Tag - Health Intelligence

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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 [...]

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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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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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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

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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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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CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update on 7/11/18

IN THE NEWS CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update on 7/11/18 The CDC has published a Health Update (HAN 00413), via their network, and found at this site:  https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00413.asp.  The original HAN Advisory and subsequent Updates tell the story of the escalating opioid crisis, particularly involving the synthetic opioid, Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs, and their impact on overdose and overdose deaths in the United States. Specifically, this Health Update is to alert public health departments, health care professionals, first responders, medical examiners, [...]

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Ebola Outbreak June 30, 2018

IN THE NEWS Ebola Outbreak June 30, 2018 The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the WHO updated Ebola virus disease (EVD case numbers on June 28 to a total of 55 cases with 38 Confirmed, 15 Probable, & 2 suspected, and a 29-person death toll. There have been no cases in any country aside from the DRC.  A statement by the DRC Minister of Health (via Google Translation), regarding the current outbreak, announced that all the people who were [...]

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First Responder Health & Safety Links

CDC / NIOSH Emergency Responders Resources including: • Safety Management • Bloodborne Infectious Disease • Personal Protective Equipment • Traumatic Incident Stress https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/responders.html Safety Management: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/index.html Bloodborne Infectious Disease: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/ppe.html Incident Stress: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/traumaticincident/ Download the list of links

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Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs

IN THE NEWS Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs Veterinary Doctors Maureen McMichael & Ashley Mitek, in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and Working Dogs HQ and partnering with Carle Regional Emergency Medical System and Carle Arrow Ambulance, have developed a program to assess and treat working service dogs (primarily in scent detection) that may have had an exposure to opiates and may be showing signs of overdose. The program continues [...]

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Detection & Management of Opioid Exposure for Public Safety Working Dogs

Although this subject is outside the usual scope of FirstWatch’s focus, it’s recognized that working service dogs that assist local, state and federal law enforcement and other agency partners (FBI, DEA, TSA, MPs, etc.), do so at great risk and deserve to be protected from harm. We are including links to this program which include assessment, treatment, and transport for further care of public safety working dogs who have been exposed to opiates and may need advanced care and possible [...]

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Ebola Outbreak June 15, 2018

IN THE NEWS Ebola Outbreak June 15, 2018 The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the WHO updated Ebola cases numbers on June 13 to a total of 66 cases with 38 Confirmed, 14 Probable, & 14 suspected, with a 28-person death toll. There still have been no cases in the United States or in any country aside from the DRC. In the outbreak area, over 2600 Ebola contacts and other high-risk individuals, such as health care workers and others in [...]

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