CDC HAN re Hurricane Travelers

CDC has issued a bulletin to its Health Alert Network (HAN) recommending that healthcare providers be watchful for unusual infectious diseases in patients and others who visit Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean hurricane-ravaged areas between September 2017 and March 2018, including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, Zika, chikungunya, and influenza.  Also, visitors to flooded or contaminated areas of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts could possibly return with necrotizing fasciitis, invasive fungi, Mycobacterium, LegionellaPseudomonas, or other water-associated Gram-negative bacteria.  The HAN, at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00408.asp,  provides specific recommendations and reporting requirements dealing with these possibilities.

West Nile Virus

The numbers are not large, but deaths are being reported from West Nile Virus, with northern Los Angeles County reporting relatively more.  The CDC web page on West Nile includes mosquito reduction methods and links to EPA reviews of insecticides; find it at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/ .  In most cases your state and county health departments also have their own pages on West Nile, with local instructions for reporting dead birds, which are markers for surveillance of the disease.

Warning: Kayexalate, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate

The FDA has published a safety communication on potassium-lowering drug Kayexalate and other brands of sodium polystyrene sulfonate because it has been found to bind to other oral medications, reducing their effectiveness.  The FDA recommends separating the dosing of sodium polystyrene sulfonate from other orally administered medicines by at least 3 hours.  They are updating sodium polystyrene sulfonate drug labels to include information about this dosing separation.  For details see https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm574763.htm .