Senator Tim Corder
Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee
Senator Gary Schroeder
Senate Resources and Environment Committee

Idaho State Senate
State Capitol
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0081

February 16, 2010

Recently a great deal of information has become available, via the internet, about a little known parasite, Echinococcus, and a disease caused by E. granulosus called Hydatid disease. Because of the concern indicated in the information and the assertions that factual data is being purposefully withheld it would seem prudent to adopt a plan for discovery and action. The actions and discoveries, outlined below, will assist in determining the nature of the risk to human health directly or indirectly through pets, game animals or livestock. Science based discoveries will dictate the actions to be taken to protect the public health, game herds, pets, and livestock.

Discoveries and actions to be taken:

The Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health will request for the human medical provider community to notify state epidemiologist Dr. Hahn of suspicious or irregular findings consistent with echinococcal disease. They will also get information to family physicians, radiologists, and state disease specialists and survey them about possible cases they may have investigated in Idaho. In addition, they will work to raise awareness in the physician community of the potential for echinococcal disease transmission in Idaho and

1. Evaluate the value of explicitly adding human echinococcal disease to the state’s reportable diseases and conditions (it currently could be reported as an “extraordinary occurrence of illness” under the Reportable Disease Rules).
2. Department of Agriculture will evaluate placement of the disease on the “Notifiable” list of livestock diseases.
3. Request for wildlife biologists that have worked with canids to be checked for the presence of Hydatid cysts.
4. Request federal inspection reports from slaughter houses processing livestock.
5. The Department of Health and Welfare will update their web site to place a link for hunters and those handling wild game. The site will offer safe handling techniques and precautions that will minimize risk for echinococcal and other disease transmission.
6. The Department of Agriculture will offer similar information to livestock producers.
7. State medical authorities Dr Hahn, Dr. Barton, and Dr. Drew will contact the individuals whose research has been cited on the internet to ensure they have a full awareness of those researchers’ positions on echinococcal disease and transmission risk.
8. Drs. Hahn and Tengelsen from the Department of Health and Welfare will make the CDC aware of the changing epidemiology and concerns about potential risk and enlist their assistance in gathering information that will help clarify the epidemiology of echinococcal disease in Idaho.
9. Develop a plan for expanding the examination of canid, cervid, ungulate and other carcasses and the accumulation of data.
10. Use examinations to determine whether more than one species of echinococcus is present.
11. Designate a resident location for the compilation of data and available resources.