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MMWR News Synopsis for April 24, 2014

MMWR News Synopsis for April 24, 2014

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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

MMWR News Synopsis for April 24, 2014

Click here for the full MMWR articles. If you have questions about these summaries, pleast contact

1. Occupational Ladder Fall Injuries — United States, 2011

Ladder fall injuries represent a substantial public health burden of preventable injuries for workers including Hispanic, male, and older workers in construction, extraction, installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Employers, healthcare providers and safety professionals should collaborate to ensure availability and training of safe ladder practices both on and off the job. Ladder fall injuries represent a substantial public health burden of preventable injuries for workers. CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed data across multiple injury surveillance systems to fully characterize fatal and nonfatal injuries associated with ladder falls among workers in the United States. In 2011, work-related ladder fall injuries resulted in 113 fatalities; an estimated 15,460 nonfatal injuries were reported by employers that involved at least one day away from work; and an estimated 34,000 nonfatal injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments. The findings of this study reinforce the need for workplace safety research to prevent falls, including developing and disseminating innovative technologies to prevent LFIs.

2. Indoor Firing Ranges and Elevated Blood Lead Levels — United States, 2002–2013

People using or working around indoor firing ranges are being exposed to lead which can cause harmful health effects. Range owners and patrons should follow available guidance to reduce the exposures. Indoor firing ranges are a source of lead exposure to employees, their families, and range customers. From 2002–2012, 1,987 employees of law enforcement and amusement/ recreation industries had elevated blood lead levels (BLL), defined as >10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, as reported by the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology Surveillance Program. Other workplace investigations in Washington and California have also documented elevated BLLs among firing range employees and found the potential for “take-home” and community exposure to lead. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s lead standard is based on lead toxicity information that is now over 30 years old. Current medical information clearly demonstrates harmful effects at levels well below those allowed in the workplace.

3. Surveillance Systems to Track Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2012–2013

Weaknesses in detecting and investigating cases of paralysis have prevented early recognition of polio outbreaks in the Middle East, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa in 2013 that would have allowed faster outbreak control. To achieve and certify polio eradication, intensive efforts are needed to strengthen and maintain AFP surveillance throughout the world, including in field investigation and collection of specimens, particularly in countries with current or recent active poliovirus transmission and those countries in proximity to those countries. Polio cases are detected by searching for paralyzed children (acute flaccid paralysis [AFP] surveillance) and testing of stool specimens by the laboratories in a global network. The number of countries in Africa and the Middle East meeting national performance targets for disease detection and collection of adequate specimens declined from 27 (90 percent) in 2012 to 22 (73 percent) in 2013, primarily due to weakness in the African Region. Subnational areas of some countries meeting performance criteria still have severe weaknesses in surveillance. The laboratory network is meeting standards for rapid testing of specimens and identification of polioviruses. Intensive efforts are urgently needed to strengthen and maintain polio surveillance globally in countries of Africa, the Middle East and Asian subcontinent where there is current or recent active poliovirus transmission. Polio-free areas in all parts of the world also need to maintain strong polio surveillance.

4. Benefits from Immunization During the Vaccines for Children Program Era — United States, 1994–2013

The VFC program has contributed to high immunization rates and a dramatic decline of serious diseases like measles in the U.S. Sustaining high vaccination coverage rates is crucial to protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases that are still common in other parts of the world. The Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines to children whose parents or caregivers might otherwise be unable to afford them, has been highly effective improving the health of U.S. children. For children born in the VFC era (1994-2013), CDC reports that vaccination will prevent an estimated 323 million illnesses, 22 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes and at a net savings of $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs. Although the VFC is one of our most successful public-private partnerships for improving public health, ongoing effort is needed to sustain immunization rates and ensure children are staying up-to-date with their vaccinations.

5. Measles — California, January 1–April 18, 2014

Anita GoreDeputy Director
California Department of Public Health
Office of Public Affairs
All U.S residents born after 1956 should ensure that they have received MMR vaccine or have serological evidence of measles immunity, particularly if travel outside of North or South America is anticipated. California has seen an increase in the number of measles cases reported since the beginning of 2014. Most cases have been linked to a large outbreak in the Philippines. A number of cases were intentionally unvaccinated for measles.

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