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  Press Summaries

MMWR
September 3, 1999

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


MMWR Synopsis
  1. Epidemiology of Measles United States, 1998
  2. Water Fluoridation and Costs of Medicaid Treatment of Dental Caries Louisiana, 1995-1996
  3. Congenital Syphilis United States, 1998

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MMWR

Synopsis September 3, 1999

Epidemiology of Measles United States, 1998
As a result of the U.S. vaccination program, measles is no longer an indigenous disease in the United States.

PRESS CONTACT:
Mark Papani, M.D., M.P.H.
CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639-8761
The historic low number of measles cases reported in 1998 suggests that measles is no longer an indigenous disease in the United States. Imported cases accounted for 71% of reported measles cases. Additionally, high schools without a second dose measles vaccine requirement provided the setting for the largest measles outbreak in 1998. During that outbreak, 32 cases occurred and were associated with an imported case. Because there is a risk of measles outbreaks from imported cases, continued high vaccination coverage with two doses and strong surveillance are critical to prevent a resurgence of measles in the United States. The elimination of measles from the United States should motivate other countries to adopt the goal of global eradication of the disease early in the new millennium.

  Water Fluoridation and Costs of Medicaid Treatment of Dental Caries Louisiana, 1995-1996
Community water fluoridation can substantially reduce Medicaid dental treatment costs for young children.
PRESS CONTACT:
William Maas, D.D.S., M.P.H.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488-6054
A recent study in Louisiana compared Medicaid dental costs for young children living in parishes with fluoridated water and those with low-fluoride water. The study, conducted by the State of Louisiana and CDC, found that the average costs of treating cavities for children living in parishes with low-fluoride water were twice as high as the cost for children in fluoridated parishes. Children in low-fluoride parishes were three times more likely to receive dental treatment in a hospital operating room due to the severity of their tooth decay problem. On average, the annual cost for treating dental disease, per Medicaid-eligible child, in fluoridated communities was $36 less per year than the cost in communities with low-fluoride water. Fluoridating the 39 low-fluoride systems, serving more than 10,000 people in Louisiana could potentially reduce annual Medicaid dental costs for pre-schoolers by $1.4 million.

  Congenital Syphilis United States, 1998
Congenital syphilis is a devastating disease that continues to be a serious health problem, although it is almost entirely preventable when treated early in pregnancy.
PRESS CONTACT:
Office of Communications
CDC, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
(404) 639-8895
Social and individual factors such as drug use, poverty, and access to healthcare contribute to the persistence of congenital syphilis in the United States. Over 800 cases of congenital syphilis and 53 fetal or infant deaths were reported in the United States in 1998. Despite this high level of congenital syphilis morbidity and mortality, the rate declined 78% from 1992 through 1998 and 23% from 1997 to 1998, but remain disproportionately higher in African-Americans. Over 80% of the cases occurred because the mother had no treatment or received inadequate treatment before or during pregnancy. For 57% of these cases, the women received some prenatal care.

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