Guardian of Public Health - October 2016

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

October 2016

News and Articles

What Doctors Learned From 42 Infants With Microcephaly

"These babies do not catch up as they grow," says Dr. Antonio Augusto Moura da Silva of the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil.

He's describing the findings from a study of 48 babies whose mothers were believed to have been infected with the Zika virus. Forty-two of the children were diagnosed with microcephaly. The study, on the early neurological growth pattern of the infants, will be published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in November but was released early online.

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Training & Events

Reproductive Health in Emergency Preparedness and Response

Online Training Course

Women of reproductive age (aged 15-44 years), including pregnant and postpartum women, may experience special risks and needs for public health and medical services when disasters and some infectious diseases strike. This course is designed to help address those needs, and includes practice exercises, describes challenges in surveillance of this population, and contains CDC resources about prophylaxis and treatment of pregnant and postpartum women for selected infectious diseases.

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Tools & Resources

HIPAA and Disasters: What Emergency Professionals Need to Know

Disasters and emergencies can strike at anytime with little or no warning and the local healthcare system in the midst of an emergency response can be rapidly inundated with patients, worried family and friends looking for their loved ones, and media organizations requesting patient information. Knowing what information can be released, to whom, and under what circumstances, is critical for healthcare facilities in disaster response. This guide is designed to answer frequently asked questions regarding the release of information about patients following an incident.

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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

Mobile Monitoring for Variant Influenza A/H3N2  

Carly Adams, MPH Region 1 Epidemiologist, MDHHS

Bethany Reimink, MPH Region 5 Epidemiologist, MDHHS 

On August 1, 2016, a pig exhibited at the Muskegon County Fair tested positive for influenza. The sample was later characterized as swine influenza A H3N2.  Subsequently, ill swine exhibitors were tested for influenza and on August 5, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported Michigan’s first case of variant influenza A/H3N2 (H3N2v) infection for 2016.  One additional exhibitor at the fair also tested positive for H3N2v.  Public Health Muskegon County alerted providers of the potential for H3N2v transmission and reached out to exhibitors to identify additional illnesses. Although additional illness were identified, none tested positive for H3N2v.  

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School District Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plans — United States, 2012

The unique characteristics of children dictate the need for school-based all-hazards response plans during natural disasters, emerging infectious diseases, and terrorism. Schools are a critical community institution serving a vulnerable population that must be accounted for in public health preparedness plans; prepared schools are adopting policies and plans for crisis preparedness, response, and recovery. The importance of having such plans in place is underscored by the development of a new Healthy People 2020 objective (PREP-5) to “increase the percentage of school districts that require schools to include specific topics in their crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plans”. Because decisions about such plans are usually made at the school district level, it is important to examine district-level policies and practices.

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