strived to implement evidence-based responses to the disease. This CSG eCademy features Christine Kosmos, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of State and Local Readiness, who explores lessons learned about Ebola and states’ responses, as well as state/federal role differentiation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States Sept. 30. That patient, a man who had traveled to Texas from Liberia, where he was exposed to the virus, died Oct. 8. Since then, the federal and state governments have worked to develop evidenced-based policies and procedures for the prevention, detection and treatment of the disease. CSG will host an eCademy Tuesday, Dec. 9, featuring Christine Kosmos, director of the CDC’s Division of State and Local Readiness. She will discuss lessons learned about Ebola and states’ responses in the past 60 days.

On December 2, 2014, the White House released an update fact sheet on the nation's preparedness to detect, treat and prevention Ebola in the United States and abroad. 

The federal government has designated 35 Ebola treatment centers in 12 states and the District of Columbia. These hospitals are recognized for their biocontainment capability to treat Ebola and other infectious diseases. The goal is to reach 50 Ebola treatment...

Today the EPA released its proposed update to the air quality standards for ground-level ozone.  The proposal lowers the ground-level ozone standard from 75 parts per billion, where it’s been since 2008, to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion.   EPA estimates most areas will be in compliance with the standard by 2025. 

A revised ozone standard of 70 to 60 parts per billion was recommended by the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, a scientific panel that advises EPA in setting the national ambient air quality standards...

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Minnesota has become the second state in the Midwest to prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds. Under HF 2402, tanning-bed owners and operators will be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the state statute. Illinois’ under-18 ban (HB 188) was signed into law last year.
 

On November 4, 2014, citizens in two California cities—San Francisco and Berkeley—voted on proposed soda tax initiatives. As expected, San Francisco voters did not pass the measure. However, the initiative in Berkeley, known as Measure D, passed with 75% of the vote, making Berkeley the first city in the nation to tax soda and sugary drinks.

The first lab-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed by the CDC in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 30, 2014. The man, identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, had traveled from Liberia to Texas and passed away on Oct. 8, 2014. Two healthcare workers treating Mr. Duncan subsequently became infected, but have since been cleared and released. The CDC confirmed that a fourth case was diagnosed on Oct. 24, 2014 in a medical aid worker in New York City who had returned from serving with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. The patient is currently in isolation in a New York City hospital.

As the reports on the spread of Ebola flood in from West Africa, and now from our own country, many state leaders are asking whether their states are prepared to handle a possible epidemic. In this blog, CSG presents some background on preparedness planning and funding in the states.In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued national standards for state and local planning for public health preparedness

     Supporters of Proposition 46 call it the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014 after two children who died at the hands of a driver under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.  This alone sets a deeply personal cord with Proposition 46 advocates.

Two cities in California—San Francisco and Berkeley—will be presenting voters with soda-tax initiatives in the upcoming November election. Soda and sugar-sweetened drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks would be taxed, although infant formula, nutritional drinks, and diet drinks would not be taxed. Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in an article in the New York Times that the soda industry has spent over $117 million since 2009 to combat soda taxes in the United States and is now paying attention to San Francisco and Berkeley.

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