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Flu News January 29, 2011

Posted by ffralmm in Health & Nutrition.
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The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) publishes a weekly “Influenza Surveillance Report” called “FluView.” For the week ending January 22, Alabama was one of the worst hit states in the nation for ILI or “Influenza-Like Illness.” The report includes national and state data detailing hospitalization, death, demographics of patients, and characteristics of the virus. There are also links to state health departments which provide further levels of detail. Also available on the CDC website is vaccination data for the current year as well as historical data. Here is the link for Fastfacts on the Flu.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) provides detailed information about the spread of ILI throughout Alabama. The ADPH website provides similar data to the CDC, but also includes a surveillance map with county data. Madison County is fairing much better than other parts of the state this flu season.


Counting the Homeless January 27, 2011

Posted by ffralmm in Poverty.
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First Stop, a homeless day shelter in Huntsville, Alabama, conducts an annual census of the homeless population in Madison and Morgan counties. The census is necessary for First Stop to obtain federal grants. According to The Huntsville Times, last year’s “Point in Time Count” gathered data on 780 homeless. Data includes where they spent the previous night and whether they are veterans. Even if you read Paul Gattis’ article on the count in the Times Wednesday, visiting the al.com article is worth your time to see the other nine photographs of the camps by Dave Dieter.

Although First Stop conducts the count annually, the newest “Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress” on the HUD website is dated 2007 and contains 2005 data. The data presented is national in scope and includes the following data sets: gender; age; race/ethncity; size of household; veteran status; disability status; living arrangement the night before program entry; stability of previous night’s arrangement; number of homeless persons; number of shelter/housing programs; total bed capacity.