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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Occupational Aviation Fatalities — Alaska, 2000–2010

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

Aviation safety in Alaska has improved from the 1990s through the 2000s, but continued efforts are needed. During 2000 to 2010, an average of five fatal occupational aircraft crashes and eight fatalities occurred per year in Alaska, making aircraft crashes the second leading cause of occupational fatalities in Alaska. Most of these crashes were due to weather, pilots' loss of control and pilots' failure to maintain clearance from terrain, water or objects. Thirty-nine percent of the crashes were associated with intended departures or destinations at sites not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, (such as gravel bars, lakes and mountain tops), which may have little available information on weather and landing conditions there, and may have minimal if any safety equipment on site. Pilots need to be proficient and exercise good judgment when flying to and from such locations. Passengers should be prepared for worst case scenarios and not push pilots to make unsafe decisions. Future safety interventions should focus on providing weather information and improving pilots' situational awareness; proficiency in piloting skills and aeronautical decision making should be emphasized.

2. Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance — United States, 2008–2009

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

The prevalence rate of U.S. adults with elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) continues to decrease, to 6.3 per 100,000 employed adults in 2009 from 14.0 in 1994. Workers in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries account for the highest proportions of workers with elevated BLLs. Although the prevalence of high blood lead levels has decreased, the health effects from lead exposure are well characterized, and controls to reduce lead exposures for workers exist, high blood lead levels persist as almost exclusively an occupational health problem. Measures to improve and expand preventive interventions focused in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries should be implemented by government agencies, employers, and worker-affiliated organizations. It is also important to conduct and improve lead exposure surveillance to assess the effectiveness of these interventions.

3. Update on Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses — Worldwide, July 2009–March 2011

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

This report describes countries in which vaccine-derived polioviruses outbreaks were identified during July 2009 to March 2011. Vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs), recognized by their high genetic divergence from the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) strains, fall into three categories: 1) circulating VDPVs (cVDPVs) from outbreaks, 2) primary immunodeficiency-associated VDPVs (iVDPVs) from patients with defects in antibody production, and 3) ambiguous VDPVs (aVDPVs) for which there is insufficient evidence for definitive assignment to the other two categories. During July 2009–March 2011, three new cVDPV outbreaks, were identified in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and India; three previously identified outbreaks in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia continued into 2011; two countries experienced importations of cVDPVs from Nigeria; nine persons were newly found to excrete iVDPVs; and aVDPVs were found among persons and environmental samples in 15 countries. Most of the recent VDPVs were of serotype 2. Current and past experience underscores the importance of routine vaccination either with inactivated poliovirus vaccine or tOPV to prevent VDPV spread.

 

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