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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for November 17, 2011

1. National Diabetes Month — November 2011 (Box)

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No summary available

2. Self-Reported Visual Impairment Among Persons With Diagnosed Diabetes — United States, 1997–2010

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Diabetes can lead to visual impairment and blindness. However, early detection and treatment of many common eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, can reduce the risk for developing visual impairment. Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of adults with diagnosed diabetes who reported visual impairment declined significantly from 26.0 percent to 18.6 percent. However, the age-adjusted percentage of adults with diagnosed diabetes and self-reported visual impairment who reported having consulted an eye-care provider in the past year remained constant at approximately 63 percent. However, the majority of vision loss caused by diabetes could be avoided by good diabetes management —good control of blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipids— and yearly dilated eye examination for early detection and timely treatment. Continued efforts are needed to sustain and improve the declining trends in visual impairment and to increase rates of recommended eye examinations in the population with diabetes.

3. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning — Southeast Alaska, May–June 2011

Division of News & Electronic Media  
(404) 639-3286

In June 2011, the Alaska Division of Public Health investigated eight confirmed and 13 probable paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) cases that occurred in southeast Alaska during May–June 2011. PSP is a potentially fatal condition resulting from consumption of saxitoxin. Saxitoxin presence is tested for in commercial product, thus making it safe to consume. However, it can be present and undetected in noncommercially harvested shellfish. The 21 cases reflect an increase in the number of cases reported in recent years and coincide with saxitoxin levels which were reportedly higher during spring 2011 than previous years. Because the risk for PSP is unpredictable, all people who consume noncommercially harvested Alaskan shellfish are potentially at risk and should seek medical care immediately if symptoms develop. Avoidance of noncommercially harvested Alaskan shellfish not tested for saxitoxin is the best way to prevent paralytic shellfish poisoning.


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