Guardian of Public Health - November 2016

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

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News and Articles

The Ethics of Hunting Down ‘Patient Zero’

The New York Times discusses whether or not it is right to hunt for the very first first case in an outbreak.  

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Training & Events

Zika - The Science and the Situation

Archived Webinar

This one-hour, five-minute presentation provides an update on the Zika outbreak, and discusses the science and the medical, public, health, environmental, social, and ethical implications that make this disease an urgent global challenge. Topics include a history of Zika, patterns of mosquito-borne disease transmission, distribution of the aedes aegypti mosquito, and why Zika is spreading now.

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Tools & Resources

MATx - Mobile App to Support Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

MATx empowers health care practitioners to provide effective, evidence-based care for opioid use disorders. This free app from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) supports practitioners who currently provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as those who plan to do so in the future.

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Texas A&M Zika App

This mobile app is designed to present information about the Zika virus, such as transmission and prevention, in an easy to read format. A brief survey allows users to upload container counts found at various locations to identify potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes that may carry Zika, including sources of standing water.

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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

Bureau of Laboratories 2016 Influenza Surveillance

The start of the 2016-17 flu season is here, and we have already seen sporadic flu activity in the State of Michigan. The first official week of the flu season was October 2 - 8, 2016. During this week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) confirmed the first two cases of influenza for this season as human seasonal influenza A/H3.

Influenza associated hospitalizations and associated pediatric mortality are listed on the 2016 Nationally Notifiable Conditions. The Sentinel Physician and Sentinel Laboratory Programs, consisting of medical providers and laboratory sites from different locations throughout Michigan, provide surveillance data for influenza activity. While participation in this program is voluntary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and MDHHS BOL highly encourage continual participation from all sentinel providers.

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Emergency Preparedness: Small Steps Towards Disaster Preparedness

Do 1 Thing is a national nonprofit based in the Lansing Office of Emergency Management. Started in 2006 as a primarily web-based program, Do1Thing has now turned into an award-winning program recognized by organizations such as the CDC and FEMA. Our 12-month program features a new preparedness theme each month and that are easy, cost-friendly tips to help individuals and business prepare for emergencies and disasters. You can learn more at

The theme for November is “Emergency Supplies”

Emergencies are easier to handle when you have prepared ahead of time. Put together an emergency kit with important items to keep at home, and a go bag with items you will need to take with you if you evacuate. Think about what you and your family would need in a disaster. You can make kits for your home, car or workplace. Emergencies can happen anywhere.

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NYU Report: U.S. Public’s Perception of Zika Risk: Awareness, Knowledge, and Receptivity to Public Health Interventions

The public health sector is presently on high alert for evidence of local transmission of the Zika virus in the continental United States as well as infections that have been acquired elsewhere and imported into the U.S. A number of national, state, and local health officials are actively engaged in vector control, surveillance, and diagnostic and communication activities focused on the Zika virus. Even if major outbreaks do not materialize, public health officials are concerned about the possibility of a sharp increase in babies born with congenital birth defects and other neurological deficits linked to Zika viral infections among pregnant women.

This high level of situational awareness and concern within the public health sector, though, is not mirrored among the general public. Although most U.S. residents are generally aware of the virus, their specific knowledge regarding the virus’s symptoms and transmission routes is incomplete, their personal sense of threat of Zika infection is relatively muted, and their receptivity to various public health intervention strategies varies by such factors as their gender, their age, and their political ideology, among other characteristics.

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