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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Adult Use of Prescription Opioid Pain Medications — Utah, 2008

Press Contact:
Tom Hudachko, Public Information Officer
Utah Department of Health
(801) 538-6232

Dispose of leftover pain medication immediately after the pain has resolved and you no longer require it. This will eliminate the possibility that your medication will be misused as well as prevent accidental ingestion.  Data from twelve extra questions on the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey in Utah show that one in five people report being prescribed pain medication during the previous year, and the majority of these people had leftover medication. Prescription pain medication, if used other than as prescribed, can be dangerous; both fatal and nonfatal overdoses have increased during the past few years. Leftover medication may be pilfered by those seeking to misuse or abuse. The majority of people who report misusing pain medication say they got the medicine for free from family or friends, while only a very small percentage (2.3 percent) of people report giving their leftover  medications away. An estimated 72 percent of persons who were prescribed pain medication during the past year had leftover medication, and the majority (71 percent) of those with leftover medication reported keeping it.

2. Syphilis Outbreak Among American Indians — Arizona, 2007–2009

Press Contact:
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
(404) 639-8895

A CDC analysis of the multiagency response to a syphilis outbreak among members of a Southwest Indian Nation underscores the severity of the disease and identifies challenges that may hinder many tribal health agencies’ ability to initiate rapid public health responses to outbreaks.  On January 25, 2007 Indian Health Services (IHS) notified the Arizona Department of Health Services that within the previous six months, five symptomatic syphilis cases had been diagnosed among members of a Southwest Indian Nation.  By June of 2009, a total of 106 cases had been identified.  Six of those cases were among infants and resulted in two infant deaths.  After several delays due to the limited public health infrastructure within the tribal community, a multiagency taskforce consisting of state, local, tribal and federal officials began a joint response to the outbreak in July of 2007.  The taskforce helped expand screening, educate the community about syphilis, and reemphasize testing and treatment recommendations among providers -- a decline in cases followed these activities.  The findings of this analysis indicate that developing a core response group to oversee outbreak control efforts can be a valuable approach to coordinating disease control activities that involve multiple agencies.

3. Outbreak of Pandemic 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) on a Peruvian Navy Ship — June–July 2009

Press Contact:
CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

This outbreak emphasizes the importance of continuous surveillance for respiratory diseases among military members. Surveillance, particularly in these populations, can be important for timely detection of outbreaks and adequate implementation of control measures, ultimately preventing further spread within the population and potential dissemination back to their country of origin.  An outbreak of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) occurred on a Peruvian naval ship, resulting in 78 confirmed cases, as determined by real-time RT-PCR, out of 85 patients with febrile acute respiratory infection. The attack rate for H1N1 infection onboard the ship was 22.0 percent among a total crew of 355 individuals. The most frequent symptoms, other than fever, were cough, headache, nasal congestion, and malaise. No complications or deaths occurred. A shipboard respiratory surveillance program, which had been implemented aboard the ship prior to its departure from Peru, permitted the early detection of the outbreak. Laboratory disease surveillance and adequate outbreak control procedures can likely reduce transmission of H1N1 aboard ships.

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: February 18, 2010
  • Content source: Office of Communication
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