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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Hepatitis Awareness Month — May 2011 (Box)

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286

No summary available

2. Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Aged 15–24 Years — Massachusetts, 2002–2009

Julia Hurley
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
(617) 624-5006

An analysis of state surveillance data finds that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is increasing among adolescents and young adults across Massachusetts, likely due to increases in injection drug use in this population. Although overall declines in HCV infection have occurred both nationwide and in Massachusetts since the early 1990s, an increase among persons aged 15-24 years was observed in the state from 2002 to 2009. Public health officials from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in collaboration with CDC, conducted an in-depth investigation to get a clearer picture of what was happening in this population. Researchers found increases in rates of newly reported HCV infection among youth across the state (in urban, suburban, and rural communities), occurring primarily among white, non-Hispanic persons of both genders. Injection drug use was the most common risk factor for HCV transmission. This is consistent with other data suggesting drug use in this population has increased in the state, as well as in other parts of the country. The findings underscore the need for enhanced surveillance of HCV infection and intensified prevention efforts targeting adolescents and young adults, particularly those who engage in injection drug use. CDC is currently working with state and local health departments to determine whether similar trends are occurring in other areas of the country.

3. Fatal Injuries Among Grounds Maintenance Workers — United States, 2003–2008

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286

Grounds maintenance workers in the U.S. are at excess risk for occupational fatalities. Between 2003 and 2008, 1,142 grounds maintenance workers died from job-related injuries, accounting for one in every 30 occupational fatalities from traumatic injuries during that time. While fatalities among Hispanics or Latinos were not disproportionately higher than deaths among non-Hispanics or Latinos, most of the deaths among Hispanics or Latinos (five out of every six) had been born outside the U.S., and Hispanic or Latino workers who died were nine years younger, on average, than non-Hispanic or Latino workers who died. Transportation incidents and tree work were leading causes for the fatalities yet many deaths resulted from falls, electrocutions and drownings. Enforcement of regulations, outreach, and training are vital for preventing such deaths, including culturally meaningful safety training for Hispanic or Latino workers who comprise much of the grounds maintenance workforce.

 

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