Guardian of Public Health - April 2016

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

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News and Articles

Preparing for Emergencies: A Legal Perspective

Whether it’s taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle, preventing diseases, or preparing for an emergency or natural disaster, public law is an important tool to promote and protect public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) develops legal tools and provides technical assistance to public health colleagues and policymakers to help keep their communities safer and healthier.

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Zika and Birth Defects: What We Know and What We Don’t

Before October 2015, the few scientists who knew much about the Zika virus could have summed it up in two words: mostly harmless.

That’s still largely true. The virus, which is mainly spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes no or very mild symptoms in most people who catch it. But last October, northeastern Brazil reported an abrupt rise in the number of babies born with an abnormally small head, a condition known as microcephaly. 

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Training & Events

Michigan Rural Health Conference

April 21 and 22, 2016
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) invites you to attend the 2016 Michigan Rural Health Conference. Session topics include: Improving access to care using telemedicine, care management and coordination, managing rural population health, rural opioid abuse and essential skills for healthcare leaders. More information can be found at: 

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Tools & Resources

Zika Tools For Healthcare Providers

The Centers for Disease Control released tools for healthcare providers to diagnose Zika infection. These include testing algorithms and head circumference measurement guidance. 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

“Connect, Prepare, Save Lives”

Mike Gregg - Region 6 Healthcare Coalition Coordinator

Region 6 Healthcare Coalition and Region 6 Public Health have coordinated the Special Pathogens Preparedness Conference: Connect, Prepare, Save Lives. The conference will be on June 8 and 9, with an engaging tabletop exercise on June 10 at the Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center in Grand Rapids. 

At the conference, participants will hear about best practices and the experiences of preparedness experts such as: Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells, MD, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Health Officer Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County Health and Human Services; David VanDyke, MD, Spectrum Health and more. Breakout sessions include a Personal Protective Equipment workshop by Kenneth Shawl, Spectrum Health and Legionella from Dr. Janet Stout, Special Pathogens Laboratory. 

Heather Bair-Brake, MS, DVM, DACVPM from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will close the conference with an engaging talk about zoonotic Disease.

Registration opens statewide on April 18.  If you want to attend both the conference and the exercise, you must register for both separately. Registration information and session descriptions will be online at Course ID: 1061790 (Conference) and Course ID: 1062526 (Tabletop Exercise).

Over a Third of Young Children in Michigan are Susceptible to Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Cristi Bramer, MPH, MCIR Epidemiologist, MDHHS Division of Immunization

Before children are two years of age, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends vaccination to prevent 14 infectious diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), polio, influenza, rotavirus, and invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaccines are our best defense against these infections, which may cause serious complications, even death. Read More>>

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Effectiveness of N95 Respirators Versus Surgical masks in Protecting Health Care Workers From Acute Respiratory Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviewed clinical and exposure data to measure the ability of N95 and surgical masks to prevent acute respiratory infection.  Several electronic databases and the grey literature for relevant studies published from January 1990 to December 2014 were searched. They identified 6 clinical studies overall that compared N95 and surgical masks.  The analysis showed there was insufficient data to conclude N95 masks performed better than surgical masks to prevent acute respiratory infection.  Read More>>

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