MMWR- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
MMWR News Synopsis for December 16, 2016
Resurgence of Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners — Eastern Kentucky, 2016
Effective dust control, enhanced educational outreach, and improved medical surveillance are needed to protect U.S. coal miners. The prevalence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fell precipitously after implementation of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and reached historic lows in the 1990s, with the most severe form, progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), nearly eradicated. Since that time, increases in the prevalence and severity of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis have occurred, especially in central Appalachia. During January 2015–August 2016, 60 PMF cases were identified through a single radiologist’s practice in eastern Kentucky. This cluster was not identified through the national surveillance program.
Assessing Change in Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus Infections During the Fourth Epidemic — China, 2013–2016
Although there is no evidence of increased human-to-human transmissibility of A(H7N9) viruses during the fourth epidemic (September 2015-August 2016), the continued geographic spread of infections, the identification of novel reassortant viruses, and the pandemic potential of the virus underscore the importance of rigorous A(H7N9) virus surveillance and continued risk assessment among humans and poultry in China and neighboring countries to rapidly detect, control, and prevent the spread of A(H7N9) to the global community. Since human infections with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus were first reported by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) in March 2013, China has experienced four influenza A (H7N9) virus epidemics. As of August 31, 2016, mainland China had reported a total of 775 laboratory-confirmed human infections with A (H7N9) virus from 16 provinces and three municipalities during the four epidemics. Whereas age and sex distribution and exposure history in the fourth epidemic (September 2015-August 2016) were similar to those in the first three epidemics, the fourth epidemic demonstrated a greater proportion of infected persons living in rural areas, a continued geographic spread of the virus, and a longer epidemic period. The genetic markers of mammalian adaptation and antiviral resistance remained similar across each epidemic, and viruses from the fourth epidemic remained antigenically well matched to current candidate vaccine viruses. There is no evidence of increased human-to-human transmissibility of A (H7N9) viruses.
Leading Causes of Cancer Mortality — Caribbean Region, 2003–2013
The leading causes of cancer deaths in the Caribbean region for both males and females can largely be reduced and prevented through strategies such as primary prevention, early detection, and management and treatment of patients with cancer. Prevention strategies include HPV vaccination and screening for cervical cancer, screening for breast cancer, and avoiding smoking for lung cancer. In the Caribbean region, cancer is the second leading cause of death with an estimated 87,430 cancer-related deaths reported in 2012. Prostate cancers are the leading cause of cancer deaths among Caribbean men accounting for 18 percent to 47 percent of cancer deaths, followed by lung cancers accounting for 5 percent to 24 percent of cancer deaths. Breast cancers are the leading causes of cancer deaths among Caribbean women accounting for 14 percent to 30 percent of cancer deaths followed by cervical cancers accounting for 4 percent to 18 percent of cancer deaths.