Erie County Department of Health Epidemiology Staff, Erie County Department of Health

Left to Right: Michael Amato, MPH, Assistant Epidemiologist; Judy Courtade, Principal Clerk; Patricia Huels, Senior Statistical Clerk; Lara Nkurunungi, Junior Epidemiologist; Sandy Kopera, Senior Clerk-Stenographer; Mary Walawander-Lanning, Associate Epidemiologist

In May 2017, the Erie County Department of Health (ECDH) Epidemiology Program was awarded $30,000 in performance incentive dollars from the New York State Department of Health. The State measured adequacy of gonorrhea treatment, the completeness of syphilis serology records and the reporting of the timeliness and completeness of communicable disease reports and investigations over a six-month period. The ECDH maintained high standards of communicable disease reporting across all measures during the performance period.

In 2018, Erie County experienced a large increase in Hepatitis A (Hep A) cases. The number of cases increased from two to four per year to 20 cases by November 2018, with concern that more may be unreported. While a few food service workers tested positive for Hep A, most cases were found in the homeless population. Several Hep A Points of Distribution (PODs) have been set up to vaccinate the homeless population, individuals who have eaten at affected restaurants and the larger population. Epidemiology staff continue to conduct surveillance, investigation, education and outreach for the current Hep A outbreak as well as collaborate with state and local partners to prevent further incidence. These public health practices have successfully prevented any larger outbreaks to date.