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COVID-19 Webinar with Paramedic Chiefs of Canada on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

What Will We Be Discussing? A novel coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19, has been identified as causing an outbreak of respiratory illness, including pneumonia in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and early 2020. This webinar will be the 3rd COVID-19 webinar and will provide an update on COVID-19, specifically as it relates to emergency call centers, paramedic and EMS services, and other responders. Also presented, the pediatric implications and potential EMS system impacts to support advanced planning.  Like most disaster pre-planning [...]

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COVID-19 PCC Webinar #2 – Presentation Supporting Documents – URL & Resources

This list of URLs provides current, as of 2/12/20, URL links to both Canadian (PHAC) and American (CDC) COVID-19 Case Definitions, including a rapid use CDC Flowchart for ID and Assessment, CDC Interim EMS and PSAP Guidance, and Interim Guidance for All Health Care Workers.  There are also links to Home Pages with links to a wide variety of COVID-19 information, and helpful Appendices from PHAC’s Routine & Additional Precautions Guidelines.  Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC) COVID-19 Webinar #2 [...]

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Coronavirus Webinar with Paramedic Chiefs of Canada on Thursday, February 13th, 2020 | Recording and Handouts

2nd PCC Webcast in a Series: 2019-nCoV “Coronavirus” – Feb-13-2020 View Webinar Recording View Webinar Slides (PDF format) Download Webinar Slides (PowerPoint format, for your teaching purposes) Additional Resources Mentioned During the Webinar: This list of URLs provides current, as of 2/12/20, URL links to both Canadian (PHAC) and American (CDC) COVID-19 Case Definitions, including a rapid use CDC Flowchart for ID and Assessment, CDC Interim EMS and PSAP Guidance, and Interim Guidance for All Health Care Workers.  There are also links to Home [...]

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NIOSH Warns of Counterfeit Particulate Respirators Feb 4, 2020

IN THE NEWS Executive Summary: The CDC and NIOSH have reported counterfeit respirators being sold on the open market with various methods of NIOSH Approval misrepresentation in the way of pictures and descriptions. Full Report: NIOSH-Approved N95 or better masks are the mainstay of preventing airborne diseases from being transmitted and is the minimum required mask for health care workers when Airborne Precautions are in place (such as for suspected 2019-nCoV patients). They must be individually Fit Tested after a medical evaluation to [...]

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Coronavirus Webinar with Paramedic Chiefs of Canada on Monday, February 3rd, 2020 | Recording and Handouts

PCC Webcast: 2019-nCoV “Coronavirus” – Emerging Infectious Disease – Feb-3-2020 View Webinar Recording View Webinar Slides Additional Resources Mentioned During the Webinar: Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV – What Public Safety/First Responders Can Do Resource URLs for Public Safety Worker-Related Agencies & Organizations EMS1 Article by Rob Lawrence. Snohomish County, Washington, officials describe the EMS transport of the first confirmed 2019-nCoV patient in the U.S. Quick Take: Transporting Patient One – Coronavirus in the US Description: FirstWatch helped the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC) host an informational webinar on the [...]

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Coronavirus 2019-nCoV URL Resources Feb 2, 2020

Coronavirus Resource URLs for Public Safety Organizations: Link to the IAED EIDS Tool for 2019-nCoV: https://www.emergencydispatch.org/coronavirus-2019-nCoV OSHA Recommendations for 2019-nCoV: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/novel_coronavirus/ FEMA on 2019-nCoV: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/operations/infograms/012320.html NAEMSP Recommendations for 2019-nCoV: https://naemsp.org/home/news/ems-considerations-for-coronavirus/ FireRescue1 Presents the IAFC List of Resources for 2019n-CoV including the NHTSA Office of EMS01: Guidance for the novel virus: https://www.firerescue1.com/fire-chief/articles/iafc-compiles-wuhan-coronavirus-resources-for-fire-ems-leaders-pjDd627JV7ana0sZ/ IAFF Recommendations for 2019-nCoV: https://www.iaff.org/coronavirus/ HHS ASPR/Tracie EMS Infection Control Handbook (not limited to Coronavirus): https://files.asprtracie.hhs.gov/documents/aspr-tracie-transport-playbook-508.pdf WHO, PHAC, and CDC Resources for 2019-nCoV: WHO Home Page with Links to Other Resources including Daily Situation Reports: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 Public Health Agency of Canada Home Page with Links to [...]

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Coronavirus Travel Alert & Screenings in the US & the WHO Erred in its Assessment of Risk

Executive Summary: The CDC has announced that U.S. Travel Alert Status in now at Level 3 – All non-essential travel to China should be avoided.  The CDC has also expanded airport screening to more airports, for a total of 18 and to two border crossing sites.  The WHO has repaired a mistake in wording, regarding risk of 2019-nCoV disease to areas.  The correct WHO risk assessment is Very High Risk (raised from High) in China, High Risk in the Region [...]

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Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 1/26/20

IN THE NEWS The 2019-nCoV situation is a rapidly changing one with almost constant news media reports, situation reports, revised information and guidelines, travel bans and recommendations, and more.  Reports of new cases, including where the case was identified (country, state, province, county, etc.), travel or other specific information associated with the new patient, and a running total of suspected cases, confirmed cases, deaths caused by the virus, and other case information is often published in one form or another.  [...]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Measles (Rubeola) Update

IN THE NEWS Finally, after a year, almost all the news about measles is good.  Case numbers were way down in September compared to previous months, the outbreaks in New York City and State, which provided three-quarters of all the cases in 2018 and 2019, were declared over just days shy of their one-year anniversary and, because of that, the United States will likely maintain their WHO Measles Elimination status of 19 years. Unfortunately, a new outbreak in New York [...]

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Announcement of US Ebola Screening 9-16-19

IN THE NEWS It has come to our attention at FirstWatch, that some U.S. International Airports may have begun updated screening for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on select flights, originating or connecting from Africa.  This is likely part of the response to an announcement by the WHO’s Emergency Committee that Ebola should now be considered a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on July 17, 2019.  This was done, amongst other rationale, in direct response to the spread of [...]

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