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Iowa Releases Yearly Disease Report

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released the annual Iowa Surveillance of Notifiable and Other Diseases Report. This yearly report provides an overall snapshot of the types and trends of infectious diseases that occur in Iowa. In 2008, the IDPH division of Acute Disease Prevention and Emergency Response (ADPER) processed nearly 50,000 reports of infectious disease.

"Infectious disease investigation is a great example of what public health does," said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. "By tracking and investigating infectious diseases, IDPH is able to identify trends and outbreaks, and take action to protect the public's health."

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In 2008, Iowa saw a significant increase in the number of hepatitis A cases. There were 109 cases reported last year, a 294 percent increase over the three year average from 2005-2007. Extensive investigation revealed no common source of infection. Hepatitis A can be a disease that occurs in cycles; spikes in infection rates are often seen every ten years. The last major outbreak of hepatitis A was in 1997.

Rates of Chlamydia rose 15 percent in 2008, mirroring an increase in cases nationally. Conversely, gonorrhea diagnoses declined slightly. There were 108 new cases of HIV infection reported last year, down from 128 the previous year.

Unusual and rare diseases reported in Iowa last year included Hansen's disease, or Leprosy. One case, involving an immigrant from Micronesia who had been living in the U.S. for many years, was reported. There was one probable case of menstruation-associated Toxic Shock Syndrome occurring in a teenager.