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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Evaluation of a Neighborhood Rat-Management Program — New York City, December 2007–August 2009

New York City Health Department
Alexandra Waldhorn, Deputy Press Secretary

The New York City Health Department‘s proactive rat control strategy, launched in the Bronx in 2007, reduced the number of properties with signs of rat activity by 54 percent. The NYC Health Department conducted repeat inspections involving nearly 30,000 properties from 2007-2009. Active rat signs were found at 9.75 percent of properties at the start of the program, but decreased to 4.51 percent after the final round of inspections.  This new neighborhood “indexing” approach uses proactive, block-by-block inspections to find and correct conditions that foster infestation throughout a neighborhood.  Inspectors use handheld computers to record signs of rats such as droppings, gnaw marks and burrows and property conditions that provide ready sources of food and shelter for rats.   The inspectors create a community-wide record of rat prevalence by uploading their findings into a central database; all findings are then published to the Rat Information Portal (  Property owners across an indexed neighborhood receive readable, detailed notices if their properties have signs of rat activity – and guidance on how to correct the problem.  When a single property owner takes steps to eliminate rats, the effect is often to drive them next door. When a neighborhood takes steps to eliminate sources of food and shelter, the rat population declines.

2. Chikungunya Outbreak — Cambodia, February–March, 2012

Institut Pasteur du Cambodge
Arnaud Tarantola, MD, Msc
+855 (0) 23 426 009 ext. 206

Research is an inherent part of public health response, especially when dealing with emerging diseases. On March 7, 2012, cases of emergent Chikungunya were identified in a village of Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia. National authorities aided by international partners supported the immediate and thorough multidisciplinary investigation of this first documented outbreak. An investigation team screened 425 of the village’s 695 inhabitants, finding a 44 percent seroprevalence. This investigation detailed the duration of the epidemic, its dynamics and the expected number of cases by age group in a typical community in the Mekong Region. Epidemiological, virological and other research on mosquito-borne virus emergence is essential to guide public health response during an outbreak in host in tropical countries, as well as in other countries where potential vectors are present, such as overseas territories or the southern parts of the USA or Europe.

3. Update on Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses — Worldwide, April 2011–June 2012

Division of News & Electronic Media           

Vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs), recognized by their high genetic divergence from the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) strains, fall into three categories: 1) circulating VDPVs (cVDPVs) from outbreaks, 2) primary immunodeficiency-associated VDPVs (iVDPVs) from patients with defects in antibody production, and 3) ambiguous VDPVs (aVDPVs) for which there is insufficient evidence for definitive assignment to the other two categories. During April 2011−June 2012, cVDPV outbreaks in three countries appeared to have stopped, and the large outbreak in Nigeria sharply reduced. Outbreaks continued in DRC and Somalia, and new outbreaks detected in three countries. Twelve new prolonged iVDPV infections were detected, with increasing numbers found in developing and middle-income countries. The large majority (~85 percent) of VDPVs are type 2. Polio eradication means the cessation of all poliovirus circulation. cVDPVs are biologically equivalent to wild polioviruses, emerge in settings of low type-specific population immunity, and can circulate indefinitely. iVDPVs will continue to emerge as long as OPV is used.


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