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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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Global Influenza Summary: October 1, 2017

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Multiple Sclerosis among service members of the active and reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces and among other beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2007 – 2016

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9/14/2017
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, affecting approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. and more than two million people worldwide. The inflammatory demyelination and axonal injury that characterize MS result in significant clinical disability and economic burden. This study makes a useful contribution to the literature on temporal changes in the incidence of MS by sex and race/ ethnicity. A map of the U.S. displays to show a visual about the 400,000 people affected by MS in the country. An image of Earth displays to show a visual about the more than 2 million people worldwide affected by MS. FINDINGS •	Between 2007 and 2016, a total of 2,031 active component service members received incident diagnoses of MS •	The overall unadjusted incidence rate was 14.9 cases per 100,000 p-yrs •	During the surveillance period, unadjusted annual incidence rates of MS decreased by 25.4% •	The highest overall incidence rates were observed among service members diagnosed after age 30 with rates peaking among those aged 40 years or older. First line graph shows:  annual incidence rates of MS were higher among female service members than male service members and decreased by 42.2% during the 10-year period.  Second line graph shows:  The higher overall incidence of MS among non-Hispanic blacks was found among females, and to a lesser degree among males. Median age at MS case-defining diagnosis •	Age 32 years among active component members •	Age 37 years among reserve / guard members •	Age 48 years among non-service member beneficiaries  Common MS Symptoms •	Numbness •	Tingling in limbs •	Visual Loss •	Double Vision •	Mother Weakness •	Gait Disturbance Images showings these symptoms display. Access the full report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 3 August 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, affecting approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. and more than two million people worldwide. This infographic documents data on the temporal changes in the incidence of MS by sex and race/ ethnicity.

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Challenges with diagnosing and investigating suspected active Tuberculosis disease in military trainees

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9/14/2017
The incidence rates of active tuberculosis (TB) disease in the general U.S. population and the U.S. military have declined over the past two decades, with foreign birth remaining one of the strongest correlates of risk. Recently, there have been several atypical and asymptomatic presentations of active and suspected TB cases among the population of trainees at Joint base San Antonio – Lackland, TX. Between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2016, a total of 14 U.S. and international military personnel in training at JBSA – Lackland were hospitalized for suspected pulmonary TB. The variety of atypical presentations and their resulting diagnostic and public health challenges promoted this retrospective review of all hospitalized cases. This case series raises concerns about the increasing reliance on molecular tests for rapid diagnosis of active TB, especially in patients with minimal to no pulmonary symptoms. Findings •	The incidence rate in the training population was 1.89 per 100,000 population •	5 of 14 U.S. and international military personnel were diagnosed with active TB disease •	All were male, aged 19 – 29 years •	Only one TB case had pulmonary symptoms, but these were not suggestive of TB •	8 of 14 trainees were asymptomatic at the time of hospital admission, and tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assay results were highly variable Chart displays with descriptions and diagnoses of trainees hospitalized for suspected active tuberculosis, Joint Base San Antonio  – Lackland, TX, 2010 – 2016 (N=14). Access the report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 8 August 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR  Images featured on infographic: •	Human lungs •	Image of TB

The incidence rates of active tuberculosis (TB) disease in the general U.S. population and the U.S. military have declined over the past two decades, with foreign birth remaining one of the strongest correlates of risk. This infographic documents findings from several atypical and asymptomatic presentations of active and suspected TB cases among the population of trainees at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, TX between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2016.

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Global Influenza Summary: September 3, 2017

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This is a biosurveillance summary of H7N9: August 30, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 30 August 2017, there have been 1,788 (+4) cases of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) since the first two cases were reported in February 2013. Read more:

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Mid-season influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season

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8/28/2017
The Department of Defense (DoD) conducts year-round influenza surveillance for military healthcare beneficiaries and select civilian populations. Data from routine respiratory surveillance are used to estimate mid-season influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) and these findings are shared at the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee meeting on U.S. influenza vaccine strain selection. DoD VE estimates from the Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) and Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) are presented in this report. Findings •	For all influenza types: VE was 42% as found by AFHSB-Air Force Satellite Cell, similar to NHRC’s overall VE of 45% •	Influenza A (H3N2) VE was 42% by AFHSB-AF estimation and VE was 46% as estimated by NHRC •	VE for Influenza B was slightly higher at 53% as estimated by AFHSB-AF •	AFHSB analysis found that VE against influenza A was 3% and VE against influenza A (H3N2) was 33% Table showing the mid-season influenza effectiveness estimates, 2016 –2017 displays. The mid-season influenza VE estimates indicated that vaccination reduced the odds of medically attended influenza infection by approximately 45% among DoD dependents and civilians. Access the full report in MSMR Vol. 24 No. 8 August 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR  Three photos display on this infographic: 1.	An elderly woman receiving a flu show from a female service member 2.	Female service member receives a flu shot 3.	Male physician hold a flu shot

This infographic documents Department of Defense mid-season influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates from the Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch and Naval Health Research Center for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season.

