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Synopsis for November 23, 2001

The MMWR is NOT embargoed this week.

  1. Surveillance and Mortality During Refugee Crisis — Guinea, January–May 2001
  2. Imported Wild Poliovirus Causing Poliomyelitis — Bulgaria, 2001

Notices to Readers

Unexplained Deaths Following Knee Surgery — Minnesota, November 2001
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDOH) has received reports of three previously healthy persons who died unexpectedly following uncomplicated knee surgery. CDC is assisting MDOH in the investigation of these events.

Contact: Division of Media Relations
CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286

Synopsis for November 23, 2001

Surveillance and Mortality During Refugee Crisis — Guinea, January–May 2001

Estimating accurate mortality rates in a refugee crisis is vital to targeting scarce resources.

Muireann Brennan, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(678) 662–7083

Mortality and malnutrition rates in the refugee crisis in Guinea were lower than expected, owing to the quick response of the international community and the existing coping mechanisms of the refugees. During the crisis, refugees had lower mortality rates than baseline rates for the local population. It is important to involve organizations with a mandate to care for these non-refugee populations early on in a crisis. Far fewer refugees than anticipated were relocated. Establishing accurate rates with which to estimate the resources needed was extremely difficult for this inaccessible and highly mobile population, and new methods to do this are needed.


Imported Wild Poliovirus Causing Poliomyelitis — Bulgaria, 2001

An outbreak of polio due to a poliovirus imported from India has been documented in Bulgaria.

Mary Agocs, M.D., M.Sc.

CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639–8551

An outbreak of poliomyelitis due to an imported poliovirus strain has resulted in 3 proven cases in Bulgaria between March and May 2001. This outbreak affected children from the Roma ("gypsy") minority in the Eastern city of Bourgas and the capital Sofia. Two additional children, both Roma, were found to be healthy carriers of the wild virus. Bulgarian authorities implemented rapid outbreak control interventions including vaccination of high-risk children immediately after the first case was diagnosed and two rounds of countrywide mass vaccination of children in May and June. The World Health Organization alerted and assisted neighboring countries to strengthen poliomyelitis surveillance and conduct local supplementary vaccinations. No other cases were found outside Bulgaria and the outbreak appears to be now under control.


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This page last reviewed Wednesday, November 21, 2001

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