PHC Global Alerts

You need early warnings about how biorisks threaten your business so you can plan for workforce deployment and business continuity. PHC Global identifies emerging threats and delivers intelligence directly to you. Below is a sample of alerts:
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211 people sickened in UK E. coli outbreak linked to ready-to-eat sandwiches06/17/2024
United Kingdom
Food- and Waterborne Disease

Enterprise businesses should advise employees of the large-scale E. Coli outbreak and distribute information on the products recalled. Businesses should also ensure that none of the recalled items are available for purchase or consumption at onsite food establishments. The UK has identified 211 cases of E. Coli infection. The outbreak is linked to a variety of ready-to-eat sandwiches sold under several brands, includ...read moreing THIS!, Amazon, Boots, Tesco, Co-op, Sainsbury's, and One Stop, which have been recalled by the Food Standards Agency. Approximately 40% of cases have required hospitalization. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
4th dairy herd in Sioux, County tests positive for Avian Influenza06/17/2024
Iowa
Atypical Influenza

Businesses should expect the detection of avian influenza to continue. At this point, widespread disruption to the milk supply is not anticipated. A fourth dairy herd in Sioux County, Iowa tested positive for avian influenza, bringing the total number of herds in Iowa impacted to six. Iowa is con...read moresidering adopting testing requirements similar to those implemented in Wisconsin for animals brought to agricultural fairs to reduce the risk of cow-to-human transmission. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
FDA revises guidance to vaccine producers to focus on KP.2 strain06/17/2024
United States of America
COVID-19

Informational update. Businesses should proceed with scheduling onsite influenza and COVID-19 vaccination clinics. On June 6, the FDA made a significant update to its recommendation for vaccine producers. Initially, it unanimously recommended focusing on the SARS-C...read moreoV-2 JN.1 lineage. However, due to the growth advantage and immune evasive properties of the KP. 2 strain, the FDA revised its recommendation to target the specific KP.2 strain of the JN.1 lineage. This ensures that the vaccine closely matches the predominant circulating strain, thereby enhancing its effectiveness. Importantly, the FDA does not anticipate this change to delay vaccine availability in the United States. [Confidence: Very High]

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Heat dome headed for US Midwest and Northeast, increasing risk of heat-related illnesses06/17/2024
United States of America
Environmental Risk

This heat wave is expected to peak by Friday. Enterprise businesses should provide adequate cool water, rest breaks, and shade or a cool rest area for employees working outside. Enterprise businesses should consider providing flexible scheduling options, especially for outdoor workers or workers commuting by transit modalities that lack air conditioning. Employees with school age children may need to make work from home arrangements due to schools cancelling classes on the hottest days. Temperatures in the Midwest and East Coast are expected to reach some of their highest levels in several years, with high temperatures persisting for ...read moreseveral days and impacting approximately 265 million people. Heat illnesses also may spike, with older adults, children, and outdoor workers at increased risk. Compounding the risk is that the overnight temperatures are not expected to drop enough to provide sufficient relief from the heat. Heat is the top killer among extreme weather events. [Confidence: Very High]

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West Seattle, Washington reports new measles case in a child with international travel history, may have exposed others at local urgent care center06/14/2024
Washington
Measles

Businesses in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. West Seattle, Washington reported a new measles case in a child with international travel history. The case visited Franciscan Urgent Care in West Seattle on June 10. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Domestic cat in Harmon County, Oklahoma tests positive for H5N1 avian influenza, first mammalian case detected in OK06/14/2024
Harmon County
Atypical Influenza

The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a domestic cat is not unexpected as it has been detected in other states. No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has been detected. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. A domestic cat in Harmon County, Oklahoma tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza, the first detected mammalian case in the state. Oklahoma has not d...read moreetected avian flu in poultry or dairy cows. The virus is a reassortment between the global 2.3.4.4b H5N1 clade and a North American wild bird lineage. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
South Africa reports 1st ever death from mpox and 5th confirmed case for 202406/13/2024
South Africa
Infectious Disease

Employers can support at-risk employees in obtaining mpox vaccinations by providing flexible work schedules. South Africa reported a first ever mpox-related death and confirmed a 5th case this year. 3 of the cases are members of clade IIb, the strain that spread globally in 2022. See PHC alert 6/6 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Rio de Janeiro declares end of dengue outbreak, still encourages mosquito control measures06/13/2024
Rio de Janeiro
Vector-borne Disease

South and Central American countries have reported record-high dengue cases this year. Rio de Janeiro's outbreak has been declared over, but dengue remains a risk in the region. Businesses should continue to reduce mosquito populations at their facilities by eliminating standing water. Employees can take steps to prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent and eliminating standing water near their homes. Brazil's Rio de Janeiro declared an official end to the dengue outbreak that started in Feb 2024. Cases have been declining the past 4 consecutive wee...read moreks. In total, 268,947 cases and 178 deaths occurred between Jan - June 10, 2024. Mosquito bite prevention measures are still encouraged. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Grant County, Washington reports death from hantavirus, 1st case in WA in 202406/13/2024
Grant County
Spillover Event

