ALERTS & ADVISORIES
item blockCurrent and historical health alerts & advisories by disease, then date.
[Expand All | Collapse All] 2014
Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola HF) Outbreak- October 2014

If you have a case that may be suspected as Ebola please call IDRS at (614) 525-8888 immediately to report it.  Risk factors include a fever of 101.5, and additional symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage; AND travel to a country or exposure to someone who traveled to a country with Ebola.

West Africa Outbreak - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministries of health of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and other international organizations in response to an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa, which was first reported in late March 2014. This is the largest outbreak of EVD ever documented and the first recorded in West Africa. 

U.S. Diagnosed Case – On September 30, 2014, CDC confirmed the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately five days after arriving in the United States.
The person sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. CDC and the Texas Health Department reported the laboratory test results to the medical center to inform the patient. Local public health officials have begun identifying close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure.

The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms. The person reported developing symptoms several days after the return flight.

Even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

 

CDC Key Messages - (October 2, 2014)
CDC Information

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health (October 1, 2014)
Ebola ODH Infograph for Travelers & Schools (August 20, 2014)
Public Health Advisory
- Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health (August 8, 2014)
CDC Health Advisory
- Guidelines for Evaluation of US Patients Suspected of Having Ebola Virus Disease (August 1, 2014)

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)- September 2014

Test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in suspected cases in Ohio. This virus has been causing pediatric respiratory illnesses and hospitalizations in several other states, and Central Ohio has recently seen an increase in respiratory illnesses and hospitalizations among children.
Enteroviruses are very common viruses, with over 100 different types. EV-D68 infections are thought to be less common, usually causing mild to severe respiratory illness.   

More Information on Enterovirus visit the CDC website.

Columbus Public Health News Release

Columbus Syphilis Outbreak- July 2014

Columbus Public Health is currently investigating a syphilis outbreak in the Columbus community. For more information, see Columbus Public Health's Advisory. For questions or comments, contact Columbus Public Health's main number at 614-645-6444 or call their Sexual Health Clinic at 645-7772.

Columbus Public Health Advisory
CDC Fact Sheet (English)
CDC Fact Sheet (Spanish)
CDC Fact Sheet for MSM (English)
CDC Fact Sheet for MSM (Spanish)

Ohio Measles Outbreak- August 2014

The Ohio Department of Health and a number of local health departments in Ohio continues to investigate a measles outbreak.  To date, there are no cases in Franklin County or any of our neighboring counties. 

Measles is a Class A Disease and should be reported immediately.

For complete information on the status of the outbreak visit the Ohio Department of Health web site.

Measles Guidance for Healthcare Workers - June 18, 2014
Guidance for Schools - May 1, 2014
Measles Guidance for Healthcare Workers
– April 30, 2014
Ohio Department of Health Alert to Ohio Hospitals – April 23, 2014
ODH FAQ            
Measles Fact Sheet        
Provider Quick Facts       
Image of Measles Rash  

Ohio State University Mumps Outbreak - August 2014

Columbus Public Health, Franklin County Public Health, Delaware General Health, and Madison County-London City Health Department continue to work with the Ohio Department of Health to investigate mumps cases in our community, stemming from an outbreak at The Ohio State University (OSU) that started in early 2014. To see the daily case count information, click here.

The boundaries of the community outbreak currently include Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties.  Although there have been cases in residents of counties outside of Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties, these cases are linked to the community outbreak.  Most of the linked cases work or attend school within Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties.

Mumps vaccine, the best way to prevent mumps, is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) & measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88 percent effective at preventing disease; one dose is 78 percent effective. Children should receive the first dose of mumps-containing vaccine at 12-15 months & the second dose at 4-6 years. Adults born during or after 1957 likely have received one dose and may receive a second MMR for enhanced protection. Adults at higher risk, such as university students, healthcare personnel, international travelers and persons with potential mumps outbreak exposure should have two doses of mumps vaccine.

Contact: Elizabeth Koch, MD MPH&TM, Columbus Public Health, (614) 645-6578, EMKoch@columbus.gov or
Carol Stasko, RN, MS, APHN-BC, Franklin County Public Health, (614) 525-4717, carolstasko@franklincountyohio.gov.

