July 2017 - Guardian of Public Health

Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness

Beach with a wave of water

News and Articles

The Opioid Epidemic is so Bad that Librarians are Learning How to Treat Overdoses

Long viewed as guardians of safe spaces for children, library staff members like Kowalski have begun taking on the role of first responder in drug overdoses. In at least three major cities — Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco — library employees now know, or are set to learn, how to use the drug naloxone, usually known by its brand name Narcan, to help reverse overdoses.

Their training tracks with the disastrous national rise in opioid use and an apparent uptick of overdoses in libraries, which often serve as daytime havens for homeless people and hubs of services in impoverished communities.

The Opioid Epidemic is So Bad that Librarians are Learning How to Treat Overdoses>>

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Training & Events

Emergency Medical Services and Infectious Diseases: Challenges and Resources for Provider Protection

Archived Webinar

This one-hour, seven-minute webinar from TRACIE (Technical Resources, Assistance Center, Information Exchange) discusses the challenges to the emergency medical services (EMS) community related to infectious disease, and is intended to help EMS personnel assess potential infectious risks and take steps to prevent disease transmission. It introduce TRACIE's EMS Infectious Disease Playbook, a reference for infectious disease patient transport. Speakers also discuss the resources available to EMS dispatchers, providers, and physicians.

Emergency Medical Services and Infectious Diseases: Challenges and Resources for Provider Protection>>

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Michigan Prepares


MI Volunteer Registry

The Michigan Update

Zika Virus Testing at the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories

Teresa Miller – Chemical Threat Response Coordinator – Bureau of Laboratories – Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Starting May 2016, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) began testing patient specimens with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) MAC-ELISA assay for Zika IgM antibodies and the Trioplex PCR assay for Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viral RNA. Michigan has included dengue and chikungunya IgM antibody testing in their Emerging Arbovirus panel due to the extensive cross reactivity between Zika and dengue viral antibodies. All three Arbo viruses, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, are acquired in areas with Zika transmission and display similar clinical manifestations. Currently, Michigan is not experiencing any localized transmission of Zika, dengue, or chikungunya viruses, since the carrier mosquitoes are not found in this state.

Zika Virus Testing at the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories>>

Bringing People with Disabilities to the Emergency Planning Table

Alice Hoffman – Program Coordinator - Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Initiative - Disabilities Health Unit  – Michigan Department of health and Human Services

Emergency preparedness is an essential part of public health. In a disaster, emergency preparedness becomes emergency response – evacuating individuals from flooded areas, distributing food and water to towns wrecked by a tornado, controlling the spread of a disease, or decontaminating areas after an attack. Effective emergency response cannot happen without good planning. Emergency preparedness starts long before the disaster, and often begins in a conference room with experts gathered around a table. You have state and local public health workers, emergency responders, preparedness experts, epidemiologists, and law enforcement all together in a room, each bringing something different to the table. However, there is an important facet of the population’s needs not represented here – people with disabilities.

Bringing People with Disabilities to the Emergency Planning Table>>

Northern Michigan PHEP a Finalist for the NACCHO National Health Security Award

The Northern Michigan PHEP (which is comprised of the PHEP Collaboration between Benzie Leelanau District Health Department, Grand Traverse Public Health Department, and Health Department of Northwest Michigan) is one of three finalists for the National Health Security Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). NACCHO and ASPR designed this award as a way to highlight local health department projects making a difference at the local level across the country. One winning submission is selected for each of five categories. Awardees are honored for their invaluable contributions and commitment to National Health Security at the NACCHO Annual Conference and profiled in the NACCHO Preparedness Brief blog.

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Challenge of Liquid Stressed Protective Materials and Environmental Persistence of Ebola Virus

After the largest Ebola virus outbreak in history, experts have attempted to answer how the Zaire ebolavirus species emerged in West Africa and caused chains of human-to-human transmission. The widespread and untimely infection of Health Care Workers (HCW) in the affected countries accelerated spread of the virus within the community. Among the reasons attributed to this trend, it must be considered that HCW were exposed to the virus in their occupational environment. The contribution of environmental conditions to the spread of Ebola in West Africa was examined by investigating the effect of temperature/humidity on the virus’s environmental persistence and by modeling if saturation (liquid stress) allows for penetration of Ebola virus through personal protective equipment (PPE). Ebola-Makona virus persisted on PPE and materials found in outbreak settings for less than 72 hours at 27 °C and 80% relative humidity (RH). A difference in virus penetration was observed between dry (5%, 1/21 tests) and saturated (33%, 7/21 tests) samples of PPE. Infectious virus particles penetrated through saturated coupons of Tyvek Micro Clean, Tychem QC, whole surgical masks and N95 respirators. These findings suggest inclusion of saturation or similar liquid stress simulation in protective equipment testing standards.

Challenge of Liquid Stressed Protective Materials and Environmental Persistence of Ebola Virus>>

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Tools & Resources

Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop

The Forum on Microbial Threats of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a 1.5 day workshop to learn about current national and international efforts to develop the capacity to communicate effectively during times of infectious disease outbreaks, and to explore gaps in the research agenda that may help address communication needs to advance the field. This workshop brought together stakeholders at different levels of outbreak detection, preparedness, and response. They reviewed progress and needs in strengthening communication capacity for dealing with infectious disease threats for both outbreaks and routine challenges in the United States and abroad. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to meet the workshop’s objectives.

Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop>>

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