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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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Five cold seasons: July 2012-June 2017, Active reserve component service members who were diagnosed with a cold weather injury

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Did you know during the 5-year surveillance period, the 2,717 service members who were affected by any cold weather injury included 2,307 from the active component and 410 from the reserve component. Overall, Army members comprised the majority (61.6%) of all cold injuries affecting active and reserve component service members. Of all affected reserve component members, 71.7% (n=294) were members of the Army. Cold weather injuries During Basic Training Of all active component service members who were diagnosed with a cold weather injury (n= 2,307), 230 (10.0% of the total) were affected during basic training. Additionally, during the surveillance period, 60 service members who were diagnosed with cold weather injuries during basic training (2.6% of the total) were hospitalized, and most (93.3%) of the hospitalized cases were members of either the Army (n=32) or Marine Corps (n=24). Cold weather injuries during basic training pie chart: The Army (n=122) and Marine Corps (n=99) comprised 96.1% of all basic trainees who were diagnosed with a cold weather injury. Access the full report in the October 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 10). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  #ColdReadiness Image of service member tracking in the snow is the infographic background graphic.

This infographic provides information on active and reserve component service members who were affected by any cold weather injury during the July 2012 – June 2017 cold seasons.

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Update: Cold Weather Injuries, Active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2012 – June 2017

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1/18/2018
The total number of cold weather injuries among active component service members in 2016 – 2017 cold season was the lowest since 1999. 2016 – 2017 versus the previous four cold seasons  •	A total of 387 members of the active (n=328) and reserve (n=59) components had at least one medical encounter with a primary diagnosis of cold weather injury. •	Rates tended to be higher among service members who were in the youngest age groups, female, non-Hispanic black, or in the Army. •	Cold weather injuries associated with overseas deployments have fallen precipitously in the past three cold seasons due to changes in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were just 10 cases in the 2016 – 2017 season.  •	Frostbite was the most common type of cold weather injury. Bar chart displays numbers of service members who had a cold injury (one per person per year), by service and cold season, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2012 – June 2017. Access the full report in the October 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 10). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  #ColdReadiness

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Cold weather injuries during deployments, July 2012 – June 2017

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During the 5-year surveillance period, 105 cold weather injuries were diagnosed and treated in service members deployed outside the U.S. of these, 39 (37%) were immersion injuries; 33 (31%) were frostbite; 16 (15%) were hypothermia; and 17 (16%) were “unspecified” cold weather injuries. Pie chart for cold weather injuries during deployments displays depicting the information above. Number of cold weather injuries bar chart: Of all 105 cold weather injuries during the surveillance period, 68% occurred during the first two cold seasons. Bar chart shows the number of cold weather injuries by year: •	2012-2013 cold season had 35 cold weather injuries •	2013-2014 cold season had 100 cold weather injuries •	2014 -2015 cold season had 13 cold weather injuries •	2015-2016 cold season had 11 cold weather injuries •	2016 – 2017 had 10 cold weather injuries Access the full report in the October 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 10). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  #ColdReadiness

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Complications and Care Related to Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery among Active Component Service Women U.S. Armed Forces, 2012 – 2016

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1/5/2018
Maternal complications and delivery outcomes are important components of the overall health and well-being of reproductive-age service women. This analysis provides an update on pregnancy complications and characterizes the counts, rates, and trends of several specific pregnancy complications. FINDINGS •	55,601 U.S. service women whose pregnancies resulted in 63,879 live births had 657,060 medical encounters •	For all age groups, percentages of live births affected by preterm labor decreased, but during 2012 – 2016, the percentages of pregnant service members diagnosed with obesity increased. •	The percentage of pregnant service members affected by gestational diabetes was more than twice as high for obese women, compared with non-obese women (12.4% vs. 5.5%). Bar graph shows the number of medical encounters with a primary (first-listed) diagnosis of any pregnancy-related complication or indication for care decreased each year between 2012 and 2016. Access the full report in the November 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 11). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  Background image: New born being provided medical attention by nurse. Secondary image: babies of diverse background on a blanket.

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Contraception among active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012 – 2016

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Because the majority of women serving in the Armed Forces are of childbearing age, and women’s military career opportunities have expanded into combat roles, contraceptive health care is an increasingly important public health issue. The lack of available, population-based descriptive information on contraceptive use among U.S. service women has generated questions and concerns about ready access to these medical products. This infographic summarizes the annual prevalence of permanent sterilization, as well as use of long – and short-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs and SARCs, respectively), contraceptive counseling services, and use of emergency contraception from 2012 through 2016, among active component service women. FINDINGS •	2012 through 2016, Sterilization decreased from 4.2% to 3.6% LARC use increased from 17.2% to 21.7%; SARC use decreased from 38.5% to 30.4%. •	Emergency contraception use increased from 0.4% to 1.9%. •	Among deployed women, the average annual prevalence of permanent sterilization was 4.2%. •	For deployed women, LARC use was 17.9% SARC use was 28.0%. •	Emergency contraception use among deployed women was 0.4%. •	262,907 (76.2%) women of childbearing potential (WOCBP) used either a LARC or a SARC at some time during the surveillance period. •	The vast majority of service women have utilized at least one form of contraception, and women are selecting LARCs in greater numbers with each passing year. The bar graph displays information on the annual prevalence of contraceptive utilization, by type, service women of child-bearing potential, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012– 2016. Graphic displayed: contraception option. Access the full report in the November 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 11). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR

This infographic summarizes the annual prevalence of permanent sterilization, as well as use of long – and short-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs and SARCs, respectively), contraceptive counseling services, and use of emergency contraception from 2012 through 2016, among active component service women.

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Global respiratory surveillance program detects dangerous pathogens to keep armed forces healthy

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Navy Commander Franca R. Jones, chief of the Global Emerging Infections section at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) discusses how AFHSB's health surveillance program supports the Defense Department global health engagement efforts.

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During the 5-year surveillance period, 105 cold injuries were diagnosed and treated in service members deployed outside of the U.S. Of these 105 cold injuries, 68% occurred in the first two cold seasons. Total no. of cold injuries, by season: •	35 cold injuries during cold season 2012 – 2013 •	36 during 2013 – 2014 •	13 during 2014 – 2015 •	11 during 2015 – 2016 •	10 during 2016 – 2017 The decrease in the number of cases is most likely a byproduct of: •	The dramatic decline in the number of service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan •	Changes in the nature of military operations there Access the full report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 10 October 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR Pie Chart showing cold injuries during deployments: •	39 Immersion •	33 Frostbite •	17 unspecified  •	16 Hypothermia Background image shows service member walking in the snow.

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Surveillance Snapshot: Influenza Immunization among U.S. Armed Forces Healthcare Workers, August 2012 – April 2017

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Did you know …?  During the 2016 – 2017 influenza season, each of the three services attained greater than 94% compliance among healthcare personnel. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all healthcare personnel be vaccinated against influenza to protect themselves and their patients. The Joint Commission requires that healthcare organizations have influenza vaccination programs for practitioners and staff, and that they work toward the goal of 90 percent receipt of influenza vaccine. This snapshot of a five-year surveillance period (August 2012 – April 2017) shows  that the active component healthcare personnel of the Army, Navy, and Air Force has exceeded the percentage compliance with influenza immunization requirement in each year. •	Line graph showing the percentage of healthcare specialists and officers with records of influenza vacation by influenza year (1 August through 30 April) and service, active, U.S. Armed Forces, August 2012 – April 2017 displays. Access the full snapshot in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 10 October 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR There are two photos featured on the infographic: 1.	A service member being vaccinated with the flu vaccine displays  2.	A photo of vaccine administrators shows.

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