Meningococcal (bacterial) meningitis case in shelter resident

A resident of a homeless shelter in Seattle tested positive for bacterial meningitis (meningococcal disease) on March 18. The patient, a man in his 60s, is hospitalized and his condition is improving. The bacteria that causes meningococcal disease spreads through direct contact with infectious saliva or respiratory droplets (e.g. being coughed, sneezed or spit on, […]

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Q&A with Dr. Jeff Duchin: Communicable disease outbreaks show homeless at increased risk

Public Health is currently responding to increases in several infectious diseases in King County that particularly affect people living homeless. These diseases include group A streptococcal infections, Shigella, and a cluster of serious infections transmitted by body lice called Bartonella quintana. We sat down with Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer and Chief of Communicable Disease […]

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Flu Update: Just how bad has it been in King County?

Copious media coverage has described the unusually widespread and severe flu season nationally. But what has it been like in our region? We checked in with Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer and Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization, to find out the current status of flu locally. What’s happening now and how do you […]

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A new population may be at risk for HIV. Here’s why.

Public health focuses HIV prevention activities to those at highest risk. In King County, that has meant decades of intensive work to reduce transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), the group most impacted by HIV locally.  As a result of that targeted strategy, the number of new cases of HIV […]

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Does Australia’s flu vaccine effectiveness translate here?

How well each season’s flu vaccine works to prevent illness varies from season to season, depending on the match between the flu viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against and the flu viruses that are circulating when the flu season arrives. Recent news coverage about a study done in Australia related to the effectiveness […]

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