Disease Tracking Reports
When disaster strikes, Public Health is an important part of the response whether it is related to mass casualties, nationwide illness outbreaks, or natural disasters. El Paso County is no stranger to natural disasters as we have recently endured two of the most devastating fires in Colorado history and significant flooding within an 18 month period.
Providers and patients alike can experience confusion about Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) and active tuberculosis disease. The Mantoux skin test (TST), as well as the Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood tests identify the immune system reaction to TB. These tests are not diagnostic for TB disease. In fact, if the immune system has failed to contain the TB antigens, testing for a measurable immune response may produce a negative result related to high disease burden. A positive TST or IGRA test is an indication of a latent infection, which is asymptomatic. World Health Organization estimates onethird of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB).
On June 28, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified of 2 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection in Iowa residents who had become ill in June and did not have a history of international travel during the 14 days before the onset of illness. Since that date, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in multiple states and the US Food andDrug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of cyclosporiasis. As of July 29, CDC is reporting 372 cases from 15 states and New York City.
Hepatitis A rates in the United States have declined by 95% since Hepatitis A vaccine first became available in 1995 (See graph on right). In 2010, 1,670 acute symptomatic cases of Hepatitis A were reported, with an incidence of 0.6/100,000, the lowest rate ever recorded. So this spring, when health departments in several states noticed an increase in Hepatitis A cases among people who were not international travelers, suspicions were raised that there may be a common source.
The first identified cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in humans occurred in China during February and March 2013. Like H5N1 influenza viruses that first appeared roughly a decade ago, transmission of the virus to humans has been primarily from poultry.
El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) Laboratory is pleased to announce the addition of the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT) test to its offerings.
Communicable disease epidemiologists at El Paso County Public Health investigated 55 outbreaks in 2012, which are summarized in the table below. Fifteen (27%) outbreaks had a common, point source. Forty (73%) outbreaks were spread person-to-person. Seven (13%) outbreaks were foodborne in nature. The most common etiology of outbreaks was norovirus with 41 (75%) outbreaks, followed by pertussis with 5 (9%) outbreaks. The majority of outbreaks were reported from long-term care facilities (60%), but other settings included retail food establishments (13%), schools (9%), medical offices, hospitals, pool, homeless shelter, and a military base.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Related to a variety of pathogens (see chart), these illnesses are sometimes associated with local, state or national outbreaks.
Colorado is experiencing significant influenza activity, with a cumulative total of 373 influenza-related hospitalizations from 25 counties being reported between October 7 and December 29.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Noroviruses are very contagious and can be found in contaminated food. They can live on surfaces, or be spread through contact with an infected person.
More than 32,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported this year in the USA, claiming 16 lives -- mostly babies. Like most areas, El Paso County has seen a sharp increase this year, including recent outbreaks in middle school and high school populations.
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States.