Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
At a Glance
  • State Population: 5,813,568
  • Local Health Departments: 97
  • Frequent Public Health Emergencies: Tornadoes, Flooding, Disease Outbreaks
  • Key Emergency Operations Center Activations: 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic; 2018: Massive Flooding Across 22 Counties; 2017: Seoul Hantavirus
  • CDC PHEP Funding:
    FY 2021: $11,623,201
    FY 2020: $11,408,763
  • CDC Crisis Response Funding: COVID-19
    FY 2021: $35,053,171
    FY 2020: $10,700,192
PHEP-Funded Staff
  • Epidemiologists: 1
  • Educators: 1
  • Health Professionals: 2
  • Other*: 16

*Includes IT specialists, administrative staff, statisticians, and other positions

Top 5 Preparedness Investments
  1. Public Health Laboratory Testing
  2. Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation
  3. Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Administration
  4. Emergency Public Information and Warning
  5. Community Recovery
Stories from the Field
Wisconsin Hantavirus
PHEP Keeps Wisconsin Responders Safe during Dangerous Disease Outbreak

In Wisconsin, PHEP develops guidance for emergency responders to stay safe while responding to infectious disease outbreaks. In early 2017, a Wisconsin child became ill during a multistate outbreak of Seoul virus, a life-threatening disease transmitted to people through contact with infected rats or their droppings. Because there is currently no effective treatment for Seoul virus infection, preventing infections in people is important. PHEP-funded staff ensured that responders investigating rat-breeding facilities had proper personal protective equipment and guidance on how to use it effectively. The outbreak ended with only three total cases in Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin Hantavirus
Wisconsin LRN Lab Develops Novel Test to Help Fight Drug Poisoning

Synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as “synthetic marijuana,” “Spice,” or “K2,” are manmade chemicals added to plant material and used as an alternative to marijuana. While seemingly innocuous, these small packages of “fake weed” can cause serious side effects. Beginning in early 2018, at least 324 people in the United States who reported using synthetic cannabinoids experienced unexplained bleeding, with eight fatalities. The largest number of cases occurred in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin Outbreak
Responding to an Outbreak of Rare Bacteria Elizabethkingia Anophelis

When the Wisconsin Department of Health Services identified an outbreak of a bacteria in 2015, a PHEP-funded Career Epidemiology Field Officer (CEFO) worked with state health officials to rapidly detect cases and identify the specific bacteria causing these infections. They identified the cause to be the antibiotic resistant bacteria known as Elizabethkingia anophelis. This outbreak, which primarily affected older adults, caused 63 confirmed cases and 18 deaths. The CEFO and health department’s quick identification of this bacteria and notification of healthcare providers statewide led to improved clinical guidelines that ultimately reduced fatalities of infected patients by 50 percent.

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Page last reviewed: January 19, 2022, 08:45 AM