April 15, 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
Although many hospitals in Florida received the kit, none have reported any exposure or contamination of their personnel to the H2N2 virus. Most of the 3,700 + labs that received the kit were located in the United States.
At issue are the level of virus included in the testing kit and fears about national security. Basic laboratories are not equipped to handle high risk, or biohazardous, materials such as level 3 and 4 viruses. An example of a level 4 virus would be the rare Ebola-Marburg virus currently infecting people in Angola. Level 2 viruses, such as the influenza which circulates annually, can be safely handled with routine precautionary measures by most laboratories, meaning gloves, eye protection and a facial mask. Level 3 laboratories are equipped with one-way airflow equipment plus other procedures for handling the more dangerous organisms.
The A/H2N2, however, has been on the consideration list as a level 3 virus because of it's status as a 50-year-old pandemic flu to which anyone born after the year 1968 would have had no exposure and therefore no immunity. An accidental contact or a leak by unscrupulous sources could trigger a global outbreak or bioterrorism incident.
A laboratory in Canada notified the WHO that one of the viruses contained in the kit was a strain from a 1957 pandemic flu, which then quickly alerted the 18 countries to destroy the kits without delay. The WHO anticipates that most of the countries will have divested the kits by week's end.
For further updates on this topic, click on the CDC and WHO links at:
Jaime Forth is managing editor of Epi Update. She can be reached at 850.245.4444, ext. 2440.
Little is known about late stages of these cancers and associated factors among Hispanics in Florida.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005, was the 50th anniversary of the day microbiologist Dr. Thomas Francis Jr. addressed a crowd in an auditorium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Francis, who directed the field studies of the polio vaccine, told the crowd that a team of scientists led by Jonas Salk had perfected a vaccine that prevented all three types of poliomyelitis virus. "The vaccine works," Francis said. "It's safe, effective, and potent." Universities and the Smithsonian Institution are marking this historic occasion with exhibits, events, and articles. Following is information about some of them, as well as links to other polio-related resources.
To access The Shot Heard Round the World, an interactive timeline about the history of polio and the development of the vaccine, go to http://museum.pharmacy.pitt.edu/salk.
INSTITUTION EXHIBIT AND ARTICLES
In anticipation of the 50th anniversary, Smithsonian magazine published two articles, Conquering Polio (published April 2005) and Mission Impossible (published February 2003). To access Conquering Polio in ready-to-print (PDF) format, go to http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues05/apr05/pdf/polio.pdf. To access Mission Impossible in ready-to-print (PDF) format, go to http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues03/feb03/pdf/smithsonian_february_2003_mission_impossible.pdf
"END OF POLIO"
POLIO PLUS PROGRAM
CDC'S STOP (STOP
TRANSMISSION OF POLIO) TEAMS
MMWR NOTICE TO READERS
Phyllis Yambor is the executive community health nursing director for the Bureau of Immunization headquartered in Tallahassee. To reach her, call 850.245.4444, ext. 2385.
Leaders in bioterrorism, chronic disease, communicable diseases and other public health industries from cities and states around the country will gather to listen to featured speakers address issues of concern, and visit with exhibitors focused on products, services and technologies beneficial to conference attendees.
A poster session is planned and sponsorship opportunities are available. If interested in sponsoring a portion of the conference, contact Francienne Saucedo at NACCHO at 202.783.5550, ext. 212 or Rusty Boyce at ASTHO at 202. 371.9090. In-kind donations can also be arranged.
The conference will be held July 12 - 15 at the Marriott Copley Place, located the historic Back Bay district in downtown Boston. Deadline for registration is June 17 and hotel reservations close on June 19. The official website for the conference is http://www.naccho.org/conferences/annual_conference.cfm.
Disease Update April 3 - 9, 2005
Weekly Update: During the period April 3-9, 2005, the following arboviral activity (St. Louis encephalitis [SLE] virus, eastern equine encephalomyelitis [EEE] virus, Highlands J [HJ] virus, West Nile [WN] virus and dengue virus) was recorded for Florida:
West Nile (WN) virus activity: One seroconversion to WN was confirmed in a sentinel chicken from North Walton County.
Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus activity: One seroconversion to EEE was confirmed in a sentinel chicken from South Walton County.
St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus activity: None yet this year.
Highlands J (HJ) Virus activity: None this week.
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.
Pete Garner is
administrator of the Bureau of Epidemiology Surveillance Systems
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
The managing editor is pleased
to accept copy for publication in
1. Pieces must be between 250 and 2,000 words in length.