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CDC's National Center for Environmental Health Works with Thomson Reuters to Help Identify and Track Illnesses Related to Harmful Algal Blooms
Date:7/2/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomson Reuters is working with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health to support development of the CDC's Harmful Algal Bloom-related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS).

This unique system collects data on human and animal health and on the environmental effects of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

As part of the project, the National Center for Environmental Health developed new case definitions for HAB toxin-related diseases which Thomson Reuters has incorporated into its Micromedex POISINDEX(R) System. POISINDEX is a toxicology database used by all U.S. Poison Control Centers serving the 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and three Pacific jurisdictions. With the new case definitions, clinicians can determine quickly whether a case is consistent with HAB exposure and, if so, alert the CDC using contact information included in the POISINDEX entries.

Data collection in HABISS is underway in 13 states. Stored data will be used to help predict local HABs so state health and environmental officials can respond to reports of human and animal illnesses and anticipate public health problems.

"Harmful algal blooms are a real problem in many areas of the country, and can release toxins dangerous to humans and animals," said Dr. Lorraine Backer, senior scientist at the National Center for Environmental Health and leader in the HABISS project. "Working with Thomson Reuters' toxicology team to add the new HAB case definitions to POISINDEX puts the information needed to help identify and report suspected cases of HAB exposure at the fingertips of Poison Control Centers and hospital staff. This is a real plus for the HABISS project and CDC's efforts to improve public health."

The POISINDEX System builds on Thomson Reuters' database of more than 350,000 consumer, industrial, and pharmaceutic
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SOURCE Thomson Reuters
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