Healthcare Personnel MMR Vaccination Guidelines - April 29,2014
Community MMR Vaccination Guidelines - April 29,2014

Collection and Submission of Suspected Mumps Guidance – April 10, 2014 
Healthcare Worker Mumps Guidance – April 10, 2014

Public Health Advisories
Apr 29 - Mumps Public Health Advisory
Apr 11 - Mumps Public Health Advisory
Mar 24 - Mumps Public Health Advisory
Mar 17 - Mumps Public Health Advisory

Mumps Fact Sheet
CDC Mumps Clinical Q&A

2013
Notice to Public Health Officials and Clinicians: Recognizing, Managing, and Reporting Chikungunya Virus Infections in Travelers Returning from the Caribbean

Summary
On December 7, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first local (autochthonous) transmission of chikungunya virus in the Americas. As of December 12th, 10 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in patients who reside on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean. Laboratory testing is pending on additional suspected cases. Onset of illness for confirmed cases was between October 15 and December 4. At this time, there are no reports of other suspected chikungunya cases outside St. Martin. However, further spread to other countries in the region is possible.

Chikungunya virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever and polyarthralgia, especially those who have recently traveled to the Caribbean. Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected chikungunya cases to their state or local health department to facilitate diagnosis and to mitigate the risk of local transmission.

Background
Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne alphavirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Humans are the primary reservoir during epidemics. Outbreaks have been documented in Africa, Southern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Prior to the cases on St. Martin, the only chikungunya cases identified in the Americas were in travelers returning from endemic areas.

Clinical Disease
A majority of people infected with chikungunya virus become symptomatic. The incubation period is typically 3–7 days (range, 2–12 days). The most common clinical findings are acute onset of fever and polyarthralgia. Joint pains are often severe and debilitating. Other symptoms may include headache, myalgia, arthritis, or rash. Persons at risk for more severe disease include neonates (aged <1 month) exposed intrapartum, older adults (e.g., > 65 years), and persons with underlying medical conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease).

Diagnosis
Chikungunya virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever and polyarthralgia who recently returned from the Caribbean. Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by testing serum to detect virus, viral nucleic acid, or virus-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and neutralizing antibodies. During the first week of illness, chikungunya virus infection can often be diagnosed by using viral culture or nucleic acid amplification on serum. Virus-specific IgM and neutralizing antibodies normally develop toward the end of the first week of illness. To definitively rule out the diagnosis, convalescent-phase samples should be obtained from patients whose acute-phase samples test negative.

Chikungunya virus diagnostic testing is performed at CDC, two state health departments (California and New York), and one commercial laboratory (Focus Diagnostics). Healthcare providers should contact their state or local health department to facilitate testing.

Treatment
No specific antiviral treatment is available for chikungunya fever. Treatment is generally palliative and can include rest, fluids, and use of analgesics and antipyretics. Because of similar geographic distribution and symptoms, patients with suspected chikungunya virus infections also should be evaluated and managed for possible dengue virus infection. People infected with chikungunya or dengue virus should be protected from further mosquito exposure during the first few days of illness to prevent other mosquitoes from becoming infected and reduce the risk of local transmission.

Prevention
No vaccine or preventive drug is available. The best way to prevent chikungunya virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Use air conditioning or screens when indoors. Use insect repellents and wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors. People at increased risk for severe disease should consider not traveling to areas with ongoing chikungunya outbreaks.

Recommendations for Health Care Providers and Public Health Practitioners

  • Chikungunya virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever and polyarthralgia, especially those who have recently traveled to the Caribbean.
  • Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected chikungunya cases to their state or local health department to facilitate diagnosis and to mitigate the risk of local transmission.
  • Health departments should perform surveillance for chikungunya cases in returning travelers and be aware of the risk of possible local transmission in areas where Aedes species mosquitoes are currently active.

State health departments are encouraged to report laboratory-confirmed chikungunya virus infections to ArboNET, the national surveillance system for arthropod-borne viruses.

For more information
General information about chikungunya virus and diesase
Chikungunya information for clinicians
Protection against mosquitoes
Travel notices related to chikungunya virus
Information about chikungunya for travelers and travel health providers
Chikungunya preparedness and response guidelines (161 pages, 8 MB PDF file download)
Dengue clinical management guidelines

Tubersol - National Shortage

Tubersol is a prescription solution that is injected just under the skin to test for tuberculosis infection.

TUBERSOL®, a product of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, is in shortage nationwide. This is a prescription solution that is injected just under the skin by a healthcare provider to test for tuberculosis infection. This is impacting healthcare providers using the solution for their testing.

Healthcare - Recommends Approaches
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends approaches for healthcare providers to address the shortage.
Read more...

