Friday, November 21, 2014

Vaccine guidelines for adults and children

Easy-to-read guidelines are available on the Maine CDC and US CDC websites:
In addition, US CDC has developed a fact sheet that addresses common questions about pneumococcal vaccination for adults, including the difference between PCV13 and PPSV23 vaccines:
  • PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) protects against 13 of the approximately 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria that can cause pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia.
  • PPSV23 (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine)protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccine helps prevent invasive infections like meningitis and bacteremia, but only offers low levels of protection against pneumonia. 
The full fact sheet is available at

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Maine is experiencing an increase in reported cases of shigellosis. Transmission of shigellosis is due to direct or indirect contact with contaminated surfaces, individuals with symptoms or asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria, and consumption of contaminated water or food.

The best way to prevent transmission is to wash hands well and frequently. Symptoms of shigellosis include diarrhea, which can be bloody, fever, and abdominal cramps or pain.

To prevent the spread of Shigellosis:
  • Wash hands with soap and water carefully and frequently.
  • People with diarrheal illness should contact their health care provider and request testing.
  • People with diarrhea should not go to work, school, or participate in any activities.
  • People employed in high-risk settings (handle food, provide patient care, work in a daycare) must have two negative stool specimens before they can return to work. These stool specimens must be collected 48 hours after antibiotics end and collected 24 hours apart.
For health care providers:
  • If prescribing antibiotics: resistance to first-line drugs like ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is common, and resistance to other drugs is increasing; determine antibiotic susceptibilities prior to prescribing antibiotics.
  • Health care providers with patients with diarrheal illness should order bacterial stool cultures and antibiotic resistance testing.
  • Providers should remind patients to stay out of school, work, and other activities while they have diarrhea or follow exclusions for individuals in high risk settings.
  • Remind patients to wash hands with soap and water carefully and frequently, especially after using the bathroom.
All suspect cases and positive laboratory reports should be reported to the 24/7 disease reporting and consultation line at 1-800-821-5821 or by fax to 1-800-293-7534.

For More Information:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Be smart about your heart: Control the ABCS of Diabetes

It is estimated that 87,232 Mainers have diabetes and an additional 32,264 have it but do not know they have it.  If left undiagnosed and untreated diabetes can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputation, or death.

November is National Diabetes Month.  This year's theme highlights the critical link between diabetes and heart disease.  Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack or die of heart disease and are 1.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for a stroke than adults without diabetes.

Control the ABCS of Diabetes:

  • A1c Blood Glucose Level
    • An A1c test shows what your blood glucose (blood sugar) level has been for the last 3 months
    • High blood glucose levels can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, and feet
  • Blood Pressure
    • High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard
    • It can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease
  • Cholesterol
    • Bad cholesterol (LDL) can build up and clog your blood vessels
    • Can cause a heart attack or stroke
  • Smoking
    • Stop smoking
    • Call the Maine Tobacco Helpline: 1-800-207-1230
Heart disease can be a serious health problem for people with diabetes.  Taking care of your diabetes means you have less chance of having a heart attack or stroke.  Here is what you can do:
  • Eat well
  • Be active
  • Learn how to cope with stress
  • Take your medicine
  • Stop smoking
  • Attend Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT).  Ask your doctor or visit the Maine Diabetes Prevention and Control Program website to find a DSMT in your area
The Maine CDC Diabetes Prevention and Control Program(DPCP) focuses on promoting excellence in diabetes care; increasing access to care; promoting and supporting diabetes self-management education; preventing and reducing diabetes risk factors; and eliminating disparities related to diabetes prevention and control.

For more information, Maine DPCP recommends: