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MMWR
Synopsis for December 24, 2004

The MMWR is embargoed until Wednesday, 12 PM EDT.

  1. Recovery of a Patient from Clinical Rabies ― Wisconsin, 2004
  2. New Year's Eve Injuries Caused by Celebratory Gunfire ― Puerto Rico, 2004
  3. Survey of Airport Smoking Policies ― United States, 2002
  4. Alcohol Consumption Among Women Who Are Pregnant or Who Might Become Pregnant ― United States, 2002
  5. Investigation of a Home with Extremely Elevated Carbon Dioxide Levels ― West Virginia, December 2003
  6. Acute Illness from Dry Ice Exposure During Hurricane Ivan ― Alabama, 2004
  7. Updated Interim Influenza Vaccination Recommendations ― 2004-05 Influenza Season
No MMWR Telebriefing is scheduled for December 22, 2004

Recovery of a Patient from Clinical Rabies ―
Wisconsin, 2004

This is the first documented case of a person surviving rabies without pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis. Because rabies is an acute, progressive, fatal viral disease that is preventable with proper post-exposure prophylaxis, it’s important for those who have possible exposure to rabies seek medical attention immediately.

PRESS CONTACT:
Alexandra P. Newman, DVM, MPH

Wisconsin Division of Public Health
CDC, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer
(404) 639-3286

 

Rabies is an acute, progressive, fatal viral disease that is preventable with proper post-exposure prophylaxis. A 15-year-old female from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, is the first documented person to survive clinical rabies without receiving either pre- or post-exposure rabies prophylaxis. If direct contact with a bat occurs, exposed people should immediately 1) wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, 2) capture the animal safely for testing 3) contact local or state public health officials, and 4) visit a physician for treatment and evaluation regarding the need for post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent clinical rabies. Clinicians and the public should recognize the risk of rabies from direct contact with bats and not regard it as curable on the basis of the outcome of this case.

New Year's Eve Injuries Caused by Celebratory Gunfire ― Puerto Rico, 2004

Firing guns in the air to celebrate can have serious and even deadly consequences. There is a multi-agency prevention effort underway by several Puerto Rican agencies to reduce celebratory gunfire-related injuries in Puerto Rico this New Year's.

PRESS CONTACT:
Juan Alonso-Echanove, MD/ Fransico Alvardo-Ramy, MD

Puerto Rico Department of Health
Juan available 12/23-12/26/04 and Fransico 12/27-1/01/04
(787) 773-0600 x258/ or x 262

 

Results of a study by the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) and CDC released today show that that 18 people were injured and 1 killed in Puerto Rico around New Year’s Eve last year as a result of celebratory gunfire. Over 75 percent of these celebratory gunfire-related injuries occurred in public housing complexes. While most victims were males, over 20 percent (4) were children younger than 15 and over a third (7) were female. Celebrating New Year’s Eve by firing guns into the air is a highly preventable cause of serious injury affecting groups such as women and children that typically experience fewer gunfire-related injuries. The Puerto Rico DOH, in collaboration with law enforcement and the Puerto Rico Departments of State, Health, Family, Housing, and Education, is participating in a multi-agency prevention effort for New Year’s 2004 intended to reduce celebratory gunfire injuries. This includes educational campaigns developed by these agencies to increase awareness of the risk of injury from firing guns into the air and improved enforcement by local authorities of existing laws banning celebratory gunfire. In addition, the PRDOH, along with local hospitals, will be doing continuous monitoring of celebratory gunfire-related injuries.

Survey of Airport Smoking Policies ― United States, 2002

While over 60 percent of airports reported they were smoke-free in 2002, larger airports that account for a majority of passenger boardings were less likely than smaller airports to have a smoke-free policy in place. Increased adoption, communication, and enforcement of smoke-free policies are needed to protect the health of workers and travelers at U.S. airports.

