1996 MONTHLY EPIDEMIOLOGY REPORTS
Erie County Health Department (ECHD)
(Provided with the permission of the ECHD)
SUMMARY FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 1996232 pertussis cases in county through November: big spike. Adults are probably the reservoir. Anybody who is symptomatic should be treated, with their contacts, before laboratory confirmation.
Influenza activity has started. Pneumovax should be up to date.
Warn patients about chitterlings -- watch for Yersinia enterocolitis.
The number of reported cases of pertussis is still increasing. As of 10/25/96, there were 17 reported cases bringing the yearly total to 62. This trend is the same in other counties of NYS as well as nationally. Adults are believed to be the reservoir for pertussis and when found to be symptomatic should be referred for testing.
There were eight reports of food related illness during October. Three were referred to the Environmental Food Outbreak Teams for field investigations and further action. One of the reports resulted in a large scale food outbreak investigation that involved 140 persons. 29 of these persons reportedly became ill following the suspect meal.
Pneumococcal vaccine recommended for: all adults aged 65 years and older and adults of all ages with long-term illnesses that are associated with a high risk, including heart or lung disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cirrhosis, or CSF leaks. Also adults with immunocompromise, including splenectomy, hodgkin's, lymphoma, myeloma, kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome and organ transplant.
For the past two years Erie County has experienced clusters of yersiniosis cases from November through January associated with home preparation of "chitterlings". On Nov. 21, 1996, the NYSDOH, NYS Agriculture and Markets and the ECHD met with vendors who retail "chitterlings" in the area. They have been requested to distribute handling and preparation materials with the product in an attempt to stop the recurrence of illness this season. In addition, the media was contacted to air warnings against mishandling the product. Local physicians should be watching for cases of diarrheal illness that may be due to Yersiniosis. The NYS laboratories will offer confirmative testing and serotyping for all Yersinia isolates.
On Dec. 5, the ECHD was notified by the ECMC virology laboratory that they have confirmed their first case of influenza A in a 14 year old male from Buffalo. On 12/6, the Children's Hospital virology laboratory isolated their first case of Influenza A in a 3 week old from Buffalo. Influenza activity has already been confirmed across New York State and other counties.
There were eight reports of food related illness during November. Two of these were referred to NYS Agriculture and Markets for further investigation.
Influenza activity has been documented throughout New York State. As was stated in last month's report, Influenza Type A was first isolated within Erie County on 12/5/96. The sub typing was not completed until later in the month. It was identified as A/Wuhan/359/95-like(H3N2). The Influenza 96-7 vaccine contained A/Nanchang/933/95(H3N2), therefore there will be cross protection for those exposed to the Wuhan strain. High risk individuals who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to consult with their health care providers for vaccination. Those high risk individuals who have contracted influenza should contact their physician for the possible use of Amantadine or Rimantadine.
Confirmed cases of rabies in animals in Erie County has decreased. There were only 8 confirmed cases in 1996, compared to 1994 (N-89) and 1995 (N-44). However, the total number of Post Exposure Rabies Treatments (N-126) for 1996 is quite significant.
During December there were 17 reports of food related illness. Twelve were referred to ECHD Environmental Health for field investigations. One additional report was referred to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for further investigation.