Author - Jenny Abercrombie

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Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 1/24/20

IN THE NEWS The emergence of a novel disease is always a rapidly changing situation and FirstWatch will attempt to be your clearinghouse of important information for planning and on-going operational activity as well as ongoing infection prevention control for your 1st Responders, Staff and Citizens. We will provide and update information, as well as recommendations from expert governmental and public health experts, as it becomes available.  We’ll try to keep current and include the information that may have an [...]

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Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV – What First Responders Can Do

A novel coronavirus, just like almost any newly emerging disease, is of concern to governments, public health authorities, infection control preventionists, and health care workers.  The novelty of any disease means that it’s difficult to predict and manage because so much about the disease is unknown.  As the answers to these unknowns are found, recommendations for the general public and affected industries (health care, including first responders, travel, education, etc.) may change. And, until ALL the answers are known, there [...]

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1st Case of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States

IN THE NEWS The CDC and the State of Washington Department of Health in coordination with the Snohomish Health District posted news releases of the first U.S. case of the novel coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China and was reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019.  Most cases were initially associated with a Wuhan Seafood and Animal (dead & alive) Market.  Many of the initial cases were vendors at that market, but there has also been limited [...]

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First responder and the ResilientFirst app coming out of a phone, resilience

Building Your Resilience with Vision and Purpose

Building a resilient mind, body, and life requires several interconnected skills. Many neuroscientists believe that the ability to set and work toward a clear vision is the foundation on which all the others sit. The ResilientFirst system helps you develop the skills to set clear visions and achieve your goals. In this session FIrstWatch Improvement Guide, Mike Taigman will introduce the power of visioning for yourself and your organization. You’ll learn the five key questions that all leaders need [...]

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Atypical Pneumonia Outbreak in China – Updates #1 & #2 for 1/7/20 and 1/8/20

IN THE NEWS Late Afternoon/Evening Update for 1/8/20 — An Organism Identified: In the afternoon hours of the January 8th, multiple American news agencies, citing sources close to the ongoing investigation, as well as from the WHO, began posting on-line articles that state a novel coronavirus has been identified in some of the hospitalized patients associated with the Wuhan, China pneumonia outbreak.  It is important to note that, per the Wall Street Journal, it has not been confirmed to be [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 12-28-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #52 — Week Ending 12-28-19 The CDC reported that flu activity (diagnosed flu and ILI outpatient visits) is high in all regions of the US and is continuing to increase.  It has been elevated for eight (8) weeks now, longer at this time point than in most previous seasons.  It is also important to note that Flu/ILI might be underreported for this time period because of the holidays and less people going for outpatient/doctor office [...]

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Atypical Pneumonia in China Province Tied to Seafood Market

IN THE NEWS This information is being published only for awareness because there has been confirmation that a small outbreak of what is thought to be a viral pneumonia/respiratory infection is being investigated by The National (China) Health and Health Commission, the Heath Commission of Hubei Province, and the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.  Reports have also been made by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) and Taiwan’s CDC.  At last report, 12/31/19, the outbreak consisted of 27 individuals with [...]

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Measles in the US & Results of a Human Study on Measles that Warrants Exploring

Measles Update: As 2019 winds down in just a little over a week, there were less cases (8) in November 2019, than in any previous month in 2019 except September, which had 6 cases; October had 13.  It is still too early to report December’s numbers since reporting & recording to the CDC is only through Dec 5 at this time, but there are currently no reported cases for December.  Those numbers, as well as the total for the entire [...]

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Ebola (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with Good News in the Fight Against Ebola

An Update of the Current Situation: A snapshot of the DRC Dashboard, provided by the DRC with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, includes the following data on the most current number of cases, deaths, survivors, and the contacts followed.  As of 12/21/19, there have been a total of 3,358 cases including both confirmed and probable cases.  This includes one (1) new confirmed case as part of the 3,240 confirmed cases (proven by laboratory testing), and 118 probable ones [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 12-14-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #50 — Week Ending 12-14-19 The CDC reported that flu season is in full swing, with all regions of the US having elevated ILI and flu activity continuing to increase.  Most of the current flu activity is caused by Influenza B/Victoria which typically occurs in late Winter or Spring, toward the end of the flu season.  A(H1N1) is the next most common and is increasing compared to the other flu viruses, followed by A(H3N2) with [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 12-7-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #49 — Week Ending 12-7-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu is in full swing, with all regions of the US having elevated ILI and flu activity continues to increase.  Most of the current flu activity is caused by Influenza B/Victoria which more typically occurs toward the end of the flu season.  A(H1N1) is the next most common and seems to be increasing compared to the other flu viruses, followed by A(H3N2) with a much [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 11-30-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #48 — Week Ending 11-30-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu activity continued to increase over the previous week; from a national perspective, ILI has been at/above baseline for four weeks, and many areas of the country have significant levels of flu, while some areas are still seeing only low levels of flu activity.  According to the data, the 2019/20 flu season is ramping up earlier and faster when compared with other recent years (see [...]

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E Coli O157:H7 Outbreak Alert November 2019

IN THE NEWS For the third holiday season in a row (2017, -18, -19), Consumers, Stores & Restaurants, Healthcare Personnel, National, State and Local Public Health Authorities, and Healthcare Facilities are being warned about an outbreak of E. Coli O157:H7.  This is one of the E. Coli strains that is associated with a Shiga-toxin (STEC), can make people sick, cause severe illness, and even death.  Through an investigation, lab testing and traceback information, the outbreak has been linked to romaine [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 11-23-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #47 — Week Ending 11-23-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu activity continued to increase over the previous week but the level of activity and the predominant influenza virus differ according to region.  From a national perspective, ILI has been at/above baseline for three weeks.  Some areas, particularly in parts of the South and West are seeing elevated levels, while other areas still have low levels of flu activity.  According to the data, the 2019/20 [...]

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A BOLO & What Can be Done for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in 2020

IN THE NEWS AFM is a rare syndrome (a group of symptoms in a pattern that suggests a single cause) found mostly in children, but occurring in adults as well.  It affects the gray matter of the spinal cord in nervous system and causes muscles and reflexes to become weak.  Its case definition has evolved to encompass all age groups, and includes certain lab and imaging findings, but the CDC and other stakeholders want those presenting with weakness in one [...]

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CDC Updated Infection Control Guidelines for Health Care Workers (Oct. 2019)

IN THE NEWS Target Audience: Leadership & management operational roles for those with occupational risk of infectious disease exposure(s) or even possible risk. All leadership & staff that are part of the occupational or medical services section of an agency, or is contracted with one that administers or provides occupational health services. The CDC just published an update to the Guidelines for Infection Control in Health Care Personnel, 1998.  One of the parts that was updated referred, in the 1998 document, to emergency-response [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 11-9-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #45  Week Ending 11-9-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu activity increased over the previous week with more states reporting increased levels of Flu and ILI.  From a national perspective, ILI remains below baseline but some areas, particularly in the South, are seeing earlier-than-typically-expected increased levels.  Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as a temperature at/above100o F [37.8o C] and cough and/or sore throat without a known cause other than flu.  A Flu case, that is included [...]

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