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MMWR
Synopsis for December 15, 2000

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. E.S.T. Thursdays.

  1. Houseboat-Associated Carbon Monoxide Poisonings on Lake Powell Arizona and Utah, 2000
  2. Unpowered Scooter Injuries United States, 19982000
  3. Human Rabies California, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, 2000

Recommendations and Reports

December 15, 2000/Vol. 49/RR-15
Use of Anthrax Vaccine in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
These recommendations concern the use of anthrax vaccine (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed [AVA], BioPort Corporation, Lansing, MI) in the United States for protection against disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. In addition, information is included regarding the use of the vaccine for chemoprophylaxis against B. anthracis.

Contact: David Ashford, M.D.
CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 6393158


MMWR Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: Preventing Unpowered Scooter-related Injuries

How large a problem are unpowered scooter-related injuries in the United States?
Between January and October 2000, an estimated 27,600 people sought care at emergency departments for injuries from riding lightweight, unpowered scooters. Two people are known to have died while using a scooter: an adult who fell and struck his head, and one six-year-old child rode into traffic and was struck by a car.

Who is sustaining these injuries?
Eighty-five percent (85%) of the injuries treated in emergency departments during that ten-month period were to children younger than 15. Twenty-three percent (23%) were to children younger than eight years old. Two-thirds of those injured were males.

How serious are these injuries?
The most common type of injury was a fracture or dislocation, most often to the arm or hand. Other types of common injuries were lacerations (or cuts), contusions, abrasions, strains, and sprains. Most injuries (42%) were to the arm or hand. Twenty-seven percent (27%) were to the head or face, and 24% were to the leg or foot.

How can someone reduce the risk of injury?
CDC and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend that anyone riding an unpowered scooter:

  • wear a helmet that meets the standard established by CPSC

  • use knee and elbow pads

  • ride scooters on smooth, paved surfaces without any traffic, avoiding streets and any surface with water, sand, gravel, or dirt

  • ride only in daylight

  • have adults closely supervise young children when they ride scooters.

Lightweight aluminum scooters are new products, so there has not been time to conduct a study demonstrating the effectiveness of particular safety gear. However, methods of preventing injuries have been proven for in-line skating, roller skating, and bicycle riding, activities similar in many ways to riding a scooter. Consequently, until studies testing safety gear for riding scooters are completed, CDC and CPSC recommend following the safety precautions proven to be effective for skating and bicycle riding. For example, using helmets may prevent 85% of head injuries. Elbow pads may prevent 82% of elbow injuries. And knee pads may prevent 32% of injuries to the knee.


Special Notice to Media

The MMWR will not be published on Friday, December 29, 2000.


Synopsis for December 15, 2000

Houseboat-Associated Carbon Monoxide Poisonings on Lake Powell Arizona and Utah, 2000

In August 2000, two brothers, 8 and 11 years of age, drowned in Lake Powell as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Jane McCammon, M.S.

CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health
(520) 6086200 (Thursday, December 14, 2000)
(303) 2366032 (Friday, December 15, 2000)
 

Because several CO-related deaths had occurred on boats of similar design (extended stern deck with a water-level swim platform, generator and engines exhausting into the airspace beneath the deck) , the U.S. National Park Service at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (which contains Lake Powell) joined with other Federal agencies to investigate CO poisonings occurring between 19902000, and to characterize CO concentrations. The 5 additional fatal and 30 nonfatal outdoor CO poisonings that occurred on Lake Powell, under circumstances similar to those in the August deaths, indicate the need to redesign old and new boats to reduce the hazard. Additionally, the very high CO concentrations measured outdoors (up to 30,000 parts per million) around and under the stern deck point to a need for increased public and medical community awareness of the risk for CO poisoning.

 

Unpowered Scooter Injuries United States, 19982000

People who choose to ride lightweight, unpowered scooters or who buy scooters for their children can reduce the risk of injury by following a few simple safety precautions.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Office of Communications

CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
(770) 4884298 (Norman Black)
 

A descriptive analysis conducted by researchers at CDC and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that from January through October, 2000, an estimated 27,600 people sought emergency department care for unpowered scooter-related injuries. Eighty-five percent of the injuries were to children younger than 15 years old, and 23% were to children younger than 8 years old. Two-thirds of those injured were males. The most common types of injuries were fractures or dislocations, lacerations, contusions, and strains or sprains. The arm or hand were most commonly injured, followed by the head or face, and the leg or foot. To reduce the risk of injury, researchers recommend that scooter riders wear a helmet, use elbow and knee pads, and ride during daylight on smooth surfaces without any traffic. Adults should closely supervise young children who ride scooters.

 

Human Rabies California, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, 2000

Consider rabies in the differential diagnosis of any case of rapidly progressive encephalitis.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Robert Gibbons, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 6391521
 

There have been 5 human rabies deaths (California, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin) in the United States in the past 3 months. Four of the five deaths were due to rabies virus variants that are associated with bats in the United States. Anyone with direct contact with a bat should seek medical attention to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. One of the five persons who died was a resident of Ghana that had been bitten by a dog before traveling to the United States. Anyone bitten or scratched by any animal should thoroughly wash all wounds and seek medical attention to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. While human rabies is rare in the United States (these are the first cases since December 1998), providers should consider the possibility of rabies for anyone with an acute central nervous system (brain) infection.


 

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