MMWR News Synopsis for Thursday, September 26, 2019

Severe Silicosis in Engineered Stone Fabrication Workers — California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington, 2017–2019

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

Although silicosis outbreaks have been reported among engineered stone fabrication workers in other countries, only one such case of this incurable disease has been previously reported in the United States. Silicosis is preventable. The additional cases reported here highlight the urgent need to identify stone fabrication workers at risk and prevent further excess exposure to silica dust. Silicosis is an incurable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling particles of crystalline silica. These particles trigger inflammation and fibrosis in the lungs leading to progressive, irreversible, and potentially disabling and fatal disease. Silica exposure is also associated with increased risk for lung infection (notably, tuberculosis), lung cancer, emphysema, autoimmune diseases, and kidney disease. Silicosis outbreaks have been reported in several countries among workers who cut and finish stone slabs for countertops, a process known as stone fabrication. Most worked with engineered stone, a manufactured, quartz-based composite material that can contain over 90% crystalline silica. This report describes eighteen cases of silicosis, including the first two fatalities reported in the United States, among workers in the stone fabrication industry in California, Colorado, Washington, and Texas.

Prescription Opioid Use in Patients With and Without Systemic Lupus Erythematosus — Michigan Lupus Epidemiology and Surveillance Program, 2014–2015

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

Nearly 1 in 3 patients with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) used prescription opioids for pain, despite lack of evidence that opioids effectively reduce pain from lupus and other rheumatic diseases. In a Michigan study nearly 1 in 3 adults with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) used prescription opioids to treat pain, often for longer than a year, despite lack of evidence that opioids effectively reduce pain from lupus and rheumatic diseases. Health professionals need to consider safer and more effective non-opioid pain management strategies in these patients.

Progress Toward Poliovirus Containment Implementation — Worldwide, 2018–2019

Joseph Swan
Communications Officer, WHO
Office Phone: +41 (0)22 791 3708
Cell Phone: +41 7 9239 2263
Email Address: swanj@who.int

Retaining eradicated polioviruses is a risk and responsibility. Countries around the world have committed to implementing and monitoring safeguards for the long-term containment of polioviruses once wild poliovirus is eradicated. It is imperative that this work be accelerated for type 2 poliovirus, which was declared eradicated in 2015.. Containment of eradicated polioviruses is critical to sustaining a polio-free world. Following the certification of eradication of each poliovirus type, remaining poliovirus stocks must be destroyed. However, some stocks will be needed and kept for vaccine manufacture and key research in a limited number of laboratories and facilities worldwide. Ensuring the safe and secure handling and storage (containment) of these viruses is essential to minimize risk of them being released into communities, where they could once again cause paralysis and death in susceptible populations. This report provides an update on global progress for the containment of the already-eradicated type 2 wild poliovirus, containment action that will be required for type 3 wild poliovirus for which declaration of eradication is anticipated, and containment implications for the continued use of live type 2 containing polio vaccine.

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Surveillance Summaries:

Candidemia is a fungal infection that can cause serious illness and death. CDC conducts surveillance to understand the burden of this disease and identify trends as new threats such as Candida auris and injection-drug-use-related candidemia emerge. Caused by a type of yeast called Candida, candidemia is one of the most common bloodstream infections in the United States. Using CDC’s program for monitoring candidemia in four states, CDC analyzed data on candidemia infections from 2012 to 2016 to assess trends, populations at greatest risk, treatment administered, and outcomes. The study identified 3,492 cases of candidemia in the five-year period in the population being monitored for this infection. Key findings show the highest incidence occurred among adults age 65 or older and among black patients. During hospitalization, 1 in 4 patients died. Further developing candidemia surveillance systems to monitor changes in trends is critical to improve the development of treatment, to track antifungal resistance, and to identify effective prevention efforts.

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Page last reviewed: September 25, 2019