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Cutting-edge interactive disease surveillance maps support Combatant Commands

This image shows Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus particle envelope proteins immunolabeled with rabbit HCoV-EMC/2012 primary antibody and goat anti-rabbit 10-nanometer gold particles. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease photo) This image shows Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus particle envelope proteins immunolabeled with rabbit HCoV-EMC/2012 primary antibody and goat anti-rabbit 10-nanometer gold particles. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease photo)

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Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Integrated Biosurveillance | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance | Combat Support

As an organization that receives countless streams of data and information, the staff at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) knows quite a bit about the global threats posed by known and emerging infectious diseases of military relevance. Today, AFHSB’s Integrated Biosurveillance (IB) Section is taking revolutionary steps to produce even more relevant, user-driven health surveillance products that enable its customers, especially the U.S. Combatant Commands, to focus on what they need to know to provide a medically ready military force in peace and wartime.

Interactive surveillance maps created by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch show the global threats posed by endemic and emerging infectious diseases that help Combatant Commands provide a medically ready military force.Interactive surveillance maps created by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch show the global threats posed by endemic and emerging infectious diseases that help Combatant Commands provide a medically ready military force.

 

AFHSB recently released new, web-based interactive disease surveillance maps that allow Combatant Commanders to zoom to an area of interest, click on individual points, and extract exactly what they need to know about a particular disease event. The accompanying text can contain relevant links, sources, and images in their native, high resolution format. With the click of a button, an analyst can instantly upload data from his or her terminal in Washington, D.C., for a decision-maker stationed in Germany, with information that is specifically tailored for that organization’s needs.

As part of the Defense Health Agency’s role as a combat support agency, “it is vital for AFHSB to provide timely health surveillance information to the Combatant Commands with the appropriate flexibility and agility required to support Force Health Protection decisions,” said Mr. Juan Ubiera, chief of the IB section. “These dynamic products provide Department of Defense leaders with a large amount of information in a manner that supports both rapid operational decisions and a deeper understanding of what's going on.”

AFHSB’s latest product in this gallery is The Avian Influenza Epidemic. This product leverages data from near real-time disease reporting systems along with geocoding capabilities to present an emerging picture of the avian influenza A (AI) virus subtypes currently affecting avian populations globally. An overlay of the global flight paths of the wild birds that carry AI viruses enables the viewer to connect outbreaks of particular AI subtypes to the migratory routes that may have facilitated their introduction. This product also depicts human cases of infection with novel and variant influenza A viruses, conveying Defense Department relevance of these occurrences through an in-house designed infographic, all within a dynamic environment.

This new release joins other products in the IB interactive gallery such as The MERS-CoV Epidemic, an interactive surveillance product that guides the user through the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemic in a new and captivating format. Users will also find surveillance products on the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the emergence of the Chikungunya virus in the Americas.

To create these visualizations, AFHSB is implementing leading-edge, commercial-off-the-shelf tools designed by Esri, a geospatial service provider. Our analysts are able to standardize and edit data directly from their desktops; with a few keystrokes, the data are sent to the cloud, instantly updating our products with the latest information. This represents a major leap forward from AFHSB’s current email-based distribution system.

“This type of product and [the] attractive and easy to read visuals are very useful for the education of leadership and others in our division on the importance of avian influenza,” Dr. Jennifer Steele, the Infectious Disease Subject Matter Expert for U.S. European Command after previewing The Avian Influenza Epidemic product. “The maps and graphics help explain why [avian influenza] elsewhere in the world and in other species is important from a human health and operational perspective.” 

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Armed Forces Reportable Medical Events Guidelines and Case Definitions

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Zika in the Americas: July 12, 2017

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7/12/2017

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Incidence of Escherichia Coli Intestinal Infections Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

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7/11/2017
Escherichia coli bacteria normally live in the lower intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless, but certain types of E. coli are among the most frequent bacterial causes of diarrhea. This report summarizes the counts, rates, and trends of E. coli gastrointestinal infections in active component service members over the past 10 years. Findings: •	During 2007 – 2016, there were 290 incident cases of E. coli infection among active duty service members •	The overall incidence rate was 2.3 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs) •	Annual incidence rates peaked at 4.7 cases per 100,000 p-yrs. in 2016 •	Cases were shown to peak during warmer months Overall rates were higher for: •	Persons aged 50 years or older •	Persons aged 25-29 years •	Females at twice the rate of males •	Non-Hispanic white service members •	Air Force members •	Service members in healthcare occupations Two graphs appear on infographic: One graph shows the annual numbers of incident cases and incidence rates of E. coli infection, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016. The second graph shows the cumulative number of incident cases of E. coli infection by calendar month, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016. Access the report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 6 – June 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR

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Incidence of Shigella Intestinal Infections Active Component

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7/11/2017
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Incidence of Nontyphoidal Salmonella Intestinal Infections Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

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Estimate of the Incidence of Norovirus Infections Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 - 2016

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The norovirus (NoV) is a highly infective and easily transmitted pathogen that imposes a significant public health burden across geographic regions as the causative pathogen for approximately 18% of all diarrhea cases worldwide. This report estimates the incidence of NoV diagnoses among active component service members during a 10-year surveillance period using medical record documentation of diagnoses of NoV infection and of positive laboratory tests for the virus. Findings During the 10-year surveillance period, there were 709 incident cases of NoV infection among active duty service members. •	The overall incidence rate was 5.7 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs) •	Annual incidence rates ranged from a low of 2.5 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2008 to a high 11.2 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2010 •	Higher numbers of diagnosed cases were reported during November-March Graph depicting the above information displays. Overall rates were highest in: •	Female service members •	Persons Aged 24 years or younger •	Army members •	Junior enlisted •	Recruits Comparing the results of this analysis to modeled estimates of the underreported incidence of the NoV infections demonstrated the limited utility of using only medical encounter diagnoses, reportable events, and laboratory data to report on NoV incidence. Access the report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 6 June 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR

