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Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Health Department and Department of Education Announce Open-School Policy and a School-based Vaccination Initiative for the Fall/Winter Influenza Season
As influenza returns to New York City this fall, the Health Department will work intensively with schools, parents and communities to prevent illness among children and teachers, but health officials do not plan to close schools that experience influenza activity. Instead, following the recommendations of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Department and the Department of Education will pursue measures designed to slow transmission while classes and activities continue. Key objectives of the plan include getting children vaccinated, keeping them home when sick, encouraging them to cover coughs and sneezes with sleeves or tissues, and ensuring that they wash hands thoroughly and frequently.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Health Department Announces Plans to Promote Widespread Vaccination against Seasonal and H1N1 Influenza this Fall and Winter
The Health Department urged all New Yorkers to protect themselves from influenza this fall, by getting vaccinated early. The vaccine for seasonal influenza is now being distributed to health care providers – and federal health officials predict that a separate vaccine to protect against the novel H1N1 virus will begin to arrive by mid- to late-October. The Health Department is developing a subway advertising campaign to ensure that people are aware of the benefits of vaccination, and the agency will soon launch an online locator at, which anyone can use to find a nearby source of vaccine.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Health Department Announces Influenza Surveillance Strategy for Fall/Winter Season
The Health Department outlined the multi-tiered system it will use to track influenza activity in New York City this fall and winter. New Yorkers could face two types of influenza if seasonal viruses return accompanied by the novel H1N1 virus that affected the city last spring. It is impossible to predict the timing or extent of either infection, but the Health department plans to monitor both. The agency will track overall rates of influenza-like illness by collecting daily reports from hospital emergency departments. At the same time, it will monitor patients visiting a sample of hospitals and clinics to determine which influenza viruses are circulating, assess the severity of novel H1N1 influenza, and identify populations at higher risk of complications. By posting daily and weekly updates on a new influenza website – – the City will ensure that doctors, patients and policy makers have access to all the latest surveillance.

Pouring on the pounds

Monday, August 31, 2009
New Campaign Asks New Yorkers if They’re “Pouring On the Pounds”
It’s hard to overeat without noticing it. By contrast, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can sneak up on you, adding hundreds of calories to your diet each day without ever filling you up. In a new effort to highlight the health impact of sweetened drinks, the Health Department is confronting New Yorkers with a bold question: Are you pouring on the pounds? The agency’s public-awareness campaign, which includes posters in the subway system and a Health Bulletin, will run for three months.


Friday, August 28, 2009
Health Department Reminds New Yorkers to Avoid Wild Animals and to Vaccinate their Pets against Rabies
With the identification of a second raccoon infected with rabies in Manhattan in recent weeks, the Health Department is reminding New Yorkers to stay away from raccoons, skunks, bats, stray dogs and cats and other wild animals that can carry rabies. 12 rabid animals have been identified in New York City this year. Eight were found in the Bronx, two in Manhattan (most recently in Central Park), one in Queens (Long Island City) and one in Staten Island (Tottenville). Raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animals in New York City. Rabid raccoons are a relatively common occurrence in Staten Island and the Bronx, but rare in Queens and Manhattan. Bats with rabies have also been found in all five boroughs.

Use window guards. It's the law!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Prevent Window Falls this Summer: Make Sure Window Guards Are in Place
Open windows offer relief from the summer heat, but they can pose hazards for small children. To protect children from falls, the Health Department urges New Yorkers to make sure window guards are in place. City law requires the owner of any building with three or more apartments to install window guards in units where children under age 11 live. Anyone caring for children 10 years old or younger in their home should inform their building's owner or superintendent and ask to have window guards properly installed. People living in one- or two-family homes should consider installing guards in any window not used as an emergency exit.

The Heat is On

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
OEM and DOHMH Announce Cooling Centers Will Remain Open on Wednesday
The New York City Office of Emergency Management and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that cooling centers will be open Wednesday, August 19th. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 90s for Wednesday and will combine with humid conditions to produce a heat index in the mid 90s. OEM and DOHMH urge New Yorkers to take steps to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat, especially among vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic medical conditions.

The Heat is On

Monday, August 17, 2009
New York City Office of Emergency Management and Health Department Advise New Yorkers of Extreme Heat
The New York City Office of Emergency Management and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advised that extremely hot weather is forecast for Monday and Tuesday. OEM and DOHMH urge New Yorkers to take steps to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat, especially among vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic medical conditions.

Poison control

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
New York City Health Department Report Finds that Most Unintentional Childhood Poisonings Occur at Home and Involve Kids Under Five
Common household products – from prescription medications to oven cleaner – can be dangerous in the hands of a child. In fact, poisoning is the third leading cause of hospitalizations for injury among children ages one to four. Each year, New York City’s Poison Control Center receives approximately 4,000 calls reporting poisonings of children under the age of 15 that require the attention of a health care professional. An overwhelming 75% of these calls involve children younger than five.

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Health Department Announces Partnership with National Breastfeeding Helpline as World Breastfeeding Week Kicks Off
To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week — a worldwide acknowledgement of the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and children — New York City has launched a new effort to support it. Starting this week, mothers in need of breastfeeding help can call 311 for immediate access to the National Breastfeeding Helpline. The live phone service, operated by the National Women's Health Information Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides breastfeeding assistance from trained peer counselors.

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