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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Fatal Foodborne Clostridium perfringens Illness at a State Psychiatric Hospital — Louisiana, 2010

CDC
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A recent outbreak of Clostridium perfringens food poisoning in a Louisiana psychiatric hospital alarmed public health authorities when three of the hospital’s patients died. Although Clostridium perfringens is responsible for nearly one million cases of foodborne illness each year in the United States, deaths are rare. It is very unusual to have three deaths among 54 cases, as occurred in this outbreak. The cause of death appears to be the patients’ inability to evacuate bacterial toxins from their intestines because of medications that they were taking. Constipation is a common side effect of many psychiatric drugs, but it is also caused other medications and conditions. The deaths in this outbreak lend new urgency to the need to protect these patients from Clostridium perfringens foodborne illness. Precautions to protect patients from Clostridium perfringens foodborne illness need to be strictly enforced in settings where patients have impaired gut motility to reduce the risk of severe disease and death. This most certainly includes psychiatric hospitals, but also healthcare settings where patients may be constipated by medications, age, or disease.

2. Monitoring Trends in Varicella Incidence — Selected States, 2000–2010

CDC
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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From 2000-2010, during the routine varicella vaccination program, overall varicella incidence decreased 80 percent in 31 states. From 2006-2010, when 2 doses of varicella vaccine were first recommended for routine use in children, varicella incidence decreased approximately 70 percent. The greatest declines in varicella, also known as chickenpox, were in children 5-9 years old, the age group targeted for 2 doses of the vaccine. Varicella incidence is expected to decline further as 2-dose vaccination coverage increases. National varicella surveillance has improved greatly since 1996, when the vaccine was first recommended for use in the United States. As of 2010, 31 states had adequate and consistent varicella reporting to CDC. To continue monitoring the 2-dose varicella vaccination program effectively, it is increasingly important for all states to move towards case-based varicella surveillance. Routine varicella vaccination has been very effective at preventing varicella in the United States, and declines should continue as 2-dose coverage increases.

3. Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — United States, 2012–13 Influenza Season

CDC
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
News Media Line
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The document summarizes CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for the use of influenza vaccines in the United States for the 2012-2013 influenza season. Routine annual vaccination of all persons aged 6 months and older continues to be recommended.  Updated information is presented regarding the vaccine virus strains included in this year’s vaccine, dosing recommendations for children aged 6 months through 8 years, and vaccine formulations expected to be available during the 2012-2013 season. The core recommendation initially made by CDC and ACIP for the 2010-2011 season remains the same—routine annual vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and older continues to be recommended.

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