Vol. 11, No. 1
Jan. 2019

SHL looks back at top stories of 2018

Jan. 29, 2019 --

Lab Link takes a look at a few environmental and public health stories from 2018 that illustrate the importance of the public health laboratory system.

SHL looks back at top stories of 2018

Officials confirm measles in Midwest and South

Four cases of measles recently have been confirmed in the Midwest and Arkansas. Health officials in Illinois announced unrelated cases of measles were confirmed in two passengers who arrived in Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10.


Salmonella outbreak expands, 65 infected in five states

An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium in chicken salad that began in Iowa on Feb. 9 has spread to Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Texas.


UI names Pentella director of Hygienic Laboratory

Michael Pentella, interim director of the State Hygienic Laboratory and a clinical professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health, has been named as the laboratory’s permanent director.


Association honors Heimdal with environmental award

The Iowa Public Health Association honored the SHL’s Dennis Heimdal with the 2018 Harry Grant Award for his public service to the state.


Children learn the wonders of water

More than 2,300 Iowa fifth graders met in Ankeny on May 10 to learn about the wonders of water at the 2018 Iowa Children’s Water Festival. The festival, in its 22nd year, attracted students from as far away as Omaha in the west and Keokuk in the east.


Researcher links lead poisoning cases in rural Iowa to Ayurvedic medicines

Don Simmons, Ankeny laboratory manager, co-authored research about a cluster of lead poisoning cases in rural Iowa related to Ayurvedic medicines. It was published online by the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.


Teachers learn lessons about public health

The State Hygienic Laboratory is hosting four Iowa math and science teachers for six-week immersive experiences through the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program. Since 2011, SHL has hosted many Iowa teachers to give them hands-on experience in a public health laboratory.


West Nile virus cases double

The number of West Nile virus cases in Iowa has doubled from nine on Aug. 21 to 18 as of Aug. 30. Sixteen others are under investigation. There have been two deaths attributed to West Nile virus this season.


Nation marks 100th anniversary of influenza pandemic

A hundred years ago, the nation and Iowa were reeling from the 1918 influenza pandemic that took an estimated 50 million lives, most of those of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.


West Nile virus cases highest since 2003

The number of West Nile virus cases soared this year to 95 as of Oct. 26, the second highest since 2003 when 147 human cases were reported. Included in the count of 2018 cases are five Iowa deaths, according to the CDC.


New video highlights SHL

A new video, “Keeping Iowans Healthy: State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa,” provides a glimpse of the way SHL helps ensure the good health of Iowans, national partners, and babies born in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alaska.


Big Ten Network features Project AWARE

When viewers tune in to the Big Ten Network, they may spot several SHL limnologists in a short video about Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition). Project AWARE is an annual river clean up that involves volunteers as stewards of Iowa waterways and increases awareness about water quality issues.