Topics A to Z

As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.

Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) continues to persist in Mississippi; 2012 was the worse year for human infections, with a total of 247 reported human cases and five deaths. Public health officials are keenly interested in ways to detect WNV in advance in their jurisdictions, so they can implement appropriate and timely mosquito control in affected areas. A total of 40,312 female Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were collected by gravid traps in Mississippi in 2013 and 2014 and tested by VectorTest, a rapid immunochromatographic assay (“dip-stick” test) that is a highly specific and effective rapid threat assessment tool. This study evaluated if and to what extent VectorTest could provide advanced warning of impending human WNV cases in a specific area. These data were examined with regard to date of onset of human WNV cases to determine the predictive value of VectorTest for WNV activity. Both years, positive mosquito pools appeared before the vast majority (87.2%) of reported human cases. Overall, in 27 out of 37 human WNV cases (73.0 %) occurring in our study sites, there was an average advanced warning of 26 days (range 11–53 days) as indicated by positive mosquito collections near the patient’s home. This operational health department study, although somewhat limited, reveals that mosquito sampling and testing can inform public health and mosquito control personnel of WNV activity in an area and of impending human cases.

December 2016
December 2016
79.5 | 20-24
Wendy C. Varnado, PhD, Jerome Goddard, PhD

Abstract

Studies have shown that fecal contamination can be determined by conducting multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) analyses. The hypothesis is if bacteria exhibit resistance, they are likely to be derived from organisms exposed to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, this project seeks to apply MAR analysis to nonpoint source (NPS) and combined sewer overflow (CSO) areas along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. Presumptive E. coli was isolated from NPS and CSO samples and tested with eight different antimicrobial agents to assess MAR indices. Isolates from CSO sources showed significantly greater resistance (p < .05) and higher MAR indices, with an average MAR index of 0.36 for CSO samples and 0.07 for NPS samples. It was also revealed that 96.9% of CSO isolates exhibited resistance, versus only 43.8% of NPS isolates. Our study on the Anacostia River using this approach clearly shows fecal coliforms are associated with CSO overflows, indicating that pollution-derived coliform levels are strongly linked to antimicrobial resistance. The implementation of this method as an index for water quality in the remediation of the Anacostia River has the ability to serve as a model and monitoring tool for the rehabilitation of urban watersheds.

October 2016
October 2016
79.3 | 36-39
Gaurav Dhiman, Emma N. Burns, David W. Morris, PhD

Public health policy targeting populations at greatest risk can be used to significantly reduce the burden of foodborne disease. This study calculated incidence rates, disability adjusted life years, and quality adjusted life years estimates for salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis, adjusted for underreporting. Investigators then looked at how these measures of disease burden can contribute to the policy debate on the public health significance of foodborne disease. Targeting food safety activities through proactive public health policy and by using underreporting estimates of reported cases of foodborne illness may raise the issue of foodborne disease in the policy agenda.

July 2015
Andrew Papadopoulos, PhD, MBA, CPHI
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

This presentation shares the Lakota Sioux experience through the view of a USPHS Team Commander who participated in a Community Health and Service Mission, designed to meet the field-based training needs of emergency response teams. During the session, there will also be a discussion of the partnership between the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), the Lakota Sioux Tribe, and a non-government organization (Remote Area Medical). Many photos and cultural experiences will be shared to illustrate the mission.

July 2015
Joe Maloney, MPH, REHS/RS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

As food safety professionals, we have used traditional observational inspection techniques to evaluate a food operation's procedures and training during inspections. Until now, there has not been a clear method for evaluating the verification component of an operation’s food safety systems. This session will engage you in the discovery of FBI risk factors through the use of new behavioral-based food safety interview tools. You'll compare the snapshot observational approach to the discussion/interview approach. Explore how you can integrate these techniques into your daily inspections.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

 

July 2015

This session uses case studies to examine the impact of building materials and particular chemicals on indoor air quality (IAQ) throughout their lifecycle. After attending this talk, environmental health professionals will be able to identify materials that might be the origin of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), identify low-emitting alternative materials, and describe the benefits and value of using sustainable building materials. Come away with a proven method for controlling volatile organic compounds in the indoor environments in your community.

July 2015
Josh Jacobs
Potential CE Credits: 0.50

Abstract

Waterborne outbreaks of salmonellosis are uncommon. The Tennessee Department of Health investigated a salmonellosis outbreak of 10 cases with the only common risk factor being exposure to a single splash pad. Risks included water splashed in the face at the splash pad and no free residual chlorine in the water system. We surveyed water quality and patron behaviors at splash pads statewide. Of the 29 splash pads participating in the water quality survey, 24 (83%) used a recirculating water system. Of the 24, 5 (21%) water samples were tested by polymerase chain reaction and found to be positive for E. coli, Giardia, norovirus, or Salmonella. Among 95 patrons observed, we identified common high-risk behaviors of sitting on the fountain or spray head and putting mouth to water. Water venue regulations and improved education of patrons are important to aid prevention efforts.

June 2017
June 2017
79.10 | 8-12
Joshua L. Clayton, MPH, PhD, Judy Manners, MSc, Susan Miller, MS, Craig Shepherd, MPH
Additional Topics A to Z: Recreational Waters

In 2012, the Plano, TX Mosquito Management Program (MMP) received reports of 28 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) related illnesses, while neighboring counties experienced over 900 combined cases during the same period. Concerned public and heavy media coverage across multiple health jurisdictions made essential the effective communication of Plano Environmental Health Department's MMP activities. This session will cover: insight on political and media relations challenges faced by local environmental health; the post-event evaluation of 2012 mitigation and communication strategies; and additions to 2013 MMP protocols, including the "Fix It Plano" app that gives residents a role in monitoring and surveillance. Attend this session and take away a fresh look at your own WNV mitigation efforts and best practices for use and communication in a public health crisis.

July 2015
Geoffrey Heinicke, MPH, RS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

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