Friday, August 6 2004
This Week in the News
|"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.,
►Bureau of Epi Publishes First Data from 2004 FYTS Survey
|►Satellite Broadcast on EpiCom Scheduled for August 25|
To learn about all the things EpiCom can do and how they can work for you, tune in. CEUs will be provided for this program.
►Introductory Course Offered for Counselors and Outreach Workers
|Epi Update Managing Staff:||►Bureau of Epidemiology CHD Conference Call Features Youth Smoking, Pertussis Updates
Bureau staff and health department personnel hear news on the latest youth tobacco survey and a puzzling pertussis outbreak in Florida's panhandle.
MD, MBA, MPH,
Secretary, Department of Health
►How are Dead Birds Used in Surveillance for West Nile Virus?
In another how-to article, this week we explore the whys and wherefores behind this type of surveillance, and its importance in the world of epidemiology.
|Landis Crockett, MD,
Division of Disease
|►August Grand Rounds Will Focus on Quinolone-resistant Salmonella
This rare bacteria is an emerging infectious organism with significant public health implications for the state of Florida.
Acting Bureau Chief,
|►This Week on EpiCom
Log on regularly to access information that could be vital to your organization if you're in the middle of an investigation. Someone else could be experiencing an outbreak that may be similar to yours.
Copy Editor / Writer
|►Mosquito-borne Disease Update
A report outlining activities for the week July 25 - 31, 2004 for confirmed cases.
A R T I C L E S
|Zhaohui Fan, MPH, Epidemiologist, Chronic Disease Surveillance Section, Bureau of Epidemiology|
Bureau of Epi Publishes First Data from 2004 FYTS Survey
The Bureau of Epidemiology has published the first report of the 2004 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) data entitled Cigarette use among Florida public middle and high school students.
7,364 public middle school students and 7,023 public high school students completed the 2004 FYTS questionnaire in March and April. The survey data show that in 2004:
· One in thirteen (7.8 percent) of middle school students and one in six (17.3 percent) of high school students are current cigarette smokers.
· More than one quarter (26.7 percent) of middle school students and almost half (46.7 percent) of high school students had ever tried cigarettes (lifetime cigarette smokers).
· One in fifty (2.0 percent) of middle school students and one in fourteen (7.4 percent) of high school students are frequent cigarette smokers.
· There are no significant gender differences in prevalence of current smoker, lifetime smoker, or frequent cigarette use.
· Non-Hispanic White students have higher prevalence of current smoker, lifetime smoker, or frequent cigarette use than non-Hispanic Black students.
· Non-Hispanic White students also have higher prevalence of current smoker or frequent cigarette use than Hispanic students.
When compared with FYTS data in the past, the latest survey data show that:
· The prevalence of current smoker, lifetime smoker, and frequent cigarette use among students remained at the same level as that in 2003.
· Across all years since 1998 when the first FYTS was conducted, the prevalence of cigarette use among Florida middle and high school students decreased faster between 1998-2001 than during 2001-2004.
Readers can review detailed information from this report online at the bureau?s Website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/epi/topics/pubs.htm
|Melanie Black, MSW, Professional Training Coordinator, Bureau of Epidemiology
|Satellite Broadcast on EpiCom Scheduled for August 25
The Bureau of Epidemiology will be hosting a satellite broadcast on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 from 10:00 ? 11:00 a.m., EST on EpiCom and ER Census. Pete Garner, surveillance systems administrator, Bureau of Epidemiology, Florida Department of Health will moderate the program. EpiCom is an outbreak communications and emergency notification system developed and managed by the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology. The EpiCom system allows users to post messages related to suspected and confirmed disease outbreaks, then notifies selected users once a threat to public health has been identified. EpiCom also contains a feature that tracks hospital emergency room admissions data and produces charts and graphs that can identify aberrant census levels. The ER census feature is designed to help hospitals and county health departments gather meaningful data so they can recognize and respond to unusual trends or clusters.
Information regarding the program can be found on the Bureau of Epidemiology Internet website http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/epi/conf/sat/index.htm.
One hour of CEUs will be provided to nurses, environmental health professionals and laboratorians for this program. For technical questions regarding the broadcast, please contact either Shawna Goodwin or Jennifer Bruce in the Office of Performance Improvement, Distance Learning Network 850.245.4008 or SunCom 205.4008.
|April Crowley, Senior Health Educator, Bureau of HIV/AIDS, Florida Department of Health
|Introductory Course Offered for Counselors and Outreach Workers
On Wednesday, August 11 and September 8, 2004, from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., the Florida Hepatitis and Liver Failure Prevention and Control Program offers a one-hour introductory training course titled "Hepatitis 101: for Counselors and Outreach Workers.?
The course is presented in a telephone conference call format, with a slide set available on the Web, and provides an introduction to hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Prior to each course date, the ?Meet Me? phone number, along with the slide set Web address, will be emailed to all registrants. Continuing Education Credit is available for laboratorians and nurses. To register for this course, please complete the form found on the following link: Hepatitis 101 Registration
|Jaime Forth, Copy Editor / Writer, Bureau of Epidemiology||Bureau of Epidemiology CHD Conference Call Features Youth Smoking, Pertussis Updates|
The conference call which occurred on July 30th is recalled here in brief for those who were unable to participate. These calls, between Bureau of Epidemiology staff in Tallahassee and personnel at county health departments throughout Florida, are regularly scheduled on alternating Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., EST.
Announcements. Don Ward announced a live satellite educational broadcast on EpiCom and ER census surveillance will air on August 25 featuring Pete Garner, Christie Luce and Karen Wheeler.
