The California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith is warning Californians to protect themselves from two invasive mosquito species recently found in California. Both species can transmit infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. This warning comes as two more counties are added to the list of counties where Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) have been detected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory to provide updated guidance to state health departments and healthcare providers in the evaluation of patients for MERS-CoV infection. The advisory includes a summary, background, current status and recommendations for healthcare providers for detection and testing of MERS-CoV infections worldwide and recommendations for healthcare providers and health departments.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPHi) is urging the public to protect themselves against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases if traveling to Mexico or Latin America; these regions have reported an increased occurence of chikungunya and continued dengue transmission–reported cases of these mosquito-borne diseases among travelers returning to California have increased.
CIDRAP was founded in 2001 and is a global leader in addressing public health preparedness and emerging infectious disease response. Part of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, CIDRAP is led by Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director and professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, an adjunct professor in the Medical School, and an internationally renowned expert in public health.
The center reduces illness and death from infectious diseases by effecting change through public policy refinement, fostering the adoption of science-based best practices in public health among professionals and the public, and conducting original interdisciplinary research.
APIC releases guide for outpatient infection control during disasters
To help prepare for protecting outpatients from infection during disasters such as pandemics, bioterror attacks, or outbreaks of a novel disease, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today released a new guide, “Infection Prevention for Ambulatory Care Centers During Disasters.”
The 112-page guide provides infection prevention recommendations and resources for developing an emergency plan that includes operational expansion for surges in patients. It focuses on reducing hospital-acquired infections and communicable diseases but says that some diseases, such as smallpox or viral hemorrhagic fevers, require more intensive interventions than those outlined in the guide.
The risk for infection transmission in ambulatory care centers increases during a disaster, especially if hospitals cannot absorb patient surges, APIC said in a release e-mailed to reporters.
Topics in the guide include:
• Program planning
• Patient scheduling
• Triage and surveillance
• Occupational health issues
“Infection prevention must become part of daily practice, as well as a component of the emergency management planning and training scenarios for ambulatory care facilities,” said Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, lead author of the guide, and associate professor at Saint Louis University School of Public Health’s Institute for Biosecurity.
Multiple infections with variant* influenza A (H3N2v) viruses have been identified in 3 states and has been isolated in U.S. swine. While the viruses identified in these cases are genetically nearly identical, separate swine exposure events in different states were associated with human infections. There is no indication that the cases in different states are epidemiologically related.
More than half of the recent infections with H3N2v have occurred after contact with pigs, but in some cases, the virus seems to have spread from person-to-person. So far spread has not continued beyond one or two people.
Clinical characteristics of the 16 H3N2v recent cases have been generally consistent with signs and symptoms of seasonal influenza, and have included fever, cough, pharyngitis, myalgia, and headache. No hospitalizations or deaths have occurred among the 16 confirmed cases since July 2012.