Author - Jenny Abercrombie

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United States & Canadian Health Safety Alert/Public Health Notice on 11/20/18 of E. Coli O157: H7 Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

IN THE NEWS The CDC, Public Health Officials for multiple states, the FDA, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial Health Partners, Health Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are collaborating on an investigation into a new outbreak of Shiga toxin producing E. Coli O157: H7 in 11 states (32 cases with 13 hospitalizations) and 2 provinces (18 confirmed cases with 5 hospitalizations).  The US and Canada are each reporting one (1) case each of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), [...]

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PoliceOne article: “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence”

Check out this PoliceOne article “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence” by By Rob Lawrence, P1 Contributor. See how a customer agency, in Richmond, Virginia, is utilizing the FirstWatch system and turning real-time activity data into actionable intelligence. Of note, the Richmond Ambulance Authority was the first commercial user of the FirstWatch system. Read the Full Article Here.

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How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence

Check out this PoliceOne article “How biosurveillance turns opioids-related data into actionable intelligence” by By Rob Lawrence, P1 Contributor. See how a customer agency, in Richmond, Virginia, is utilizing the FirstWatch system and turning real-time activity data into actionable intelligence. Of note, the Richmond Ambulance Authority was the first commercial user of the FirstWatch system. Read the Full Article Here.

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New JEMS article – Executive Institute (XI) Convenes in Hershey, Pennsylvania

What a great experience we had at the XI Leadership Conference by Page, Wolfberg & Wirth in Hershey, PA!  Check out this article mentioning Mike Taigman’s keynote in this recap of the event in this JEMS article. Read the Latest Column Article Here. Access all Column Articles Here.

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Ebola Outbreak in Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo Update 10-18-18

IN THE NEWS Earlier in the week, the WHO (World Health Organization) announced that there was going to be a meeting of the Emergency Committee in Geneva, Switzerland to decide if the Ebola outbreak had reached a crucial stage of threat beyond the national and regional threat to the region that has already been identified (the outbreak currently has the label of Very High Risk at the Regional Level). The meeting was held and the Emergency Committee decided that the outbreak [...]

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New EMS1 Column Post by Mike Taigman – Making your EAP work for your employees

Read the latest post in the Paramedic Chief column via EMS1, “Making your EAP work for your employees” written by our own Improvement Guide, Mike Taigman along with a discussion with Dr. Sara Gilman. Read the Latest Column Article Here. Access all Column Articles Here.

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Outbreak of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) 10-17-18 Update

The CDC continues to investigate a surge in cases of a rare syndrome (one in one million), called AFM, which causes inflammation in spinal cord and results in the sudden onset of a weakened limb or limbs that may lead to paralysis.  The majority of cases (90%) are in children.  In this current outbreak, the average age is four (4) years old. Although the condition is not new, there was a significant increase in cases beginning in 2014, which coincided [...]

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Outbreak of Acute Flaccid Myelitis – 10-17-18

IN THE NEWS The CDC is investigating a large surge in reported cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) for 2018 and reported 62 confirmed cases in 22 states through October 16, 2018.  These 62 confirmed cases are part of a larger group of 127 reported cases that the CDC has received notice on and is investigating, along with state and local health departments and hospitals.   The CDC has decided to include in its releases, the number of reported patient cases [...]

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Outbreak of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

The CDC is investigating a surge in cases of a rare syndrome, called AFM, which causes inflammation in spinal cord and results in the sudden onset of a weakened limb or limbs that may lead to paralysis.  The majority of cases (90%) are in children.  In this current outbreak, the average age is four (4) years old. Although the condition is not new, there was a significant increase in cases beginning in 2014, which coincided with a large outbreak of [...]

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Outbreak of Acute Flaccid Myelitis

IN THE NEWS The CDC is investigating a surge in cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) for 2018 and reported 38 confirmed cases in 16 states through September.  Since that release, state health departments from Illinois, Washington, Texas, New Jersey, New York have each reported cases.  Previously, Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Illinois had reported cases from the beginning of 2018 through the present time.  This appears to be an untick in cases compared to last year (2017) which reported a [...]

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SUSPECTED RICIN FOUND IN MAIL NEAR THE PENTAGON

IN THE NEWS There is a mail gathering & screening facility adjacent but separate from the Pentagon, used to screen all mail going to the Pentagon.  It was built after 9/11 to prevent mail from entering the Pentagon that may be a danger to personnel or put the building at risk. On Monday, Oct 1, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which screens all the mail 24/7, detected a suspicious substance in two packages; one was addressed to Secretary of Defense Jim [...]