The CDC grants advisory board approved approximately $9 million in bioterrorism funding for Focus Area B (surveillance and epidemiology) this year.
Bureau staff are developing several materials for distribution to long term care facilities, hospitals, detention facilities and community health centers in anticipation of the influenza season. These brochures will address specific issues related to surveillance and prevention.
Cigarette Use Among Florida Youth. Melissa Murray, MPH provided an overview of the most recent survey of Florida public high school students conducted by the Chronic Disease Surveillance Section of the Bureau of Epidemiology. According to the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, 35,900 teens begin smoking each year in the U.S.
The questionnaire will be added to the bureau Web site. Special analyses of data are possible.
Pertussis Outbreak/Santa Rose County. Sam Williamson announced there is a third confirmed patient case of pertussis in his county. Investigation has turned up no known connection between the first two cases and the latest case. The first was a 32 year old military man who was treated in June. Case two was a 17 year old female who was treated in May. She was a babysitter for two toddlers, one of whom was current on immunizations but nevertheless tested positive for pertussis. Twenty-three contacts have so far been prophylaxed.
Sam emphasized that three cases are highly unusual for Santa Rosa County. All local physicians have been contacted through blast fax to request that they test any suspicious cases for pertussis.
|Caroline Collins, BS, Asst. Arbovirus Surveillance Coordinator, Samantha Rivers, MS, Arbovirus Surveillance Coordinator, Bureau of Community Environmental Health
|How are Dead Birds Used in Surveillance for West Nile Virus?|
Florida?s Arbovirus Surveillance Program uses a variety of surveillance methods to predict the public health risk for mosquito-borne encephalitis including evaluating mosquito populations, sentinel chickens, horses, and other animal cases. The natural hosts for St. Louis Encephalitis virus, Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis virus and West Nile (WN) virus are birds and mosquitoes. Humans, horses and other animals are incidental hosts that can be infected by the virus, but generally do not develop the high blood virus levels needed to infect mosquitoes. The purpose of animal surveillance is to prevent disease in horses and people. Early detection can shorten public health response time and reduce the geographic spread of infected vectors, and thereby, the cost of containing them. This brief article will focus on the role of dead bird reporting and testing in the timely surveillance of WN virus.
In the United States, WN virus causes morbidity and mortality in many bird species. In some species, especially crows and blue jays (corvids), there has been substantial mortality due to WN infection. Detection of local bird mortality may indicate the presence of the virus
To determine if the cause of an increase in corvid or overall bird mortality is related to WNV, a representative sample may be submitted to the Tampa laboratory for WN testing. Submission instructions can be found at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/hsee/arbo/index.htm.Clusters of mortality of single species or non-corvid families of birds such as doves, ducks or pelicans are usually not caused by WN virus; however, the findings need to be reported. The FWCC tracks all clusters of wild bird mortality in the state.
It costs nothing to report dead bird sightings, yet the information is valuable not only for WN surveillance but the investigation of other potential causes of bird mortality as well. Since testing is costly, the decision to collect carcasses and submit for testing should be made judiciously.
Dead bird reporting must be tracked closely on a local level to be most relevant. It is expected that although the virus is present throughout the year in Florida, the intensity and location will vary over time and space. Both human and bird reporting were highest in north Florida counties last year. So far this year, the primary WN virus transmission focus is in Miami-Dade County. Reporting of dead birds was significantly increased over baseline for the month of July (Figure 1), which correlates closely with the clustering of human cases. Six human cases have been reported to date in Miami-Dade. Sixteen of the 23 birds (70%) submitted for testing were WN positive.
|Robyn S. Kay, MPH, Florida EIS Fellow, Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology||August Grand Rounds Will Focus on Quinolone-resistant Salmonella|
Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 11:00 AM ? 12:00 PM, EST
Title: Salmonella senftenberg: A Nosocomial Infection
Presenter: Robyn S. Kay, MPH, Florida EIS Fellow, Bureau of Epidemiology, Florida Department of Health
This descriptive epidemiological analysis will encapsulate the current information known about Salmonella senftenberg infected patients including antibiotic resistance, control/prevention, surveillance, and education. In addition, patient transfers have led to the transmission of the organism to additional healthcare facilities. Salmonella senftenberg is an emerging infectious organism with significant public health implications for the state of Florida.
|Pete Garner, Surveillance Systems Manager, Bureau of Epidemiology||
The Bureau of Epidemiology encourages Epi Update readers to not only register on the EpiCom system at https://www.epicomfl.net but to browse EpiCom frequently and contribute public health observations related to any suspicious or unusual occurrences or circumstances, as appropriate. EpiCom is the primary method of communication between the Bureau of Epidemiology and other state medical agencies during emergency situations.
|Arbovirus Surveillance Team: Samantha Rivers, MS, Caroline Collins, Kristen Payne, Calvin DeSouza, and Carina Blackmore, MS Vet. Med., PhD., State Public Health Veterinarian||Mosquito-Borne Disease Update|
West Nile (WN) virus activity: There were six seroconversions to WN virus in sentinel chickens from Brevard, Hillsborough, and Palm Beach counties and seven positive dead birds from Miami-Dade. So far this year, 22 counties have reported WN activity. Miami-Dade County is under medical alert for mosquito-borne disease.
Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus activity: One horse each from Madison, Marion, Pasco and Wakulla counties was confirmed with EEE virus infection this week. There were three seroconversions to EEE virus in sentinel chickens from Marion, Orange and St. Johns counties. So far this year, 25 counties have reported EEE activity.
St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus activity: None this week. Two counties reported SLE this year.
Mosquito populations are present in many areas of the state. All are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites. Dead birds should be reported to www.wildflorida.org/bird/.