Hantavirus is rare, but expected in Washington. Businesses in Washington should take measures to ensure rodent-free facilities. Any rodent droppings should be cleaned with bleach; wet the soiled area with bleach before wiping up droppings to limit infectious aerosol generation. Employees should always wear gloves and N95 (or equivalent) masks when handling rodents or their droppings. Grant County, Washington reported the death of an individual from hantavirus, the first case of hantavirus in WA in 2024. The case had a history of ex...read moreposure to rodents. Hantavirus is spread by the droppings (urine and feces) of rodents and can cause severe illness. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan report very high measles cases in 2024, accounting for over half of all cases globally06/12/2024
Azerbaijan
Measles

Businesses in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Measles cases have been very high in 2024 in Kazakhstan (15,111 cases in May; 39,544 in 2024) and Azerbaijan (13,728 cases in May; 29,838 in 2024). To...read moregether they account for over half of all measles cases globally in 2024 (126,783). [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
India reports case of avian influenza (H9N2) in child with exposure to poultry, first case in India since 201906/12/2024
West Bengal
Atypical Influenza

Human cases of H9N2 are rare; the risk of an outbreak is extremely low. Employees in or traveling to countries where human H9N2 cases have been identified, such as India, should avoid live-animal markets and not have contact with or consume diseased poultry. India reported a case of avian influenza (H9N2) in a child exposed to poultry, the first H9N2 human case in India since 2019. The H9N2 strain circulat...read morees widely among birds in India, but human cases are rare and are generally mild. Person-to-person transmission does not usually occur. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Lagos, Nigeria investigating suspected cholera outbreak, 60 hospitalizations and 5 deaths within 48 hours06/12/2024
Lagos State
Food- and Waterborne Disease

Nigeria is currently responding to multiple cholera outbreaks. Businesses in Nigeria should ensure they have access to clean water and encourage them to seek treatment if they develop symptoms. Lagos, Nigeria is investigating a suspected cholera outbreak following 60 gastrointestinal illness-related hospitalizations and 5 deaths within 48 hou...read morers. There is a possible water contamination site in the Lekki Victoria Island region. Across Nigeria, 815 suspected cholera cases and 14 deaths have been identified as of April 28, 2024. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Southern Nevada reports highest recorded mosquito activity levels this early in the season, detects St Louis encephalitis in mosquitos for first time since 201906/11/2024
Clark County
Vector-borne Disease

Businesses can support mosquito control measures at their facilities by eliminating standing water. Employees living in or visiting the area should eliminate sources of standing water around their property and prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Southern Nevada reported record-high mosquito activity levels this early in the season. Mosquito testing identified West Nile virus in 91 samples and ...read moreSt Louis encephalitis (SLE) in 2 samples, the first time SLE has been detected in mosquitoes in this region since 2019. Higher mosquito activity is tied to expansion of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes into this area. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Avian influenza detected in wastewater sample in greater Houston, Texas region, but no human cases 06/11/2024
Harris County
Atypical Influenza

Informational update. Dairy cattle in the state have tested positive for the disease, and infected cattle or birds are the most likely source of the wastewater detection. Despite the flurry of recent media reports, there is no evidence that these outbreaks pose a substantial threat to humans. Harris County, Texas reported detection of H5N1 avian influenza in wastewater samples. H5N1 was detected in 3 Texas dairy herds earlier this month. No human cases have been reported in the greater Houston area. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
36 more house mice in Roosevelt County, New Mexico test positive for H5N106/11/2024
Roosevelt County
Atypical Influenza

Informational update only. USDA APHIS reported that 36 more house mice in Roosevelt County, New Mexico have tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza, totaling 47 so far. The mic...read moree were found at a poultry farm in New Mexico that also had a red fox that tested positive for H5N1. See PHC alert 6/5 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Nigeria's Lassa fever outbreak continues, with 6,464 cases and 162 deaths in 202406/10/2024
Nigeria
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever

Informational update only. Nigeria's Lassa fever outbreak continues. Case rates have slowed down during the last month, but cases are still higher in 2024 compared to the same p...read moreeriod in 2023. So far, 6,464 cases and 162 deaths have occurred in 2024 compared to 5,731 cases and 163 deaths in 2023. See PHC alerts 4/23, 5/7, and 5/23 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Italy reports 400% increase in hospitalized individuals with whooping cough in 2024 compared to same time period in 2023 and 202206/10/2024
Italy
Respiratory Disease

Whooping cough cases are currently high in many countries. Vaccination is the best protection. Businesses in Italy should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Italy reported a 400% increase in hospitalized individuals with whooping cough in 2024 compared to same time period in 2023 and 2022. So far, 108 indi...read moreviduals have been hospitalized with whooping cough in Italy in 2024. Naples has the most hospitalized cases (49). [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
H5N1 strain involved in Texas dairy outbreak found to cause severe disease in ferrets06/10/2024
United States of America
Atypical Influenza

Informational update only. This story highlights the flexibility of avian influenza in expanding its host range among mammals, and the ongoing risk this disease poses to human populations. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. The H5N1 avian influenza strain involved in the human case in Texas was found to cause severe disease in ferrets. Ferrets are often used as a surrogat...read moree for human disease. Unlike seasonal flu, H5N1 was transmitted between ferrets via direct contact but not through respiratory droplets. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Wyoming 12th state to detect highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy herd06/10/2024
Wyoming
Atypical Influenza

