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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Health Department Offers Tips to Ring in a Healthy New Year

  2. Proper Antibiotics Use Prevents Drug Resistance

  3. Help Raise Birth Defect Prevention Awareness in January

  4. NASA Wants Your Snow Photos


Online Portal Makes Sense
of New Healthcare Law

There is a lot of buzz about new healthcare laws. HealthCare.gov is a helpful website that can help clarify facts with tools, resources, and information about health care insurance and other vital information. This website has answers to many questions consumers may have about how the new health care law will affect them and their families. Users are able to find out what insurance options are available to them now and prepare for the health insurance marketplace. Key features include the full text of the health care law and information on comparing healthcare providers. Learning about the healthcare law now can help curb any confusion later.  The best way to be a smart healthcare consumer is to be prepared and keep informed.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program


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Health Department Offers Tips to Ring in a Healthy New Year

The Indiana State Department of HealthThe beginning of a new year is a good time to re-connect with your own health and to help create a healthy environment where you live and work. The Indiana State Department of Health provides an A to Z index on health-related topics easily accessible on its website. Find reliable information about Food Protection, Handwashing, Chronic Disease, Bed Bugs and more. Check the ISDH portal for Public Health & Preparedness off of its main page (left sidebar) for more resources. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides current public health information through many of its websites. Health.gov is the main federal portal for easy-to-access information on health related topics and basic referrals to health care in your community.  It promotes health literacy and introduces users to the concept of e-Health. HealthFinder.gov is an additional resource that allows advanced searching and provides recommendations based on age and sex. The National Institutes of Health also makes it simple to discover current research on health and wellness on their Health Information website.

Proper Antibiotics Use Prevents Drug Resistance

Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics WorkIf you’re suffering from a cold, the flu, or another virus, there are things you can do to help relieve the symptoms, but taking antibiotics will not help. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem that is primarily being caused by the repeated and improper use of antibiotics.

You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking these actions:

  • Don’t take antibiotics for viral infections, such as colds or the flu.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take the full course of treatment even if you begin to feel better after a few days.
  • If you need to stop taking a course of antibiotics for some reason, discard leftover medication—do not save it for a future illness.
  • Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.
  • If your healthcare provider determines that you do not have a bacterial infection, ask about ways to relieve your symptoms. Don’t pressure your provider to prescribe antibiotics.

This information is brought to you courtesy of the US General Services Administration via the USA.gov blog.

Help Raise Birth Defect Prevention Awareness in January

National Birth Defects Prevention MonthBy Dr. Peggy Honein, CDC’s Birth Defects Branch Chief

Did you know that every 4 ½ minutes a baby in the United States is born with a major birth defect? January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about birth defects and of the steps that can be taken to prevent them. While not all birth defects can be prevented, there are things you can do to get ready for a healthy pregnancy.

  • In addition to eating a healthy diet, be sure to consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before and during early pregnancy.
  • See a health care professional regularly. Talk to them about taking any medicine, including prescription and over-the counter medicines and dietary or herbal supplements, and take only what is needed. Talk to your health care provider before starting or stopping any medication.
  • Work to get health conditions, like diabetes, in control before becoming pregnant, and keep them in good control during pregnancy.
  • Try to reach and maintain a healthy weight before becoming pregnant.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy.

Managing health conditions and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant is important, because many birth defects happen very early during pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Take care of yourself today for a healthy baby tomorrow.
Find more information about birth defects and educational and promotional materials for National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

This information is brought to you courtesy of the US General Services Administration via the USA.gov blog.

NASA Wants Your Snow Photos

Eco Labels from Consumer ReportsShare your photography talent and submit your latest photos to NASA for the winter version of their extreme weather photo contest – Let It Snow. Patrons have until Monday, February 4 to submit photos to the GPM Extreme Weather Flickr group or Instagram website. For contest details and official rules, see NASA’s Precipitation Measurement Missions website.

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