CDC HAN re Wuhan Coronavirus

CDC has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Update for the outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China that began in December 2019.  No human-to-human contagion has been clearly demonstrated yet, but recent history with MERS and SARS CoVs advise caution.  Accordingly, CDC suggests surveillance for patients who report fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath), and within the two weeks prior to symptom onset, experienced any of the following:

  • Travel to Wuhan CIty, China
  • Close contact with a person under investigation for 2019-nCOV while that person was ill
  • Close contact with an lab-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient while that patient was ill

The HAN provides instructions for healthcare providers and public health agencies on how to respond to such cases, including evaluation, reporting, testing, and specimen collection.  Find the complete HAN at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM17544.

The criteria above can also be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/clinical-criteria.html.  They are intended to serve as guidance for evaluation.  Patients whose clinical presentation or exposure history is not unequivocal should be evaluated and discussed with public health departments on a case-by-case basis.

2/4 CCCC Webinar on Unrepresented

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California will present a February 4, 2020 webinar on Unbefriended and Unrepresented: Medical Decision Making for the Incapacitated and Alone.  The webinar will provide continuing education credits for nurses and social workers.  Find details and register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-unbefriended-and-unrepresented-medical-decision-making-for-the-incapacitated-tickets-77153499193.

3/5+ NWRD 2020 Vision Registration Open

Starting January 15, 2020, registration is open for the March 5-6, 2020 NWRD Conference, 2020 Vision.  You’ll pay more if you wait to register till after February 15, 2020.  The Conference will be held in Tacoma WA, and will feature 15 CPEUs, visionary speakers, Happy Hour Exhibits, the “Pillar of Excellence” awards presentation, and a special 40th Anniversary Networking Event at Tacoma’s internationally famous Museum of Glass.  Find everything you need to know at:

1/29 CDC Emergency Communications Webinar

CDC’s Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC) will present a 29 January, 2020 webinar on Communication Partnerships for Public Health Emergencies.  Topics will include how to plan and build partnerships, how to make partnerships mutually beneficial, and how to work with partners to share information with the people who need it most.  Getting life-saving information to the people who are hardest to reach often requires knowing which intermediaries can do the job.  For more information and registration, see https://emergency.cdc.gov/epic/learn/webinar_20200129.asp.

Notify Network of Service Disruptions

It’s still relatively balmy in Southern California, but winter is getting serious in Network 16.  CMS requires ESRD Networks to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events at all facilities.  If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to have access to dialysis, are impacted by emergency events, please let your Network know right away.

You are reminded never to put PHI or PII in an email or online form.  Examples include patient name or initials, birthdate, SSN, and other identifying information.

CDC HAN re Influenza

CDC has issued a HAN Health Advisory on Elevated Influenza Activity: Influenza B/Victoria and A(H1N1)pdm09 Viruses are the Predominant Viruses, summarized by:

“This health advisory notifies clinicians that influenza activity remains high in the United States.  Ongoing elevated activity is due to influenza B/Victoria viruses, increasing circulation of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, and low levels of influenza B/Yamagata and influenza A(H3N2) viruses.  CDC’s influenza forecasts suggest that national influenza activity will remain elevated for several more weeks.  Because influenza activity is elevated and both influenza A and B virus infections can cause severe disease and death, this health advisory also serves as a reminder that early treatment with antiviral medications improves outcomes in patients with influenza.  Early treatment with antiviral medications is recommended for hospitalized patients and high-risk outpatients…  Clinicians should continue efforts to vaccinate patients for as long as influenza viruses are circulating, and promptly start antiviral treatment of severely ill and high-risk patients with suspected influenza without waiting for laboratory confirmation.”

Find the full HAN at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00425.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM17072.