Electronic messaging key to state's control of disease outbreak

Electronic messaging and media attention allowed the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to increase testing of Cyclospora, a parasite disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week. In late June, the IDPH reported two cases of cyclosporiasis in its weekly electronic newsletter, and by July 3, an additional four cases had been reported to IDPH, indicating that an outbreak could be occurring. IDPH released a special EPI Update Alert and a Health Alert Network alert to all hospitals, emergency departments, infection preventionists, public health agencies and other healthcare providers in Iowa. Healthcare providers and the public became aware of the outbreak, which led to many more people being tested. Announcement

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