The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in another dairy herd is not unexpected. No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has been detected. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed in a Wyoming dairy herd, Wyoming's first detection. It is the 12th state to detect H5N1 in dairy cattle. The exact location of the affected herd has not been released. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
United Kingdom investigating outbreak of shiga toxin-producing E. coli (0145) with 113 cases and no known source06/10/2024
United Kingdom
Food- and Waterborne Disease

Informational update only. PHC will monitor and report updates as more information becomes available. The United Kingdom is investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (0145), with 113 cases identified so far this year. Testing indicates...read more that most cases are linked. Based on geographical spread of cases, the source is likely a nationally distributed contaminated food product, but no source has yet been identified. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Traces of H5N1 detected in Austin-Travis County, Texas wastewater sample06/07/2024
Austin County
Atypical Influenza

Informational update. Dairy cattle in the state have tested positive for the disease, and infected cattle or birds are the most likely source of the wastewater detection. Despite the flurry of recent media reports, there is no evidence that these outbreaks pose a substantial threat to humans. Austin-Travis County, Texas reported detection of traces of H5N1 in wastewater samples. H5N1 was detected in 3 Texas dairy herds earlier this month. No human cases have been reported in Austin. [Confidence: Very High]

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New Jersey reports second measles case this year, with potential exposures at hospital in Plainsboro06/07/2024
Somerset County
Measles

Businesses in Somerset County and Plainsboro Township, New Jersey should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. New Jersey reported a measles case in a Somerset County resident who recently traveled internationally. The case visited the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro Township, NJ on June 1. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
England reported 3 more infant whooping cough deaths in April06/07/2024
England
Respiratory Disease

Businesses in England should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. England reported 3 infant deaths due to whooping cough in April, totaling 8 deaths in 2024. Whooping cough cases have been rising, with 4,793 confirmed cases between Jan - April 2024 of which 1,888 occurred in April. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Ireland reported 126% increase in chickenpox-related hospitalizations in 2023 compared to prior year06/07/2024
Ireland
Infectious Disease

The increase in hospitalizations serve as a reminder that chickenpox can cause severe disease. Vaccination is the best protection. Businesses might consider covering the cost of vaccines for their employees' children. Employees should be provided flexible work schedules to support vaccine appointments for their family members. Ireland reported a 126% increase in chickenpox-related hospitalizations in 2023, with 170 in 2023 compared to 75 in 2022. Chickenpox is not a reportab...read morele disease in Ireland, so the exact number of cases is not known, but is estimated to be ~ 58,000. Chickenpox vaccine is available for purchase, but is not part of the national program. Publicity about high hospitalizations may motivate parents to seek vaccinations. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Minnesota 11th state to identify highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy herd06/06/2024
Minnesota
Atypical Influenza

The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in another dairy herd is not unexpected. No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has been detected. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. H5N1 has been confirmed in a Benton County dairy herd, Minnesota's first detection. It is the 11th state to detect H5N1 in dairy cattle. Stearns County reported H5N1 outbreaks in turkeys earlier this week.

advisory
Iowa 10th state to identify highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy herd06/06/2024
O'Brien County
Atypical Influenza

The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in another dairy herd is not unexpected, especially given the recent H5N1 outbreak in a poultry farm in a neighboring county. No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has been detected. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. Highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified in a new dairy herd in O'Brien County, Iowa, making Iowa the 10th state to reported infected livestoc...read morek. Iowa is the 10th-leading milk-producing state. Neighboring Sioux County, IA recently reported an H5N1 outbreak among poultry. No new US human H5N1 cases have been identified since the last case on May 30. See PHC alerts 4/1, 5/22, and 5/30 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Mexico reports death of an individual from avian influenza H5N2, first human case ever identified06/06/2024
Ciudad de Mexico
Atypical Influenza

Mexico has detected avian influenza H5N2 in birds in the past, but human cases have never been identified anywhere in the world. The current risk of human disease is low. The State of Mexico reported the death of an individual with avian influenza H5N2, the first human case of this strain ever identified and the first h...read moreuman case of H5 avian flu ever identified in Mexico. The case's source of exposure is not known, but avian flu H5N2 has circulated in birds in Mexico, including an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu H5N2 in a poultry farm in the neighboring state of Michoac√°n in March 2024. Close contacts of the case have tested negative so far, but some tests are still pending. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Ireland reports 16 new measles cases in past two weeks06/05/2024
Ireland
Measles

Businesses in Ireland should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Ireland reported 16 new measles cases in the past two weeks, with another 18 potential cases under investigation. 6 of the new cases occurred in the g...read morereater Dublin region. The rise in cases occurred following a measles exposure on a flight from London to Dublin on May 16. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Egg shortage concerns arise after detection of avian influenza H7N3 at fourth poultry farm in Victoria, Australia06/05/2024
Victoria
Atypical Influenza

Australia has detected avian influenza in birds in the past, but it is rare. The current risk of human disease is low. Businesses that source eggs from Victoria, Australia should anticipate price increases. Australia reported a fourth detection of avian influenza at a poultry farm in Victoria's Golden Plains Shire region near the Restricted Area establish...read moreed in response to earlier detections (see PHC alerts from 5/22, 5/24, and 6/4). The farm has been placed under quarantine. This is not the same avian influenza strain identified in an Australian child (H5N1) in May and affecting dairy cows and farmworkers in the US. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Paris, France implements extensive dengue prevention strategies ahead of the summer Olympics06/05/2024
Ile-de-France
Vector-borne Disease

