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Tallahassee, FL, United States

Blackmore C.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Fagliano J.,Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance | Heumann M.,Office of Environmental Public Health | Kass D.,NY | And 2 more authors.
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. Source

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. Source

Harduar-Morano L.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Simon M.R.,Allergy and Immunology Section | Watkins S.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Blackmore C.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Epidemiologic studies of anaphylaxis have been limited by significant underdiagnosis. Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a method for capturing previously unidentified anaphylaxis cases by using International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) based datasets. Methods: Florida emergency department data for the years 2005 and 2006 from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration were used. Patients with anaphylaxis were identified by using ICD-9-CM codes specifically indicating anaphylaxis or an ICD-9-CM algorithm based on the definition of anaphylaxis proposed at the 2005 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network symposium. Cases ascertained with the algorithm were compared with the traditional case-ascertainment method. Comparisons included demographic and clinical risk factors, proportion of monthly visits, and age/sex-specific rates. Cases ascertained with anaphylaxis ICD-9-CM codes were excluded from those ascertained with the algorithm. Results: One thousand one hundred forty-nine patients were identified by using anaphylaxis ICD-9-CM codes, and 1,602 patients were identified with the algorithm. The clinical risk factors and demographics of cases were consistent between the 2 methods. However, the algorithm was more likely to identify older subjects (P < .0001), those with hypertension or heart disease (P < .0001), and subjects with venom-induced anaphylaxis (P < .0001). Conclusion: This study introduces and validates an ICD-9-CM-based diagnostic algorithm for the diagnosis of anaphylaxis to capture subjects missed by using the ICD-9-CM anaphylaxis codes. Fifty-eight percent of anaphylaxis cases would be missed without the use of the algorithm, including 88% of venom-induced cases. © 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Source

Harduar-Morano L.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Simon M.R.,Allergy and Immunology Section | Simon M.R.,Wayne State University | Watkins S.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine | Blackmore C.,Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Background: Previous population-based analyses of emergency department (ED) visits for anaphylaxis have been limited to small populations in limited geographic areas and focused on children or have included patients who had allergic conditions other than anaphylaxis. Objective: We sought to describe the epidemiology and risk factors among patients with anaphylaxis presenting to Florida EDs. Methods: Two thousand seven hundred fifty-one patients with anaphylaxis were identified for 2005-2006 within ED records by using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM), and a validated ICD-9-CM-based algorithm. Age- and sex-specific rates were calculated. Regression analyses were used to determine relative risks for anaphylaxis caused by various triggers (food, venom, and medication) and risk factors (age, sex, race, and ethnicity). Results: The highest observed rates were among the youngest male subjects (8.2/100,000 Floridians aged 0-4 years) and among adult female subjects (15-54 years) grouped in 10-year age categories (9.9-10.9/100,000 Floridians). Male and black subjects were 20% and 25%, respectively, more likely to have a food trigger than female and white subjects. White, male, and older subjects were more likely to have an anaphylaxis-related ED visit caused by insect stings. Venom-induced anaphylaxis was more likely in August through October. Children were less likely than those older than 70 years (referent) to have medication-induced anaphylaxis (P <.03). Conclusion: This is the only ED-based population study in a US lower-latitude state. The overall rate is considerably lower than other US ED-based population studies. The rates of anaphylaxis by age group differed by sex. Male and black subjects were more likely to have a food trigger. © 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Source

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. Source

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