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1. Fatal Laboratory-Acquired Infection with an Attenuated Yersinia pestis Strain — Illinois, 2009

Jose Munoz
Community Affairs
Chicago Department of Public Health
(312) 747-9443

Laboratory researchers working with any potential pathogen should always adhere to standard biosafety practices such as wearing gloves and protective eyewear, and health care providers should always remember to inquire about potential occupational health exposures. This article describes an investigation by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the university and CDC to identify the cause of death of a researcher working with an attenuated (non-virulent) form of plague. On September 18, 2009, the Chicago Department of Public Health was notified by a local hospital of a suspected case of fatal laboratory-acquired infection with Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. The patient, a researcher in a university laboratory, had been working along with other members of the laboratory group with an attenuated Y. pestis strain (KIM D27) that had not been known to have caused laboratory-acquired infections or human fatalities. The last known laboratory-acquired infection with Yersinia pestis in the United States occurred in 1959. This case report describes the first reported fatality from a laboratory-acquired infection with an attenuated strain of Y. pestis.

2. Use of a Registry to Improve Acute Stroke Care — Seven States, 2005−2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286

A new analysis shows improved acute stroke care in hospitals participating in the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry (PCNASR). The analysis was based on data from 303 hospitals in seven states during the period of 2005-2009. Through PCNASR, state health departments and hospitals are working together on policies, system changes and educational programs to improve the quality of stroke care from stroke onset through hospital discharge. Improving care for stroke throughout the United States requires a multi-disciplinary, systems-focused effort that engages both public and private entities. Hospitals participating in PCNASR with the assistance of state health departments show significant improvement in the quality of acute stroke care for patients.

3. Maternal, Pregnancy, and Birth Characteristics of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders — King County, Washington, 2003–2008

Matías Valenzuela
Public Education Coordinator
Public Health- Seattle & King County
(206) 263-8697

In King County, Washington, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) mothers frequently had risk factors for poor maternal health, birth, and childhood health outcomes. Compared with Asians, NHPI mothers were more likely to be adolescents (ages 15-17), be overweight or obese prior to pregnancy, or to have smoked during pregnancy. Infants were more likely to be born preterm, have high birth weight, or receive either no prenatal care during pregnancy or only in the third trimester. These data identify important health inequities among the King County NHPI community. Revised federal standards for collecting race and ethnicity information disaggregate the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander category from Asians, but reported data typically continue to aggregate the two groups. Routine collection and reporting of health data for NHPI separately from data for Asians will help identify and quantify important and different health concerns in these two populations.



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