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Issue Number 93            July 6, 1999

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Last week's offer of free copies of "NEEDLE TIPS" is over!
  2. IAC is looking for an administrative assistant
  3. CDC publishes article on influenza outbreak among travelers in Alaska and Yukon Territory
  4. Pharmacists spearhead national campaign to vaccinate the elderly
  5. Immunization education software for nurses newly revised!
  6. CDC publishes article on measles control in Southeast Asia

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(1)
July 6, 1999
LAST WEEK'S OFFER OF FREE COPIES OF "NEEDLE TIPS" IS OVER!

The early bird got the worm! The extra copies of the spring/summer 99 issue of "NEEDLE TIPS" that we offered to our subscribers last week are all taken! We have already received more requests than we can fill. The requests are being filled on a first-come, first-serve basis so if you have already sent us an e-mail request, you will either receive your copies or you will get a "sorry we ran out" message from us!

Remember, you can always download a camera-ready copy of "NEEDLE TIPS" at http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n21/n21.pdf and make as many copies as you need.
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(2)
July 6, 1999
IAC IS LOOKING FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

IAC is looking for an administrative assistant. If you or anyone you know might be interested in this position, please read the information below which includes instructions on how to apply:

Pack up your administrative skills and come to work at the Immunization Action Coalition, a small, award-winning, non-profit national publishing organization. Join a small group of high-spirited professional women who are dedicated and meticulous, but still wear jeans and have fun! We need an attention-to-detail administrative assistant who can handle multiple tasks, has experience with Access, Word Perfect, and the Internet. Background in PageMaker and accounting a plus. We offer full benefits and competitive compensation commensurate with experience and skills.

Send your resume by July 14 to:

Immunization Action Coalition
1573 Selby Ave.,  Suite 234
St. Paul, MN 55104

or fax your resume to 651-647-9131. You can also e-mail your resume to admin@immunize.org or click here: mailto:admin@immunize.org
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(3)
July 2, 1999
CDC PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON INFLUENZA OUTBREAK AMONG TRAVELERS IN ALASKA AND YUKON TERRITORY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published "Outbreak of Influenza A Infection Among Travelers -- Alaska and the Yukon Territory, May-June 1999" in the July 2, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

As of June 29, CDC has received reports of 428 cases of acute respiratory infection (ARI) among tourists who traveled to Alaska and the Yukon Territory from May 22 through June 28 on seven separate week-long cruises. Among tourism workers, 104 cases of ARI have been reported. Laboratory evidence has implicated influenza A virus as the cause of illness.

The MMWR's editorial note reads as follows:

"Summer outbreaks of influenza A have been reported previously among tourists in the United States and Canada. In 1998, approximately 40,000 tourists and tourism workers were affected by an influenza outbreak in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. As with the 1998 summer outbreak of influenza A in this region, the findings in this report suggest that influenza appears to be initially transmitted during land-based travel among tourists on combination land and sea tours and among tourism workers.

"In anticipation of possible persistent influenza activity, some cruise lines initiated policies to vaccinate crew members during the fall of 1998 to decrease the risk for influenza transmission by crew members to travelers. In addition, health departments in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and British Columbia and collaborating cruise lines have implemented summertime respiratory illness surveillance.

"In response to this outbreak, CDC and Health Canada developed recommendations for travelers to the region and for regional tourism workers. These recommendations are based on the following assumptions and considerations: 1) persons who travel with large organized groups are at risk for exposure to influenza, 2) new cases of influenza A infection probably will continue to occur among tourists to the region, 3) persons aged greater than or equal to 65 years and persons with underlying health conditions are at increased risk for influenza-related complications, 4) tourism workers have frequent contact with persons at risk for influenza-related complications, 5) influenza vaccine availability during the summer is limited, and 6) when the supply of influenza vaccine is inadequate, influenza A-specific antiviral medications (i.e., amantadine or rimantadine) have a primary role in influenza A prevention and treatment.

