Health Alerts

The following urgent health information is distributed through the North Dakota Health Alert Network.

Health alerts are announcements released by local, state or federal public health authorities to inform public health and medical professionals about likely or imminent dangers to the health of the community.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; no immediate action necessary.
  • HAN Information: is used to distribute general correspondence which is not necessarily considered to be of an emergent nature.

Health Alert messages are distributed by the NDHAN to local public health units, clinics, hospitals, physicians, tribal health, and statewide health associations, including the North Dakota Nurses Association, the North Dakota Healthcare Association and the North Dakota Medical Association.


Ongoing Cyber Threat Impacting Health Care (6/30/2017)
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has been monitoring an international ransomware campaign, referred to as “WannaCry 2.0 or Petya” in the media that has affected critical infrastructure sectors including health care and public sector assets in the U.S., as well as the transportation sector. Please contact the North Dakota Department of Health at 701.328.2270 and let them know if your health care facility has been impacted (either directly or indirectly) by this incident.
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Free West Nile Virus Testing Offered Through September 30, 2017 (6/1/2017)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) offers free human West Nile Virus (WNV) testing through September 30, 2017, on specimens from patients meeting certain criteria.
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Potential for Falsely Low Blood Lead Test Results from LeadCare® Analyzers (5/17/2017)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety communication warning about the use of Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare® analyzers (LeadCare, LeadCare II, LeadCare Ultra and LeadCare Plus) with venous blood samples because they might result in falsely low test results. FDA is now advising that Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare® analyzers should no longer be used with venous blood samples. The safety alert does not apply to capillary blood lead test results collected by finger stick or heel stick. The purpose of this Health Advisory is to notify state and local health departments, healthcare providers, and laboratories about CDC’s re-testing guidance in light of the safety alert.
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CDC Update on Continued Shortage of Bicillin L-A® (4/27/2017)
Please plan and forecast demand in your facility based on the rate of increase of syphilis cases in your jurisdiction. Report any shortages to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) when inventory is less than two months of product based on projected use. Contacting Pfizer may also help your agency find wholesalers with available supply. Pfizer can be contacted at 800.533.4535.
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Health Care Providers Urged to Maintain a High Awareness for Measles (4/26/2017)
Outbreaks of measles are occurring in Europe and the United States. Minnesota, specifically Hennepin County, is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles. As of April 24, 2017, there have been 20 confirmed cases in Somali children ages 0 to 5 years, 10 of whom have been hospitalized. So far, 16 of the 20 cases have been confirmed to be unvaccinated; the vaccination status of the remaining four cases has not yet been determined. Health care providers should maintain a high awareness for measles among febrile patients with rash, especially in those without two documented doses of MMR. If health care providers suspect measles, the case should be isolated following airborne precautions and reported to the NDDoH immediately.
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CDC Recommendations for Diagnosing and Managing Shigella Strains with Possible Reduced Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin (4/20/2017)
This Health Advisory outlines new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for diagnosing and managing Shigella strains with possible reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin.
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ND HAN: 193071602 Best Practices for Using PCR to Diagnose Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis and Identify Serotype or Serogroup (7/11/2016)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is forwarding the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding best practices for using PCR to diagnose Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis and identify serotype or serogroup.
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ND HAN: 1781601 Multi-State Outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia (6/27/2016)
Outbreak of Burkholdia cepacia
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'ND HAN: 1781602 Use of Flumist (6/27/2016)
Advisory against the use of Flumist
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Mumps in ND (3/16/2016)
Information on Mumps in North Dakota
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Zika Virus Testing and Surveillance Updates (2/26/2016)
This health update addresses the following topics: Increased surveillance for Zika virus infections. Testing infants and children for evidence of Zika virus infection. Updates on sexual transmission of Zika virus and the availability of RT-PCR testing at the North Dakota Department of Health.
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Zika Virus Guidance (2/5/2016)
The purpose of this health update is to give health care providers additional information about Zika virus, sexual transmission of the virus, updated recommendations for pregnant women, and interim guidance for infants. Although this HAN provides a high level summary of the guidance, providers are encouraged to read the guidance documents in their entirety.
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Zika Virus Guidance (1/20/2016)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed information and guidance regarding the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas, including clinical considerations for travelers. This mosquito-borne virus is currently being transmitted in several areas in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean.
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HAN Alert Legionnaires Disease (11/6/2015)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is investigating two possible travel-related cases of Legionnaires’ disease.
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