Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Bug Bytes
October 21, 2003
Vol. 4: No. 12
1. SARS - It's Now Reportable
On October 27, in the State Register, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health is issuing public notice to request reporting of suspect and probable cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and health care workers, who have contact with patients and who are hospitalized with pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This request for reporting takes effect November 7, 2003 and is issued under authority of the Minnesota Communicable Disease Reporting Rule (Minnesota Rules, chapter 4605). These conditions should be reported to us immediately by telephone at 1-(877) 676-5414 or (612) 676-5414.
This move is to prepare us for the possibility of SARS returning. It is in line with recommendations from the CDC, which just published a 170-page SARS planning document (at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/sarsprepplan.htm). On a separate note, the World Health Organization recently published a consensus document on the epidemiology of SARS (at http://www.who.int/csr/sars/archive/epiconsensus/en/).
We are also requesting clinical specimens from suspect and probable SARS cases. Each case should be discussed with a member of the SARS investigative team at the above numbers prior to the submission of specimens. After consultation with us, specimens may also be requested for health care workers hospitalized with ARDS/pneumonia.
There will be a live satellite broadcast/webcast on SARS on Thursday October 23 1:00-2:00 CST (SARS When A Global Outbreak Hits Home). More information is at http://www.publichealthgrandrounds.unc.edu/.
If you have any questions about the public notice or preparing for SARS please contact us at (612) 676-5414.
(You can read more about the public notice at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/
2. The Land of 10,000 Cases - an ABCs Celebration
In April 1995, we instituted population-based active surveillance for emerging invasive bacterial pathogens - the Emerging Infections Program Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (ABCs). This week we received case #10,000 - a case of pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, serotype 22F (this serotype is included in the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine). ABCs includes Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, group A Streptococcus, group B Streptococcus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae collected from sterile sites. These case data linked with other ABCs data from around the country have led to a better understanding of the epidemiology of these pathogens, affected clinical practice, and documented the effectiveness of preventive measures.
3. Upcoming Emerging Infections Conference
Register now for the Friday, November 21, 9th Annual Emerging Infections in Clinical Practice and Emerging Health Threats Conference. Featured speakers will discuss SARS, foodborne disease, zoonotic disease, immigrant health issues, AIDS, dermatological diseases, bioterrorism preparedness and more. The conference brochure and registration form is available on-line at: http://www.med.umn.edu/cme/brochures2003/
Bug Bytes is a combined effort of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division and the Public Health Laboratory Division of MDH. We provide Bug Bytes as a way to say THANK YOU to the infection control professionals, laboratorians, local public health professionals, and health care providers who assist us.
For concerns or questions regarding content, please use our Bug Bytes Feedback Form.
You can also subscribe to the MDH Bug Bytes newsletter.