Region 7 News Room
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The following is an excerpt from The Guardian of Public Health, submitted by Cristi Bramer, MPH, MDCH Division of Immunization Epidemiologist.
Schools in the United States have required vaccines for school entry for over 150 years because it helps maintain high vaccination coverage and minimize the risk from vaccine preventable diseases. Currently, Michigan’s public health code requires vaccinations that protect against 10 diseases for children enrolled in kindergarten, seventh grade (this was 6th grade prior to the 2014-15 school year) and those newly enrolled in the school district. Michigan is one of 19 states that allow a parent/guardian to obtain a philosophical waiver for the school-required immunizations.
via www.Michigan.gov by way of The Guardian of Public Health
Submitted by Dr. Janice Matthews‐Greer, MDCH, Bureau of Laboratory Virology Section Manager
Laboratory testing of potential Ebola patients remains a moving target. As new information comes out, risk assessments change, personal protective equipment (PPE) is altered and media hype escalates. Nonetheless, a few things are definitive: 1) Ebola virus does not spread through the air. Nor is it transmitted through casual contact. 2) Ebola is spread by direct contact with fluids from a patient who is symptomatic with disease. A list of potentially infectious and/or Ebola RNA‐positive fluids includes blood, feces, vomit, saliva, mucus, tears, breast milk, urine, semen, vaginal secretions and sweat. If these fluids from an ill individual come in contact with a healthy person’s broken skin, eyes, nose or mouth, transmission may occur. Bodily fluids from an infected corpse are extremely infectious. 3) An infected patient is not contagious unless he or she is exhibiting symptoms. Added to this Trinity is one more certainty – the mere word (Ebola) strikes fear in the hearts of many, including healthcare workers (HCW).
Editor's Note: Roger Racine is the Region 7 Healthcare Coalition Epidemiologist at the Grand Traverse County Health Department. He was recently featured in the February 2015 publication of The Guardian of Public Health sent out by the Office of Public Health Preparedness (Lansing, MI). The following is his report on "Dueling Infectious Disease Outbreaks" in the state of Michigan.
Dueling Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Submitted by Roger Racine, Region 7 Epidemiologist
The autumn of 2014 was an unusual time for many health departments in Michigan as they wrestled with policies for monitoring travelers from West Africa for early symptoms of Ebola infections. Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) was no different, but they had the added demands of a Pertussis outbreak (Whooping Cough) in a large school that would later grow to involve schools throughout the area. The “cherry on top” was the surprising presentation of the first Measles cases in Michigan for 2014.
Ebolatracks: An Automated SMS System for Monitoring Persons Potentially Exposed To Ebola Virus Disease
Date: Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM
Subject: MDCH Enterovirus D68 Information
Message relayed from MIHAN Alert:
Recent reports indicate increases in severe respiratory illness in pediatric (non-neonatal) children associated with Enterovirus-D68 infection. Original reports described clusters of illness in Kansas City, Missouri. Other reports have since come from St. Louis and Denver. The Michigan Syndromic Surveillance Syndrome has detected an increase in emergency department visits over this past weekend due to respiratory illness in children ages 5-17. A number of healthcare facilities have also reported suspect cases or clusters of illness in Michigan.
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