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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Trends in Low Birthweight – Massachusetts, 1997-2004

Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

In Massachusetts from 1997 to 2004, assisted reproductive technology (ART) accounted for 2 percent of births and 7 percent of low birthweight (LBW) births. The rate of LBW during this time period increased among both ART and non-ART singleton births. Although ART accounts for a disproportionate amount of LBW births in Massachusetts, the excess of LBW births is not largely explained by ART. Low birthweight (less than 2500 grams) is an important cause of infant morbidity and mortality and the rate has been steadily increasing in the United States. Because ART has been associated with LBW, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC sought to examine the relationship of ART to trends in LBW in Massachusetts from 1997 through 2004. This report found that 2 percent of births during the period resulted from ART; however, 7 percent of LBW births resulted from ART. The rate of LBW increased during this time period among non-ART singleton births (from 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent, representing 407 additional LBW infants) and ART singleton births (from 6.4 percent to 8.2 percent, representing 59 additional LBW infants). Although ART contributes disproportionately to LBW, the increase in LBW births in Massachusetts is not explained by ART and therefore other causes should be examined.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Outbreak Among Players on a High School Football Team – New York City, 2007

Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Effective methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) outbreak prevention among high school football programs could be achieved by a) designing processes and facilities to enable and promote optimal player hygiene and b) better educating coaching staff and especially players on recognizing potential infections and what to do about them. This report is on a 2007 investigation of an outbreak of MRSA infections among players on a high school football team in Brooklyn, NY. Outbreaks of SSTIs like MRSA continue to be a problem among football teams, especially at the high school level. This investigation suggests that football training camps are a setting where multiple risk factors converge to increase the likelihood of MRSA outbreaks. These risk factors include inadequate hygiene among players (e.g. sharing personal items, inadequate skin injury care) as yet unknown biological risk factors linked to higher BMI, and possibly crowded living conditions.

Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Related to Home Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities – New York State (Excluding New York City), 2006-2007

National Center of Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(770) 488-0700

The implication of the prominence of home renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) related cases and the changing dynamics of lead poisoning is that previously, poor and minority children were at higher risk for lead poisoning than White; however, as more affluent families and their children are exposed to lead through resident owner renovations these children, although racial disparities have attenuated after more than 2 decades of effort to control and eliminate lead paint hazards in multifamily rental units in urban areas, are also at risk. Although blood lead levels (BLLs) ≥10 μg/dL is associated with adverse behavioral and developmental outcomes, no level is considered safe. When BLLs are ≥20 μg/dL, environmental and medical intervention is recommended. An assessment of lead-exposure sources in New York State (excluding New York City) in 1993--1994 indicated that home (RRP) activities were significant sources of lead exposure among children with BLLs ≥20 μg/dL. Subsequently, local health departments in New York State began to routinely collect information about RRP activities when investigating children’s home environments for lead sources. This report updates findings from the 1993--1994 assessment which found RRP activities in 320 of the 4608 (6.9 percent) cases investigated in 1993--1994 and 139 of 972 (14 percent) of cases investigated in 2006--2007.

Invasive Haemophilus influenzae Type B Disease In Five Young Children – Minnesota, 2008

Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Minnesota has seen an increase in Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) cases in children younger than 3 years of age. In 2008, there were 5 confirmed cases of Hib, including one death. This serious disease has been uncommon since routine use of Hib vaccine began over 15 years ago. Before widespread use of the vaccine, Hib disease struck over 20,000 children per year in the U.S. CDC urges parents of children under age 5 to check their children’s immunization records, or to call their children′s doctor, nurse, or clinic to see if their children are fully protected with Hib vaccine as age appropriate. Hib vaccine is safe and highly effective. The entire country has been in a Hib vaccine shortage since December, 2007. This shortage is expected to last into mid-2009. There are adequate vaccine supplies to provide protective Hib primary series vaccination for all the children who need them. However, vaccine supply is complicated to manage during a shortage, so not all medical offices or clinics will have vaccine available on any given day. CDC has initiated enhanced surveillance to look for Hib disease in children across the country. To date, CDC has not identified any additional clusters of Hib disease outside of Minnesota, but it continues to work with the states to follow up on any suspected cases and urges providers to report cases to their health departments.



  • Historical Document: January 29, 2009
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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