Tag - Public Health

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Influenza Update Week Ending 2-03-2018

Week ending 2-3-18 The CDC reported that influenza activity (diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness) increased once again.  Levels have met or exceeded flu and ILI markers from flu seasons over the last decade, including the 2009 Pandemic of H1N1.  Although Week #5 is the 11th week of substantial flu activity, and flu activity would normally have peaked by now, that is not the case and the CDC suggests that flu activity may go on for as long as 20 weeks. The [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-27-2018

Week ending 1-27-18 The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again;  there was no indication that flu/ILI was waning.  All but two states, Hawaii and Oregon reported widespread flu activity.  There was an increase in the number of states that reported high ILI levels again, nearing the levels seen during the 2009 Pandemic.  The rate of hospitalizations for this flu season is greater than that seen during the most recent severe flu season [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-20-2018

Week ending 1-20-18 TThe CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again. All states reported widespread flu activity except for Hawaii, and ILI levels also increased. This indicates that this flu season is a severe one – at, or just below — the data seen in the most recent highly severe flu season of 2014-15. Deaths associated with flu have reached system-specific epidemic thresholds. The dominating flu subtype remained A H3N2, which is typically [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-13-2018

Week #56 (ending 1-13-18) The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again. All states reported widespread flu activity except for Hawaii and ILI also increased. This indicated that this flu season is a severe one – at, or just below — the data seen in the most recent severe flu season of 2014-15. Deaths associated with flu have reached system-specific epidemic thresholds. The dominating flu subtype continued to be A H3N2, typically a [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 1-6-2018

Week #55 (ending 1-6-18) The CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu as well as Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI), increased again and all states reported widespread activity except for Hawaii. The flu and ILI data reported so far matches up with data points from the 2014-15 season which had high severity. The CDC also suggested that it is likely that the peak of the flu season has or soon will occur but flu will probably continue for several more weeks. The [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 12-30-2017

Week #52 (ending 12-30-17) the CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu as well as Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) sharply increased for this week. The dominating flu subtype continued to be A H3N2. This continued the trend of an early flu season with a typically more severe subtype of flu dominating and the possibility of increased complications. Although the highest risk for complications & hospitalizations is usually in those 65 years or older and in younger children, there have [...]

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In the News: HAN Influenza Advisory

CDC has released a Health Advisory from their Health Alert Network:https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00409.asp Due to the rapid rise in cases of flu and recent past history when the predominantly circulating flu strain was H3N2, the CDC wants to remind health care providers (HCP) to keep influenza in mind as a diagnosis when presented with signs and symptoms that could be flu https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm Download the Full Update

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Influenza Update Week Ending 12-30-2017

Week #52 (ending 12-30-17) the CDC reported that influenza (Flu) activity, including diagnosed flu as well as Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) sharply increased for this week. The dominating flu subtype continued to be A H3N2. This continued the trend of an early flu season with a typically more severe subtype of flu dominating and the possibility of increased complications. Although the highest risk for complications & hospitalizations is usually in those 65 years or older and in younger children, [...]

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Influenza Update Week Ending 12-23-2017

Earlier in this flu season, the CDC posted an expectation that this flu season (2017-18) would likely start early and be more severe (as it was last year) than previous few flu seasons. This prediction was made based on the severe flu season that Australia was experiencing and since Influenza A H3N2 was the predominant strain. Flu seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are often good predictors of North American flu seasons since there winter occurs during our [...]

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Zika Update as of Aug 23, 2016

1. A new area with local transmission by mosquitos has been identified in Miami, Florida for a portion of South Beach. 2. A non-travel case of Zika has been identified in Pinellas County, Florida and was announced Tuesday. 3. A scientific research study was released using mice models that indicates that the Zika virus is able to cause brain damage in mice adult neural stem cells. For a more complete Zika update, Click Here.

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Should EMS Data be Monitored for Zika Infection?

FirstWatch likes to provide surveillance and early warning for many different threats to our clients – that was, in fact, the initial reason for starting the company. So, it makes sense that the question would be asked by us, and perhaps by you, if Zika should be monitored through the data we capture for you. We have seriously contemplated it and will outline our rationale to not recommend doing so at this time. However, we would very much like [...]

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Zika in all but 4 U.S. States

There are currently three scenarios in which the Zika virus is spreading: areas where local mosquito transmission is occurring, areas that have the potential for having local mosquito transmission (have Aedes mosquitos & have or have had Zika infected people), and those areas where Zika transmission is very unlikely although travel-related infections may occur. The only states that do not have travel-related cases are Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota. First responders should continue to avoid mosquito breeding around the [...]

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UPDATED: What EMS Should Know About Zika

Download the below information in PDF form Current Assessment The largest outbreak of the Zika virus continues with active circulation (local transmission) in many countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean, in some of the Islands in Oceania/Pacific Islands and in Cape Verde, Africa. Over a hundred imported cases, by way of returning travelers, have been identified in the United States, Canada, and countries throughout the world. One case in Texas was contracted in the US (not imported) via [...]

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Confirmed Zika Transmission through Intercourse

Download the below information in PDF form Update Since my last writing on Zika, there have been new developments. Multiple cases of Zika have been diagnosed in the United States, all of which were imported into the country with the exception of one. This single case was transmitted to an individual by sexual contact in Dallas, TX. During the investigation, it was found that the Zika virus can live in semen and transmitted to sexual partners through intercourse. This is the second [...]

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What EMS Should Know About Zika

Download the below information in PDF form Current Assessment The largest outbreak of the Zika virus is occurring in Central and South America with fear that the virus will become more widespread to other countries. There has been a rapid surge in Zika virus infections, particularly in Brazil. While the Zika virus usually causes no immediate harm to the patient, it is linked to microencephaly (small head and brain) in the developing fetus of pregnant women. The first US case of Zika induced microencephaly was [...]

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MERS-CoV Outbreak in Korea

Download the below information in PDF form The World Health Organization is reporting an outbreak of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome caused by the Corona Virus, otherwise known as MERS-CoV. On May 20th, a case of MERS was confirmed in South Korea. The index patient had recently traveled to the Middle East including Qatar, UAE and Bahrain. The patient had sought treatment in Korea for influenza type symptoms at multiple healthcare locations and eventually diagnosed with the virus. There have been an [...]

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CDC Grant Opportunity – Ebola Preparedness and Response Activities

The CDC is awarding a total of $145 million in supplemental funding to the current 62 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement awardees to support accelerated Ebola public health preparedness planning and response. The Ebola supplemental funding budget period and project period are 18 months: April 1, 2015,through September 30, 2016. This funding is intended to support the nation’s public health system and to assure readiness and response capability to respond effectively to Ebola virus disease (EVD) within the community. Funds are [...]

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ISDS Webinar – EMS & Ebola

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa and beyond. EMS providers have to be prepared to treat or transport suspected or known Ebola patients. Join FirstWatch President and long-time advocate for the value of EMS data for public health surveillance, Todd Stout and former Chief Medical Officer for the US Department of Homeland Security, Alex Garza, MD, MPH as they discuss how EMS services in the USA and Canada responded to [...]

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