- ATLANTA (Reuters) - U.S. health officials launched a new education campaign
Monday promoting simple steps to reduce the spread of infectious diseases
that kill more than 160,000 people every year.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
said the campaign, titled ``An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away,''
would emphasize basic methods of protection against diseases ranging from
the common cold and flu to AIDS.
- The program will emphasize handwashing,
cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, safe preparation and handling of food,
immunizations, appropriate use of antibiotics, keeping pets healthy and
immunized and avoiding wild animals.
- ``This is the real thrust of this campaign
-- to get back to basics. There are things you can do that really impact
your health,'' said Dr. Mitch Cohen, director of the CDC's Division of
Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases.
- Cohen said advances in technology have
led many people to forget basic methods of reducing the spread of diseases.
``People believe because we control so many diseases with immunization
and antibiotics that infectious diseases are not as important as they used
to be,'' he said.
- ``I think we're finding now, with increasing
incidence of certain diseases, new diseases and antibiotic resistance,
that they are very important,'' Cohen said.
- The CDC said infectious disease is the
underlying cause of death in more than 160,000 Americans every year.