DEXTER, Mich. (AP) – “Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Yee was the first
officer on the scene in one of two hard-hit Michigan subdivisions where a
tornado ripped through more than 100 homes, leaving them in splinters before
downing trees and power lines, sparking fires and flooding neighborhood roads….”
March 16, 2012 / 61(10);169March is designated National Kidney Month to raise awareness about kidney disease prevention and early detection. In 2010, kidney disease was the eighth leading cause of death in the United States (1). Approximately 20 million U.S. adults aged ≥20 years have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and most of them are unaware of their condition (2,3). If left untreated, CKD can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or transplantation for survival (2,4).Among persons on hemodialysis because of kidney failure, the leading causes of hospitalization are cardiovascular disease and infection (4).
CDC, in collaboration with partner agencies and organizations, has created the National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet 2010 (2) and is establishing a national CKD surveillance system to document and monitor the burden of CKD in the United States. Diabetes and high blood pressure are major risk factors for CKD, but controlling diabetes and blood pressure can prevent or delay CKD and improve health outcomes (2).
Plantinga LC, Boulware LE, Coresh J, et al. Patient awareness of chronic kidney disease: trends and predictors. Arch Intern Med 2008;168:2268–75.
US Renal Data System. USRDS 2011 annual data report: atlas of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in the United States. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2011. Available at http://www.usrds.org/adr.aspx. Accessed March 5, 2012.
CDC research shows outbreaks linked to imported foods increasing
Fish and spices the most common sources
Foodborne disease outbreaks caused by imported food appeared to rise in 2009 and 2010, and nearly half of the outbreaks implicated foods imported from areas which previously had not been associated with outbreaks, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented today at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.
“It’s too early to say if the recent numbers represent a trend, but CDC officials are analyzing information from 2011 and will continue to monitor for these outbreaks in the future,” said Hannah Gould, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases and the lead author.
CDC experts reviewed outbreaks reported to CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System from 2005-2010 for implicated foods that were imported into the United States. During that five-year period, 39 outbreaks and 2,348 illnesses were linked to imported food from 15 countries. Of those outbreaks, nearly half (17) occurred in 2009 and 2010. Overall, fish (17 outbreaks) were the most common source of implicated imported foodborne disease outbreaks, followed by spices (six outbreaks including five from fresh or dried peppers). Nearly 45 percent of the imported foods causing outbreaks came from Asia.
“As our food supply becomes more global, people are eating foods from all over the world, potentially exposing them to germs from all corners of the world, too,” Gould said. “We saw an increased number of outbreaks due to imported foods during recent years, and more types of foods from more countries causing outbreaks.”
According to a report by the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. food imports grew from $41 billion in 1998 to $78 billion in 2007. Much of that growth has occurred in fruit and vegetables, seafood and processed food products. The report estimated that as much as 85 percent of the seafood eaten in the United States is imported, and depending on the time of the year, up to 60 percent of fresh produce is imported. ERS also estimated that about 16 percent of all food eaten in the United States is imported. The types of food causing the outbreaks in this analysis aligned closely with the types of food that were most commonly imported.
Gould warned that the findings likely underestimate the true number of outbreaks due to imported foods as the origin of many foods causing outbreaks is either not known or not reported.
“We need better – and more – information about what foods are causing outbreaks and where those foods are coming from,” Gould said. “Knowing more about what is making people sick, will help focus prevention efforts on those foods that pose a higher risk of causing illness.”
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has have stepped up its efforts to conduct environmental assessments to determine the root cause of outbreaks. With lessons learned from outbreaks, measures will be taken to prevent such outbreaks in the future. The newly enacted FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is also a major step in establishing a prevention based food safety system that would address domestic as well as imported foods. CDC, FDA and USDA will continue to work together to prevent foodborne illness and stop harmful products from entering commerce.
“Atascadero State Hospital; Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently cited two state psychiatric hospitals for failing to protect staff from patient assaults, as well as other issues, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 3/2).
Cal-OSHA fined Patton State Hospital $57,400 and Atascadero State Hospital $38,555.
The agency alleged that Patton’s inadequate injury and illness prevention plans contributed to about 20 patient-caused staff injuries each month between January 2006 and September 2011 (Romney, “L.A. Now,” Los Angeles Times, 3/2).
Cal-OSHA also alleged that Atascadero had an average of eight patient-caused staff injuries each month between January 2007 and October 2011 (Strickland, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3/1)……”
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
ECDC rapid risk assessment on the measles outbreak in the Ukraine
14 Mar 2012
There is an ongoing measles outbreak in the Ukraine, currently concentrated in the western part of the country bordering on Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. In 2012 to date, over 5 000 cases have been reported and there is a risk that the actual numbers are considerably higher. The epidemic is expected to accelerate and spread geographically during the peak transmission season for measles from February to June.
EMS student, patient killed in Ohio ambulance crash
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — “An ambulance rear-ended a flatbed truck carrying lumber near an Ohio hospital Wednesday, killing the ambulance driver and the patient, who was being taken to a doctor’s appointment……The lumber on the back of [the]truck crashed through the ambulance’s windshield and halfway through the vehicle, hitting [driver and patient] in the head……”