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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for September 22, 2011

1. Acute Illnesses Associated With Insecticides Used to Control Bed Bugs — Seven States, 2003–2010

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

Fred Blosser
Public Affairs Officer
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
(202) 245-0645

According to cases reported through a federally funded pesticide illness surveillance program, 111 cases of acute illness arising from the use of insecticides to control bed bugs occurred in seven states during 2003-2010. The majority of cases (93 percent) occurred among people living in private residences, and most frequently involved nervous system, respiratory, and gastrointestinal effects.  Frequently contributing factors included excessive insecticide application, failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding, and either a lack of notification or ineffective notification of pesticide application.  Although the number of acute illnesses from insecticides used to control bed bugs does not suggest a large public health burden, such incidents can have serious health effects. Recommended preventive measures to protect residents and applicators, and to keep cases from escalating, include strengthening media campaigns to educate the public about bed bug–related issues, including nonchemical methods to control bed bugs, methods to prevent bed bug infestation (e.g, avoiding the purchase of used mattresses, box springs, and bedding), prudent use of effective insecticides, and selection of certified applicators if pesticides are used.

2. Dental Caries in Rural Alaska Native Children, 2008

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

Dental cavities are prevalent among rural Alaska Native children and are up to 4.5 times as severe as the general population of U.S. children of the same age.  We found that lack of water fluoridation and frequent soda-pop consumption were strongly associated with dental cavities severity in five rural Alaska Native villages.  Children from villages without fluoridated water had up to three times more cavities than children from villages with fluoridated water.  While water fluoridation is an effective and relatively inexpensive method of reducing dental cavities, many rural Alaska Native villages have no in-home water or sanitation systems which prevent these villages from fluoridating. Because of this, additional preventive services, such as providing fluoride varnishes, are necessary to improve the dental health of these children.

 

3. FDA Approval of Expanded Age Indication for a Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine

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

Pertussis (whooping cough) is the least well-controlled bacterial vaccine-preventable disease in the United States.  Pertussis is highly contagious and can cause serious or prolonged illness.Infants, especially those too young to be vaccinated, are at increased risk for death from pertussis.  To prevent pertussis transmission to infants, all close contacts (e.g., parents, siblings, grandparents) should make sure they are vaccinated.  Persons aged 11 through 64 years are routinely recommended to receive a one-time dose of Tdap vaccine in place of a Td booster.  Persons aged 65 years and older who have or who anticipate having close contact with an infant are recommended to receive a dose of Tdap vaccine.  BOOSTRIX (GlaxoSmithKline) has been available to persons aged 11 through 64 years and is now approved for use in adults aged 65 years and older. By getting vaccinated with Tdap, adolescents and adults can protect themselves against pertussis, in turn preventing pertussis exposure to infants too young to be vaccinated.

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