Welcome to The EPI Update!
The EPI Update is a quarterly newsletter provided by the disease containment staff of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE). This newsletter will arm health care providers and public health professionals with information about infectious disease trends in Johnson County, Kan. and JCDHE's services. If you have a story idea for a future issue, send an email to jcdhe@jocogov.org. We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues! 
Syphilis cases on the rise in Kansas 

Last week the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that syphilis cases in Kansas increased 52 percent between 2014 and 2016. Kansas had 300 cases of early syphilis reported in 2016 -- 124 cases of primary and secondary syphilis and 176 cases of early latent syphilis. 

Providers are asked to report all positive tests, diagnoses (including suspect and probable diagnoses) and treatment for syphilis to KDHE. Fax reports to 785-559-4225 or call 785-296-6174. 

Please visit KDHE's STI/HIV website for a short video outlining three key actions healthcare providers can take to help reverse rising syphilis rates.  Treatment  guidelines  for syphilis are also available online from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When to report school absences due to illness 

T his is the time of year when gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses strike many schools and family gatherings causing large numbers of students to be absent from school. 

Contact our disease investigators immediately at 913-826-1303 if your school has:
          • 10 percent of students absent due to illness; or a
          • 5 percent increase in absences from one day to the next; or
          • an unusual incident
Our staff will provide information on facility cleaning, specimen containment and help you start a disease investigation. A minimum of three specimens is needed for testing and identifying the cause of the illness. JCDHE will deliver the specimen containers to your school.  
People infected with GI illnesses are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least 3 days after recovery. Refrain from going to work or school until symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has a GI illness fact sheet that you can post on your website or give to students and parents. Call 913-826-1303 if you would like a copy of this fact sheet.
Yellow Fever vaccine out of stock at immunization clinics

T he Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is temporarily out of stock of the Yellow Fever vaccine and does not expect to receive a new supply from the manufacturer until mid-2018.

Travelers and health care providers can find locations with remaining doses of the Yellow Fever vaccine and its alternative, Stamaril, by visiting the yellow fever vaccination clinic search page

For information about which countries require yellow fever vaccination for entry and which countries the CDC recommends yellow fever vaccination, visit the CDC Travelers' Health website (www.cdc.gov/travel).
Flu reports needed for accurate surveillance

Influenza is not a reportable disease in Kansas. Therefore, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment relies on local healthcare providers to provide weekly influenza reports to our disease investigation team. 

Each week, JCDHE's disease investigators compile this information into a weekly influenza surveillance report to track trends in influenza-like illness across Johnson County. The information in these reports tells us what influenza viruses are circulating, when influenza activity is occurring and what kind of impact this activity could have on hospitalizations and deaths. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment tracks influenza across the state too. 

Download and complete this form each week and fax it to 913-826-1300 to help JCDHE get the most accurate picture of influenza activity in Johnson County.
KDHE updates Universal Laboratory Specimen Submission Form 
The Kansas Department of Health and Environmental Laboratories (KHEL) recently updated the Universal Laboratory Specimen Submission Form to include updated public health laboratory options for outbreak, screening, and surveillance testing. 

KHEL recommends specimen collection Monday-Thursday with delivery to KHEL Monday-Friday via FedEx Overnight or 2-Day or UPS Next Day Air or Ground service as delivery times are guaranteed by these carriers. The use of USPS is discouraged for all clinical specimens for mycobacterium testing as the delivery times are not guaranteed by the carrier.

All current and previous versions of the specimen submission form will be accepted. If your facility is in need of new forms, please submit a request to KHEL at least five business days prior to when the forms are needed.

An instructional guide on how to complete the Universal Laboratory Specimen Submission Forms can be found here.
Exhibitors, sponsors needed for 2018 infectious disease conference

Plans are underway for the 2018 Kansas Infectious Disease Symposium to be held May 10-11 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Kansas City/Olathe Hotel & Conference Center. 

Nearly 300 public health leaders, first responders, law enforcement and health care providers from around the region are expected to attend and learn how infectious diseases are contained and managed in the state of Kansas and the Midwest. T he Kansas Department of Health and Environment will offer pre-conference surveillance training on May 9

If you're interested  in exhibiting or being a sponsor at next year's conference, contact  Tiffany Wallin at 913-826-1252 or send an email to Tiffany.Wallin@jocogov.org Registration for this event will begin in early 2018 on Kansas TRAIN. 
Flu shots available at clinics

Flu shots for the 2017-2018 influenza season are available for adults and children (over 6 months) at our walk-in clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Dr.) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.). The cost is $30 for a seasonal flu shot and $50 for the high dose flu shot for those age 65 and older. No appointment is needed. Click here for clinic hours and locations.

We accept private insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Cigna, Coventry, UnitedHealthcare and Medicare Part B. We do not take insurance from Coventry Advantra or Humana Gold Plus. We are a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations such as Amerigroup, Sunflower and United Community. Cash, check or credit card payment is also accepted for those without insurance or who carry other insurance plans.

Clients can save time in line by  completing this form before they arrive. They can also check-in online using the QLess mobile app or click on the "Get in Line Now" button on our  website. For more information, call 913-826-1261.
LECTURE: Got Bit? Rabies testing and animal bite procedures
Dr. Ingrid Garrison, public health veterinarian at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Dr. Susan Moore, rabies laboratory director at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, are partnering with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to provide a FREE lecture to Kansas health care providers, veterinarians and animal control officers about animal bite exposures and rabies testing procedures. 

The lecture takes place Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212. Please RSVP your attendance to Tiffany Wallin at tiffany.wallin@jocogov.org.

More information about rabies and animal bite procedures can be found here
Johnson County Disease and Surveillance Reports
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment produces a monthly disease report listing cases (confirmed, suspect, probable and not a case) that are investigated by our staff. Starting this fall through spring 2018, we will post weekly influenza surveillance reports.

Information and reports about the mosquito surveillance conducted by Johnson County in 2017 and 2016 are also posted on our website. 
Holiday Closures
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's offices and clinics will be closed on the following holidays:
  • Thursday, Nov. 23-Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 (Thanksgiving)
  • Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 (Christmas)
  • Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 (New Year's Day)
  • Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
News from the CDC

New study shows Tdap vaccination during pregnancy can prevent whooping cough in babies

National Influenza Vaccination Week observed Dec. 3-9, 2017

Advice for Providers Treating Patients in or Recently Returned from Hurricane-Affected Areas

Updated guidance for infants born to mothers with possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy

Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks, 2017 (Final Update)
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment |  jcdhe@jocogov.org
REPORT A DISEASE:  (913) 826-1303; Fax: (913) 826-1300
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