The present paper reviews the American epidemic of West Nile Fever (WNF), which is the largest recorded outbreak ever. The epidemiological consequences of introducing a novel and immunologically unknown pathogen in a previously unexposed population and the possible evolution of a more pathogenic viral strain are discussed. In view of recent reports of imported cases in Denmark the issue of possible disease spread to Scandinavia is likewise addressed. However, the main scope of the article is to provide the clinician with an overview of the natural history, epidemiology and clinical characteristics of the disease.
Information on emergency situations (ES) on the territory of the North Caucasus from the 90s of the last century till the present moment is presented. The importance of the specific immunoprophylaxis of infections for the liquidation of epidemiological aggravations in ES and for their prevention is shown. Information on the scope of specific immunoprophylaxis in the zones of ES and on different approaches to its carrying out. The conclusion was made on the expediency of making corrections in the normative documents of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, regulating planned vaccinations and vaccinations made on epidemic indications in connection with different kinds of ES.
Materials characterizing the consequences of emergency situation caused by natural type in Tyrnyauz, the Kabardin-Balkar Republic, are presented. As shown in these materials, mud flows from the surrounding mountains resulted in the damage inflicted to the main life-supporting systems of the town: water supply and sewage, power supply, medical institutions and, partially, housing resources. As the result of urgent measures carried out in cooperation with the departments of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, health services and state sanitary and epidemiological surveillance services epidemiological safety could be ensured in the town. In carrying out prophylactic measures the main attention was paid to the provision of the population with good-quality drinking water, foodstuffs, the active detection of patients with enteric infections, the bacteriological control of water in surface reservoirs for the pathogenic microflora.
The assumption behind the presented work is that the information people search for on the internet reflects the disease status in society. By having access to this source of information, epidemiologists can get a valuable complement to the traditional surveillance and potentially get new and timely epidemiological insights. For this purpose, the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control collaborates with a medical web site in Sweden.
We built an application consisting of two conceptual parts. One part allows for trends, based on user specified requests, to be extracted from anonymous web query data from a Swedish medical web site. The second conceptual part permits tailored analyses of particular diseases, where more complex statistical methods are applied to the data. To evaluate the epidemiological relevance of the output, we compared Google search data and search data from the medical web site.
In the paper, we give concrete examples of the output from the web query-based system. We also present results from the comparison between data from the search engine Google and search data from the national medical web site.
The application is in regular use at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control. A system based on web queries is flexible in that it can be adapted to any disease; we get information on other individuals than those who seek medical care; and the data do not suffer from reporting delays. Although Google data are based on a substantially larger search volume, search patterns obtained from the medical web site may still convey more information from an epidemiological perspective. Furthermore we can see advantages with having full access to the raw data.
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