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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

(Box) World Kidney Day – March 12, 2009

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

No summary available.

Hepatitis C Virus Transmission at an Outpatient Hemodialysis Unit – New York, 2001-2008

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Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Hepatitis C virus and other infections can spread in healthcare settings when proper infection control procedures are not followed. All patients treated in hemodialysis units should be screened for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. CDC recommends routine screening in hemodialysis settings to quickly identify and halt potential transmission. It is critical that all healthcare providers understand and follow correct infection control practices to ensure the safety of their patients and prevent transmission of viral hepatitis in healthcare facilities. Preventing these outbreaks is the responsibility of every healthcare worker and represents basic patient safety. Provider education and infection control training is critical. Hemodialysis patients should ask their provider if they have been tested for hepatitis C virus. Patients needing healthcare should continue to seek access to it and should not stop receiving care due to perceived risk. Patients should discuss any concerns with their provider. Due to basic breaches in infection control, several viral hepatitis outbreaks have occurred in recent years in healthcare settings. This investigation documents four cases of patient-to-patient transmission of HCV infection and identified five additional patients who might have acquired HCV infection while receiving treatment at a common outpatient hemodialysis center. Multiple potential mechanisms of HCV transmission were identified, including contaminated health-care worker hands and treatment surfaces. This outbreak highlights the need for hemodialysis units to adhere to CDC recommendations for infection control and comprehensive HCV surveillance, including routine anti-HCV screening and prompt reporting of HCV infections to the local health department.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infections from an Elephant Calf – San Diego, California, 2008

PRESS CONTACT: Jose Alvarez
PIO, San Diego County Health Department
(619) 515-6635

Persons working with animals in zoo settings should perform proper hand hygiene before and after animal contact and use personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, and/or masks) when working with ill or infected animals. This article describes the investigation of an outbreak of community-associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus or CA-MRSA infections among caretakers of an elephant calf at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in early 2008. This is the first reported case of MRSA in an elephant and of suspected MRSA transmission between an animal and human caretakers at a zoo. Recommendations for preventing MRSA transmission in zoo settings include 1) training employees about their risks for infection and the recommended work practices to reduce them; 2) performing proper hand hygiene before and after animal contact; 3) using gowns, gloves, and masks for anticipated contact with non-intact skin, wound drainage, and other body fluids and 4) cleaning and disinfecting contaminated equipment and surfaces

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication – Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2008

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

In addition to continued support from the international polio eradication partnership, interruption of wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan will require overcoming one of the most important remaining challenges in polio eradication globally: the barriers to access and vaccination of children in large, remote, and security-compromised areas. Efforts to engage political and tribal leaders will need to be enhanced to secure access and safe passage of vaccination teams to these areas. In the interim, critical improvements are needed in the quality of immunization campaigns and delivery of routine immunization in both countries. During 2008, Afghanistan and Pakistan continued to conduct coordinated immunization campaigns against WPV. In total, 149 WPV cases (31 in Afghanistan and 118 in Pakistan) were confirmed in 2008, compared with 49 cases (17 in Afghanistan and 32 in Pakistan) in 2007. Security problems in areas along the common border limited access by vaccination teams to large numbers of children in the two countries. In Pakistan, continued managerial and operational problems impeded full implementation of immunization campaigns and adversely affected vaccination coverage. Further progress toward interruption of WPV transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan will require continued measures to overcome access problems in conflict-affected areas of both countries and improvements in the quality of immunization activities and delivery of routine immunization services in Pakistan.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: March 5, 2009
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