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COCA Email Updates: February 17, 2015 – March 2, 2015

This information is for historic and reference purposes only.  Content has not been updated since the last reviewed date at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions on these or other clinical issues, please write to us at

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Available for download: March 02, 2015, COCA Email Update

COCA News and Announcements

Recent COCA Calls/Webinars:

Title: Measles 2015: Situational Update, Clinical Guidance, and Vaccination Recommendations

Date:Thursday, February 19, 2015

Title: Protecting Children: Influenza Updates for Clinicians

Date:Thursday, February 26, 2015

Additional COCA Conference Calls

Free continuing education credits (CME, CNE, ACPE, CEU, CECH, and AAVSB/RACE) are available for most calls. More information about free CE.

CDC Emergency Response – CDC Response to 2014 Ebola in the United States and West Africa

NEW:Addressing the Needs of Contacts of Ebola Patients
Contact tracing is an essential tool for responding to epidemics. Training of public health responders focuses almost exclusively on the technical aspects of contact tracing, and little on issues experienced by contacts themselves – issues that might prevent or impede the contact tracing process. Addressing these issues helps ensure contacts’ compliance with tracing, monitoring, and quarantine. It requires recognition of contacts’ unique cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, educational, and mental health needs. The needs of contacts can be substantial. These included food, medicine, child care, addressing stigma, transportation, housing, educational needs, financial assistance, translation services, and emotional and spiritual support.

During the response to the Ebola epidemic, both in the U.S. and in West Africa, CDC contact-tracing teams found it necessary to partner with businesses, schools, charitable foundations, community and faith-based organization, non-government organizations, and mental health resources. Linkage to these resources and anticipation of contacts’ needs should be part of the contact-tracing planning process and incorporated into emergency preparedness.

The bottom line is that anticipation of contacts’ needs, and linkage to resources to address these needs, should be part of the planning process – that is, organized before an emergency rather than ad hoc during a response. Repeatedly we find in public health that we are most effective – and often can only be effective – when we care for patients and contacts as the true VIPs of a program.

Read the Article here: Addressing Needs of Contacts of Ebola Patients During an Investigation of an Ebola Cluster in the United States — Dallas, Texas, 2014

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Share our stories from West Africa on contact tracing:

NEW:Key Messages for Safe School Operations in Countries with Outbreaks of Ebola

UPDATE:Case Counts

CDC News and Announcements

CDC Science Clips: Volume 6, Issue: 8 – (CDC)

Each week select science clips are shared with the public health community to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge. The focus is applied public health research and prevention science that has the capacity to improve health now.

Public Health Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness and Response – (CDC)

Find preparedness resources for all hazards.

Emergency Preparedness and Response Training Resources for Clinicians – (CDC)

Find online and in-person training resources.

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

Food and Water Needs: Preparing for a Disaster or Emergency – (CDC)

Health and Safety Concerns for All Disasters – (CDC)

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

MMWR publications are prepared by CDC. Electronically Subscribe.

February 27, 2015 / Vol. 64 / No. 7 Download .pdf document of this issue

Infectious, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

NEW: New CDC Study and Blog: National Burden of Clostridium difficile Infections
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a germ that causes major colon inflammation and deadly diarrhea, caused almost half a million infections in the United States in a single year, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More details about the study, including effect on certain age groups, are available at Prevention progress of C. difficile in hospitals by state and hospital were previously published and can be found at and, respectively.

Seasonal Influenza

What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season

Information for Health Professionals

Weekly Flu View – February 17 (CDC)

Flu View is a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by CDC Influenza Division. All data are preliminary and may change as CDC receives more reports.

Planning and Preparedness: Health Professionals and Seasonal Flu – (HHS)

Health care providers play an important role during flu season. The following guidance and information will assist health care providers and service organizations to plan and respond to seasonal flu.

Travel Safety

Current Travel Warnings – February 17 (US Department of State)

The U.S. Department of State issues Travel Warnings when long-term, protracted conditions make a country dangerous or unstable. Travel Warnings recommend that Americans avoid or carefully consider the risk of travel to that country. The State Department also issues Travel Warnings when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate, or because of a drawdown of State Department staff.

Food, Drug and Device Safety

NEW: Breaking News: FDA Issues Safety Alert for Duodenoscopes (ERCP endoscopes)
The FDA wants to raise awareness among healthcare professionals, including those working in reprocessing units in healthcare facilities, that the complex design of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) endoscopes (also called duodenoscopes) may impede effective reprocessing.

MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program – (FDA)

MedWatch is your Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products. Reports FDA and USDA Food Recalls, Alerts, Reporting & Resources – (HHS/USDA/FDA/CDC/NIH) lists notices of recalls and alerts from both FDA and USDA. Visitors to the site can report a problem or make inquiries.

The CDC and HHS logos are the exclusive property of the Department of Health and Human Services and may not be used for any purpose without prior express written permission. Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organizations.