Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine

Tallahassee, Florida, United States

Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine

Tallahassee, Florida, United States
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Weis K.E.,University of South Carolina | Weis K.E.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Liese A.D.,University of South Carolina | Hussey J.,University of South Carolina | Duffus W.A.,University of South Carolina
Journal of Rural Health | Year: 2010

Context: Rural areas in the southern United States face many challenges, including limited access to health care services and stigma, which may lead to later HIV diagnosis among rural residents.Purpose: To investigate the associations of rural residence with timing of HIV diagnosis and stage of disease at diagnosis.Methods: Timing of HIV diagnosis was categorized as a diagnosis of acquired immune deficiency syndrome within 1 year of a first positive HIV test or HIV-only. Stage of disease was based on initial CD4+ T-cell count taken within 1 year of diagnosis. County of residence at HIV diagnosis was classified as urban if the population of the largest city was at least 25,000; it was classified as rural otherwise. Logistic regression was used to analyze timing of HIV diagnosis, and analysis of covariance was used to analyze stage of disease.Findings: From 2001 to 2005, 4,137 individuals were diagnosed with HIV infection. Of these, 1,129 (27%) were rural and 3,008 (73%) were urban residents. Among rural residents, 533 (47%) were diagnosed late, compared with 1,258 (42%) urban residents. Rural residents were significantly more likely to be diagnosed late (OR 1.19 [95% CI, 1.02-1.38]). Rural residence was associated with lower initial CD4+ T-cell count in crude analysis (P = .01) but not after adjustment (P > .05).Conclusions: Rural residence is a risk factor for late HIV diagnosis. This may lead to reduced treatment response to antiretroviral medications, increased morbidity and mortality, and greater HIV transmission risks among rural residents. New testing strategies are needed that address challenges to HIV testing and diagnosis specific to rural areas. © 2010 National Rural Health Association.


Blackmore C.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Fagliano J.,Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance | Heumann M.,Office of Environmental Public Health | McGeehin M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | McGeehin M.,Rti International
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice | Year: 2012

Public health surveillance and epidemiology are the foundations for disease prevention because they provide the factual basis from which agencies can set priorities, plan programs, and take actions to protect the public's health. Surveillance for noninfectious diseases associated with exposure to agents in the environment like lead and pesticides has been a function of state health departments for more than 3 decades, but many state programs do not have adequate funding or staff for this function. Following the efforts to identify core public health epidemiology functions in chronic diseases, injury, and occupational health and safety, a workgroup of public health environmental epidemiologists operating within the organizational structure of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists has defined the essential core functions of noninfectious disease environmental epidemiology that should be present in every state health department and additional functions of a comprehensive program. These functions are described in terms of the "10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services" and their associated performance standards. Application of these consensus core and expanded functions should help state and large metropolitan health departments allocate resources and prioritize activities of their environmental epidemiologists, thus improving the delivery of environmental health services to the public. Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Schirmer P.L.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg | Lucero-Obusan C.A.,Federal office of Public Health of Fribourg | Benoit S.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Santiago L.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR), 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US), outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL), in 2009-2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. Methodology: Outpatient encounters from 1/2007-12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009-12/2010) with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE). Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. Findings: Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. Conclusions: Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to emphasize use of diagnostic testing to better understand the magnitude of dengue among Veterans.


Weis K.E.,Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology | Weis K.E.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Hammond R.M.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Hutchinson R.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Blackmore C.G.M.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2011

This study characterized the current epidemiology of vibrio infections in Florida and examined cases reported from 1998 to 2007. Logistic regression was used to determine risk of death. There were 834 vibrio infections in 825 individuals (average annual incidence rate 4·8/1 000 000). Common Vibrio species reported were Vibrio vulnificus (33%), V. parahaemolyticus (29%), and V. alginolyticus (16%). Most exposures were attributed to wounds (42%), and the most common clinical syndromes were wound infections (45%) and gastroenteritis (42%). Almost half of individuals reported an underlying health condition. Risk of death was associated with any underlying condition and increased with the number of conditions (P<0·0001). In Florida, incidence of vibriosis associated with raw oyster consumption has decreased while incidence associated with wound infections has increased. Most prevention efforts to date have focused on oyster consumption. New educational messages focusing on the risk of vibriosis from wound infections should target high-risk populations. © Copyright Cambridge University Press 2010.


Tanner J.P.,University of South Florida | Salemi J.L.,University of South Florida | Hauser K.W.,University of South Florida | Correia J.A.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Birth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology | Year: 2010

Background: Completeness of case ascertainment is a concern for all birth defects registries and generally requires a multisource approach. Using infant death certificates as one case ascertainment source may identify cases of birth defects that would have otherwise been missed. We sought to examine the utility of adding infant death certificates to the Florida Birth Defect Registry's (FBDR) case ascertainment methods and to determine what factors are associated with the registry's failure to capture infants that die from birth defects. Methods: FBDR cases from 1999 to 2006 were matched to a statewide linked birth-infant death file. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the FBDR's ability to capture infants with a birth defect-related cause of death (COD) and identify conditions most commonly missed. Factors associated with the FBDR's failure to capture an infant who died from a birth defect during the first year of life were identified with logistic regression models. Results: There were 2558 (21.1%) infant deaths with birth defects listed as the underlying or an associated COD, of which the FBDR captured 73.3%. Most often missed defects included malformation of the coronary vessels, lung hypoplasia/dysplasia, anencephaly, and unspecified congenital malformations. Logistic regression identified gestational age/birth weight, age at death, autopsy decision, plurality, adequacy of prenatal care, and maternal nativity as factors associated with the FBDR's failure to capture an infant with a birth defect-related COD. Conclusions: Although the overall potential contribution of infant death certificates to the FBDR is small, this source contributes to the prevalence of specific defects. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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