Businesses in France can support mosquito control measures at their facilities by eliminating standing water. Employees living in or visiting the area should eliminate sources of standing water around their property and prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Paris, France has implemented an extensive mosquito control program for the upcoming July Olympics. A team is monitoring for the mosquitos that can ca...read morerry dengue (Aedes albopictus) and deploying 526 nesting traps to limit dengue cases. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Wild mice found to be infected with avian influenza H5N1 06/05/2024
Roosevelt County
Atypical Influenza

USDA APHIS added house mice to the list of mammals infected with H5N1. Media reports indicate the mice were at a dairy farm that has had infected cattle. USDA APHIS reported that 11 wild house mice in Roosevelt County, New Mexico have tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza. The mice may have become infected after drinking raw milk from infected dairy cattle. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Forsyth County, NC wastewater samples come back positive for H5N1; milk and animal byproducts most likely source06/04/2024
North Carolina
Atypical Influenza

Informational update. Other dairy cattle in the state have tested positive for the disease and infected cattle remain the most likely source of these wastewater detections. Despite the flurry of recent media reports, there is no evidence that these outbreaks pose a substantial threat to human or cattle populations. Wastewater surveillance has identified H5N1 in North Carolina area where no previous outbreak had been detected. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Stanford and Emory Universities launch H5 wastewater monitoring dashboard, highlighting several detections nationwide over the past month06/04/2024
United States of America
Atypical Influenza

Informational update. These data reinforce that avian influenza genetic material is detectable within wastewater systems, though most detections are in areas of known activity. Despite the flurry of recent media reports, there is no evidence that these outbreaks pose a substantial threat to human or cattle populations. WastewaterScan, a wastewater monitoring partnership between Stanford and Emory Universities, has launched its H5 avian influenza monitoring system. Ov...read moreer the month of May, several wastewater samples from Michigan, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Idaho tested positive for H5 influenza. Since the peak of detections in mid-May, the level of activity has steadily declined. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Enrollment now open for USDA's voluntary H5N1 Dairy Herd Status Pilot Program06/04/2024
United States of America
Atypical Influenza

Informational update only. The USDA has begun enrolling farms in its Voluntary H5N1 Dairy Herd Status Pilot Program, which aims to increase testing options and improve H5N1 surv...read moreeillance. Farms participating in the program can test milk pooled from multiple animals instead of testing animals individually. Further, farms can be declared disease-free and allowed to resume animal transport if they test negative for three consecutive weeks. This program aims to ease the testing burden placed on farms by the April 24, 2024 federal testing order while still maintaining a high level of surveillance. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Two chickens test positive for bird flu in San Francisco; traces of H5 influenza detected in wastewater samples06/04/2024
San Francisco County
Atypical Influenza

Informational update. Articles in previous weeks had presented the question of whether spikes in influenza A activity in San Francisco wastewater may result from undetected avian influenza spread. This most recent announcement confirms that the disease is present in the state but further confirms that it constitutes a small portion of the influenza A genetic material in local wastewater samples and is absent in the most recent testing. The San Francisco Department of Health has announced that two chickens at a wild bird market sampled at least 10 days ago have tested positive for H5N...read more1. Testing of San Francisco wastewater at around the same time showed traces of H5N1, though follow-up testing failed to confirm the presence of the virus. The infected birds were asymptomatic and no additional cases of H5N1 in birds or humans have been reported. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
100 people sickened by salmonella-contaminated drinking water in Thessaly, Greece06/04/2024
Thessaly
Food- and Waterborne Disease

Businesses operating in or sponsoring travel to central Greece should advise employees to avoid drinking tap water unless it has been boiled for at least three minutes. An outbreak of gastroenteritis has been attributed to salmonella-contaminated drinking water in Rizomylos and Stefanoviki in central Greece. Testing i...read morendicated the presence of salmonella in both the regional water network and in a water reservoir. Additional testing is pending as of Monday, June 3. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Chicago's measles outbreak tied to new arrivals shelter passes milestone; outbreak officially over05/31/2024
Cook County
Measles

Informational update only. Chicago's measles outbreak tied to a shelter for the newly arrived is declared over. The outbreak involved 64 cases, 57 of whom were tied to a shelter...read more. Over 30,000 measles vaccines were administered. The outbreak started March 7 and was declared over on May 30 after 42 days (2 full measles incubation periods) had passed without any new cases. [Confidence: Very High]

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New Mexico reports first measles cases since 2021 in siblings with recent international travel05/31/2024
Taos County
Measles

Businesses in Taos County, New Mexico area should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Taos County, New Mexico reported 2 measles cases in siblings with recent travel, the first measles cases in the state since 2021. The cases visited the Aspen Medical Center Urgent Care on May 26 and 28. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Tulare County, California reports first measles case since 2016 in non-county resident with recent international travel05/31/2024
Tulare County
Measles

Businesses in Tulare County, California should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. California reported a measles case in a non-CA resident with recent international travel who received medical care in Tulare County, the first measles case in this County since 2016. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Third human case of H5N1 tied to US dairy outbreak, first to have respiratory symptoms05/30/2024
Michigan
Atypical Influenza

