3316.0 Oceans and Human Health: Communicating Public Health Concerns to Communities at Risk

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:30 PM
When people think of public health risks, they might not automatically turn to the ocean as a possible threat. But while the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes offer many benefits; they also harbor rising health threats. Even though the ocean affects every person, no matter where they live, some communities are at greater risk. Seafood bourne illnesses are underreported, often misdiagnosed and may be increasing. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing in number, type and frequency and some may pose a greater threat to beachgoers by causing respiratory ailments. In addition to HABs and harmful microbes can also contaminate recreational waters, shellfish beds and even drinking water. NOAA and its partners are working together to understand these linkages between ocean health and human health and it is critical to ensure that the public health community is engaged in these issues, and has the right information to make management decisions to reduce health threats to communities at risk. This session’s regional case studies showcases tools such as bulletins, surveys, and hotlines and explores public health partnerships to improve communication to communities at-risk. These case studies can serve as a model to implement similar programs in other communities, and facilitate the exchange and delivery of tools and information that can be accessed and used in a timely manner by public health managers and practitioners.
Session Objectives: 1. Discuss with the public health community new and emerging human health risks that stem from the ocean, coasts and Great Lake, and help ensure they have the right information and tools to make management decisions to reduce ocean health threats to communities at risk. 2. Explain available forecast information to management officials and the general public regarding harmful algal blooms and their impacts. Describe one of the strategies Florida has implemented to inform the public about Florida red tide aerosols. 3. Identify public health needs in tribal communities to develop research tools that will reduce water quality related human health threats in the Great Lakes. 4. Identify factors that impact decision making of consumers about the benefits and risks of fish and shellfish consumption based on input from healthcare providers in protecting at risk individuals and community health.

4:02 PM
Minimizing Public Health Risks from Florida Red Tide: Beach Conditions Report and Marine Toxins Hotline
Barbara Kirkpatrick, EdD, RRT, Kate Nierenberg, MS, Andrew Reich, MS, MSPH, Lorraine C. Backer, PhD, MPH and Lora E. Fleming, MD, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus, Community Health Workers SPIG, Food and Nutrition, Public Health Nursing, Socialist Caucus

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Environment