Tag - Health Intelligence

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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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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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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 11-2-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #44  Week Ending 11-2-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu activity is low, but increased some from the previous week.  These lower levels are expected for this time of year although Louisiana and Puerto Rico reported continued high levels of ILI.  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 in CDC data, indicates a [...]

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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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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 10-26-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #43  Week Ending 10-26-19 The CDC reported that seasonal flu activity is low, but had increased a little from the previous week. These levels are expected for this time of year.  Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as a temperature of at/above100o F [37.8o C] and cough and/or sore throat without a known cause other than flu). Diagnosed Flu and ILI are expected to increase in the next few weeks and months. It is recommended by public [...]

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Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Update

The Eastern DRC Outbreak of Ebola began in August of 2018. Just over a year later, cases continue to be identified but the rate of new cases appear to have slowed in September. These cases occurred in nine (9) health zones within three (3) provinces in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo).  An ongoing concern, in some of these areas, is centered on threatened security and security incidents that have caused stoppages or delays in being able to [...]

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MERS – CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) Update

As of September 19, 2019, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean reported only one (1) new case so far in September; August had a total of six (6) patients, with one death among the six.  These cases were all from Saudi Arabia. The September patient had no known contact with camels but was also not thought to be a secondary, or human-to-human transmission.  Two of the cases in August were a human-to-human cluster in a household.  No [...]

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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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EMS/First Responder Application of the CDC Measles Recommendations

The CDC has recently published a new document called Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations Guidance for Measles in Healthcare Settings (7/19).  It is a comprehensive document aimed at a person who provides health care to individuals who may have measles.  It basically provides the framework to plan and develop policies and procedures for, as well as apply definitions and evidence-based care, to both a suspected or known case of measles. It further provides for the protection of First [...]

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Measles Outbreak Update with a Link to New Recommendations for Health Care Personnel

IN THE NEWS Measles: According to the CDC, from January 1 through July 25, 2019, there have been 1164 confirmed cases of measles in 30 states.  This is the largest number of cases tallied in the past 27 years (1992), and that was 8 years BEFORE measles was considered eradicated from the U.S (2002). More information from the CDC with a map, charts, and specific outbreak info/links can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html There are currently 5 ongoing outbreaks (3 or more cases in [...]

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Acute Flaccid Myelitis

IN THE NEWS Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a very rare syndrome affecting the spinal cord and causing muscle weakness/paralysis, continues to be identified in 2019.  According to the CDC, so far this year, there have been 11 confirmed cases in eight states (CA, MD, NE, NC, PA, TX, UT, and WV) with 57 reports of people under investigation (PUIs).  The number of cases in 2018 was greater than in any previous year, since it was first identified in large numbers [...]

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Ebola Case in Large City of Goma and PHEIC Declared by WHO 7-17-19

IN THE NEWS Ebola Case in Large City of Goma and PHEIC Declared by WHO 7-17-19 The WHO leadership was concerned about recent Ebola (EVD) news so the Emergency Committee was convened in Switzerland to determine if a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) should be announced.  This was the fourth meeting of this type however, when considered on previous occasions, all the criteria had not been met. This time, it was decided that they would recommend the announcement and [...]

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Ebola has Spread to a Neighboring Country, Uganda 6-12-19

The WHO, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Health Minister, and the Ugandan Health Minister have all announced that there have been confirmed cases of Ebola (EVD) in Uganda.  The numbers, officially reported in the WHO’s Situation Report, as of 6/10/19 follow: DRC: 2008 cases; 1977 confirmed & 94 probable – 1396 deaths; 1302 confirmed & 94 probable Uganda: 3 cases; 3 confirmed –1 death confirmed (Uganda reports a 2nd confirmed death) A subsequent report by the Minister of Health for [...]

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U.S. Measles Cases number over 1000 in 2019

According to the CDC, another measles milestone has been reached and, as of 6/6/19, there were 1,022 confirmed cases of measles in 28 of the 50 states.  This is the largest number of cases tallied in the past 27 years (1992), and that was 8 years BEFORE measles was considered eradicated from the U.S (2002).  Refer to the CDC Map and Chart located on the 2nd page of this document. There are currently ongoing outbreaks (3 or more cases in [...]

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Influenza (FLU) Update for Week Ending 6-1-19

Influenza (FLU) Update for Week #22 — Week Ending June 1, 2019  The CDC reported Flu & ILI activity remained low throughout the nation during Week #22. This year’s Flu Season has finally ended, although flu cases will likely continue to occur in small numbers, with flu-related hospitalizations, and perhaps adult & pediatric deaths due to flu, taking place occasionally. This Influenza Update will conclude FirstWatch’s reporting for the 2018-2019 Flu Season with a summary of this week’s stats, as well [...]

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Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the DRC

Note:  There have been previous posts on Ebola to the Health Intelligence Page.  Please see those articles for background, as well as more detailed information on EVD.  You can find these articles by clicking on the button marked ‘View all Posts & Resources,’ found at the bottom of the In the News and Outbreaks/Emerging Diseases categories, and then looking for Ebola.  The current outbreak began in August 2018 but there was another DRC outbreak earlier in 2019 on the [...]

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Update on the Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the DRC – 5/25/19 

IN THE NEWS Note:  There have been previous posts on Ebola to the Health Intelligence Page.  Please see those articles for background, as well as more detailed information on EVD.  You can find these articles by clicking on the button marked ‘View all Posts & Resources,’ found at the bottom of the In the News and Outbreaks/Emerging Diseases categories, and then looking for Ebola.  The current outbreak began in August 2018 but there was another DRC outbreak earlier in 2019 [...]

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Measles (Rubeola) in Multiple States in the United States

The Data:* According to the CDC, from January 1st through May 24, 2019, there have been 940 confirmed cases of measles in 26 states within the U.S.A. (compared to 127 cases as of February 14, 2019), with an increase of 60 cases in just the past week.  This jettisons this year’s cases to the highest number since the decade before (1994) Measles was considered eradicated, which was 2000. There are currently 10 outbreaks of Measles located in seven (7) states: [...]

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