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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Lead Poisoning in Pregnant Women Who Used Ayurvedic Medicines from India — New York City, 2011–2012

CDC
Division of News & Electronic Media
404-639-3286

In 2011 and 2012, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) investigated six cases of lead poisoning associated with the use of ten oral Ayurvedic medications made in India.  All six were foreign-born pregnant women assessed to be at risk for lead exposure and tested by providers during routine prenatal visits per New York State law.  Their blood lead levels (BLLs) ranged from 16 to 64 micro gram/deciliter.  Lead concentrations of the products were as high as 2.4 percent. Several also contained mercury or arsenic.  Heavy metal exposure can increase the risk of adverse health effects for both mother and child.  All but two of the products were purchased in India. Public health professionals and health care providers should consider imported medicines, supplements, and remedies such as Ayurvedic medications when investigating heavy metal exposures, especially among foreign-born or pregnant patients. 

2. Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2011–12 School Year

CDC
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
News Media Line
404-639-8895

Nationally, most kindergarteners are up-to-date on their vaccines.  This report includes assessments from 47 states and the District of Columbia and highlights vaccination coverage among kindergarten children from the 2011-2012 school year.  Statewide levels of vaccination coverage are at or very near Healthy people 2020 targets.  Median vaccination coverage for three vaccines (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis; poliovirus; and hepatitis B) met the Healthy People 2020 target of 95 percent coverage or higher. However, median coverage for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and varicella vaccine were below 95 percent, the Healthy People 2020 goal. Exemptions levels were low overall. Although statewide levels of vaccination coverage are at or very near target levels, clusters of unvaccinated children or locally low vaccination coverage for extremely transmissible diseases like measles remains a potential threat. CDC urges parents to give their children the best protection from vaccine-preventable diseases like measles by ensuring that their children are vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule before starting school this fall.

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