What is Pandemic Influenza?
There are three characteristics that distinguish a flu pandemic from the seasonal flu outbreaks that occur every year.
What is Bioterrorism?
It is the use or threatened use of germs (biological weapons) in order to create fear and disease among a population for religious, political, ideological, financial, or personal purposes. *AZ Department of Health Services 1991
Bioterrorism is not new. It is dated back as early as 1346, and you may remember more recently in 1984 when a religious cult in Oregon contaminated salad bars with Salmonella to influence the outcomes of an election.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has classified six diseases as high priority agents or “A” list because they meet some or all of the following criteria
Can be spread person to person
High death rate or potential for public health impact
Potential for panic and social disruption
Special action is needed for public health preparedness
Links to other useful resources
New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps
An easy-to-remember telephone number that connects callers to the human services they need
Ready Together NJ – A public health guide to emergency planning
State of NJ Bioterrorism Preparedness Links Page
New Jersey Health Alert Network
Center for Disease Control’s Bioterrorism Page
Be Ready and Prepared
New Jersey Homeland Security
Helping Children Cope with Disaster
Children, Terrorism and Disasters
American Red Cross
Preparedness for People with Disabilities
Preparedness for Pets
Emergency medical multilingual phrasebook
USDOT 2004 Emergency Response Guidebook
Health & Safety Information for Emergency Response – Internet Links
Goal: Enhance, develop, and ensure the use of statewide, integrated surveillance systems and epidemiologic capacity for the rapid detection and control of unusual outbreaks of illness that may be the result of bioterrorism, other outbreaks of infectious disease, and other public health threats and emergencies within the LINCS region.
What is Epidemiology?
A less entertaining, but more conventional, definition of epidemiology is “the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states in specified populations, and the application of this study to control health problems.” A look at the key words will help illuminate the meaning:
Study—Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It’s a highly quantitative discipline based on principles of statistics and research methodologies.
Distribution—Epidemiologists study the distribution of frequencies and patterns of health events within groups in a population. To do this, they use descriptive epidemiology, which characterizes health events in terms of time, place, and person.
Determinants—Epidemiologists also attempt to search for causes or factors that are associated with increased risk or probability of disease. This type of epidemiology, where we move from questions of “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when” and start trying to answer “how” and “why,” is referred to as analytical epidemiology.
Health-related states—Although infectious diseases were clearly the focus of much of the early epidemiological work, this is no longer true. Epidemiology as it is practiced today is applied to the whole spectrum of health-related events, which includes chronic disease, environmental problems, behavioral problems, and injuries in addition to infectious disease.
Populations—One of the most important distinguishing characteristics of epidemiology is that it deals with groups of people rather than with individual patients.
Control—Finally, although epidemiology can be used simply as an analytical tool for studying diseases and their determinants, it serves a more active role. Epidemiological data steers public health decision making and aids in developing and evaluating interventions to control and prevent health problems. This is the primary function of applied, or field, epidemiology.
Influenza Surveillance: The ERHC Epidemiologist receives weekly Influenza reports from schools, nursing homes, and emergency rooms. These data are incorporated into the state’s summary of weekly Influenza reports. http://nj.gov/health/flu/fluinfo.shtml
New updated numbers on vaccine effectiveness for 2012-13 season.
Pediatric Influenza Surveillance: http://nj.gov/health/flu/professionals.shtml
Communicable Disease Surveillance:
New Jersey Administrative Code 8:57 for the Communicable Diseases: http://nj.gov/health/cd/reporting.shtml
Case Definitions of the Communicable Diseases: http://nj.gov/health/cd/find.shtml
Communicable Disease Forms: http://nj.gov/health/cd/forms.shtml
Vaccine Preventable Disease: http://nj.gov/health/cd/vpdp/index.shtml
West Nile Virus Surveillance: http://nj.gov/health/cd/westnile/index.shtml
Through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) grant, 110 individuals were hired statewide to enhance the public health infrastructure and assist with bioterrorism preparedness. In this group of people are Health Educators/Risk Communicators. Some of the duties of the Health Educator/Risk Communicator are to review and enhance local resources, identify skills and capacities county wide, identify methods for ongoing training, develop and distribute educational materials for the public on Bioterrorism and ensure the delivery of Bioterrorism specific education to the appropriate personnel.
NOTE: All satellite broadcasts are recorded and available in our lending library.
Description of Education Programs
New Jersey Learning Management Network
The Essex Regional Health Commission is now an official downlink site for the New Jersey Learning Management Network (LMN). The LMN is found within Cook College, Rutgers University but is funded in most part by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJHDSS).
Distance learning education is usually described as teaching/learning interaction in which the instructor is separated from the student by time or physical distance or both. Many, but not all of the offerings are available by satellite downlink.
Distance Leaning program in session
The LMN offers a variety of health related courses, including the 40 Hour Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Training and Certificate Program. With proper registration, it is possible for various health care licensees to obtain Continuing Education Units, which are a yearly requirement for maintaining an active license (i.e. Health Officer and Registered Environmental Health Specialist).
To register for courses or to see the listings for the entire state visit: New Jersey Learning Management Network. At this site, a prospective participant can see what is offered, where it is offered, date/time of course and you can register to view that offering at a specific site. The sites that are downlinking the program will be listed with that specific calendar item. There is no cost charged by LMN for this service.
Please visit the LMN site periodically; if there is a course that interests you and you would like to view that course at the Essex Regional Health Commission; please call (973) 325-3212 and arrangements will be made to host.
Assigned NJDHSS Bioterrorism Planner Glenn Bukowski gives a presentation to the Essex LINCS team
Local Information Network and Communications System
Seven Keys to a Safer Healthier Home
An Ounce of Prevention
Keeps the Germs Away
Staying healthy is important to you and your entire family.
Poster– Download this poster and follow these easy and low-cost steps to stop many infectious diseases
Brochure– Download this brochure for Seven Keys to a Safer Healthier Home
West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease, along with others that mosquitoes can carry. Take these commonsense steps to reduce your risk.
LINCS, established by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services in conjunction with NJ’s local health departments, is an electronic information system that supports interactive reporting, health data analysis, and the efficient dissemination of public health information. As a statewide program LINCS agencies are working together in conjunction with the NJDHSS, local and county health units, Office of Emergency Management and other public officials to develop and operate a system which will greatly facilitate the rapid identification and assessment of, and coordinated response to, public health emergencies.
The purpose of this program is to develop and expand core capacity, expertise and infrastructure for public health emergency preparedness at the local public health level.
The CDC has defined Critical Capacities as the "core expertise and infrastructure to enable a public health system to prepare for and respond to bioterrorism, other infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies."