ALERTS & ADVISORIES

item blockCurrent and historical health alerts & advisories by disease, then date.
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2018

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Because you are an important public health partner, we wanted to share an update on Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) and guidance for health care providers.

AFM is a rare but serious condition which affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, with sudden onset of limb weakness, facial droop, dysphagia and dysarthria. Potential etiologies of AFM include viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  is coordinating with state and local health departments, as well as health care providers, to investigate suspected cases of AFM. During 2018, 62 confirmed cases have been reported in 22 states, including four in Ohio. No cases have been confirmed yet this year in Columbus and Franklin County.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(October 22, 2018)



Hepatitis A - 7/16/18

Columbus Public Health (CPH) and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) are currently investigating 10 local cases of hepatitis A associated with the statewide outbreak that the Ohio Department of Health declared in June. All cases are linked to certain risk factors that have been seen in Ohio and nearby states.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(September 14, 2018)



 

Hepatitis A - 7/16/18

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and affected local health departments are investigating an increased number of hepatitis A cases in Ohio. On June 22, 2018 ODH declared a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A after observing an increase in cases linked to certain risk factors. Ohio is reporting 119 hepatitis A cases associated with the outbreak so far this year -- almost double the number of cases reported during all of last year. Hepatitis A outbreaks are occurring in several states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia. To date, there have been no cases linked to the outbreak in Franklin County.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(July 16, 2018)



Ebola Outbreak - Democratic Republic of Congo -5/30/18

Because you are an important public health partner, we wanted to give you an update on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and share some new guidance for healthcare providers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises health care providers in the U.S. to obtain travel history from all patients seeking care. Providers should promptly isolate patients who have symptoms compatible with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and a recent (within 21 days) history of travel to the affected areas in Equateur Province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), pending diagnostic testing. Providers should also consider other infectious disease risks that are much more common in returning travelers, including malaria.

Healthcare providers who suspect Ebola should isolate the patient and report immediately to the Infectious Disease Reporting System (IDRS) at 614-525-8888.

Between April 4 and May 27, 2018, 54 Ebola cases, including 25 deaths, have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the public health risk to be very high at the national level, high at the regional level, and low at the international level. Currently, the outbreak does not meet criteria of an international public health emergency. WHO advises against restriction of travel to DRC based upon currently available information, but continues to closely monitor the situation.

Learn more about Ebola at https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/drc/2018-may.html, http://www.who.int/ebola/en and http://idrsinfo.org/index.php.

Ebola Message (5/30/18)

Ebola Outbreak - Democratic Republic of Congo -5/15/18

Because you are an important public health partner, we wanted to bring you up to date on the newly confirmed Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This is the 9th Ebola outbreak in the DRC since 1976. The DRC Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), is coordinating outbreak response, including isolation of cases, enhanced surveillance, contact tracing, and ring vaccination.

Between April 4 and May 13, 2018, 39 Ebola cases, including 19 deaths, have been reported in DRC. WHO considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the international level. At present, the outbreak does not meet criteria of an international public health emergency. WHO advises against restriction of travel to DRC based upon currently available information, but continues to closely monitor the situation.
Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health have convened a multidisciplinary group to ensure situational awareness and prepare for response to any potential suspected Ebola cases should they occur.

Healthcare providers who suspect Ebola should isolate the patient and report immediately to the Infectious Disease Reporting System (IDRS) at 614-525-8888.

Learn more about Ebola at http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease.

Ebola Message (5/15/18)

Coagulopathies (Bleeding) Linked to Synthetic Cannabinoid Use - 4/17/18

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is coordinationg with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about a multi-state outbreak of vitamin K-dependent antagonist coagulopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoids use.  CDC reported that laboratory testing has confirmed the presence of brodifacoum in at least 30 patients and at least 7 synthetic cannabinoid product samples.  

There are currently no known cases in Ohio.

Health Advisory (4/6/17)
Case Questionnaire
Case Definition
Suspected Syntheitic Cannabinoid Coagulopathy Case Form

 

Zika Virus - September 20, 2017

Ohio Department of Health Laboratory (ODHL) is now able to perform both Zika virus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology immunoglobulin M (IgM). Therefore the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Specimen Submission Form no longer needs to be completed. Instead the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Microbiology Specimen Form and Mosquito-Borne Illness Case Investigation Form must be completed.

Contact the Franklin County & Columbus Infectious Disease Reporting System (IDRS) via phone at 614-525-8888 to report suspected Zika cases and ensure prompt processing of specimens.

Zika Testing Guidance - (September 20, 2017)
CDC Guidance on Caring for Infants and Children with Possible Zika Virus Infection
CDC Guidance to Prevent Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus
CDC Zika Information for Health Care Providers
CDC General Zika Information

Syphilis - May 30, 2017

Early syphilis (primary, secondary, early latent) is rising in Franklin County. Between 2013 and 2016, early syphilis rates increased by ~80%. The rate among men is 59.1/100,000 compared to women at 9.8/100,000.

There have been 2 congenital syphilis cases in 2017.

There is currently a national shortage of Penicillin G benzathine (Bicillin L-A®).

