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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

 

1. Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — 29 States and New York City, 2009–10 Season

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Pregnant women are at increased risk for complications from influenza. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Obstetric Practice recommend that pregnant women receive intramuscular, inactivated influenza vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy. CDC analyzed data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) to assess influenza vaccination coverage among women from 29 states and New York City with recent live-births.  During the 2009-2010 flu season, coverage varied for both the seasonal and influenza A(H1N1 pdm09) or pH1N1.  Women who received advice or offer of vaccination from their health-care provider were more likely to report being vaccinated. Increased efforts are needed to assess vaccine coverage and to educate providers and pregnant women about ACIP and ACOG recommendations on obtaining influenza vaccination anytime during pregnancy.

2. Fatal Exposure to Methylene Chloride Among Bathtub Refinishers — United States, 2000–2011

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Methylene chloride, a chemical used in industrial processes, but also available in over- the-counter paint and finish stripping products, has previously been identified as a potentially fatal occupational exposure in furniture strippers and factory workers. The NIOSH funded Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) project and OSHA identified more than a dozen deaths in the last 12 years associated with the use of methylene chloride stripping products in bathtub refinishing. To use products containing methylene chloride safely, work areas must be well-ventilated, and when levels of methylene chloride exceed recommended exposure limits, workers must be provided and use respiratory protective equipment. In a small bathroom it is unlikely that a methylene chloride stripping agent can be used safely, and employers should strongly consider alternative methods.

3. Update: Influenza Activity — United States, October 2, 2011–February 11, 2012

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Influenza activity started to increase in February, making it one of the latest starts to influenza season in the last 29 years. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have predominated this season, although influenza A H1N1 and influenza B viruses are also circulating. The majority of viruses that have been analyzed are like the viruses included in this year’s vaccine. Vaccination remains the most effective method to prevent influenza and its complications.  Health-care providers should continue to offer vaccine to all unvaccinated persons ≥6 months throughout the influenza season.

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