Tag Archives: cdc

Testing for suspected cases of Zika in McHenry County

Screening for Zika

  1. Health care providers should contact the McHenry County Department of Health (815–334–4500) to discuss testing of persons that meet testing criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Do not send specimens directly to the CDC
  2. Health care providers should complete both CDC’s 50.34 Laboratory Submission Form (please view in Adobe Reader, you may see an error if viewed in the browser) and the IDPH Zika Virus Test Request Form.
  3. Steps to fill out the CDC 50.34 form
    1. In the upper left hand corner box first select “Human” from the “Select the Specimen Origin to Begin the Form” box.
    2. Under “test order name” select Arbovirus Serology
    3. The test order code will be automatically entered
    4. Leave suspected agent blank as Zika is not on the list.
    5. Enter Zika Virus testing in “At CDC, bring to the attention of:”
  4. The McHenry County Department of Health will thoroughly review each request, provide specimen authorization number(s) to medical providers, and enter information (demographics, travel history, and pregnancy status) into the Illinois National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS). specimens without an authorization number will not be accepted
  5. IDPH CDCS (Communicable Disease Control Section) staff will review case information and coordinate with the IDPH laboratory to ensure the lab knows which specimens are approved to be sent to the CDC for testing. Unauthorized specimens will not be sent to CDC.
  6. Printed form CDC 50.34 are to be sent with the specimen to the IDPH Chicago Laboratory.
  7. After test results have been received from CDC, the IDPH laboratory will relay results to the appropriate submitter (health care providers, infection control preventionist, etc.) and IDPH CDCS staff.

Reference links

First case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infection (MERS) in the United States

CDC confirmed the first US case of MERS in a traveller from Riyadh to Indiana.

All suspect cases of MERS should be reported to the McHenry County Department of Health immediately. A suspect case, as defined by the CDC, is:

A patient under investigation (PUI) is a person with the following characteristics:

  • Fever (≥38°C, 100.4°F) and pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (based on clinical or radiological evidence);


  • history of travel from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula within 14 days before symptom onset;


  • close contact with a symptomatic traveler who developed fever and acute respiratory illness (not necessarily pneumonia) within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula


  • is a member of a cluster of patients with severe acute respiratory illness (e.g. fever and pneumonia requiring hospitalization) of unknown etiology in which MERS-CoV is being evaluated, in consultation with state and local health departments.

Any suspect cases must be reported immediately. Please contact the McHenry County Department of Health 815-459-5757

Changes to reporting of SSI to CDC

The following information will be added to the current report to CDC/NHSN

  • Patient height, weight, and diabetes status will be reported for all procedures.
  • Operative duration, NHSN will adopt the Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors definitions of Procedure/Surgery Start Time (PST), and Procedure/Surgery Finish.
  • NHSN is broadening its definition of an operative procedure to include those procedures that were not closed primarily. The closure type will be recorded for all procedures as either primarily closed or non-primarily closed, and this information will be used for risk adjustment purposes. NHSN has closely adapted the American College of Surgeons, NSQIP definition of primary closure.
    • Primary Closure is defined as closure of all tissue levels during the original surgery, regardless of the presence of wires, wicks, drains, or other devices or objects extruding through the incision. This category includes surgeries where the skin is closed by some means, including incisions that are described as being “loosely closed” at the skin level. Thus, if any portion of the incision is closed at the skin level, by any manner, a designation of primary closure should be assigned to the surgery.
    • Non-primary Closure is defined as closure that is other than primary and includes surgeries in which the superficial layers are left completely open during the original surgery and therefore cannot be classified as having primary closure. For surgeries with non-primary closure, the deep tissue layers may be closed by some means (with the superficial layers left open), or the deep and superficial layers may both be left completely open.
  • Hip arthroplasy (HPRO) and Knee arthoroplasty (KPRO): additional detail about procedures; total, hemi, and resurfacing (HPRO only) will be collected.
  • NHSN will adopt the Muscular Skeletal Infection Society’s (MSIS) Definition of Periprosthetic Joint Infection as a new organ/space infection site, SSI-PJI, which will replace SSI-JNT for HPRO and KPRO procedures.

Definition of Periprosthetic Joint Infection (PJI)

Joint or bursa infections must meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

  1. Two positive periprosthetic (tissue or fluid) cultures with identical organisms
  2. A sinus tract communicating with the joint
  3. Having three of the following minor criteria:
    1. Elevated serum C-reactive protein (CRP; >100 mg/L) AND erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; >30 mm/hr).
    2. Elevated synovial fluid white blood cell (WBC; >10,000 cells/μL) count OR ++ (or greater) change on leukocyte esterase test strip of synovial fluid.
    3. Elevated synovial fluid polymorphonuclear neutrophil percentage (PMN% >90%).
    4. Positive histological analysis of periprosthetic tissue (>5 neutrophils (PMNs) per high power field).
    5. A single positive periprosthetic (tissue or fluid) culture.

Antibiotic usage in hospitalized patients

CDC reported in the March 7th 2014 issue of MMWR that based on a 2010 study conducted across the US that upto 30% of non ICU antibiotics used in hospitalized patients are unecessary. The most common overusage of antibiotics was for “UTI” and the use of vancomycin without proven positive cultures. Appropriate usage of antibiotics can reduce the incidence of clostridium difficile infections. [1]

Influenza update 2013-14 season


  • Think of influenza in patients presenting with respiratory illness
  • Test those who are admitted with respiratory illness
  • Use droplet precautions for those with respiratory symptoms
  • It is still not too late to get vaccinated

Notice to Public Health Officials and Clinicians: Recognizing, Managing, and Reporting Chikungunya Virus Infections in Travelers Returning from the Caribbean


On December 7, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first local (autochthonous) transmission of chikungunya virus in the Americas. As of December 12th, 10 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in patients who reside on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean. Laboratory testing is pending on additional suspected cases. Onset of illness for confirmed cases was between October 15 and December 4. At this time, there are no reports of other suspected chikungunya cases outside St. Martin. However, further spread to other countries in the region is possible. Continue reading

Link to US influenza map

As the 2013-14 influenza season approaches. I have added a link to the current US influenza activity to the right sidebar and a link to CDC flu view, an interactive detailed influenza monitoring tool. This helps gauge the local community activity of influenza. This is particularly useful in community preparedness and assessing pretest probability of influenza in cases presenting with influenza like illness (ILI).

Note: As the season has not officially started, the map as of today (09/26/13)  is showing data from last season.