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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Buprenorphine Prescribing and Exposures Reported to a Poison Center — Utah, 2002–2011

University of Utah Health Sciences
Kathy Wilets, Public Affairs
801-581-5717, Kathy.wilets@hsc.utah.edu

Medical care should be sought for every exposure to buprenorphine among individuals for whom it was not prescribed. University of Utah’s Poison Control Center (UPC) and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) are issuing a warning about a popular medication for opioid abuse. Buprenorphine (commonly referred to as suboxone) is an effective medication for the treatment of opioid dependence and pain, with a good reputation for safety. But as this medication has increased in popularity, so too have accidental exposures in children.  Even single exposures to buprenorphine in people for whom it was not prescribed have resulted in harm and even death. UPC and UDOH are asking health care providers including physicians and pharmacists to counsel buprenorphine patients carefully on the safe use, storage, and disposal of this medication. Healthcare professionals as well as the lay public are always encouraged to contact their local poison control center at (800) 222-1222 for guidance related to adverse consequences of any exposure.

2. Expanding Poliomyelitis and Measles Surveillance Networks for Acute Meningitis and Encephalitis Syndromes — Bangladesh, China, and India, 2006–2008

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

Syndromic and laboratory surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) such as polio and measles has led to development of capacity and infrastructure, and substantial reductions in disease burden. In Bangladesh, China, and India, polio and measles surveillance networks were able to accommodate testing for Japanese encephalitis; however, efforts to use these networks to identify bacterial etiologies of meningitis were less successful, because of differences in laboratory personnel and procedures and specimen processing. Integrating surveillance for new VPDs into existing networks may improve efficient use of limited resources; and efforts should focus on identifying areas of synergy, and building upon commonalities among existing VPD surveillance systems.

3. Early Warning Disease Surveillance After a Flood Emergency — Pakistan, 2010

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

Early warning disease surveillance systems in humanitarian emergencies face recurrent challenges with data quality. In 2010, Pakistan experienced historic monsoon flooding affecting approximately 18 million persons. This MMWR report describes the implementation of a Disease Early Warning System (DEWS) for the detection of epidemic-prone diseases after this emergency. It summarizes surveillance results early after flooding began, describes system usefulness, and identifies areas for strengthening.   DEWS collected vast amounts of health information including key information on epidemic-prone diseases, but experienced challenges with data quality that are well-documented from prior emergencies. Adherence to recently updated World Health Organization guidelines on the implementation of these systems is critical, and ongoing evaluation of the impact of these new guidelines is needed in future emergencies.

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