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Corona Virus (MERS-CoV)

A patient who normally lives in the Middle East, but traveled to England on Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight# SV123, on August 16, 2018, has been diagnosed with MERS-CoV infection after his/her arrival in England per Dr. Jenny Harries, the Deputy Medical Director for Public Health England.  The person is believed to have contracted the illness while in the Middle East and it has not been released if *he was showing any symptoms while traveling.  He initially was diagnosed and [...]

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Ebola Outbreak in Northeastern Part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Update

IN THE NEWS As of August 22, 2018, the number of those diagnosed or suspected of having Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) continues to increase and the death toll continues to rise as well.  In fact, in the three (3) weeks since this outbreak was announced, the total number of cases, as well as the deaths, have surpassed the total seen in the eleven (11) weeks of the DRC Northwestern outbreak that ended July 25, 2018.  Specifically, according to the World [...]

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Protecting from Heat Illness/Injury

Very hot temperatures seem to be a frequent topic in the news and as people discuss the weather.    Everyone who feels these temperatures can readily identify them and, when they are in the extremes, needs to take precautions when out in the weather.  Stay hydrated, wear light colored, natural or wicking fabrics, use hats, sunscreen and umbrellas; seek out shade.  Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day; consider water or inside activities until the temperature has [...]

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Heat Stress & Illness for First Responders

Link to Heat Safety Info for All Employees who work outside: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/prevention.html https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/guides/heat.html https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/standards.html https://edmdigest.com/response/steps-first-responders-take-to-stay-safe-in-extreme-weather/ U.S. Dept of Labor/OSHA Guide to Heat and the Heat Index: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/index.html         Link to Heat Index Tool (for Android and iPhone):         https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html Link to Interagency Board:  First Responders Heat Stress Prevention: https://www.interagencyboard.org/articles/first-responders-heat-stress-prevention Article indicated for Wildland FF but most concepts are appropriate for all who are wearing Protective Clothing in Heat: https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm10512316/ Military Info & Resources on Working in the Heat (appropriate for all in extreme heat and/or PPE): https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/discond/hipss/Pages/default.aspx https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/discond/hipss/Pages/Heat-Related-Illness-Prevention.aspx Wildland Firefighting: https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/content/pdfs/safety/20170728_PNWCG_HRI_Advisory.pdf https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2016/08/15/responder-news-wildland-firefighter-ppe-provides-advantages IAFF Emergency Incident Rehab Program: http://www.iaff.org/hs/EIRP/index.html http://www.iaff.org/hs/EIRP/manual.html Law Enforcement/Tactical [...]

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Suicide Prevention for First Responders Resources

Important: Tools/Cards/Scales Are Not Designed to Be Used without Training & Medical Director and/or Mental Health Professional Oversite General Information on Suicide/Prevention: National Institute of Health (NIH) Suicide in America FAQs: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-faq/suicideinamericafaq-508_149986.pdf Mental Health Government Site for Identifying Suicidal Behavior: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/suicidal-behavior # Information on a Scale (C-SSRS) developed by Columbia University to ID Someone at Risk: http://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/about-the-scale/ # Training Opportunities for Using the C-SSRS (see above): http://cssrs.columbia.edu/training/training-options/ # Home Page for the C-SSRS with Links for Group-Specific Scales: http://cssrs.columbia.edu/ # C-SSRS Scale for Use with Families, Friends & Neighbors http://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/cssrs-for-families-friends-and-neighbors/ ^Suicide [...]

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Suicide Prevention for First Responders

The term First Responders encompasses a wide range of occupations, particularly when including federal, state, and local government, as well as private and third service workers. It includes those involved in law enforcement of any type, in firefighting regardless of where or what is burning, and those involved in bringing medical services to those in the community, regardless of where they are or why they need help. Sometimes, these groups have very little in common and sometimes they have [...]

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New Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC)

IN THE NEWS New Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC) On August 1, 2018, just a week after the outbreak of Ebola in the northwestern part of the country was declared over, initial testing suggests that there is a new outbreak of Ebola in the northeastern part of the DRC.  The DRC Minister of Health said that four (4) people in the new area preliminarily tested positive for Ebola, and there have been 26 people with signs [...]

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EBOLA OUTBREAK IN DRC IS OVER

IN THE NEWS EBOLA OUTBREAK IN DRC IS OVER As of July 24, 2018, the Health Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared the Ebola outbreak over in his country, after the completion of two incubation periods since the last treated patient, without any more cases confirmed.   Both the WHO and CDC concurred with his entire message. A 90-day enhanced surveillance period will be in place in case there are latent infections or missed exposures.  Ultimately, there were [...]

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