Recent News

"Measles outbreak exposes holes in vaccine coverage" (Baltimore Sun - January 31, 2015)

Measles was nearly eliminated across the country nearly 15 years ago, an immunization victory over a highly contagious respiratory virus that once injured thousands and killed hundreds every year. Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's new health commissioner, criticized a movement by some parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, citing concerns of possible side effects.  Read more here.

"Baltimore flu season not much diferent than usual, health commissioner said" (ABC2 News- January 30, 2015)

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said while the flu season has reached epidemic levels throughout much of the country, the city has not dealt with many more cases than in a typical season. Wen said it is still not too late to get a flu shot and urges everyone gets one, even though the shot has only been about 23 percent effective this season.

"As the toll of heroin rises in Baltimore, so does the cost of a life-saving drug" (Baltimore Business Journal - January 30, 2015)

An overdose-reversing drug that is a linchpin in Baltimore's plan to combat heroin overdose deaths has more than doubled in price over the past year, causing health leaders to worry their efforts to control a public health crisis could be derailed. "There are very few diseases for which there is a complete cure that can stop death," said Dr. Leana Wen, the city's newly minted health commissioner. Read more here.

Health Commissioner Speaks At CareFirst Community Event

Dr. Leana Wen was among the many community leaders at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s annual CareFirst A Salute to Our Community Partners event.

Code Blue Declared in Baltimore For Friday & Saturday

With predicted low temperatures in the teens and single-digit wind chills, Leana Wen, M.D., Baltimore City Health Commissioner, is declaring a Code Blue for January 30 & 31. This is the third Code Blue alert for Baltimore this season; previous declarations covered January 7 – 9 and January 27-28 (total of five days).

Laboratory Testing Confirms Baltimore Child Does Not Have Measles

The Baltimore City Health Department learned today that laboratory testing has confirmed that a 12-month-old Baltimore City resident does not have measles.  “We are very glad that this child doesn’t have measles,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner. “This should be a wake-up call, however, for any parents or caregivers who have not had their children immunized.  Getting children vaccinated against all types of preventable diseases protects not only that child, but everyone around them.”

Let’s talk about Communicable Diseases!

With so many public health emergencies being “in the news” lately across the globe – such as ebola, the flu and measles,  we sat down with staff from  the Baltimore City Health Department Office of Acute Communicable Diseases to learn more about their day-to-day operations and what it takes to be a health investigator in Baltimore.

"Health Commissioner Urges Cold Weather Safety Following Two City Weather-Related Deaths"

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen is reminding Baltimoreans to take the cold temperatures seriously in light of two recent cold-weather related deaths in the city. Baltimore’s first cold weather death was a homeless man in the 18-44 age group which occurred on January 6, 2015.  The second death, of an elderly resident who was living in a home with no heat or electricity, occurred on January 24, 2015.   

"Treatment of Overdose Will Cost Cities Less" (New York Times - January 26, 2015)

The Clinton Foundation on Monday announced that it had negotiated a lower price for an emergency treatment that can prevent overdoses with a company that makes it. The soaring cost of the treatment has constrained its widespread use by municipalities across the country.

"New Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen On Her Public Health Priorities" (WYPR Maryland Morning, January 26, 2015)

Dr. Leana Wen is so new as Baltimore’s health commissioner that she hasn’t yet been confirmed by the City Council – that’s expected to take place this afternoon. She brings an impressive resume the public-health job: she started college at age 13, 5 years after she immigrated with her parents from Shanghai, China; she was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, has written a book, and taught and practice emergency-room medicine at George Washington University – all by age 31. We wanted to learn how she’ll bring that intimidating background to bear on improving Baltimore’s public health. She joins Sheilah in the studio.

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