"On the basis of these considerations, CDC and Health Canada recommend that persons aged greater than or equal to 65 years or who have certain underlying chronic medical conditions (e.g., pulmonary or cardiac disease) should consult their health-care providers before traveling to Alaska and the Yukon Territory this summer, regardless of their vaccination status, about their risk for influenza, the symptoms of influenza, and the advisability of carrying antiviral medications for either prophylaxis or treatment for influenza A infections. These groups are at increased risk for serious complications from influenza, including pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Both amantadine and rimantadine can reduce the duration of influenza A illness and viral shedding if administered within 48 hours of symptom onset; however, these drugs also may cause side effects (particularly central nervous system or gastrointestinal effects) and may require dosage adjustment in elderly patients and those with underlying renal or hepatic disease. Health-care providers in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and British Columbia and on cruise ships in regional waters who may be providing care for persons with ILI should consider prescribing antiviral agents for patients with febrile respiratory illness. Rapid antigen-detection tests for influenza, if available, will be useful for early diagnosis. CDC, in collaboration with state and provincial health authorities and the tourism industry, is working to implement surveillance for ILI among travelers and tourism workers for the remainder of the Alaska/Yukon Territory tourist season.

"In the United States and Canada, health-care providers evaluating  patients with febrile respiratory illnesses or pneumonia should obtain a travel history and consider influenza A in their differential diagnosis. Additional information about this outbreak is available on the CDC World-Wide Web sites http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/fluvirus.htm"

To read the entire article, please click here:
http://cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4825a3.htm

HOW TO GET A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR
To get a free electronic subscription to the MMWR (delivered weekly), go to the MMWR website and sign up. When you sign up, you will also automatically begin to receive all new ACIP statements which are published as MMWR's "Recommendations and Reports." To get to the MMWR website, click here: http://www2.cdc.gov/mmwr/
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(4)
July 6, 1999
PHARMACISTS SPEARHEAD NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO VACCINATE THE ELDERLY

"100% Immunization Campaign," a broad-based collaborative initiative to promote immunization of all elderly residents of U.S. nursing facilities and assisted-living facilities against influenza and pneumococcal disease, is being spearheaded by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP).

To help nursing and assisted-living facilities participate in this campaign (influenza and pneumococcal disease are leading causes of death among Americans 65 years of age and older) a resource kit has been developed. The kit contains a sample resident consent form, recommended immunization policies and procedures, federal guidelines on vaccine administration to older adults, and other materials.

To order the kit or for more information on the campaign, contact Sharon Cochraham at 703-739-1316, ext. 178 or send an e-mail to scochraham@ascp.com

More information about the "100% Immunization Campaign" will soon be available on ASCP's website:  http://ascp.com/public/pr/immunization/index.shtml
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(5)
July 6, 1999
IMMUNIZATION EDUCATION SOFTWARE FOR NURSES NEWLY REVISED!

"Immunization: You Call the Shots," an immunization education software program for nurses, is now revised and contains new information on polio and rotavirus vaccines. The teaching module features six hours of instruction along with a library of resources and simulated practice settings.

Upon successful completion of the self-instruction program, continuing education credits can be earned through the American Nurses Association or the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners.

The software program was created by HealthSoft, Inc., and is supported by funding from the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine.

Cost for the software set is $25 for individuals, and $295 for multiple-user facilities. Public health facilities may purchase the software at a significant discount.

For more information, call HealthSoft at 800-235-0882, or visit their website: http://www.nursingresourcecenter.com
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(6)
July 2, 1999
CDC PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON MEASLES CONTROL IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article entitled "Measles Control -- South-East Asia Region, 1990-1997" in the July 2, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

The editorial note begins: "Despite routine coverage of greater than 80% since 1990 in SEAR (South East Asia Region), measles is a major cause of morbidity and death among children aged less than 5 years. Basing calculations on the reported vaccination coverage and a vaccine efficacy of 85%, approximately 9 million (25%) children in SEAR are not protected through vaccination against measles at their first birthday."

To read the complete MMWR article, please click here: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4825a2.htm

HOW TO GET A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR
To get a free electronic subscription to the MMWR (delivered weekly), go to the MMWR website and sign up. When you sign up, you will also automatically begin to receive all new ACIP statements which are published as MMWR's "Recommendations and Reports." To get to the MMWR website, click here: http://www2.cdc.gov/mmwr/

 

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
E-mail: admin@immunize.org Web: http://www.immunize.org/
Tel: 651-647-9009Fax: 651-647-9131

This page was updated on July 7, 1999