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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Heat-Related Deaths Among Crop Workers - United States, 1992-2006

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Prevention of heat-related illness starts with educating employers and workers on the hazards of working in hot environments, including how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat illness, and being prepared to provide and seek medical assistance. This report provides recommendations for employers to start heat stress management programs.

A workplace heat stress management program should include such practical interventions as heat illness training for all employees, a heat acclimatization program, proper hydration, work/rest schedules appropriate for the current heat indices, access to shade or cooling areas, monitoring the environment and workers during hot conditions, and providing prompt medical attention to workers who show signs of heat illness. Foreign-born crop workers may have special needs such as training and communication in their native language and an acclimatization period.

Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Persons with Asthma - United States, 2005-2006

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Persons with asthma have low rates of influenza vaccination despite being at increased risk for complications of influenza infection. This may be attributable to both inadequate access to health care and missed opportunities at doctor visits, and both causes should be targeted in order to improve vaccination coverage. In addition to improving health-care access, measures to reduce missed opportunities for vaccination are needed. Educating providers, encouraging the adoption of a personal medical home, and continuing to vaccinate throughout the influenza season would improve coverage in this at-risk group. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons with asthma, but the number actually receiving vaccination falls far short. This report used the 2006 National Health Interview Survey to examine influenza vaccination rates among persons with asthma nationally. Only about a third of persons with asthma were vaccinated for influenza in the 2005-06 season. Persons with health insurance, a usual place for health care, and a higher family income had higher rates of vaccination. Even among persons with the greatest number of health-care visits, coverage was only 50%. Since 1964, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended influenza vaccinations for all persons with asthma because of higher risks for medical complications from influenza for those people. Influenza vaccination coverage of people with asthma varies widely by age-group and remains well below Healthy People 2010 goals.

Recommendations from an Ad Hoc Meeting of the WHO Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (LabNet) on Use of Alternative Diagnostic Samples for Measles and Rubella Surveillance

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Dried blood spots and oral fluid samples may be viable options for measles and rubella surveillance in certain settings internationally, but measles and rubella diagnosis in the United States will continue to rely upon already established laboratory methods, including serum-based assays for detection of virus-specific antibodies and on nasopharyngeal or urine samples for virus detection. Laboratory confirmation of measles and rubella is an important component of disease surveillance in all settings. However, measles and rubella surveillance remains incomplete in some areas of the word because serum samples needed for testing are difficult to collect and transport. In June 2007, WHO convened an ad hoc meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to review available data and provide recommendations on use of dried blood spots and oral fluid samples for measles and rubella diagnostics. The meeting participants concluded that, although serum-based diagnostics remain the “gold standard,” these two alternative sampling techniques might help enhance surveillance in some parts of the world, especially in areas where patients resist venipuncture for blood collection, or where challenges exist with transport or refrigeration of diagnostic samples.

At present, the routine measles and rubella surveillance in the United States will continue to rely upon already established diagnostic methods, including serum-based assays for detection of virus-specific antibodies, and on nasopharyngeal or urine samples for virus detection.

False-Positive Oral Fluid Rapid HIV Tests - New York City, 2005-2005 (Early Release)

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No summary available.

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