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Most frequent diagnoses: Hospitalizations, Males, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces

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H7N9: July 6, 2017

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This is a biosurveillance summary of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Surveillance #77: July 6, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 6 JUL, the total influenza A (H7N9) human case count since the fifth seasonal epidemic of H7N9 began on 1 OCT 2016 is 919 (+13) cases with at least 269 deaths. Read more:

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Viral Hepatitis C, U.S. Military Service Members and Beneficiaries, 2008 – 2016

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6/21/2017
Findings – U.S. Armed Forces •	From 2008 to 2016, there were 342 acute and 1,491 chronic incident cases of HCV infection among active component members •	Annual incidence rates of chronic HCV infection diagnoses decreased 57.4% over the surveillance period •	92% of service members diagnosed with acute HCV infection were subsequently diagnosed with chronic HCV •	Rates of diagnoses of acute HCV infection remained relatively stable during the nine-year surveillance period. Service members at risk of acute HCV infection •	Aged 19 years or younger and enlisted •	Served in the Navy and Army for 2 years or less •	Had never been deployed Service members at risk of chronic HCV infection •	Aged 40 years or older and enlisted •	Served in the Army and Navy for  less than 2 years Findings – MHS non-service member beneficiaries •	There were 2,541 acute and 21,418 chronic HCV cases among non-service member beneficiaries •	Annual numbers of incident diagnoses of both acute and chronic HCV infections decreased 76.9% and 21.3%, respectively during the surveillance period. Non-service member beneficiaries at risk of chronic HCV infection •	Other race/ethnicity groups •	Born before 1965 U.S. Armed Forces bar graph shows annual numbers of incident cases and annual incidence rates of acute and chronic HCV infections for 2008-2016 and incidence rate per 100,000 p=yrs (lines).  Second bar graph is the count of HCV cases among MHS beneficiaries, by HCV infection type, 2008-2016 , showing  number of cases for total no. chronic and total no. acute. Access the report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 5 – May 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR  On graphic is an image of a man’s Silhouette with his liver highlighted.

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Viral Hepatitis A, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 - 2016

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6/19/2017
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). An estimated 1.4 million cases are reported worldwide each year. HAV is highly contagious and is a concern of the U.S. military as widespread outbreaks can occur due to contaminated food or water and spread by unsanitary food and water handling practices. This report estimates the frequencies, incidence rates, trends, and correlates of risk of hepatitis A among active component service members of the U.S. military during 2007 – 2016. Findings: During the 10-year surveillance period, there were 237 incident diagnoses of acute hepatitis A. The overall incidence rate was 1.88 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs.). In 2012, rates peaked at 2.94 per 100,000 p-yrs. Rates dipped to 1.41 per 100,000 p-yrs. in 2015 and increased to 2.22 per 100,000 p-yrs in 2016. The graph shows the incident cases and incidence rates of acute Hepatitis A, by gender, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016. The bars on the graph show the number of individuals diagnosed and the lines show incidence rates per 100,000 p-yrs. See on page 3 FIGURE 1. Incident cases and incidence rates of acute hepatitis A, by gender, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007–2016 of the  May 2017 MSMR Vol. 24 No. 5. Key chart includes: pink bar for number of female service members, blue bar for number of male service members, solid yellow line for incidence rate, and dash line for U.S. population rate. Source: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/statistics/2014surveillance/index.htm#tabs-1170596-1  High Risks of Hepatitis A •	Youngest age group of service members •	Service members who work in healthcare occupations •	Air Force and Navy members •	Unknown race/ethnicity and non-Hispanic black service members HAV vaccines in current use are highly effective. Learn more at Health.mil/MSMRArchives  Small figure of male is seen on graphic with a circle highlighting his liver.

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Surveillance Snapshot: Respiratory Infections Resulting in Hospitalizations, U.S. Air Force Recruits, October 2010 – February 2017

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6/19/2017
A number of vaccine and non-vaccine interventions have been used to reduce the historically high burden of respiratory infections during military training. This snapshot displays the trend in hospitalizations for respiratory infections, stratified by major pathogens, and associated hospital days for all recruits in U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, TX. Preventive measures: •	Hand Hygiene •	“Head-to-toe” sleeping arrangements •	Liberal use of respiratory face masks •	Isolation of febrile trainees •	Stringent gas mask cleaning protocol •	Universal provision of seasonal influenza vaccine during non-summer months Interventions: •	Year-round adenovirus vaccine (Ad4 and Ad7) was reintroduced November 2011 •	Group A streptococcus chemoprophylaxis transitioned from oral penicillin to intramuscular benzathine penicillin January 2012 Surveillance Findings: •	No recruits have been hospitalized due to adenovirus or group A streptococcus since the respective interventions were implemented. •	The adenovirus vaccine and benzathine penicillin chemoprophylaxis decrease the likelihood of severe respiratory disease outbreaks •	Downward trend in respiratory infection hospitalizations Bar graph shows the number of hospitalized for respiratory infection  per 1 million training days as well as lost training days per 1 million training days (line graph) from October 2010 to February 2017. Color coding on chart: •	Orange for Adenovirus •	Gray is for Group A streptococcus •	Yellow is for Influenza •	Blue is for Other/ Unknown •	Red is for Lost Training Days Learn more at Health.mil/MSMR where you can find the surveillance snap shot from MSMR Vol. 24 No. 4 – May 2017. In background of infographic can see human body highlight the respiratory system.

This infographic displays the trend in hospitalizations for respiratory infections, stratified by major pathogens, and associated hospital days for all recruits in U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, TX.

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