Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
FoodNet provides active surveillance for seven bacterial pathogens (Campylobacter, E.coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia enterocolitica) and two parasitic organisms (Cryptosporidia, and Cyclospora).
When Maryland began performing FoodNet surveillance for these pathogens in 1998, the catchment area was limited to the Baltimore Metropolitan Area (BMA). The BMA consists of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. In 2000, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County were added to the catchment area. And finally in 2002, FoodNet surveillance went statewide. Currently, Maryland represents approximately 12.5% of the total FoodNet catchment area (roughly 41.5 million US residents).
Influenza Surveillance Network (FluSurv-Net)
Influenza, commonly known as "the flu," is a respiratory virus responsible for causing sickness in anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population each year. For most of us, getting the flu means experiencing symptoms such as fever, malaise, body aches, cough and sore throat. However, for those who are more vulnerable, such as young children, older adults, immunocompromised individuals, and people with certain chronic health problems, the flu can be more serious and can lead to complications requiring hospitalization.
The flu is highly contagious. The best way to protect yourself and those around you from the influenza virus is by getting an annual flu shot. The flu season runs from October through April of each year, with peak activity often occurring in January or slightly later. Although the ideal time to get a flu shot is between October and mid-November, vaccination can occur anytime during the flu season.
Two types of flu viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year; they are influenza type A and influenza type B. Maryland EIP has been performing surveillance in the Baltimore metropolitan area for hospitalized cases of influenza types A & B for adults since 2005 and for children since 2003. Since April 2009, surveillance for adult and pediatric hospitalized cases of the 2009 H1N1 strain has been ongoing.
For more information on influenza and influenza vaccines, please visit the following sites:
1.CDC, Influenza: The Disease. (n.d.) Retrieved April 6, 2009, from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm
Healthcare-Associated Infections-Community Interface (HAIC)
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are infections that patients acquire while receiving medical and surgical care. Multiple sources cite the toll these infections take on people and on national/state budgets. In 2002 HAIs were associated with an estimated 99,000 deaths and a financial burden of $28 to $33 billion in excess healthcare costs. Traditionally prevention and surveillance (ongoing, systematic use of health data to guide public health action) of these infections has been almost exclusively within the purview of acute care hospitals. Prevention projects were primarily conducted by the large academic medical centers; involvement by public health has been limited. For the first time The Recovery Act has provided funding to accelerate HAI prevention, and the opportunity for public health to become more involved in these activities. Maryland HAI prevention program achievements in the past year have been accomplished in partnership with infection preventionists, physicians, laboratorians, prevention collaboratives, advisory committees, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Denominator Simplification Project
The purpose of the Denominator Simplification Project, an Emerging Infections Program (EIP) endeavor, is to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of using a less resource intense method for gathering health information (denominator data). Currently the most common way of collecting information for monitoring device associated bloodstream infections is to manually count the number of patients with a central line (a catheter placed in a large vein to administer medication or fluids) on a daily basis. The focus of this project is to compare data collected in this manner (routine method) to denominator data collected one time a week (simplified method). If analysis shows that the simplified method is a valid alternative, then this will generate substantial time-savings in completing this task. An expected average of 80 hours/year time-savings will provide direct benefits for hospitals and healthcare staff, by reduction in future resources needed to collect denominator data for HAI surveillance.
HAI Prevalence Survey
This past year (2010) three Maryland hospitals voluntarily participated in a CDC preliminary HAI and antimicrobial use prevalence survey. Maryland was one of 10 other EIP states participating in this project (CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY, OR, and TN). The purpose of the survey was to estimate the number of HAIs occurring in hospitalized patients as well as to gain a broader understanding of antimicrobial prescribing practices. In addition to estimating HAI prevalence, determination of the prevalence and nature of antimicrobial use is essential to developing strategies to promote appropriate use. The full-scale, statewide survey of acute care hospitals is scheduled for the spring/summer of 2011. It is hoped that this prevalence survey will provide information for targeting surveillance and prevention efforts.
For more information on Healthcare Associated Infections, please visit:
Lyme Disease and Other Tickborne Diseases (TickNet)
The Emerging Infections Programs of the Maryland, Connecticut and New York Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are conducting a study to determine if tickborne diseases can be prevented with a single, targeted pesticide application to yards.
If you'd like to learn more, please contact the Maryland Lyme Study Coordinator at 888-668-1856 (toll-free) or email at BeTickFree@dhmh.state.md.us. Let them know you're interested and how they can best contact you (phone numbers, email addresses, mailing address, preferred contact method, and times of day that are convenient). Visit the study website at http://www.betickfree.com/
For more information on Lyme Disease and Other Tickborne Diseases, please visit: Maryland Center for Zoonotic and Vector-borne Disease