Guardian of Public Health - February 2016

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

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News and Articles

Hunt for Ebola’s Wild Hideout Takes Off as Epidemic Wanes

With the official end of Ebola transmission across West Africa anticipated on 14 January, an epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in 2 years may be starting to fade into history. But that does not mean that Ebola has disappeared. The virus remains hidden in animal reservoirs, and is almost certain to spill over into humans again.

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The Spread and Toll of Zika

In the Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski talks about the Zika virus and its spread into the United States.  Nineteen countries currently have active Zika transmission. Read More>>

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Training & Events

Ebola/Special Pathogens Response Network/ Conference and Tabletop Exercise

Lansing, Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness and Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention Epidemiology will host a one day conference and tabletop exercise. 

Date & Location:  March 24, 2016, Crowne Plaza West, Lansing, MI             

Who should attend:  Regional Healthcare Partners includes: Healthcare, Long Term Care, Tribal Health, Local Public Health, Behavioral Health, Emergency Management, EMS and other Health Partners.

Registration is available on MI-TRAIN at course #1058868

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Tools & Resources

Just In Time Disaster Training - Library 

The Disaster Resistant Community Group created an online video library for just-in-time training during an emergency response.  The videos found in this library cover disaster related mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery training for a wide variety areas.  Read More>>

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Michigan Prepares


MI Volunteer Registry

About the Guardian

The Guardian of Public Health is a monthly newsletter from the Bureau of EMS, Trauma, and Preparedness (BETP) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The Guardian aims to provide its readers with relevant content on topics that affect the public health of citizens and communities in Michigan. For questions or comments please contact Kerry Chamberlain at

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The Michigan Update

Norovirus: A New Circulating Strain

Jennifer Beggs and Tiffany Henderson, Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology

You have probably heard it around the office, “it’s that time of year!” Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis and although transmitted year-round, norovirus activity is more common during the winter months. Norovirus is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “stomach flu”, but it is not related to the flu (influenza), which is a respiratory virus. Norovirus illness usually begins 12–48 hours after exposure and lasts 1-3 days.  Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.  A low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue may also be present. Noroviruses spread easily from person-to-person and is the leading cause of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the United States. Read More>>

Multi-Agency Mass Casualty Full-scale Exercise Conducted in Region 2 North (R2N)

Rick Drummer, Region 2 North Regional Healthcare Coalition Coordinator

In October 2015 Region 2 North (R2N) healthcare coalition conducted a multi-agency mass casualty full-scale exercise at the General Motors (GM) Technical Center in Warren, MI.  After reviewing multiple locations, this facility was selected at test the response to a large complex with many buildings and roads.  The scenario was realistic to the site location, which allowed GM to exercise their agency’s response to an incident prior to the arrival of outside support.   Months of planning were needed to develop the exercise scenario and logistics to test the ability of pre-hospital and hospital agencies to respond to an explosion with multiple burn victims.  This collaborative effort was made possible through the efforts of many community partners including: The Macomb County Medical Control Authority and the Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) planning team, the City of Warren Police, Fire, and Public Television, GM, the Macomb County Emergency Management and Public Health Departments, and the R2N Regional Medical Coordination Center, and R2N hospitals and pre-hospital partners.

Read More>>

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Interim Guidelines for the Evaluation and Testing of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection — United States, 2016

CDC has developed interim guidelines for health care providers in the United States who are caring for infants born to mothers who traveled to or resided in an area with Zika virus transmission during pregnancy. These guidelines include recommendations for the testing and management of these infants. Read More>>

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