Status Update
Learn more about the current shortage.
Read more...

Legionellosis Outbreak associated with the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community

Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) investigated a Legionellosis outbreak associated with the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community, located at 2225 Taylor Park in Reynoldsburg, in July and August 2013. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) assisted with the investigation. There were a total of 39 confirmed cases. The age range was 63-99 years of age. There were six deaths.

Ongoing Investigation
FCPH, CDC and ODH worked together to complete case interviews and investigations as well as patient chart review. The data was compiled and reviewed to see if a common exposure source could be determined. Water tests have confirmed legionella was present in both the potable water system and a cooling tower. The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community followed all recommendations to limit additional exposure to their residents, employees and visitors. They hired a contractor to test their environmental systems and completed remediation.

CDC Legionella Information for Clinicians

For additional information on this Legionellosis outbreak, contact FCPH at (614) 525-3097 or IDRS at (614) 525-8888.

Public Health Advisories
Jul 16 - Legionellosis (Legionnaires' Disease)
Jul 23 - Legionellosis Case Count Update

Legionellosis Fact Sheet

Flu Virus From Swine Exposure - H3N2v

As Ohio’s 2013 agricultural fair season kicks off, the Ohio Departments of Health (ODH) and Agriculture (ODA) are reminding Ohioans to practice good hygiene when visiting livestock exhibits as the H3N2 variant virus (H3N2v) makes another comeback this year. This virus is also known as the flu virus from swine exposure.

Last year, 309 cases in 12 states (including Ohio) were part of an outbreak caused by H3N2v. Most of these infections were associated with prolonged exposure to pigs at agricultural fairs.

Influenza viruses such as H3N2 and its variants are not unusual in swine and can be directly transmitted from swine to people and from people to swine in the same way that all viruses can be transmitted between people. When humans are in close proximity to live infected swine, such as in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs, movement of these viruses can occur back and forth between humans and animals. Influenza viruses cannot be transmitted by eating pork or pork products.

Individuals should always wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal. Never eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth in animal areas. Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and people with weakened immune systems should be extra careful around animals.

Those who have direct, routine contact with swine, such as working in swine barns or showing swine at fairs, and have experienced cough or influenza-like illness should contact their health care provider or local health department. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever, body aches, and possibly other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

CDC Health Health Alert (HAN) Advisory
Jul 05- Variant Influenza Virus (H3N2v) Infections
Jul 11- H3N2v Advisory

CDC Guidance for Healthcare Providers
General H3N2v Information
Ohio Department of Health H3N2v Updates

Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobactiaceae (CRE)
Influenza
CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory
Jan 15 - CDC Recommendations for Influenza Antiviral Medications
2012
CDC Alert: Multistate Investigation of Meningitis & Stroke Associated with
   Epidural Steroid Injections
Last updated January 7, 2013

CDC is coordinating a multi-state investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received epidural steroid injections (medication injected into the spine). Several of these patients have had strokes related to the meningitis. Cases have all linked to back injections with steroids distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle. Fungal meningitis is not contagious. For additional information on the investigation visit the CDC web site.

A total of four clinics in Ohio were identified to have received one of the recalled lots from the NECC associated with illness. One is from here in Franklin County – the Ortho-Spine Rehab Center in Dublin. That clinic, along with Franklin County Public Health, has contacted the patients who received the recalled epidural and advised them what symptoms to closely watch for.

On October 3, 2012, NECC ceased all production and initiated recall of all methylprednisolone acetate (a steroid medication) and other drug products prepared for injections in and around the spinal cord (known as intrathecal administration). On October 6, NECC announced a recall of all its products. A complete list of all products subject to this recall can be accessed here. Franklin County Public Health, Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) alerted health care providers to inform them of symptoms that could be cause by the tainted drug as well as updated lists of recalled products.

All health care providers have been asked to follow-up with patients who received any injectable products from NECC since May 2012. The products on the expanded list have not been linked to any illnesses, FDA is providing the information out of an abundance of caution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided states with a list from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of all facilities that purchased NECC products during that time frame. ODH is making the list of the 64 Ohio facilities available online to aid in the outreach to patients. The list includes any provider who bought a NECC product since May 21, 2012, even topical products, which FDA has indicated are low- or no-risk products.

For details on cases in Ohio visit the Ohio Department of Health web site.

Fungal Meningitis related to this recall is considered a Class A Disease and must be reported within 24 hours.

CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Alerts
Dec 3 - Update: Additional Contamination Identified in Medical Products from New England Compounding Center
Nov 20 - Update: Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis and Other Infections Associated with Contaminated Steroid Medication
Nov 1 - Contamination Identified in Additional Medical Products from New England Compounding Center
Nov 1 - Voluntary Recall of All Ameridose Medical Products
Oct 23 - Issuance of Guidance on Management of Asymptomatic Patients Who Received Epidural or Paraspinal Injections with Contaminated Steroid Products
Oct 17 - Update: Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis and Joint Infections Associated with Contaminated Steroid Medications
Oct 8 - Multistate Outbreak of Meningitis and Stroke Associated with Potentially Contaminated Steroid Medication
Oct 4 - Meningitis and Stroke Associated with Potentially Contaminated Product

CPH & FCPH Update
Oct 7 - Ohio Emergency Medicine Care Providers Memo

Ohio Department of Health News Releases
Oct 16 - Ohio Department of Health News Release
Oct 11 - Ohio Department of Health News Release
Oct 8 - Ohio Department of Health News Release
Oct 6 - Ohio Department of Health News Release
Oct 5 - Ohio Department of Health News Release

CDC Recommendations for Clinicians
Because recommendations are evolving daily, please visit the CDC web site for the most current guidelines.

Oct 6 - Treatment Guidance for Fungal Meningitis
Oct 6 - Diagnostic Testing & Specimen Submission Guidance
Oct 6 - Case Definition

Shigella
West Nile Virus
Flu Virus From Swine Exposure - H3N2v
Last updated October 5, 2012

As of September 28, 307 cases of variant Influenza A ("H3N2v") associated with swine exposure have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To see the breakdown of the 10 states with cases, visit the CDC web site.

As of the end of September there were 107 confirmed cases in Ohio. Those with confirmed cases are between the ages six months and 61 years. Most ill individuals have recovered on their own or were treated and released after a short stay in the hospital. One death in Madison County has been associated with H3N2v. Individuals most likely became ill with the flu virus after exposure to swine. Some limited human-to-human passage of the virus has been confirmed. To see the breakdown of the counties with cases visit the Ohio Department of Health web site.

Because of the number of cases in Ohio, as well as confirmed H3N2v activity in other states, Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health are conducting enhanced surveillance for outbreaks and unusual cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILI). ILI is defined as fever 100° F and cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than influenza.

Who is at Risk
People in close proximity to live infected swine, such as in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs. Children, pregnant women, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems should be especially careful around swine.

Reporting Instructions
For all persons with ILI that report direct contact with swine, please complete the Novel Virus Infection Confidential Case Report Form. Call (614) 525-8888 to report and fax form to (614) 525-8890.

Lab and Specimen Testing

At this time, Ohio Department of Health Lab will accept specimens for testing in the following situations:

  1. Any outbreak of ILI: two or more cases of ILI with a common exposure (e.g. day care centers, exposure to swine, fair attendance)
  2. Children hospitalized with ILI
  3. Adults hospitalized with severe ILI (i.e., ICU)

For patients in Franklin County and Columbus who fall under the above situations, please call the Franklin County and Columbus disease reporting line at (614) 525-8888 to report a suspected case and arrange for sample submission.

H3N2v Resources
CDC Information on H3N2 Variant Influenza A Viruses
CDC Reports Cases 14-17 of H3N2v Infection; Shares Advice for Safe Fair-Going

Ohio Department of Health News Releases
Aug 31 - Ohio Documents First H3N2v-Associated Death
Aug 24 - Ohio Documents 98 Human Cases of Influenza A H3N2v
Aug 14 - H3N2v Update: 54 Cases Confirmed
Aug 10 - County Fair Outreach Underway
Aug 08 - Additional H3N2v Cases Confirmed in Ohio
Aug 06 - Additional H3N2v Cases in Ohio Confirmed by CDC
Aug 03 - State Officials Continue Flu Surveillance and Prevention
Aug 02 - Health Officials Confirm Flu Virus Strain from Butler County Fair
Aug 01 - Health Officials Investigating Flu Illnesses from Butler County Fair

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Aug 3 - CDC Increase in Influenza A H3N2v Virus Infections in Three U.S. States
Aug 3 - Healthcare Provider Advisory
Aug 3 - Influenza A Novel Virus Infection Confidential Case Report

2011
E. Coli
Pertussis
2010
Pertussis
Oct 22 - Health Alert
Jul 13 - Health Alert
Jul 13 - News Release
2009
Influenza - H1N1