The detection of a third positive farm worker is not unexpected, but the presence of respiratory symptoms in this person combined with the mutation noted in last week's case in Michigan changes the overall picture. No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has been detected with this outbreak, but these developments reflect some of the necessary changes for the virus to acquire this ability. Contacts of the cases are being monitored. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. A 3rd human case of avian influenza H5N1 tied to the US dairy industry has been identified, the first person in this outbreak to have respiratory symp...read moretoms. The new case is a dairy farm worker in Michigan with no ties to the previous 2 cases. See PHC alerts 4/1 and 5/22 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in poultry flock in Iowa, first in 202405/30/2024
Sioux County
Atypical Influenza

Businesses with eggs sourced from Iowa should assess their supply chains and expect price fluctuations in response to production shortfall. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in a commercial poultry flock in Sioux County, Iowa, the first in Iowa in 2024. HPAI was last de...read moretected in Iowa in fall 2023. Over 4 million chickens in the affected flock will be culled. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Malawi receives special recognition from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for stopping a wild poliovirus type 1 outbreak 05/30/2024
Malawi
Polio

Informational update only. Malawi's success is a reminder that enacting timely and effective interventions can reduce disruption and curtail outbreaks. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has awarded Malawi special recognition for stopping the wild poliovirus type 1 outbreak that started in Feb 20...read more22. Over 50 million children were vaccinated in response to this outbreak. The last WPV1 case was in Aug 2022. [Confidence: Very High]

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Measles exposure at England's University Hospital of North Durham05/30/2024
County Durham
Measles

Businesses in the greater Durham, England area should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. The University Hospital of North Durham in England reported that a measles case visited their facility on May 24. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
WHO and UNICEF issue joint statement about surge of measles cases across Europe05/29/2024
Kazakhstan
Measles

Informational update. Measles has been surging globally in 2024. See our Critical Threats coverage of measles for more information. WHO and UNICEF issued a joint statement regarding the surge in measles cases occurring across Europe in 2024. So far, 4 deaths and 56,634 measles case...read mores were reported in the first quarter of 2024. In contrast, there were 61,070 measles cases across Europe in all of 2023. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have reported the most cases this year. All countries are encouraged to implement vaccination campaigns to close immunity gaps. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Mexico reports higher than usual dengue cases during non peak season05/29/2024
Mexico
Vector-borne Disease

Mexico has dengue cases every year, but rates are much higher than usual this year and their typical dengue season begins next month. Businesses in Mexico can support mosquito control measures at their facilities by eliminating standing water. Employees living in or visiting the area should eliminate sources of standing water around their property and prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Mexico reported 13,398 confirmed dengue cases and 20 deaths so far in 2024, a 5-fold increase compared to the same time period in 2023 (2,642 cases an...read mored 5 deaths). These higher rates have occurred during non-peak season; Mexico's dengue season begins in June. Dengue rates have been very high across many South and Central American countries in 2024. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
H5N1 identified in 3 Idaho alpaca05/28/2024
Idaho
Atypical Influenza

Enterprise businesses are not directly affected, but detection of H5N1 in alpacas illustrates that the disease is spreading to new animal groups and to more areas. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. Alpaca have not previously tested positive for H5N1, but given the many other mammals that have been infected, this finding is not completely unexpect...read moreed. The strain in the alpaca was the same as in poultry that had been culled on the premises; it is also the same as the strain found in US dairy cattle. [Confidence: Very High]

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Los Angeles County, California reports possible measles exposure on connecting flight through LAX05/28/2024
Los Angeles County
Measles

Businesses in the greater Los Angeles, California area should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Los Angeles (LA), California reported a measles case in a non-LA County resident who traveled through the LA airport. The case was in LAX's Tom Bradl...read moreey International Terminal B and Terminal 7 on May 19. Media reports indicate that the passenger continued on to Fresno. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Honduras issues alert regarding increase in dengue cases05/28/2024
Honduras
Vector-borne Disease

Honduras has dengue cases every year, but rates are much higher than usual this year and the rainy season has just begun (May - Oct). Businesses in Honduras can support mosquito control measures at their facilities by eliminating standing water. Employees living in or visiting the area should eliminate sources of standing water around their property and prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Honduras issued an alert regarding high dengue cases, with 16,491 cases and 11 deaths so far in 2024. There were 2,288 new cases in the last week alone. Hospital beds are becoming limited due to patient surge. [Confidence: Very high]

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Potential legionella exposure at St Clair, Missouri hotel05/28/2024
St. Clair County
Food- and Waterborne Disease

Businesses with employees who traveled to St Clair, MO in April or May may wish to notify employees of the potential exposure. Contaminated water sources, such as cooling towers have the potential to infect large numbers of people. The disease can range from mild to fatal. Two cases of legionnaires disease have been tied to the Super 8 in St. Clair, Missouri. The health department is investigating to find a potential sou...read morerce. Those who stayed at the hotel in April or May should notify their healthcare professional if they develop signs of a respiratory illness. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
H5N1 detected in muscle tissue in one cow diverted from food chain05/24/2024
United States of America
Atypical Influenza

