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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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1. Histoplasmosis Outbreak Associated with the Renovation of an Old House — Quebec, Canada, 2013

Jean-Luc Grenier MD
450 436-8622, poste 70520
jlucgrenier@yahoo.ca

Employers need to provide the appropriate protective equipment and reinforce the necessity of applying protective measures during demolition work, including when handling debris away from work site. Histoplasmosis is an infrequent respiratory disease caused by inhalation of a fungus spores. Bats and birds can excrete the organism in their droppings and it persists in the environment for several years. Outbreaks can occur when demolition work produces dust containing bird or bat droppings. During the renovation of an old house, 30 workers and residents were exposed to dust from bird or bat droppings previously hidden in the brick walls. 14 of them developed symptoms of histoplasmosis.  Of the four who were laboratory-confirmed, two were hospitalized. There was a strong link between illness and high exposure to dust during demolition of the exterior walls, but also with the handling of contaminated debris away from the work site.

2. Outbreak of Salmonellosis Associated with Consumption of Pulled Pork at a Church Festival — Hamilton County, Ohio, 2010

Mike Samet
Public Information Officer
Hamilton County Public Health
513-946-7873
mike.samet@hamilton-co.org

Although national foodborne outbreaks grab the headlines, similar events also occur at the community level and are often associated with large events. Some of these events may be exempt from public health oversight.  By sharing the response to a community-level outbreak of salmonellosis, this article seeks to highlight the importance of proper food safety practices and in particular, at large events such as church festivals.  In this outbreak, improper food handling/preparation likely caused over 60 patrons of a church festival to become acutely ill with Salmonella infections -- illnesses which may have been ultimately preventable.  The results of the investigation call attention to the public health implications of food service at events such as church festivals, which generally are exempt from public health inspection and licensure in Ohio. Food safety education of event organizers and food vendors is an important role for local public health departments.

3. CDC Grand Rounds: Evidence-Based Injury and Violence Prevention

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

Most events resulting in injury, death, or disability are predictable, and therefore preventable. In the United States, injuries result in180,000 deaths, 2.8 million hospitalizations and 29 million emergency department visits each year. Motor vehicle crashes, falls, homicides, suicides, domestic violence, child maltreatment, and other forms of intentional and unintentional injury produce substantial economic and societal burdens. The estimated annual U.S. cost in medical expenses and lost productivity resulting from injuries is $355 billion. Injury and violence prevention strategies and interventions are identified and tested in real-world settings. Communities can attain maximum impact by recognizing that injury prevention is a core component of public health.  Injury prevention efforts should be visible, with their value documented to ensure accountability and increase impact in communities. Innovative solutions to injury problems should be pursued, and opportunities to link clinical medicine and public health should be fostered. Translating injury prevention evidence into action depends on coordination among federal, state, and local agencies, and partnerships in the research and practice communities.

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