July 22, 2005
Epi Update Managing Staff:
"The reason for collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on a disease is to control that disease. Collection and analysis should not be allowed to consume resources if action does not follow."
Foege WH., International
Journal of Epidemiology 1976; 5:29-37
On June 10, 2005 the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Adacel, a vaccine for
single-booster immunization against pertussis, for use in persons aged
11-64. The vaccine also includes tetanus toxoid and diphtheria toxoid.
Licensure of this vaccine is expected to have a major impact on efforts to
control pertussis, which still occurs in cyclic epidemics every two to
five years. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is an
advisory group convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
to set immunization schedules, is considering how the new vaccine should
be used. It is widely expected that booster doses will be recommended for
some adults as a control measure for pertussis.
Joann Schulte is administrator of the Surveillance and Reporting Section of the Bureau of Epidemiology in Tallahassee. To reach her, call 850.245.4415.
A pandemic occurs when a novel strain of influenza is introduced and spreads widely in a population where no one has pre-existing immunity. The expected cumulative infection rate in such a situation would be approximately half of the population. Planning for the threat of a pandemic caused by avian influenza or other novel influenza strains is a national and state public health priority having implications for every response discipline. Generally, the objectives in planning for an epidemic of influenza are to reduce the total number of cases and the number of deaths due to the epidemic, minimize the social disruption caused by high infection rates and minimize the overall economic impact. Pandemic Influenza is a complex scenario and an enormous planning effort which requires all of our response partners to come together. To that end, you are invited to join us at the leadership summit where we will begin this important cross- discipline dialogue.
Planned objectives are to review the status of preparedness among principle partners and identify current gaps in emergency planning, as well as educate the emergency response community and state executives on the principles of epidemiology and disease control concerning pandemic influenza. County health department and regional domestic security task force leadership, federal liaisons; members of working groups involved in emergency or catastrophic planning; leaders in medical or corrections facilities; hospital response plan regional advisory groups, and the Domestic Security Oversight Council should consider attending to ensure preparedness for a major epidemic will be at a level commensurate with what we could encounter in the near future.
The summit will be held September 13, 2005 at the Tampa Airport Marriott from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. To make hotel accommodations at the government rate of $99.00, call 800.228.9290 by Monday, August 29.
Event registration can
be accessed online at the Department of Health website at
Jaime Forth is
managing editor of Epi Update and can be reached at 850.245.4444, ext.
Margaret Ewen is a senior community health nurse working in the epidemiology program at the Hillsborough County Health Department. Warren Oliver and Sandra Morehouse are health service representatives for Closing the Gap Project and Elaine Thomas is a health service representative for the Hillsborough County Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program. To reach Margaret Ewen, call 813.307.8010 at extension 6702.
This was one of many abstracts submitted for the poster session at the Bureau of Epidemiology 2005 annual seminar this spring. Look for more abstracts from the seminar in upcoming issues of Epi Update.
Links to Merlin,
Watch for the EpiCom logo on the DOH main intranet page, too.
Dr. Hopkins is administrator of the newly formed Acute Disease Section of the Bureau of Epidemiology, comprised of the Investigations, Surveillance and Reporting, and Surveillance Systems Sections. To contact him, call 850.245.4412.
Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis (collectively known as IBD) are chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract which afflict approximately 47,000 Floridians. IBD represents a major cause of morbidity from digestive illness and, although it is not fatal, IBD is often devastating.
The Florida Department of Health is working with the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions for this epidemiologic study, which goal it is to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of the disease in the state, the unique demographic characteristics of the patient population, and the role that environmental factors and family history play in the development of the disease. The Bureau of Epidemiology is currently finalizing a study group to guide the study. The group will consist of representatives from DOH, AHCA, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Foundation of America, the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, medical providers, and other interested groups. Our bureau will also seek assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is conducting a similar study at the national level. A report on its findings is expected to be sent to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives by February 1, 2006.
Regan Glover is the IBD project coordinator, working in the Chronic Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology Section. Contact her at 850.245.4444, extension 2424.
July Grand Rounds: A
BRFSS is a state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged >18 years. During November–December 2004, a total of 1,706 interviews were conducted in Florida, including 919 adults living within the direct paths of the hurricanes. Response rate was 42.5%; data were weighted by sex, age, and race to represent characteristics of the 2000 Florida population.
Among all Florida residents, 51.3% reported having evacuation plans; results were similar for residents of counties in the direct path of hurricanes (53.5%) and those living outside the direct paths hurricanes (48.5%). More than one third (37.9%) of Floridians living in the direct paths evacuated their homes for at least one hurricane, compared with 26.7% of those living outside the hurricane paths.
Overall, 17.5% of occupied Florida residences used a generator for electric power after hurricanes; 4.6% reported operating them inside a home or garage. Among all respondents, 51.4% reported some damage to their homes, including 43.3% who were not living in counties in the direct paths of the hurricanes.
Overall, 45.8% missed work, lost their jobs, or both, because of the hurricanes, and 39.2% were out of work for more than 5 days. Physical injuries caused by the hurricanes were reported by 4.6% of persons in the hurricane paths and 3.8% outside the hurricane paths. Among persons with health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or cardiovascular disease, 5.4% reported their conditions were made worse as a result of the hurricanes. Among those who said their health conditions were made worse, 13.6% reported being prevented or delayed by the hurricanes in obtaining medication, and 9.0% reported barriers to accessing essential medical equipment (e.g., dialysis or oxygen).
Emotional and mental health conditions were assessed in the interviews to determine whether any resulted from the hurricanes. Among all respondents, 10.7% reported current feelings of nervousness, worry, or anxiety because of the hurricanes; 6.0% reported feeling sad, or having loss of appetite or difficult sleeping; 3.9% reported reduced mental ability to work or study.
The findings from these data are based, in part, on contributions by the Florida Dept of Children and Families Adult Mental Health Program; Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Working Group; Bureau of Epidemiology, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health.
Marie Bailey is coordinator of statistical research in the Chronic Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology Section in the Bureau of Epidemiology. She can be reached at 850.2425.4444, ext. 2434.
Epidemiology Training to be
The August program will specifically address public health surveillance and communicable disease outbreak investigations. Topics such as principles of public health surveillance, improving provider reporting, principles of field epidemiology, using Merlin in investigations, measuring epidemiological effectiveness, and an outbreak scenario will be covered. On-line registration is now available and can be accessed through the Bureau of Epidemiology Internet web site at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/epi/conf/training/agenda.htm. The class will be limited to 45 participants. CEUs will be offered for the program; 8.5 hours for nursing, 11 hours for environmental health professionals and 4.5 hours for laboratorians.
Additional information will be provided in the Epi Update and on the Bureau of Epidemiology web page. We intend to offer future training programs in other regions of the state. If you are interested in hosting one of these sessions or have questions related to the program, please feel free to contact Professional Training Coordinator Melanie Black at 850.245.4444, ext.2448 or SunCom 205.4444, ext. 2448.
We are truly excited about the potential this program offers for improving disease prevention in Florida.
Melanie Black is the Bureau of Epidemiology's professional training coordinator and can be reached at 850.245.4444, ext. 2448 if you have questions related to training, Friday CHD conference calls, Grand Rounds or would like to discuss other opportunities.
Disease Update July 10-16, 2005
There are no counties currently under medical alert for mosquito-borne disease. Where mosquitoes are present, people are urged to take precautions against getting bitten.
Dead birds should be reported to www.wildflorida.org/bird/. See the web page for more information at www.MyFloridaEH.com. The Disease Outbreak Information Hotline offers recorded updates on medical alerts status and surveillance at 888.880.5782.
The Bureau of Epidemiology encourages
Epi Update readers to not only register on the EpiCom system at
https://www.epicomfl.net but to sign up for features such as automatic
notification of certain events
contribute appropriate public health observations related
any suspicious or unusual occurrences or circumstances. EpiCom is the primary method of communication
between the Bureau of Epidemiology and other state medical agencies during emergency situations.
Christie Luce is an EpiCom
consultant in the Surveillance Systems Section of the Bureau of
Epidemiology. She can be reached at 850.245.4444, ext. 2450.
D'Juan Harris is a GIS
specialist in the Surveillance Systems Section of the Bureau of