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  Press Summaries

MMWR
May 28, 1999

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.


MMWR Synopsis
  1. Cluster of HIV-Positive Young Women New York, 1997-1998
  2. Progress Toward Global Poliomyelitis Eradication 1997-1998
  3. Cigarette Smoking During the Last 3 Months of Pregnancy Among Women Who Gave Birth to Live Infants Maine, 1988-1997
  4. Laboratory Practices for Prenatal Group B Streptococcal Screening and Reporting Connecticut, Georgia, and Minnesota, 1997-1998
Recommendations and Reports: Prevention of Varicella: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
Fact Sheet:
  1. Smoking During Pregnancy: United States and Maine

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Synopsis May 28, 1999

Cluster of HIV-Positive Young Women New York, 1997-1998
High-risk behaviors continue to place some groups of youth at high-risk for HIV, and points to the need to reach all young people even those in rural communities.

PRESS CONTACT:
Office of Communications
CDC, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
(404) 639-8895
CDC recently assisted the New York State Department of Health and the Chautauqua County Department of Health in an investigation of a cluster of HIV infections among young women in a rural community. The results of the investigation suggests that HIV was transmitted heterosexually from one infected male to a large percentage of his female partners (31% of those identified). The investigation also revealed that there remain unrecognized groups of young people at high risk for HIV infection and other STDs, even in rural communities. HIV infection can be spread efficiently through heterosexual sex, and all young people are in need of the knowledge, skills, social support, and motivation needed to protect themselves from infection.

  Progress Toward Global Poliomyelitis Eradication 1997-1998
In 1988, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO) resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis globally by the year 2000.
PRESS CONTACT:
Roland Sutter, M.D., M.P.H. & T. M.
CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639-8252
Substantial progress has been reported in implementing the recommended eradication strategies: 1) achieving and maintaining high routine vaccination coverage among infants; 2) implementing National Immunization Days (NIDs) to rapidly decrease widespread poliovirus circulation; 3) establishing sensitive surveillance system for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP); and 4) conducting "mopping-up" to eliminate the final chains of poliovirus transmission. Three WHO Regions are now free or nearly free of polio, including the entire Western hemisphere (Region of the Americas) since 1991; the Western Pacific Region since 1997; and in the European Region, transmission is now confined to a single country (Turkey). To achieve the polio eradication target by the end of the year 2000, a major acceleration of activities is now underway, which includes India, the world's largest polio-endemic country, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

  Cigarette Smoking During the Last 3 Months of Pregnancy Among Women Who Gave Birth to Live Infants Maine, 1988-1997
Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus.
PRESS CONTACT:
Indu Ahluwalia, Ph.D., M.P.H.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488-5105
The findings of this report indicate that from 1988 to 1997 the prevalence of cigarette smoking during the last 3 months of pregnancy has declined among women who gave birth to a live-born infant in Maine. A significant decrease was observed for women older than 20 years of age, and no decrease was observed for the younger women. Smoking prevalence for women younger than 20 years of age in 1997 was 37.9% (37.4% in 1988). For those older than 20, prevalence was 18.7% in 1997 (30.0% in 1988). Smoking prevalence among women participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) shows a decline, but the overall smoking prevalence for this population remains high. Maine's Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System will continue to monitor smoking prevalence among pregnant women who give birth to a live-born infant.

  Laboratory Practices for Prenatal Group B Streptococcal Screening and Reporting Connecticut, Georgia, and Minnesota, 1997-1998
Laboratory practices are integral to the prevention of perinatal group B Streptococcal (GBS) disease and such practices need improvement.
PRESS CONTACT:
Andrea Benin, M.D.
CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639-2215
GBS is a leading cause of neonatal sepsis in the United States. A majority of perinatal GBS disease is preventable by antibiotics administered during labor to women at high-risk of transmitting GBS to their newborns. High-risk women are identified either by a screening culture performed late in pregnancy or by risk factors associated with the disease. Appropriate laboratory practices are essential to accurate screening. Yet, in three states surveyed, only 39% to 62% of laboratories were using the recommended culture technique for GBS. In response to feedback, laboratories improved their practices. Screening-based GBS disease prevention depends on a partnership between health-care providers and laboratories.

  Recommendations & Reports:
  "Prevention of Varicella: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)"
Vol. 48/May 28, 1999/RR-6

February 1999, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded recommendations for varicella (chickenpox) vaccine to promote wider use of the vaccine for susceptible children and adults. The updated recommendations include establishing child care and school entry requirements, use of the vaccine following exposure and for outbreak control, use of the vaccine for some children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and vaccination of adults and adolescents at high risk for exposure. These recommendations also provide new information on varicella vaccine postlicensure safety data.



Smoking During Pregnancy: United States and Maine

May 28, 1999
Contact: Indu Ahluwalia, Ph.D., M.P.H.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
& Health Promotion
(770) 488-5105

  • Smoking during pregnancy is known to be associated with adverse outcomes such as low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, and pre-term deliveries.
  • Between 20 to 30 percent of the incidence of low birth weight is attributable to maternal cigarette smoking.
  • U.S. birth certificate data show that in 1997, 13.2% of women giving birth reported to have smoked cigarettes. The smoking rate among non-Hispanic women 18-19 years old was the highest, approximately 29.6%.
  • From 1990 to 1997, U.S. birth certificate data on cigarette smoking during pregnancy show that smoking rates declined for women above 20 years of age.
  • In 1997, U.S. birth certificate data on cigarette smoking during pregnancy among young women 15-19 years of age show a rate of 17.6%.
  • Data from Maine BRFSS show a decline in smoking rates among women between 18-44 years of age from 1988 to 1997. Smoking prevalence was 34% in 1988 and it was 24% in 1997, showing a decline of approximately 29%.
  • PRAMS data from Maine show a decline in smoking during the last three months of pregnancy among women giving birth to a live-born infant from 1988 to 1997. Smoking prevalence in this population was 30.7% in 1988 and it was 20.4% in 1997, showing a decline of approximately 34%.

For more information on smoking and pregnancy visit this CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco


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