PRESS CONTACT:
Office of Communications

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(770) 488-5131

 

A study published in the December 24 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that just over 60 percent of airports reported they were smoke-free in a 2002 survey. Larger airports that account for the majority of passenger boardings, however, were less likely than smaller airports to have a smoke-free policy in place. Less than half of the largest airports reported such a policy. The survey results indicate that travelers and employees at many U.S. airports lack adequate protection from secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure has been shown to cause lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmoking adults and lower respiratory infections, chronic ear infections, and asthma among children and adolescents. There is no known safe level of secondhand smoke exposure, and evidence suggests that even short-term exposure may increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack. Increased adoption, communication, and enforcement of smoke-free policies are needed to protect the health of workers and travelers at U.S. airports.

Alcohol Consumption Among Women Who Are Pregnant or Who Might Become Pregnant ― United States, 2002

To date, no level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been found to be safe. Current national guidelines recommend that women who are pregnant or might become pregnant abstain from alcohol use. However, there is a high percentage of women who continue to drink during pregnancy, including those who are pregnant and don’t know it, therefore placing themselves at risk for having a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

PRESS CONTACT:
Dr. Louise Floyd

Office of Communications
CDC, National Center for Birth Defects
(404) 639-3286

 

CDC monitors the prevalence of alcohol use among women of childbearing age in the United States with the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in order to identify the population at risk and design prevention programs for improving pregnancy outcomes. In 2002, with the inclusion of a family planning module in the BRFSS, information became available to assess the alcohol consumption patterns among pregnant women, as well as among those who might become pregnant. CDC analyzed the survey data of the 2002 BRFSS to determine the patterns of alcohol consumption among U.S. women 18–44 years of age. The results of that analysis indicated that the prevalence rates for binge drinking, frequent use, and any use of alcohol remained relatively stable among pregnant women when compared with prevalence rates in the previous report. The results also showed that the prevalence rates for binge drinking, frequent use, and any alcohol consumption for women who might become pregnant were virtually the same as the rates for childbearing-aged women in general. Dysmorphic brain development as result of prenatal alcohol consumption was observed in the fetus as early as 3–6 weeks of gestation. This is a period during which most women might not realize that they are pregnant.

Investigation of a Home with Extremely Elevated Carbon Dioxide Levels ― West Virginia, December 2003

Homeowners, indoor workers, public utility workers, emergency response workers, and remediation workers in mining areas may be at risk from dangers associated with oxygen deficiency and extremely elevated carbon dioxide exposures.

PRESS CONTACT:
Lisa Benaise, MD, MPH

Division of Respiratory Disease Studies
CDC, National Center for Occupational Safety and Health
(202) 260-8519

 

Public utility workers, first responders, and health providers should be aware of the risk of incapacitation or death from oxygen deficiency and carbon dioxide toxicity when occupants of buildings in areas with reclaimed or abandoned coal mines complain of shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, confusion, or have difficulty maintaining their pilot lights. The results of this investigation underscore the need for heightened public awareness and special training for workers, careful measurements of the environment to assess potential risks, and precautions to avoid incapacitation and prepare for rescue should a worker encounter immediately dangerous conditions. In locations where similar problems are recognized, building codes for new homes and workplaces that mandate preventive construction may be appropriate public health actions.

 

Acute Illness from Dry Ice Exposure During
Hurricane Ivan ― Alabama, 2004

Precautions are necessary when handling dry ice.

PRESS CONTACT:
Martin Belson, MD

Medical Toxiocologist
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(404)498-0070
 

Natural disasters such as hurricanes often impair the delivery of essential services, including the provision of electricity. If normal refrigeration methods are unavailable, affected populations may seek alternative means of protecting perishable foodstuffs, such as dry ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. This brief report describes an illness that occurred in an Alabaman man during Hurricane Ivan from dry ice exposure. Illness and death related to handling or use of dry ice is preventable. Because carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless, it is essential that persons transporting, using and storing dry ice are educated about potential dangers.

Updated Interim Influenza Vaccination
Recommendations ― 2004-05 Influenza Season

PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communications
(404) 639-3286
 

No summary available.

 

 

 

 


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