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This is a biosurveillance summary of Zika Virus: August 16, 2017, as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. As of 16 August 2017, there have been 175 cases Zika virus in Military Health System beneficiaries since January 2016. Read more:

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Tdap vaccination coverage during pregnancy, active component service women, 2006 – 2014

Infographic
8/14/2017
Pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough,” is a vaccine-preventable illness more common and more severe in children than in adults. Infections during the first few months of life can be particularly severe, with almost all deaths from pertussis occurring in infants less than 6 months of age. A vaccinated mother’s antibodies against pertussis protect the baby during pregnancy until it can receive the vaccine at two months of age. Approximately 400 probable and 50 confirmed cases occur annually among service members and other adult beneficiaries of the Military Health System. In 2012, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended Tdap for every pregnancy to reduce the burden of pertussis in infants. This surveillance study assessed Tdap vaccination coverage among pregnant service women during 2006 through 2014. FINDINGS: •	There were records of a total of 137,133 live birth deliveries to service women •	Only 1%  – 3% of service women received a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy from 2006  – 2011 •	Tdap vaccination coverage increased substantially  – 8% in 2012 to 54% in 2014 •	Navy women had the highest  annual proportion of vaccine coverage at 65% in 2014 •	First deliveries had the highest vaccination coverage at 57% in 2014 •	Fourth or subsequent deliveries had the lowest coverage at 41% in 2014 More education and attention by military physicians and pregnant service women about the benefits of Tdap vaccination are needed to bring coverage closer to 100%. Learn more in MSMR Vol. 22 No. 5 May 2015 at Health.mil/MSMR  Images on graphic: •	Baby icon to depict live birth deliveries •	Pie charts showing the findings in visual form •	Line graph showing the percent vaccinated among Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard The line graph shows the annual percentages of active component service women with a live birth delivery who received a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, by year of delivery and service, 2011– 2014.

This infographic documents findings from a surveillance study that assessed Tdap vaccination coverage among pregnant service women during 2006 through 2014.

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7/24/2017
Among cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. This report documents the time-varying elements of age, period, and birth cohort effects in the epidemiology of colorectal cancer among members of the active component.

This report documents the time-varying elements of age, period, and birth cohort effects in the epidemiology of colorectal cancer among members of the active component.

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Body Site of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Active Component U.S. Armed Forces, 2013 – 2016

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Did you know…? The arm, finger, leg, and toe were the most commonly affected body sites for cases of cellulitis/abscess and carbuncle/furuncle skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). The total number of inpatient and outpatient diagnoses for which the body location was specified was 142,214.

This report documents body sites affected by skin and soft tissue infections among active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013 – 2016.

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Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013 – 2016

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7/24/2017
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are common in both military and non-military populations. Due to the nature of the military training environment, risk factors associated with SSTIs such as crowding, infrequent hand washing/ bathing, skin abrasions and trauma, and environmental contamination favor the acquisition and transmission of Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. These pathogens are the major causative agents of SSTIs and lead to outbreaks of disease.

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Preventable and Treatable: Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Infographic
7/20/2017
Warmer temperatures and strenuous physical activity put service members at higher risk of heat illnesses. It is important for commanders, small unit leaders, training cadre, and supporting medical personnel – particularly at recruit training centers and installations with large combat troop populations – to educate service members about the risks early signs and symptoms, and preventive treatment measures related to heat illnesses. Signs of Dehydration •	Light-headed/ Dizzy/ Headache •	Fever •	Lack of sweat •	Dark yellow urine •	Thirst Under the signs of dehydration section an image of a man experiencing these early signs and symptoms of heat illnesses. Staying Hydrated •	Hydrate with water and eat rich foods with water before, during, and after exercise. •	Decrease the intensity of the physical activity. Under the staying hydrated section graphics of a water bottle, glass of water, runner and cyclist appear. Signs of Heat Stroke •	Fatigue •	Combative •	Confused •	Muscle cramps Under the signs of heat stroke section, a man experiencing these symptoms of heat stroke displays. Effective Ways to Cool Off a Heat Stroke Victim •	Make an “ice burrito” by wrapping the victim in cold sheets, ice packs, and wet towels •	Immerse victim in cold water Images of ice and a man under a shower appear.  Ways to Treat Heat Exhaustion •	Use a rectal thermostat to read core body temperatures to diagnose and treat heat stroke •	Provide IV fluid replacement •	Spray with cool mist Image of rectal thermostat, man in a hospital bed with an IV and a man being sprayed with cool mist appear. Learn more about heat illness by reading MSMR Vol. 24 No. 3 – March 2017 at Health.mil/MSMR Source: Dr. Francis FG. O’Connor, a professor and chair of Military and Emergency Medicine and associate director for the Consortium on Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

This infographic documents the risks, early signs and symptoms, and preventive treatment measures related to heat illnesses.

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