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This Week in the News|
► Conference Closes on a High Note
This year's conference on epidemiology focused on new strategies for handling outbreaks, better ways for communicating urgent information, and more efficient ways for sharing and cataloguing information. A preliminary report is inside.
► Quality Management Call for Projects
Ideas for quality management projects related to performance improvement and public health preparedness are due by June 20th.
► West Nile Virus Traced To Organ Donor
A common donor was identified as the source of infection for four cases investigated in August 2002.
► HIV Testing Day Set for June 27
The Bureau of HIV/AIDS has set a goal for participation by all of Florida's 67 counties to take part in this event.
► Immunization Bulletin News
Info on upcoming satellite teleconference scheduled, a bulletin concerning administration of the influenza vaccine, and more.
► Bioterrorism Field Test Kit Now Available
A new product designed specifically for first responders is now available for identifying the presence of protein in living materials.
► Arboviral Disease Report
Statistics for the week ending June 2, 2003. Confirmed cases only.
► Weekly Disease Table
Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Weekly Morbidity Report. Week 21, ending May 31, 2003. Selected diseases and conditions (confirmed cases).
A r t i c l e s:
Shannon Lease, M.S. Director, Office of Performance Improvement
New England Journal of Medicine, May 29, 2003
Rick Dulin, Bureau of HIV/AIDS
Department of Health, Bureau of Immunization
Homeland Defense Journal, April 2003, VOL 1, Issue I
Caroline Collins, Arbovirus Surveillance Coordinator and Carina Blackmore, M.S., Vet Med, Ph.D., Deputy State Public Health Veterinarian
Please note that numbers are subject to change with confirmatory information
Closes on a High Note
At the opening night poster session and reception, judges perused nearly 35 entries to determine winners for Best Chronic Disease, Best Infectious Disease, Best EIS Officer and Best Health Department presentations. And the awards went to....D'Juan Harris, Bureau of Epidemiology, for his poster on Utilizing Geographic Information Systems for Epidemiological Applications, in the category of Best Infectious Diseases Presentation. The winner for Best Chronic Diseases was Dr. Youjie Huang with an entry entitled, "Disparities in Cancer Screening, Incidence and Outcomes." "Bad Luck at Pot Luck" was Florida EIS Officer Carmella Mancini's winning poster, and Youjie Huang and his team were also recognized for outstanding contributions, with the greatest number of poster entries submitted. The Miami-Dade group presentation won for Best Health Department with their entry, "Current Knowledge, Practices and Attitudes of Miami-Dade Residents about West Nile Virus and its Prevention." A record number of posters were exhibited at this year's event and the participation was noted for its excellence .
Elsewhere at the conference, speakers enlightened their audiences on the latest in childhood lead poisoning, cancer mortality in Florida, lab innovations for infectious diseases and more. If you weren't present, you'll want to plan on attending next year!
After thoroughly examining the conference surveys and reviewing the final numbers, we'll be back in a later issue to provide a more detailed look at the conference as a whole.
Applications for quality management demonstration projects are being accepted until June 20th for the 2003/04 year. Short-term projects which foster ongoing quality improvement and focus on strategic processes and goal-oriented business results will be strong candidates. Past winners have been projects which addressed ways to implement more effective billing methods, reduce paper waste, employ mediation training, and measure the effectiveness of targeted messages to at-risk patients.
Average awards are $10,000, but can be supplemented with additional funding related to public health preparedness. Past winners are eligible to apply. For further information, contact Beth Mann or Bonnie Gaughan-Baily at the Office of Performance Improvement at 850.245.4007. For more information about the Public Health Preparedness Program, call Mark O'Neill or Debra Bragdon at 850.245.4007.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that four recipients of organs from a common donor developed West Nile Virus (WNV) as a result of the transplants.
In summer 2002, headache and fever cases in Georgia and Florida after the patients had received kidney transplants led to the investigation of encephalitis. It was determined that the original organ donor had obtained blood from a person infected with viremia. Because most individuals with West Nile Virus are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms, the development of more sophisticated methods for screening potential blood donors has become a priority for the public health industry.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has produced a user's guide for public health professionals, and the organization is working proactively to bring to fruition the development of diagnostic tools which can aid clinicians in testing for WNV.
For a more thorough discussion of this issue, be sure to refer to the article published in the May 29th edition of the journal.
Because co-infection of HIV and hepatitis is so prevalent, many
CHDs will also provide vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, and/or testing for
hepatitis B and C. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of HIV positive
clients are also infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis B and HCV
share several risk factors with HIV—contact with blood or body fluids of an
infected person; and the rate of HIV-HCV co-infection is highest among those
who acquired HIV through sharing needles for drug use.
Duration National HIV Testing Day last year, state records show
4,325 tests were completed—and 93 of those were positive. Of those
tested—2,191 returned for their results—50.1 percent of the negatives and
78.5 percent of the positives For more information, contact April Crowley,
senior health educator at the Bureau of HIV/AIDS in Tallahassee at 245.4444,
ext. 2580, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Health,
Bureau of Immunization, in conjunction with the Office of Performance
Improvement, is making available the Adult Immunization Update satellite
teleconference through the Department of Health Telnet Videoconference Sites on
Thursday, June 26 from 12 noon to 2:30 PM (EDT). This live satellite broadcast
will provide an update on current adult immunization practices; highlight the
2002-2003 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule and present strategies to
improve adult immunization coverage levels. Continuing education credit will be
offered for a variety of professions, based on 2.5 hours of instruction. Those
wishing to receive credit for this course must register online at the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: http://www.phppo.cdc.gov/phtn/Adult-Imm03/default.asp.
Prevention and Control
of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization
CDC has published “Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of
the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)”.The
2003 publication updates recommendations by the ACIP regarding the use of
influenza vaccine and antiviral agents. The new recommendations include new or
updated information regarding: 1) the timing of influenza vaccination by age
and risk group; 2) influenza vaccine for children aged 6-23 months; 3) the
2003-2004 trivalent inactivated vaccine virus strains; 4) availability of
certain influenza vaccine doses with reduced thimerosal content; and 5)
manufacturers of influenza vaccine for the U.S. market. Persons
planning organized vaccination campaigns should consider scheduling these
events after mid-October because the availability of vaccine cannot be ensured
in the early fall. Campaigns conducted before November should focus efforts on
persons aged 50 years and above, persons aged less than 50 years at increased
risk of influenza-related complications, health care workers, and household
contacts of persons at high risk to the extent feasible. Clinics conducted in
November and later should continue to vaccinate persons at high risk and their
contacts, but also vaccinate other persons who wish to decrease their risk for
influenza infection. Vaccination efforts for all groups should continue into
December and beyond. The recommendation
is available on the CDC Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5208.pdf
Influenza Vaccine Information Statement for 2003/2004The CDC has published the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for Influenza 2003/2004. Previous versions of the VIS should no longer be utilized. Reproducible copies of the 2003/2004 Influenza VIS can be accessed online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS/vis-flu.pdf. The Influenza VIS is currently being printed, and should be available from the Department of Health Publication Warehouse by September 1, 2003. For further information on the availability of the 2003/2004 Influenza VIS, contact Tom Bendle of the Bureau of Immunization at 850.245.4444, ext. 2391 or SunCom 205.4444, ext. 2391.
No cases of arboviral meningo-encephalitis were reported this
week. Gilchrist County is under Medical Alert for EEE virus.
|Bureau of Epidemiology|