Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology (CADE)
Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)
Items for this week’s EPI Update include:
- Pertussis activity continues in Iowa and updated recommendations for use of Tdap vaccine
- West Nile virus surveillance update
- Meaningful use in Iowa
- Injuries from ingestion of wire bristles from grill-cleaning brushes
- Meeting announcements and training opportunities
Pertussis activity continues in Iowa and updated recommendations for use of Tdap vaccine
Iowa continues to experience increased pertussis activity. There are approximately 432 percent more persons with pertussis disease this year compared to the average of the past five years (the five-year average is 129 and 686 cases have been reported so far in 2012). IDPH publishes a weekly Pertussis Update at www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/file.ashx?file=6387A568-2C48-49D9-BA4A-EC301427D634.
Updated recommendations for use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine were recently published. All adults aged 19 years and older (including adults aged 65 years and older) who have not yet received a dose of Tdap should receive a single dose.
For additional information on the updated recommendations for Tdap, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6125a4.htm?s_cid=mm6125a4_e.
West Nile virus surveillance update
West Nile Virus is endemic in Iowa and activity usually peaks in late summer and early fall. Iowa continues to maintain a West Nile and other arbovirus surveillance program. Local public health partners collect mosquitoes and maintain sentinel chicken flocks across the state. Iowa State University Medical Entomology monitors the levels of mosquitoes statewide and the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) tests the mosquitoes to determine whether they are infected with West Nile virus or other arboviruses. SHL also weekly tests the blood drawn from sentinel chickens to determine whether they have been infected with West Nile virus or other arboviruses.
So far this year, there have been no positive indicators of West Nile or other arborvirus activity. There have been no human illnesses reported to IDPH, the sentinel chickens have not tested positive, and none of the mosquito pools have been found to be infected. According to the Iowa State University Medical Entomology Laboratory, mosquitoes appear to be out in low numbers so far this summer. Surveillance for West Nile and other arborviruses will continue through fall and updates will be provided as activity changes.
For additional West Nile Virus information, visit: www.idph.state.ia.us/CADE/DiseaseIndex.aspx?disease=West Nile Virus
Meaningful use in Iowa update
Meaningful use is the vast federal initiative providing incentives for hospitals and healthcare providers to transition from paper-based to electronic recordkeeping. It is believed healthcare outcomes can be improved by information being more efficiently analyzed and shared between physicians, clinics, hospitals, and labs; and with governmental agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as public health agencies.
There are three public health objectives included in the meaningful use initiative: submission of immunization information; submission of reportable laboratory results; and submission of syndromic surveillance information. IDPH is currently focusing efforts on the submission of reportable laboratory results initiative.
Congratulations are in order for Mary Greeley Medical Center, the first Iowa hospital to achieve this meaningful use public health objective. For more information, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/meaningful_use.asp.
Injuries from ingestion of wire bristles from grill-cleaning brushes
Summer grilling season is in full swing. In addition to seasonal concerns about grilling and food safety, a new concern involves utensils used to clean grills. A Rhode Island hospital system has identified several cases of injury resulting from ingestion of the wire bristles from grill-cleaning brushes. The severity of the injuries ranged from puncture of the soft tissue of the neck resulting in pain with swallowing, to perforation of the gastrointestinal tract, requiring surgery.
After using wire-bristled brushes to clean a grill, inspect the grill for bristles that may have dislodged from the brush, and could become embedded in cooked food.
To read the full report, visit: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm61e0703a2.htm?s_cid=mm61e0703a2_w.
Meeting announcements and training opportunities
Have a happy and healthy week!
Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology
Iowa Department of Public Health