IPHA and IDPH are sad to inform readers of the passing of Carl W. Langkop, M.S.P.H. former chief of the CD Section. Carl’s service to the Department spanned more than 30 years, from the late 60’s through 2003. In addition to Carl’s exceptional epidemiologic skill, he was known for his innovative methods to identify, investigate and contain outbreaks of infectious diseases. During his time at DPH, staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would periodically seek his opinion on ways of solving a “difficult” outbreak investigation particularly enteric diseases or meningococcal meningitis. During his time as chief Carl:
- Managed the largest Salmonella outbreak ever recorded which included > 16,000 culture-confirmed cases in persons who consumed milk from a state of the art dairy,
- Identified the first Salmonella outbreak associated with produce in the US,
- Initiated an experiment with a lab that proved Salmonella could be found in whole intact eggs,
- Launched IDPH’s first HIV-AIDS Section,
- Managed the largest Leptospirosis outbreak ever reported in the continental U.S. ,
- Identified various large community outbreaks of invasive meningococcal disease that prompted community vaccine programs for those at risk, and
- Managed new infectious disease challenges such as West Nile virus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to name just a few.
Carl found it a pleasure to work with local health department staff. He thoroughly believed that local health department staff provided the “boots on the ground locally” that actually got the work accomplished. CD staff remains respectfully thankful for his many talents and willingness to share his knowledge with us.