Prior studies have found H5N1 is inactivated when proper food safety cooking recommendations are followed. Businesses should continue to follow food safety protocols when handling and cooking beef. See PHC analysis on 4/26 for more information and guidance on this outbreak. Diverted cows are not allowed to enter the food chain. To date, one cow of the 96 cows tested has been positive for H5N1. No meat from these dairy cattle entered the food supply. [Confidence: Very High]

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Study finds H5N1 positive raw milk sickens mice, poses risk to humans05/24/2024
United States of America
Atypical Influenza

Businesses should not stock raw milk to avoid liability due to numerous diseases that can be transmitted in unpasteurized milk. A laboratory study found mice that consumed raw milk positive for H5N1 contained high virus titers, indicating infection. Prior studies have confirmed that pasteurization inactivates the H5N1 virus, making it safe to drink. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
H5N1 detected in 7 new US dairy herds this week in Michigan, Idaho, and Texas05/24/2024
Michigan
Atypical Influenza

The detection of H5N1 in additional dairy herds is not unexpected and does not indicate an immediate change in overall risk. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. H5N1 was detected in 7 new US dairy herds this week in Michigan (4 herds), Idaho (1), and Texas (1). See PHC alerts 4/1, 4/29, and 5/21 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
St. Kitts and Nevis issue a measles alert after 2 cases identified in Turks and Caicos 05/24/2024
Turks and Caicos Islands
Measles

Businesses in the Caribbean Islands should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. St. Kitts and Nevis issued an alert after 2 measles cases were identified in Turks and Caicos earlier this month. Travel to and between the Caribbean ...read moreislands increases in the summer months, increasing the risk of importing measles cases. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Hanoi's dengue cases up 2.5 times compared to 202305/24/2024
Hanoi
Vector-borne Disease

Businesses in Hanoi can support dengue prevention by eliminating standing water at their facilities to reduce mosquito populations. Employees living in or visiting the area should prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. Hanoi, Vietnam reported 41 new dengue cases in the past week, totaling 667 cases in 2024. This is about 2.5 times more dengue cases in 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Australia detects new COVID-19 FLiRT strain for first time 05/23/2024
Australia
COVID-19

New COVID-19 variants can cause a surge in cases. PHC recommends that those over 65 without medical contraindications receive a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine in consultation with their healthcare provider. The COVID-19 FLiRT variants circulating in the US have now been detected in Australia and may contribute to an increase in cases as Australia enters t...read moreheir respiratory virus season. FLiRT variants are part of the Omicron family and do not cause more severe disease than other Omicron variants, but may be more transmissible. [Confidence: Very High]

watch
Ireland reports potential measles exposure on flight from London to Dublin05/23/2024
Leinster
Measles

Businesses in Dublin and London should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Ireland reported that a measles case traveled on Ryanair flight FR123 from London Gatwick to Dublin on May 16 and may have exposed others. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Michigan's first human case of influenza A (H5) detected in a farm worker05/22/2024
Michigan
Atypical Influenza

The detection of a second positive farm worker is not unexpected and does not indicate an immediate change in overall risk. Businesses should continue to follow the recommendations provided in the PHC analysis on April 26. Michigan reported its first human case of H5N1 avian influenza in a farmworker who worked with livestock infected with H5N1. This is the first human case of H5N1 since March 29. See PHC alerts 4/1 and 4/29 for more info. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Australia reports a human case of H5N1, the first time H5N1 has been identified in a person or animal in Australia05/22/2024
Victoria
Atypical Influenza

Human cases of H5N1 are rare; the risk of an outbreak is extremely low. Employees in or traveling to countries where human H5N1 cases have been identified, such as Vietnam or India, should avoid live-animal markets and not have contact with or consume diseased poultry. Australia reported a human case of H5N1, the first time H5N1 has been identified in a person or animal in Australia. The case is a child with a histor...read morey of travel to India. Close contacts were monitored, but have not tested positive. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Summer wave of COVID-19 cases likely 05/22/2024
United States of America
COVID-19

PHC recommends that those over 65 without medical contraindications receive a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine in consultation with their healthcare provider. The new COVID-19 variants circulating in the US, nicknamed FLiRT, are likely to cause a surge of cases this summer. Early data indicate that this vari...read moreant does not cause more severe disease than other Omicron variants, but may be more transmissible. Higher case rates can cause a healthcare surge in outpatient and inpatient settings. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Three more Michigan dairy herds test positive for H5N105/21/2024
Michigan
Atypical Influenza

Informational update only. Michigan reported that 3 more dairy herds have tested positive for H5N1, affected counties include Clinton, Gratiot, and Ionia. 18 dairy herds in MI have now had positive tests among their cows. [Confidence: Very High]

watch
Philadelphia reports public exposure to measles case05/21/2024
Philadelphia County
Measles

Businesses in the greater Philadelphia area should inform employees about the possible measles exposure and provide flexible work schedules to support employees making vaccine appointments for themselves or family members. Philadelphia reported a new measles case who visited a CVS Pharmacy on Bustleton Ave May 15 and Holy Redeemer Hospital on May 17. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Wisconsin adds meningitis vaccine to list of required vaccines for school attendance05/21/2024
Wisconsin
Infectious Disease

