Author - Jenny Abercrombie

Call 760.943.9123 or

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 12-15-18

For week #50 (ending 12-15-18) the CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, which includes diagnosed flu as well as ILI (Influenza-Like-Illness) increased and the threshold has been reached met to indicate that the 2018-19 Seasonal Flu season has begun.  The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu more than quadrupled from last week to 11.0%. Influenza A viruses are the most common virus found in sample testing, with Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 the most common, except for Region 4 (the Southeast), [...]

Read more...

Updates on the Outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease, Acute Flaccid Myelitis, and E Coli O157:H7

IN THE NEWS Note:  for each of these diseases, there have been previous posts to this Health Intelligence Page.  Please see those articles for background, as well as more detailed information on each disease.  You can find these articles by clicking on the button marked ‘View all Posts & Resources,’ found at the bottom of the In the News category, and then looking for the specific disease that matches the dates listed at the end of each of the diseases [...]

Read more...

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 12-8-18

For week #49 (ending 12-8-18) the CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, which includes diagnosed flu as well as ILI (Influenza-Like-Illness) was still slightly elevated. The percentage of respiratory specimens being tested still remains low. Influenza A viruses are the most common virus found in sample testing, with Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 the most common of those.  Influenza A (H2N2) and Influenza B viruses have also been found and are considered to be co-circulating.  Also, the majority of the flu viruses are [...]

Read more...

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), [...]

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...