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(May 30, 2017)

Measles - May 25, 2017

A measles outbreak primarily among unvaccinated children in Minnesota is currently under investigation. 58 of 68 cases are among the Somali community in Minnesota. Because of close connections between the Somali communities in Minnesota and Ohio, Columbus Pubic Health and Franklin County Public Health are conducting enhanced outreach to the Somali community to encourage protection with Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(May 25, 2017)
Collection and Submission of Suspected Measles Specimens

Influenza A H7N9 - January 31, 2017

January 28, 2017 is the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is typically associated with increased travel to and from China. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends enhanced surveillance for Influenza A H7N9 in individuals with recent travel to China. Healthcare providers and public health partners should consider influenza A H7N9 virus infection as a possible etiology among travelers returning from China with severe respiratory illness, especially if they have history of exposure to poultry.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(January 31, 2017)

Tuberculosis (TB) - January 24, 2017

Between August and December of 2016, three active cases of Molecular Genotype Cluster OH_0020 TB have been identified in Franklin County. Over the past fourteen years, forty-two Franklin County cases of TB have been linked to this genotype. The majority of cases in this cluster are US-born adults and have a history of homelessness, incarceration, and/or excessive alcohol use.

More details in the Health Advisory below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(January 24, 2017)

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Zika Virus – November 8, 2016

Ohio Department of Health Laboratory (ODHL) is now able to perform both Zika virus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology immunoglobulin M (IgM). Therefore the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Specimen Submission Form no longer needs to be completed. Instead the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Microbiology Specimen Form and Mosquito-Borne Illness Case Investigation Form must be completed.

Contact the Franklin County & Columbus Infectious Disease Reporting System (IDRS) via phone at 614-525-8888 to report suspected Zika cases and ensure prompt processing of specimens.

More details in the Health Advisory linked below.

Public Health Advisory
- Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(November 8, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(October 24, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(August 23, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(August 2, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(July 18, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(June 6, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(May 11, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(May 3, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(April 18, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(March 29, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(March 17, 2016)
Note: If you have problems opening the form linked in the advisory, please use Internet Explorer.

Public Health Advisory – Columbus Public health and Franklin County Public Health
(February 26, 2016)

Public Health Advisory – Columbus Public health and Franklin County Public Health
(February 23, 2016)

Public Health Advisory – Columbus Public health and Franklin County Public Health
(February 12, 2016)

Public Health Advisory – Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(February 11, 2016)

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(January 26, 2016)

Contaminated Heater-Cooler Devices - October 13, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising hospitals to notify patients who underwent open-heart (open-chest) surgery involving a Stöckert 3T heater-cooler that the device was potentially contaminated, possibly putting patients at risk for a life threatening infection. New information indicates that these devices, manufactured by LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH), were likely contaminated with the rare bacteria Mycobacterium chimaeraduring manufacturing. Hospitals should advise potentially exposed patients to seek medical care if they are experiencing symptoms such as night sweats, muscle aches, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or unexplained fever. In addition, hospitals that use or have used this device are strongly encouraged to make and execute a plan to communicate with potentially exposed patients and to increase awareness among healthcare providers.

More details about this advisory can be found at: https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00397.asp.

Cryptosporidiosis – August 11, 2016

A community outbreak of cryptosporidiosis is currently under investigation by Columbus Public Health (CPH), Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) and Delaware General Health District (DGHD). 107 cases have been reported during 2016, while the average incidence since 2006 at this time of year is 18 cases. Most cases had exposure at multiple water venues, including pools, water parks and splash pads. Cases have also been reported among child care attendees and providers.

More details in the Health Advisory linked below.

Public Health Advisory - Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health
(August 11, 2016)

Shigellosis Extremely Drug Resistant– January 11, 2016

The first outbreak in Ohio of extremely drug resistant (XDR) shigellosis among men who have sex with men (MSM) is currently under investigation by Columbus Public Health (CPH) and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH). 9 MSM have been diagnosed with shigellosis resistant to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole. Further susceptibility testing at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that the Shigella sonnei isolates also have decreased susceptibility to azithromycin (DSA). Onset of illness is September 24, 2015 – December 9, 2015.

More details in the Health Advisory linked below.

Shigellosis - Health Advisory

Ebola Screening and Monitoring Ends – January 7, 2016

Dear Central Ohio Area Physicians,

The Ebola response for Columbus and Franklin County is coming to a close. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) declared Guinea free of Ebola virus transmission on December 29, 2015 and no longer recommends screening patients or monitoring travelers. Columbus Public Health (CPH) will complete the 21-day monitoring of our two final travelers on January 15, 2016. Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has already completed monitoring of its travelers. Since October 2014, 550 travelers have been monitored within Columbus and Franklin County: 476 by CPH and 74 by FCPH.

CPH and FCPH appreciate our partners for their efforts to screen, monitor, transport and provide care as part of our local response.  Our healthcare providers and first responders rose to the challenge to protect our residents. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been one of the most challenging public health emergencies in recent times. Our collective efforts and lessons learned will benefit us in the future.  

More details about the outbreak are available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/