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This Week in the News|
► Epidemiology Seminar Smashing Success
The results are in, and attendees praised all aspects of the annual event.
► Prairie Dogs Found to Carry Monkeypox Disease
One site in Florida under preliminary investigation by state health department.
► Grand Rounds Scheduled At A.G. Holley
A False Results Grand Rounds has been scheduled at A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, offering continuing credits in TB lab training.
► Africa Malaria Report Released
The World Health Organization and UNICEF recently released a joint report which tracked advancements made in the fight to reduce malaria in Africa by the year 2010.
► Bureau of Epidemiology Adds Staff
Introducing three new members of our Tallahassee office staff.
► Researchers Announce Decoding of Anthrax Genome
In an announcement last month, researchers revealed that the genetic blueprint of the microbe known as Anthrax has been unraveled, giving scientists insights regarding its susceptibilities.
► Arboviral Disease Report
Statistics through the week ending June 9, 2003. Confirmed cases only.
► Weekly Disease Table
Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Weekly Morbidity Report. Selected diseases and conditions (confirmed cases).
A r t i c l e s:
Melanie Black, MSW, Professional Training Coordinator, Bureau of Epidemiology
Alan Rowan, Ph.D., EIS Supervisor, Bureau of Epidemiology
Jaime Forth, Editorial Assistant, Bureau of Epidemiology
Jaime Forth, Editorial Assistant, Bureau of Epidemiology
Caroline Collins, Arbovirus Surveillance Coordinator and Carina Blackmore, M.S., Vet Med, Ph.D., Deputy State Public Health Veterinarian
note that numbers are subject to change with confirmatory information
Seminar Smashing Success
This Statewide Epidemiology Seminar marked the first time awards
were given for the poster session—the competition was intense. At the opening
night event, an esteemed panel of public health experts served as judges,
ranking the posters for prizes in four categories. At lunch the following day,
Dr. Landis Crockett, Director of the Division of Disease Control recognized the
winners, who were:
We are already reviewing suggestions to make next year’s seminar even better.
Monkeypox is a rare disease found primarily in central and
west Africa. The disease has not previously been reported in the US.
In humans, the illness produces vesicular and pustular rash similar to
smallpox, a related virus. It is possible to transmit this disease
person-to-person. The incubation period is about 10-12 days.
The case-fatality rate ranges from 1% to 10%1. Monkeypox signs and symptoms generally consist of fever, headaches, dry
cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and drenching sweat. One to ten days later,
patients develop rashes consisting of blister-like pimples which are full of
pus, break open, and produce scabs. The rash appears on the head, trunk, arms,
and legs2. Any persons who have been exposed to prairie
dogs and have experienced these symptoms should be evaluated by a physician
Any persons who have been exposed to prairie dogs and have experienced these symptoms should be evaluated by a physician immediately.
The current public health concerns arise from a shipment of rodents, including Gambian rats, from Africa to a Texas dealer. Some of the prairie dogs exposed to the Gambian rats became infected with monkeypox. The prairie dogs were subsequently shipped to various parts of the country. Authorities have been concerned that the wide range of monkeypox is due to the existence of pet swap meets which are unregulated. On June 11, the FDA and the CDC announced a ban on the import of all rodents from Africa into the United States. This includes the sale, distribution, transport or release of prairie dogs and six named African rodent species. The embargo includes any sale or distribution that occurs within a state.
The investigations in Florida are ongoing but so far have not
resulted in any positive cases of monkeypox. CDC has announced that smallpox
vaccine will be made available to people who have been, or may be exposed, to
prairie dogs and other animals who have been exposed to monkeypox. Any
questions or concerns about monkeypox can be addressed to Dr. Rowan at
850-245-4404 or Dr. Blackmore at 850-245-4444 ext. 2159.
According to the report, a low
percentage of young children sleep under mosquito netting and an even smaller
percentage of children sleep under netting treated with insecticide. Because
netting helps reduce low birth weight and serious illness in infants, pilot
projects were developed that increased the number of infants sleeping under
treated netting. In communities where pilot projects were positioned, the
number of children dying from mosquito-related diseases has decreased by
Data from the report were collected in the 1990s and continue to be difficult to track. However, worldwide monetary commitment to the control of malaria rose in the late 1990s, and this year the U.S. Agency for International Development announced a new partnership with private businesses for the purpose of providing affordable treated bed nets to citizens in Malawi and four other nations in Africa. For information on how to become involved in the USAID project, log on to the web site at www.usaid.gov.com. For further information about the report, log on to http://infection.thelancet.com/journal/vol3/iss6/full/laid.3.6.the_leadering_edge...
Karen Wheeler will be performing census surveillance on emergency room reports, looking for trends in data that point to bioterrorism. With a master's degree in public health from North Carolina State University, Karen specializes in bioterrorism-related issues.
Anne Frost is a senior contract manager and will be working primarily on large procurements related to competitive and contractual purchases. Her expertise is in contract management. She's a veteran of state government, having worked within the Department of Health for the past 13 years.
Susan Pearson has been hired to manage the administrative processes of our bioterrorism and epidemiology and laboratory capacity grants. Her background is in finance and purchasing, so her eye for detail and administration should come in handy as we seek to continue funding for our various programs.
If you need to contact any of these personnel, you can reach them at:
850.245.4444, ext. 2401 or email@example.com
The investigators used comparative
genomics to draw the blueprint, and found suggestions that microbes which
infect insects may be recent ancestors of the gene Yercinia pestis, the cause
of plague in mammals and insects, and B. anthracis, the gene which infects
mammals alone and has the ability to live on decaying animal bodies. In
addition, it has the ability to scavenge iron.
No cases of arboviral
meningo-encephalitis were reported this week.
As yet, not one human case has been reported for 2003. Gilchrist County
has been under Medical Alert for EEE virus since mid-April.
Thirteen seroconversions to EEE
virus were confirmed in Duval, Hillsborough, Nassau (2), Orange (5), Putnam,
Volusia and Walton (2) counties, bringing the YTD (year-to-date) total of EEE
sentinel seroconversions to 52 in 13 counties. Two seroconversions to WN virus
were confirmed in Collier and Putnam counties, bringing the YTD total of WN
sentinel seroconversions to 36 in 13 counties. This week, 1,119 samples were
tested from 27 counties.
Bird Mortality: Two dead crows from Alachua and
Jackson counties were reported positive for WN virus this week,
bringing the YTD total for dead birds testing positive for WN virus to three in
as many counties. The YTD total of dead birds testing positive for EEE virus is
nine in six counties.
Equine*: Five EEE virus infections in
horses were reported from Alachua, Clay, Hendry, Hillsborough and Taylor
counties, bringing the YTD total for horses infected with EEE virus to 75 in 27
counties. One horse has been reported with WN virus infection this year.
Mosquito Pools: No
mosquito pools were reported positive for WN or EEE virus this week.
* Equine cases are
determined by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
For more detailed
surveillance information, please see the DOH web site at: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/hsee/arbo/index.htm
Press releases can be seen at http://apps3.doh.state.fl.us/IRM/PressReleaseSearch/search.cfm.
is currently at “Level 1” in the Arbovirus Response Plan (see ).
Disease Outbreak Information Hotline offers updates on medical alert status and
surveillance at 888-880-5782.
sources: County health
departments, Department of Health Laboratories, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, mosquito control
agencies, Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, medical providers and veterinarians.
|Bureau of Epidemiology|