Spotlight on Our Team: Mark Springer

November 27, 2018

In each issue of the Epigram, we are pleased to introduce you to a member of the Disease Prevention and Response team at SRHD. In this issue we feature our senior Epidemiologist, Mark Springer, DC. Mark works in our Communicable Disease Epidemiology program where he focuses on communicable disease investigation and intervention, emergency preparedness, and community education.

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SRHD Communicable Disease Reporting Manual Now Online

November 27, 2018


In an attempt to conserve resources and provide better convenience with timely updates, the SRHD Communicable Disease Resources and Reporting Manual is now online. Here you will find healthcare provider-specific resources for notifiable conditions, report forms, STD screening and treatment guidelines, tuberculosis testing information, immunization schedules, patient materials, and more.

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Rabies PEP Can Often Be Avoided with Testing or Observation

November 27, 2018

Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), an expensive and time-consuming series of treatments, can often be avoided in situations where the animal is available for testing or observation. Rabies PEP is a medical urgency, not an emergency. PEP does not need to be started in most cases*

after an exposure, allowing time to determine if PEP is necessary based on the animal’s rabies status. Rabies testing can only be performed on the brain tissue of deceased animals.

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Laboratory Reporting of Notifiable Conditions to Public Health – A Perfect System?

November 27, 2018

Many providers assume laboratory reporting of notifiable conditions is automatic and comprehensive, eliminating the need for reporting from provider offices. While that is true in many instances, it is important to be aware of reporting requirements. Public health uses notifiable conditions information to aid in investigations, detect outbreaks, and for surveillance purposes, among other things.

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Laboratory Diagnosis of Syphilis Infection Remains a Challenge – Here’s Help

November 27, 2018

Syphilis infections (Treponema pallidum) continue to be reported at a high rate, both nationally as well as in Spokane County. Unless a person is symptomatic with primary lesions present on exam, syphilis must be confirmed through serologic testing. Unfortunately, there is no singular diagnostic test available for syphilis. Instead, we rely on multiple serologic tests in combination to confirm a syphilis diagnosis. Historically, two testing algorithms have been used.

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