According to our epidemiologists, influenza activity level has decreased to local. So far this year there have been over 550 laboratory confirmed cases in the State. There have been 10 influenza related deaths so far this season. Clinical laboratories would be interested to know that there were 11.8% positive rapid antigen tests reported statewide (135 positives out of 1149 individuals tested) during week 7. State influenza information can always be found at doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/flu/.
It appears that the CDC webpage dedicated to influenza laboratory diagnostics has not changed since December. However, laboratory staff should visit the site often as it includes much information regarding diagnostics, from rapid influenza testing to molecular testing. Included on the page are some very good video’s on specimen collection. Find all the information at www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/index.htm.
All public water systems should have received their 2014 monitoring schedules from DENR. Please sign and send them to us as soon as possible so we can get your sample kits scheduled for shipment. We only have one more month in the first quarter of the year, so please check your monitoring schedules to ensure you have submitted the required samples.
Medical Laboratory Scientists have the opportunity to attend two meetings in the next couple months. The first is the CLMA Siouxland Chapter Spring Educational Event in Sioux Falls to be held in Sioux Falls on March 26. Contact any CLMA member for information.
The second is the ASCLS Spring Symposium to be held April 11 in Pierre. Information and registration can be found at www.ascls-sd.org/id4.html.
Hopefully many of you participated in the annual CLSI AST update webinar. As usual, it was an excellent presentation. For those of you that requested the 2014 CLSI M100’s – they are in the mail!
The 2014 WasteWater Seminar will be held April 30 – May 1 in Pierre. More details to follow.
The Association of Public Health Laboratories continues to provide excellent webinars for the laboratory community. Scheduled for March and April are:
March 4, 2014: Case Presentations in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
March 6, 2014: Quality Indicators for Preanalytic & Postanalytic Lab Processes
March 18, 2014: Culture of Prosthetic Devices and Catheter Tips
April 1, 2014: New Toys: MALDI-TOF and Other Molecular Tools for Microbiology
April 8, 2014: Simplifying the Viridans Streptococci and Their Look-a-Likes
April 15, 2014: Culturing Sterile Body Fluids Other than Blood
April 17, 2014: AST Case Studies: Effective Resistance Detection and Reporting
April 22, 2014: Emerging and Resurging Infectious Diseases: 2014
April 24, 2014: Continued Expansion of Chikungunya - a Public Health Perspective
April 29, 2014: Detection of Gastrointestinal Viruses
Find further information, including registration details at www.aphl.org/training/teleconf/Pages/default.aspx.
For further information regarding the Public Health Laboratory, please call us at 605-773-3368.