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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: More can be done to improve Minnesota’s health ranking

The United Health Foundation recently released the 2014 edition of America’s Health Rankings and Minnesota ranks sixth overall. That’s good news, right? Well, if you consider Minnesota was the top ranked state six out of seven years from 2000-2006 and that Minnesota was ranked third in 2012 and 2013, the latest figures could be rather disappointing.

According to the report, Minnesota is doing well in many areas including:

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news-and-notes

The link between human rights and public health

Medical professionals work under a shared ethical principle: to heal. It’s a part of the Hippocratic Oath, the ethical code of conduct binding physicians and health care professionals to putting patient care first.

Clinical medicine is not just about the ethics of bedside doctoring; the practice of medicine must engage human rights to improve health, says Steven Miles, M.D., Ph.D., Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for Bioethics.

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beyond-minnesota

In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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beyond-minnesota

U of M School of Nursing faculty join southern Liberia Ebola response

Four University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty were invited by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to be part of a leadership team of health professionals charged with launching a new Ebola treatment center in southern Liberia. Two members of the group departed today to aid in the response efforts.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Modeling how the flu moves through pig farms

Humans aren’t the only ones who can contract the flu.

Influenza A viruses can also affect pigs and their piglets, which is why, just like in human populations, pig populations are commonly vaccinated against the flu.

Last week, University of Minnesota researchers published a new model addressing how swine producers approach vaccinating their pigs.

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expert-perspectives

E. coli in our lakes: What does it really mean?

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the personal blog of University of Minnesota associate professor of biosciences Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.
Johnson’s research at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine includes investigations into antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens, microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract, and multidrug resistance of E. coli and Salmonella in both humans and animals.

If you follow the local news, or have children that love swimming, you have probably noticed an increasing number of beaches in Minnesota closed recently due to high E. coli levels. Just in Minneapolis, Lake Hiawatha Beach and Lake Calhoun’s Thomas and 32nd Street beaches were recently closed in response to high E. coli counts in the water. The simple phrase “E. coli” strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who has ever experienced gastrointestinal distress. However, it is important to understand what E. coli actually is and what “high E. coli levels” actually means to our lakes.

What is E. coliE. coli stands for Escherichia coli. This is the formal name for a species of bacteria in honor of the German-Austrian physician Theodor Escherich, who first identified the bacteria associated with digestion in infants. Here are the important take-home messages about E. coli:

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