Employers should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making appointments for vaccinations for themselves or family members. Employees may need time off for making a vaccination appointment for their child(ren) to meet this requirement. Wisconsin added the meningitis vaccine to their list of required vaccines for school attendance. The vaccine will be required for students entering 7t...read moreh grade, and those entering 12th grade are eligible for a booster dose. Other school-entry vaccine requirements, including whooping cough and measles, remain unchanged. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Chicago's measles outbreak tied to shelter for newly arrived people involved 57 cases, 72% of whom were unvaccinated05/20/2024
Cook County
Measles

Informational update only. Chicago's measles outbreak, which was tied to a shelter for new arrivals, has ended. In total, 57 cases were tied to the event, 72% (41) of whom were ...read moreunvaccinated. A mass vaccination campaign was implemented, with 882 shelter residents being immunized and verification of previous vaccination among 784. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
CDC issues reminder for Hajj pilgrims to ensure their meningitis vaccination is up-to-date05/20/2024
United States of America
Infectious Disease

Employers should provide flexible work schedules to support employees making appointments for required vaccinations for themselves or family members. Individuals planning to attend the Hajj should ensure their vaccinations are up to date before travel. CDC reminds Hajj pilgrims that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine for participation in the mass gathering. In...read moredividuals who experience symptoms upon return should inform their healthcare practitioner about recent travel. [Confidence: Very High]

advisory
Singapore's Ministry of Health reports surge in COVID-19, recommends mitigation strategies05/20/2024
Singapore
COVID-19

The current COVID surge in Singapore demonstrates the recurring need to temporarily implement mitigation strategies to manage COVID-19 surges and maintain healthcare surge capacity. Singapore reported a surge in COVID-19 cases, with 25,900 cases and 250 hospitalizations the week of May 5-11, compared to 13,700 cases and 181 hospit...read morealizations the week prior. The Ministry of Health recommended mitigation strategies to aid healthcare surge capacity, including having hospitals reduce non-urgent elective surgeries, asking citizens to stay up-to-date on vaccination, wearing masks in public if high-risk, and seeking healthcare in non-acute care settings unless a true medical emergency. [Confidence: Very High]

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Dave Komendat retired as the Vice President and Chief Security Officer for The Boeing Company, a role he held for 14 years of his 36 years within the security profession. Komendat was responsible for the company’s global security and fire protection policy and procedures, site security, executive protection, supply chain and aviation security, structural and aircraft fire protection, government and proprietary information security, classified cyber security, strategic intelligence, international security, business continuity and disaster preparedness, Global Security Operations Center, and security background investigations.

 

Komendat was also the lead Boeing interface for both national and international security policy engagement with numerous government and industry advisory groups. He represented Boeing as past co-chairman and current board member on the Domestic Security Alliance Council, past President of The International Security Management Association and served as a member of the Threats and Information Committee for the Overseas Security Advisory Council.  

 

Komendat is the founder and President of DSKomendat Risk Management Services, he also serves on several company advisory boards and holds board leadership roles with several non-profit organizations whose missions are to protect people globally, including Hostage U.S. and The International Security Foundation. Dave is also a Strategic Engagement Advisor for the Office of Private Sector within the FBI. In 2018, Dave was awarded the Director’s Award for Exceptional Public Service by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

 

Komendat graduated from California State University at Long Beach and also attended and completed the executive development program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Dr. Carter Mecher serves as the Medical Advisor for the Public Health Company. 

 

Prior to joining PHC, Carter served as a Senior Medical Advisor for the Office of Public Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In this position, Dr. Mecher played a key role in the COVID-19 outbreak response. 

 

From 2005 to 2011, he served as the Director of Medical Preparedness Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council and National Security Staff. He was a principal author of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan. In this capacity, he helped set policy and devise strategies to mitigate the consequences of a pandemic and promote pandemic preparedness. 

 

Before serving at the White House, Dr. Mecher was the Chief Medical Officer for the Southeast VA Network in Atlanta from 1996 to 2005. In this role he oversaw the healthcare delivery for veterans in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. 

 

Dr. Mecher is a co-author of Lessons from the COVID War, an in-depth examination of the U.S. response to the pandemic. In addition, he is featured in Michael Lewis’ book The Premonition.

 

Dr. Mecher received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in critical care medicine at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center.

Dr. Joe DeRisi is a Scientific Advisor to PHC. He is one of the early pioneers of DNA microarray technology and whole genome expression profiling; he is nationally recognized in the field of genomic epidemiology for designing a first-of-its-kind initiative for COVID-19. Joe currently serves as Co-President of Chan Zuckerberg BioHub and is a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at University of California, San Francisco. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University.

Dr. Sumiko Mekaru is the Vice President of Research and Innovation at The Public Health Company. Dr. Mekaru is an epidemiologist operating at the intersection of traditional epidemiology and technology and leading cross-disciplinary teams to solve challenges in public health. Prior to joining PHC, Dr. Mekaru was a Life Sciences Strategy, Policy, and Operations Expert at Booz Allen Hamilton where she recently led the development of COVID-19 forecasting models for disease transmission, resource utilization, and critical events for the Department of Defense. Dr. Mekaru has also led health technology teams at Epidemico and Boston Children’s Hospital, creating innovative health surveillance tools. She has published extensively on infectious disease outbreak monitoring, modeling, and surveillance. Dr. Mekaru holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University and a PhD in epidemiology from Boston University.

