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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

School-Associated Student Homicides — United States 1992–2006

PRESS CONTACT: CDC
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Media Relations
(770) 488-4902

Despite the occurrence of high-profile events, these findings show that schools remain safe places for students. In fact, the vast majority of children and youth homicides occur outside school hours and property. A new study shows that the total school associated student homicide rates decreased significantly (from .07 to .03 per 100,000 students) between academic school years 1992 thru 2006. They also found a decline in the rates of single-victim school associated homicides, while multiple-victim homicide rates remain stable. Of the last 109 incidents of school-associated student homicides studied, 101 involved only one victim. CDC is working with the Departments of Education and Justice to gather information about school-associated violent deaths to identify trends that can help schools develop preventive measures to protect and promote the health, safety and development of all students. Comprehensive prevention strategies that address risks for youth violence at the individual, family, school, and community levels can help reduce violence on and off school property.

Laboratory-Acquired Brucellosis — Indiana and Minnesota, 2006

PRESS CONTACT: CDC
Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

Laboratory infection with Brucella can occur even with routine handling, and appropriate steps must be taken to limit or prevent exposure and to prevent infection if exposure occurs. Workers in microbiology laboratories who work with bacterial cultures of Brucella species such as Brucella abortus, B. melitensis, B. suis, or B. canis, could potentially be at risk for exposure and serious illness from these organisms in the laboratory. This may occur through laboratory accidents, as well as through routine laboratory manipulation and testing of cultures if proper laboratory biosafety precautions are not observed.. The two laboratory workers who were infected with Brucella and who are included in this report demonstrate the possibility for this type of exposure and laboratory-acquired infection to occur when working with unidentified cultures that turn out to be Brucella. Observance of appropriate biosafety practices can prevent this kind of exposure. In the event of this kind of an exposure in the laboratory, evaluation of exposed staff, appropriate follow-up and prophylaxis, and notification of other involved laboratories which worked with the culture can prevent unnecessary illness.

Update: Potential Exposures to Attenuated Vaccine Strain Brucella abortus RB51 During a Laboratory Proficiency Test — United States and Canada, 2007

PRESS CONTACT: CDC
Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

The large number of exposures identified during this most recent proficiency test highlights the importance of adhering to biosafety practices when handling samples during proficiency testing and when handling specimens routinely entering clinical laboratories for identification. During a biannual laboratory proficiency test exercise that took place in October-November 2007, 916 laboratory workers in 254 clinical laboratories throughout the US were potentially exposed to Brucella abortus RB51, a vaccine strain used in cattle to protect them from brucellosis. Exposure was the result of laboratory workers handling the agent inconsistent with the provided instructions, highlighting the importance of biosafety in clinical laboratories. Approximately 1316 clinical laboratories throughout the United States and Canada participated. To date, there are no confirmed cases of brucellosis as a result of these exposures. As a result, CDC has recommended that the clinical laboratory community use established biosafety protocols when conducting proficiency tests and when handling unknown specimens. Biosafety protocols should be reviewed annually, paying particular attention to training in the identification the characteristics of particular agents and the biosafety practices recommended for handling and testing.

Effect of Electronic Laboratory Reporting on the Burden of Lyme Disease Surveillance — New Jersey, 2001–2006

PRESS CONTACT: Tom Slater
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Health-care providers and the public can help reduce the strain on the public health system by educating themselves on how to prevent Lyme disease, learning to recognize early symptoms, seeking medical evaluation, and promptly reporting suspected cases of Lyme disease to their local health departments. The authors of an 18-month study of New Jersey′s public health monitoring system for Lyme disease have found that recent improvements in reporting methods have resulted in a surge of these cases being reported to the state′s health departments. This suggests considerable underreporting of suspected Lyme disease cases in the past and the difficulties encountered in getting timely information from health-care providers. The study was conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: January 17, 2008
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