March 4, 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
Bureau of Epi March Grand
Rounds Topic to be
Topic: A Spatial Analysis of the
Leading Causes of Childhood Morbidity in Florida: Aggregates, Incidence
Clusters, and the Implications for Prevention in Populations
Matt Laidler is an EIS fellow in Sarasota County and can be reached at 941.861.2916.
Among the 66 deaths with any mention of varicella, 45 (66.2%) were in
whites and 21 in blacks. Eighteen (27.2%) of the deaths were in Hispanics
and 48 in non-Hispanics. There was a similar distribution of the cases
with varicella as underlying cause.
Table 1. Varicella deaths by age group and diagnostic category, Florida, 1995-2003
Most persons discharged (89.5%) were discharged home without need for
further follow-up. There were 79 who were discharged after dying, for a
case-fatality rate among hospitalized persons of 1.5%. This number of
deaths is somewhat larger than the number (66) who had varicella mentioned
on the death certificate. The reason for this discrepancy is not known.
Hospital discharge records would have to be matched to death certificates
to sort this out.
Table 2. Varicella discharges from acute care hospitals, by age group and diagnostic category, Florida, 1995-2003
For all ages combined, as shown above, the reduction in number of cases was 75.8% over the period under study. This reduction was much greater for the youngest groups. For children aged under 5 years, the reduction in discharges was from 397 in 1995 to 26 in 2003, or 93.4%, while for those aged 35, where there were relatively few discharges, there was little or no reduction (see Table 3).
Table 3. Discharges from Florida acute care hospitals with a diagnosis of varicella, by age group, 1995 and 2003, with percentage change from 1995 to 2003
improvement in numbers of hospitalizations and deaths from varicella since
introduction of the varicella vaccine in 1995, especially in children, is
dramatic and an important public health success story. The timing of the
improvement and the consistency between hospitalization and mortality data
are consistent with varicella immunization being the major cause of the
Background: Receiving regular cancer
screening plays a vital role in the early detection and treatment of
cancer. Colorectal cancer can be detected through the use of screening
methods, such as Blood Stool Test and sigmoidoscopy.
Zhaohui Fan is an epidemiologist in the
Chronic Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology Section at the Bureau of
Epidemiology in Tallahassee. He can be reached at 850.245.4444, ext. 2418.
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.
Pete Garner is
administrator of the Bureau of Epidemiology Surveillance Systems
Weekly Update: During the period February20-26, 2005 the following arboviral activities (St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus, eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus, Highlands J (HJ) virus, West Nile (WN) virus and dengue virus) were recorded for Florida.
West Nile (WN) virus activity: One seroconversion to WN was confirmed in a sentinel chicken from Pinellas County this week.
Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus activity: Two seroconversions to EEE were confirmed in sentinel chickens from St. Johns and N. Walton counties this week. Three live wild birds captured in N. Walton (sparrow) and Washington (sparrow and cardinal) counties tested positive for EEE.
St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus activity: None yet this year.
Highlands J (HJ)
Virus activity: One
seroconversion to HJ was confirmed in a sentinel chicken from St. Johns
Dead birds should be reported to www.wildflorida.org/bird/. See the web page for more information: www.MyFloridaEH.com The Disease Outbreak Information Hotline offers recorded updates on medical alerts status and surveillance at 888.880.5782.
Click here to review the most recent disease figures provided by the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Epidemiology.
D'Juan Harris is a GIS
specialist in the Surveillance Systems Section of the Bureau of