Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sleeping Sickness: Parasites - African Trypanosomiasis

African Trypanosomiasis, also called as "sleeping sickness," is caused by microscopic parasites of the species Trypanosoma brucei. It is carried by the tsetse fly (Glossina species), which is found only in rural Africa. Although the infection is not found in the United States, historically, it has been a serious public health problem in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, about 10,000 new cases each year are reported to the World Health organization; however, it is conceived that many cases go undiagnosed and unreported. Sleeping sickness is curable with medication, but is disastrous if left untreated.


All persons diagnosed with African Trypanosomiasis should get treatment. The specific drug and treatment course will depend on the type of infection (T. b. gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense) and the disease stage (i.e. whether the central anxious system has been invaded by the parasite). Pentamidine, which is the recommended drug for first stage T. b. gambiense infection, is widely available in the U.S. The other drugs (suramin, melarsoprol, eflornithine, and nifurtimox) used to treat African trypanosomiasis are available in the U.S. only from the CDC. Physicians can look up with CDC staff for advice on diagnosis and management and to find otherwise unavailable treatment drug.

Prevent and Control

Control of African trypanosomiasis rests on two schemes: reducing the disease reservoir and controlling the tsetse fly vector. Because humans are the significant disease reservoir for T. b. gambiense, the main control strategy for this subspecies is active case-finding through population screening, followed by treatment of the infected persons that are identified.

Monday, February 6, 2012

AFIX - Health Quality Improvement Strategy

AFIX (Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange) 

AFIX is a choice improvement strategy used by grantees to raise immunization coverage levels and improve standards of practices at the provider level. The acronym for this four-part dynamic scheme stands for

Assessment of the healthcare provider's vaccination reportage levels and immunization practices,

Feedback of results to the provider along with recommended strategies to better processes, immunization practices, and coverage levels,

Incentives to distinguish and reward improved performance, and

Exchange of healthcare information and resources require to facilitate improvement.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aerosols Hazards & Exposures

This page provides links to a variety of information regarding the measurement, control, exposure characterization & health effects associated with aerosols in the workplace. The definition of an aerosol, as used here, is a suspension of small particles or droplets in the air, such as dusts, mists, or fumes. These particles may be inhaled or absorbed by the skin, & can sometimes cause adverse heath effects for workers. NIOSH has carried out extensive research to minimize the adverse health effects associated with aerosol exposures. Results of such research are available through the links on this page.

Aerosol Sampling

While looking for ways to improve the collection and analysis of bioaerosols, a NIOSH scientist has developed a brand spanking new design for a cyclone bioaerosol sampler. A cyclone sampler draws air in to a cylindrical chamber where the air flow is rotated. Particles of a sufficiently huge size move toward the walls of the chamber by centrifugal force, where they are collected.