CURRENT TOPICS IN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
The following are public health issues currently being monitored for situational awareness. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list of issues that may be impacting military populations. The cognizant NEPMU is available to advise on and assist with these and other issues, with support for case investigation activities, laboratory testing, reporting guidelines, and control measure implementation.
The 2017-2018 influenza season for the Northern Hemisphere is starting and vaccine is becoming available within the DoD. NMCPHC is tracking the Influenza burden closely via weekly situation reports. NMCPHC has updated its influenza surveillance advisory for the 2017-2018 season in hopes of assisting preventive medicine departments to be proactive in their preparedness. The Advisory outlines guidance on influenza reporting in DRSi, ESSENCE surveillance, and D&I resources.
2017-2018 Influenza Surveillance Advisory
NMCPHC Influenza Webpage
NMCPHC Weekly Influenza Situation Reports
Influenza Talking Points
Recent warmer winters have led to an increased tick population, which can increase the likelihood of tick-borne infections such as Powassan virus. Reducing exposure to ticks is key to preventing these infections.
NMCPHC Powassan Virus Info Sheet
NMCPHC is tracking public health reports concerning the spread of Zika virus. Zika virus generally causes mild illness, with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Recently, Zika virus infections in Brazil have been associated with microcephaly in infants. CDC has issued a travel advisory recommending that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area with ongoing Zika virus transmission.
Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, the same vector that transmits chikungunya and dengue viruses. Therefore, existing installation vector control efforts for chikungunya and dengue are also effective for Zika virus.
NMCPHC Zika Virus Webpage
NMCPHC Zika Virus Info Sheet
CDC Zika Virus Webpage
In 2013, the first locally acquired cases of chikungunya (CHIK) were reported in the Americas, on islands in the Caribbean. CHIK virus is transmitted via the Aedes mosquito and has caused outbreaks in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. CHIK infections present similarly to other febrile illnesses that are often also endemic to the same areas, including dengue, leptospirosis, and malaria. Personal protective measures are essential to preventing infections with CHIK and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Chikungunya Surveillance Advisory (updated 30 October 2015)
NMCPHC Chikungunya Webpage
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
In May 2015, an outbreak of MERS-CoV was identified in the Republic of Korea (ROK), the largest outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula. Many reported cases have been linked to hospital-associated outbreaks. The risk for DoD personnel remains low, and no MERS-CoV transmission has been identified in the United States or in the DoD population.
MERS-CoV Surveillance Advisory (updated 23 June 2015)