In The News

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) August 2020

It is important to realize that this time, between August and November is the peak time for AFM.   Furthermore,  EMS Personnel and other First Responders should be aware of the signs and symptoms and other presentations of the syndrome, as well as how to further assess, monitor, stabilize/treat, and transport an individual (typically a child) with possible AFM.  The inability to recognize and manage AFM appropriately, including transport to an appropriate hospital, may result in a worsening condition and...

Ebola Cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The Ebola outbreak in the DRC Equateur Province in Mbandaka continues to produce new cases with a total of 74 known cases and 32 deaths.  There was only one new case reported on August 3 and no new deaths, but one new case and one new death reported on August 5 by the WHO African Regional Office.  

Updated FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning 8-5-20

There is an ongoing and escalating issue with hand sanitizers manufactured in some factories in Mexico, and sold in stores throughout the U.S, that pose a danger to those who use them.  This is due to either methanol being added or substituted for ethyl or isopropyl alcohols, or subpotent percentages of appropriate alcohols in them. 

FDA Warning about Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

Executive Summary: The FDA has put out a recommendation that advises all consumers to NOT use any hand sanitizer products manufactured in Mexico by the company ESKbiochem SA de CV.  There is potential for these products to contain methanol (aka wood alcohol), which can be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.  The FDA notified the manufacturer (6/17/20) that they should remove the products from sale but the company has not yet responded.  The FDA suggests that anyone...

FDA Alert for Two Neuromuscular Blockade Meds 6-17-20

Executive Summary: The FDA is reportedly sending healthcare providers notice of temporary approval of a missing ‘Paralyzing Agent’ warning from the caps of vials of certain strengths of two neuromuscular blockade IV medications, namely vecuronium bromide and rocuronium bromide.  The affected products, with NDC numbers, manufacturers, and recommendations can be found at the FDA link below.  The missing vial cap warning is important as a safety reminder for a high-risk medication.  More complete details can be found in the body...

Upgrade Your Life Podcast with Del Denney – Super Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of Covid-19 | A Conversation with Mike Taigman

As a popular educator and author for several decades, Mike has focused on helping folks in emergency medical services take better care of themselves so they can take better care of their patients and communities. In this podcast, Mike shares strategies and discusses his new book Super Charge Your Stress Management in the Age of COVID-19.

New Ebola Outbreak NW DRC Declared 6-1-20

Executive Summary: On 6/1/20, the WHO announced a new outbreak of Ebola in the Northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the same area that had a short outbreak in May 2018.  WHO Responders & partners are already there and have done sampling & testing; more responders and supplies are on their way, including vaccine.  In this new outbreak, there are 9 cases, 5 of which have been fatal, and one healthcare workers infected.  This outbreak is...

Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response Survey

Dear Colleague There has never been a more important time to draw on real world experience to improve pediatric disaster readiness. You are invited to participate in a short survey on pediatric disaster education.  This less than 20 minute survey is being conducted by the Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response as part of the ASPR National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program #1U3REP190615-01-00.  Your responses will identify gaps in pediatric disaster education and training and will serve to inform future...

More Than a Pile of Data with Todd Stout

Podcast with IAED - Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response, hosted by Becca Barrus. Todd Stout, president and founder of FirstWatch, discusses the role of FirstWatch in COVID-19 surveillance, lessons learned from the Ebola virus outbreak, and the importance of emergency dispatchers increasing their resilience.

EMS Today Show Interview with Todd Stout on COVID-19

JEMS Editor Emeritus AJ Heightman interviewed FirstWatch president Todd Stout on COVID-19. Todd shares some history of FirstWatch helping with health surveillance and emerging infectious diseases, ways that FirstWatch customers are using data during this pandemic, the importance of resilience, and our commitment to helping provide helpful and actionable information for all first responders via our health intelligence pages, webinars, and articles.

New COVID-19 Resource Page on EMS.gov

A new COVID-19 resource page on EMS.gov provides easy to find links to the most relevant and up-to-date information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NHTSA Office of EMS and other Federal agencies involved in the response to the pandemic. This includes guidance for treating potential COVID-19 patients, information on PPE use and supplies and processes for handling healthcare providers who have been exposed to coronavirus.

Ryan White Act Expanded to Include COVID-19 Reporting

Executive Summary: For those Public Safety Agencies reporting an employee’s possible exposure, and expecting notification of a positive COVID-19 disease result from the hospital or public health officer, the expanded Ryan White Act of 2009 update has been published by NIOSH/CDC and will address this issue.  Furthermore, emergency response employees covered by the Act have been defined.  Full Report: The CDC/NIOSH has updated the Infectious Diseases and Circumstances Relevant to Notification of Emergency Response Employees: Implementation of Sec.2695 of the Ryan...

COVID-19 Update 2/25/20

Executive Summary: The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving into a global event which potentially puts people all over the world at risk for being infected by it.  Although it not as lethal as SARS-CoV or MER-CoV, it does, in some countries, seem to have very efficient sustained person to person transmission, which requires careful monitoring and updated recommendations and guidance to hopefully prevent a pandemic.  Today’s report includes a Situation Update from both the CDC and PHAC, as well...

Atypical Pneumonia Outbreak in China – Updates #1 & #2 for 1/7/20 and 1/8/20

IN THE NEWS Late Afternoon/Evening Update for 1/8/20 -- An Organism Identified: In the afternoon hours of the January 8th, multiple American news agencies, citing sources close to the ongoing investigation, as well as from the WHO, began posting on-line articles that state a novel coronavirus has been identified in some of the hospitalized patients associated with the Wuhan, China pneumonia outbreak.  It is important to note that, per the Wall Street Journal, it has not been confirmed to be...

Atypical Pneumonia in China Province Tied to Seafood Market

IN THE NEWS This information is being published only for awareness because there has been confirmation that a small outbreak of what is thought to be a viral pneumonia/respiratory infection is being investigated by The National (China) Health and Health Commission, the Heath Commission of Hubei Province, and the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.  Reports have also been made by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) and Taiwan’s CDC.  At last report, 12/31/19, the outbreak consisted of 27 individuals with...

Measles in the US & Results of a Human Study on Measles that Warrants Exploring

Measles Update: As 2019 winds down in just a little over a week, there were less cases (8) in November 2019, than in any previous month in 2019 except September, which had 6 cases; October had 13.  It is still too early to report December’s numbers since reporting & recording to the CDC is only through Dec 5 at this time, but there are currently no reported cases for December.  Those numbers, as well as the total for the entire...