News from the Field…

Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter
May 2008

District 3 News

Brad Beard
ISDH Field Epidemiologist, District 3

Tammy McMaken, RN
DeKalb County Health Department

In April, District 3 partners conducted a pandemic influenza tabletop exercise with Purdue University.  The exercise allowed agencies and major stakeholders in the 11 District 3 counties to begin discussing and planning for the local response to an influenza pandemic.  Overall, the comments received following the exercise indicated this goal was achieved.  While there were concerns regarding the lack of sufficient time to fully discuss the issues, participants were informed that this was not the intent of the exercise, and further discussions within the counties are vital to successfully implement a workable plan.  Information shared was beneficial regardless of county size.  The exercise provided insight into issues faced by surrounding counties as well as solutions which could be applied to the participants’ individual counties.  Specific issues, including antiviral usage, personal protective equipment, pre-pandemic vaccine, surge capacity, and alternate care facilities, were addressed in three different modules,.

Also in April, Mike Wilkinson, ISDH Hepatitis C Epidemiologist, presented information on hepatitis C case investigations to attendees from District 3 local health departments.  He shared general information on hepatitis C trends in Indiana, hepatitis C transmission, and interpretation of common laboratory tests and reviewed the process for submitting case investigation reports.  In addition, he provided guidance for ensuring proper transmission of these reports.  Additional questions relating to hepatitis C surveillance can be directed to Mike at 317.234.2827.