A weekly publication by the Bureau of EpidemiologyJuly 24, 2001
"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 et al. Int. J of Epidemiology 1976; 5:29-37.
Steve Wiersma, MD, MPH, Acting Bureau Chief and State Epidemiologist
Don Ward, Surveillance Section Administrator, Epi Update Managing Editor
Jason Glisson, BS, Epi Editorial Assistant
Bureau of Epidemiology Frequent Contributors:
Jodi Baldy, MPH,
Biological Scientist IV
Ursula E. Bauer, PhD, Chronic Disease Epidemiologist
Lisa Conti, DVM, MPH,
State Public Health Veterinarian
Dolly Katz, PhD, MPH, SE Florida
Roger Sanderson, RN, MA, SW Florida
Carina Blackmore, MS Vet. Med., PhD, NE Florida
Zuber Mulla, MSPH,
Central Florida Carina Blackmore, MS Vet. Med., PhD,
Please print out this material and share with epidemiology staff, county health department directors, administrators, medical directors, nursing directors, environmental health directors and others with an interest in information of this type. Thank you.
The Bureau of Epidemiology is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for consultation at our main number (SunCom 205-4401 or 850/245-4401) PLEASE NOTE: Consultation after 5 p.m. & on weekends is intended for emergencies.
The Department of Health has a home on the World Wide Web athttp://www.doh.state.fl.us
For information on diseases and conditions of public health importance go towww.myFlorida.com, click on Health and Human Services, then Consumers--Diseases and Conditions.
In this issue:
1. West Nile Virus Update
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJuly 23, 2001
CONTACT: Frank Penela 850-245-4111 (office) or 850-933-0375 (mobile)
Lisa Conti, D.V.M. 1-877-6530887 (toll-free pager)
Steven Wiersma, M.D. 1-877-210-5031 (toll-free pager)
***WEST NILE VIRUS UPDATE***
Medical Alert Extended to 14 Counties
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced today that they now have the first presumptive human case of West Nile virus (WN) in Florida. The patient is from Madison County. Results will be confirmed by the end of the week. Due to the increased activity of Eastern equine encephalitis, a medical alert that was issued last month for Holmes, Washington and Jackson Counties has been extended to include Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin, Liberty, Gadsden, Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Madison and Taylor Counties.
The Department of Health urges all Floridians to take precautions against mosquito bites.
"Even though the risk of contracting West Nile virus and other arboviruses (St. Louis encephalitis (SLE), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), Western equine encephalitis and LaCrosse encephalitis) by humans is still low, people need to use protective measures to reduce their risk of getting the disease," said DOH Secretary Robert G. Brooks, MD. He added, "There is no reason to panic, but it is important to take the necessary measures to guard against mosquito bites." Brooks recommends the following:
DOH continues statewide surveillance for arboviruses, including WN, EEE and SLE, and the Interagency WNV Response Team is looking closely at how widespread the virus may be by testing mosquitoes and wild birds in the areas the crows were found. In addition to onepossible human case of WN, the latest surveillance shows the following counties have animals that have tested positive for the virus:
The Department of Health laboratories provide testing services for patients with clinical signs of arboviral encephalitis. These signs may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians should submit serum and/or cerebrospinal fluid samples to either the Tampa or Jacksonville Department of Health branch laboratories. People over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk of contracting an arbovirus.
For more information on West Nile virus, visit the DOH Bureau of Epidemiology’s West Nile website at MyFlorida.com (click on Health and Human Services, then Consumers – Diseases and Conditions, then West Nile Virus) orhttp://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/epi/htopics/arbo/index.htm or call the Bureau’s hotline at 1-888-880-5782 for recorded information.