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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Short Sleep Duration Among Workers — United States, 2010

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

Insufficient sleep can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for fatigued workers and others around them. Overall, 30 percent of workers responding to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey reported sleeping less than 6 hours per day while the National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults sleep 7–9 hours per day. The prevalence of short sleep duration varied by industry of employment with a significantly higher rate among workers in the manufacturing industry compared with all U.S. workers combined. Furthermore, among all workers, those who usually worked the night shift had a much higher prevalence of short sleep duration than those who worked the day shift, particularly in the transportation and warehousing and healthcare and social assistance industries. Targeted interventions, such as shift systems that maximize sleep opportunities and training programs on sleep for managers and employees, should be implemented to protect the health and safety of workers and the public.

2. Zinc Phosphide Poisoning from Exposures at Veterinary Hospitals — Michigan, Iowa, and Washington, 2006–2011

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

The consumption of zinc phosphide rodenticide by dogs can result in the release of highly toxic phosphine gas when it reacts to water and acid in the stomach. The phosphine gas is then released into the air when the dog vomits, potentially exposing veterinary workers to phosphine gas and resulting in nervous system, respiratory, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.  To avoid potential phosphine gas exposure, veterinary hospital workers and pet owners are advised to follow the phosphine product precautions developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Furthermore, phosphine gas exposure in the veterinary or residential setting can be eliminated through the use of non-chemcial methods of gopher and mole control, such as snap traps.       

3. Severe Coinfection with Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Virus and Staphylococcus aureus — Maryland, February–March 2012

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Outbreak Response

This report describes a cluster of severe respiratory illness among three family members that resulted in their deaths.  All three family members had confirmed infection with seasonal influenza A (H3N2) virus, and two had confirmed coinfection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  This serves as a reminder that influenza can cause very severe illness and can result in death.  Influenza vaccination is the best method for preventing complications from influenza. In cases of severe respiratory illness, treatment with influenza antiviral medications is recommended. In addition, when high clinical suspicion for bacterial coinfection exists, empiric treatment with antibiotics, including those with activity against S. aureus including methicillin-resistant strains, should also be considered.


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