MMWR News Synopsis for January 22, 2015

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
January 22, 2015

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Opioid prescription claims among women of reproductive age — United States, 2008–2012

CDC Media Relations

Opioid medications are widely used among women of reproductive age in the United States, regardless of insurance type. Women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should not stop or start taking any medications that they need without first talking with a healthcare provider. More than a third (39 percent) of reproductive-aged women enrolled in Medicaid, and more than one fourth (28 percent) of those with private insurance, filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication each year during 2008-2012.Taking these medications early in pregnancy, often before women know they are pregnant, can increase the risk for some birth defects (such as spina bifida) and other poor pregnancy outcomes (such as preterm birth or low birth weight). Healthcare providers should discuss the potential risks and benefits of opioid medication use with women of reproductive age, prior to prescribing.

Worker Illness Related to Newly Marketed Pesticides — Douglas County, Washington, 2014

CDC Media Relations

Farm workers may face the risk of illness from exposures to pesticides being applied at neighboring farm sites. This report highlights the risks of off-target pesticide drift, the toxicity of some recently marketed pesticides, and a gap in worker-notification requirements. A primary way of reducing these risks would be to improve communication between farm managers planning pesticide applications and their neighbors. In April of 2014 an incident occurred in Washington State where 20 farmworkers fell ill after exposure to off-target drift of a pesticide mixture. The pesticide application occurred at a pear orchard bordering a cherry orchard. All 20 cherry-orchard workers began feeling ill within minutes of exposure to the pesticides drifting from the pear orchard;, six developed moderately severe illness. The pesticides were relatively new and had not previously been reported to cause human illness. The two workers who applied the pesticides were wearing air-purifying respirators and chemical-resistant headgear and reported no symptoms. Although there are no requirements to do so, this event could have been prevented through better communication between managers of the pear and cherry orchards.

Notes from the Field: 

Investigation of Contacts of a Health Care Worker Who Worked While Ill with Pertussis — Maryland, August–September 2014



Page last reviewed: January 22, 2015