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NCMS Morning Rounds.

  March 4, 2020

First Covid-19 Case Confirmed in NC

Governor Roy Cooper announced yesterday a North Carolina person has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. The person is doing well and is in isolation at home.

“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” the Governor said. “Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”

The North Carolina person from Wake County traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak. Local health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain spread. To protect individual privacy, no further information was released.

While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection. This represents an isolated case, and COVID-19 is currently not widespread in North Carolina.

Last month, Governor Cooper established the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force to support the state’s ongoing effort to monitor, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. Read a list of state actions thus far as part of this press release from Gov. Cooper’s office.

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. To help ensure credible information is being disseminated, NCDHHS is staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public. That number is 866-462-3821.

The state also is maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance. This page has specific information for health care providers in North Carolina including resources to download for your patients.

The CDC website also has up-to-date information for health care professionals.

New Diabetes Data Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. This periodic report includes updated statistics about diabetes in the United States, including the prevalence and incidence of diabetes, prediabetes, risk factors for complications, acute and long-term complications, deaths and costs. Read the report.

The main findings include that 34.2 million Americans (1 in 10) have diabetes, and 88 million American adults (1 in 3) have prediabetes.

The NCMS is working with the AMA and other stakeholder groups to prevent diabetes in North Carolina through Diabetes Prevention Programs. Learn more about the DiabetesFreeNC initiative.

April Hearing Set on Proposed Disease Reporting Rules

The North Carolina Commission for Public Health (CPH) has proposed amending the communicable diseases and conditions reporting requirements to add Acute Flaccid Myelitis, Babesiosis, Varicella and Interferon Gamma Release Assay testing; to re-list Zika; and to make technical changes related to nomenclature, timing of reporting and scientific progress in laboratory testing and reporting. The Commission also adopted an emergency reporting procedure for novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on Feb. 5, effective on Feb. 17, which will be considered.

The text of the proposed rules may be found here on CPH’s website.

A public hearing on these rules is scheduled for Monday, April 13 at 10 am in the Cardinal Conference Room, 5605 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609, Building 3, 1st Floor. CPH is accepting public comments on these rules until May 1, 2020. You may submit comments by email to [email protected] or mail to Virginia Niehaus, Rulemaking Coordinator, Commission for Public Health, 1931 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1931. Comments will also be accepted at the public hearing. The proposed effective date of the rule is July 1, 2020.

If you have questions please contact Jean-Marie Maillard, MD, MSc, Medical Director, Communicable Disease Branch, Epidemiology Section, Division of Public Health at 919-733-3419.

In the News

What’s Wrong with How We Diagnose Obesity? Blame ICD-10, According to These Researchers, The Advisory Board Forum/Obesity, 3-2-20

Learning Opportunity

The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina in partnership with Unmasking Brain Injury, will host a reception to mark the opening of the Unmasking Brain Injury Project Exhibit on March 11 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, where the exhibit will be displayed throughout March, Brain Injury Awareness month. Please RSVP via email to [email protected] or at 919-833-9634.