Justin McIntosh is an experienced professional with 10+ years in management and 8+ years in software engineering. Currently, he is the Vice President of Operations at The Public Health Company. His journey began in college when he co-founded Safe Site, a utility services company, which expanded to operations in three states with over 300 employees. After a successful exit, he founded Docusite, a construction risk management application, diving into software engineering. Despite challenges with Docusite, Justin’s passion for technology led him to various roles before landing at The Public Health Company.

 

In his current role, Justin is tackling the challenging task of improving operations in a remote environment. He is dedicated to his role and is always open to sharing experiences and insights. He is committed to nurturing effective teams, improving operations, and shaping innovative solutions. His focus is on creating a positive, growth-oriented environment and mentoring emerging leaders, reflecting his commitment to collective success.

Lori Sutton is the Vice President of Marketing at The Public Health Company. She is a strategic marketing visionary and global brand leader with 20+ years of progressive experience in B2B/B2C SaaS software marketing in large enterprise and SMB markets. She has expertise in leading strategy development, overhauling brands, launching products and driving growth in target verticals. Prior to joining PHC, Lori was the Vice President of Marketing and Growth at SMS-Magic, where she led the global GTM strategy, orchestrated a brand overhaul, developed new messaging and positioning and launched revenue generating campaigns. Lori held marketing and management roles at Model N, Bullet Point Network, Saba and other SaaS software companies where she focused on marketing strategy, business objectives and analytics to drive revenue.

Lori holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, an Executive Education in Corporate Strategy at Harvard Business School and continues coursework at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Craig Katsuyama is the Vice President of Administrative Services at PHC. He brings extensive experience building companies from the ground up and was instrumental to the launch of IEX Group in 2012, which challenged the status quo of financial markets and created an entirely new stock exchange that works for all investors. Craig spent the last eight years at IEX where he built and oversaw the accounting and finance teams before transitioning to help establish IEX’s Event Stream business, a data messaging platform that applies IEX’s core technology to areas outside of finance. Craig graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Economics.

Dr. David Fisk is the Chief Medical Officer at The Public Health Company. Prior to joining PHC, Dr. Fisk served as an Infectious Disease Specialist at Sansum Clinic.  He serves as the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Cottage Health, leading the infection control team at Cottage, working with physicians and hospital leaders on the COVID Incident Command Center to ensure the highest level of preparation and care for patients. In early March 2020, before the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Santa Barbara County, Dr. Fisk advised that the virus was already spreading locally before community members were observing symptoms.

 

Dr. Fisk completed his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at University of Michigan Medical Center. He is board certified in Infectious Diseases and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Chris Latko is the Chief Technology Officer at PHC. He joined as a Principal Software Architect where he played a key role in building out the platform. He has over 25 years experience in the technology sector holding positions at companies he started, Fortune 500 companies, and a multitude of startups both in the United States and Japan. He has spent the last decade designing, refining, and reimplementing architectures for hypergrowth startups such as Boxfish, Paxata (acquired by DataRobot), Banjo, and Globality. Chris earned two patents for designing a streaming data ingestion/data normalization platform.

Kendall Burman serves as PHC’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining PHC, Burman held leadership roles at Alloy, a data and technology start-up for the progressive political market. Burman previously served as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the Department of Commerce and as Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President in the Obama Administration. She was also a counsel in the cybersecurity and data privacy practice at Mayer Brown and served as Chief Staff Counsel for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

 

Burman is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received her J.D. from the University of Chicago where she was an editor of the law review. She was also was a fellow at both the New America Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Dr. Charity Dean is the CEO, Founder and Chairman of The Public Health Company, a venture-backed Silicon Valley technology startup. 

 

In August 2020 Dr. Dean founded PHC, envisioning a commercial-grade global biosecurity platform to empower enterprises to manage biorisk at scale. Dr. Dean’s obsession with building a new solution was born out of 24 years in public health and the recognition that Silicon Valley innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning could birth this entirely new capability. Two years later PHC PharosTM is a game-changer for numerous businesses providing real-time, dynamic risk management across their global footprint and assets. 

 

Dr. Dean founded PHC having served as the Assistant Director for the California Department of Public Health where she was part of the executive team under Governor Newsom running the COVID-19 pandemic response. She co-founded and co-chaired California’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force and under her leadership, California went from ranking last in the nation for testing to first in three months. In 2019, Dr. Dean served as Acting State Public Health Officer overseeing 4,300 staff with an annual operating budget of $3.5 billion. 

 

Before her move to statewide office, she served as the Public Health Officer for Santa Barbara County and oversaw a myriad of disease outbreaks and biological threats; she also served as attending physician for TB, HIV, and homeless medicine at the Santa Barbara Health Care Centers. 

 

Dr. Dean was awarded Physician of the Year in 2018 by the Central Coast Medical Association and honored as one of the Women of the Year by the California State Legislature.

 

Dr. Dean is a co-author of Lessons from the COVID War. Her work during the pandemic is the focus of Michael Lewis’ book The Premonition. Dr. Dean has shared her insights about the danger of biological threats and the changes we must make before the next crisis in a number of interviews and podcasts.

 

Dr. Dean holds a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University.

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