February 2019 - Guardian of Public Health

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

Mittens holding a snow heart

News and Articles

Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alice Frame, MA - MDHHS Disabilities Health Unit

An estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s currently, and that number is only expected to increase. It is the 6th leading cause of death in Michigan.  Symptoms include difficultly remembering newly learned information, disorientation, mood and behavior change, confusion, unfounded suspicions. Alzheimer’s is progressive and eventually leads to more serious memory loss and behavior change, and difficulty speaking, walking, and swallowing.

Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease>>

Training & Events

Medical Legal: What is new?

Adobe Connect Live Webinar

On February 13, 2019, the Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness presents Medical Legal: What is new? from 1-2pm.  The webinar is worth 1 preparatory EMS credit.

To register: MI-TRAIN Course ID: 1082745

Michigan Prepares


MI Volunteer Registry

The Michigan Update

Brief Summary: Acute Flaccid Myelitis

Tiffany Henderson, MPH - Epidemiologist Manager - MDHHS 

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a serious condition that affects the nervous system, specifically an area of the spinal cord called gray matter, causing muscles and reflexes to become weak.  This rare condition is not new, but the number of cases reported since 2014 has increased. Although risk groups vary by year, young children are primarily affected.

Most patients diagnosed with AFM will have a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness, as well as a loss of muscle tone and reflexes. In addition, some individuals may experience facial drooping, difficulty in moving the eyes, and problems with swallowing/speaking. Rarely, there may be pain in the arms or legs. One of the most concerning symptoms is respiratory failure that can occur when there is weakness in the muscles used to breathe.  There are no specific treatments for AFM and interventions are recommended on a case-by-case basis.

Brief Summary: Acute Flaccid Myelitis>>


Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Venezuela as a Regional Public Health Threat in the Americas

Venezuela’s tumbling economy and authoritarian rule have precipitated an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Hyperinflation rates now exceed 45,000%, and Venezuela’s health system is in free fall. The country is experiencing a massive exodus of biomedical scientists and qualified healthcare professionals. Reemergence of arthropod-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases has sparked serious epidemics that also affect neighboring countries. In this article, the researchers discuss the ongoing epidemics of measles and diphtheria in Venezuela and their disproportionate impact on indigenous populations. They also discuss the potential for reemergence of poliomyelitis and conclude that action to halt the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within Venezuela is a matter of urgency for the country and the region. We further provide specific recommendations for addressing this crisis.

Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Venezuela as a Regional Public Health Threat in the Americas>>

Tools & Resources

Building Cultures of Preparedness - Report

This report highlights the vast diversity of American communities and households, indicating that
a one-size-fits-all strategy is not well-suited to the specific demands of variable and distinctive
environments – the Culture of Preparedness will have to be built one community at a time.
Preparedness is a local matter, requiring solutions tailored to different cultural contexts and
embraced by communities. 

Building Cultures of Preparedness - Report>>