Influenza activity within the state is sporadic. Through November 16 there have been 8 laboratory confirmed cases reported, with one influenza related death. We in the Public Health Laboratory have received and tested over 100 samples so far this season. Influenza activity is reported weekly at http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/flu/flu-Surveillance.aspx.
The infectious disease rates for several diseases/organisms are much higher than the 5 year median. Through September chlamydia is up 25%, gonorrhea is up 76%, syphilis is up 1050% and West Nile is up 605%. Infectious disease activity is reported monthly and can be found at http://doh.sd.gov/statistics/disease-surveillance/.
While West Nile season is over, we are still receiving samples. In November we received over 50 human specimens and some of our mosquito trappers found mosquitoes hiding in their freezers! We tested over 100 mosquito pools in November.
We want to remind the wastewater folks of the Christmas holiday schedule. Please do not collect a sample that must be set up or read out on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, as we will not be in the laboratory on those two days. The following week we will not be in on New Years Day. The schedule available on our webpage does not take into account the Governor granting administrative leave. If you generally collect a weekly sample, please contact us for alternatives and the courier schedule.
Following are two educational opportunities provided by APHL. The CRE webinar has particular interest in South Dakota.
ASM will launch a ten-part course titled “Molecular Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases: Applications and Challenges” beginning February 4, 2014. The course is an intermediate practical course for laboratory personnel and is intended to provide in-depth discussions of current trends and challenges associated with molecular diagnostic methods as they are used and encountered in the clinical microbiology laboratory. More information and the schedule may be found at http://bit.ly/17tzxwc
Medical Section Secretary Tammi Florentz recently celebrated 14 years with state government. Tammi has been with the Laboratory since February 2008. Tammi enters sample information into the Laboratory’s computer system and orders supplies for the section.
Chemist Josh Thingelstad is celebrating 10 years with the Laboratory. Josh is an organic chemist, working in both the environmental and preparedness laboratories. He is the go to guy with any instrument problems.
Senior Chemist Jeremy Kroon is celebrating 7 years with state government. Jeremy is a chemist in our Forensics Laboratory. He has been with the Laboratory for 2½ years.
For further information regarding the Public Health Laboratory, please call us at 605-773-3368.