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MMWR
Synopsis for January 7, 2000

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

  1. Staphylococcus aureus with Reduced Susceptibility to Vancomycin — Illinois, 1999
  2. Laboratory Capacity to Detect Antimicrobial Resistance, 1998
  3. Abortion Surveillance: Preliminary Analysis — United States, 1997
Fact Sheet: Facts about Abortion Surveillance

MMWR
Synopsis for January 7, 2000

Staphylococcus aureus with Reduced Susceptibility to Vancomycin — Illinois, 1999

Some strains of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph. aureus) are showing signs of becoming resistant to the vancomycin.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations
CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
Although reports of these cases have been few (This is the fourth confirmed report in the U.S.), the difficulties in detecting these strains in the laboratory may allow some infections to remain undetected. As a result of widespread antimicrobial use, resistance to common antibiotics has emerged in the United States and abroad as a major public health challenge both in community and hospital settings. Decreasing the likelihood of further emergence of vancomycin resistant strains of staphylococci in the United States depends, in part, on actions taken now to prevent the spread of these strains in health-care facilities. These include, prudent vancomycin use, excellent infection-control precautions such as health-care worker handwashing, and heightened awareness of proper Staph aureus testing protocol among clinical microbiology laboratories. Prompt recognition and reporting of these strains to State Health Departments and CDC will facilitate appropriate treatment of infected patients and prevention of spread to others.

 

Laboratory Capacity to Detect Antimicrobial Resistance, 1998

There is a need to increase awareness among laboratory and related personnel about evolving practices of testing for antibiotic resistant bacteria.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations
CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
The development of antibiotic resistance makes treating infections difficult since there are fewer effective antibiotics available. Combating resistant infections begins in the laboratory where drug-resistant bacteria are identified. The most common pathogens associated with hospital-acquired infections, Staphylococcus aureus ( "Staph") and Enterobacteriaceae (e.g., E. coli ) have developed novel mechanisms of drug resistance. This survey found that despite the capacity for proper testing in a majority of laboratories, only 59% of laboratories reported that they did routine confirmatory testing for vancomycin resistance in Staph infections (last uniformly effective drug for these infections). Only 31.7% of laboratories were testing for an important type of resistance to cephalosporins and related antibiotics in gram negative bacteria.

 

Abortion Surveillance: Preliminary Analysis — United States, 1997

The number of legal induced abortions in 1997 continues to decline; and the national abortion rate and abortion ratios continue to be at an all-time low.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Lisa Koonin, M.N., M.P.H.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488–5188
As in 1996, the 1997 national abortion rate of 20 per 1,000 women of reproductive age (aged 15-44 years) continues to be the lowest rate recorded since 1975. The national abortion ratio (number of legal abortions per 1000 live births) decreased from 314 in 1996 to 305 in 1997 and is at the lowest recorded level since 1975. CDC receives data on legal induced abortions from the 50 states, New York City and the District of Columbia. Women who obtained legal abortions in 1997, as in previous years, were predominantly white and unmarried. As in 1996, most women obtaining a legal induced abortion in 1997 were 20 years and older; about one-fifth of women who obtained abortions were aged 19 years or younger. For the first time, this report includes medical (nonsurgical) induced abortion procedures. In 1997, almost 3,000 medical abortions were reported from 16 states.

 

Fact Sheets

Facts about Abortion Surveillance

January 7, 2000
CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

  • Many states emphasize the prevention of unintended pregnancy, particularly among teenagers. To assist efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy, each state needs an accurate assessment of abortion on an ongoing basis, including the number and characteristics of women obtaining abortions.
  • This report includes the preliminary analysis of national abortion surveillance data for the latest year of available data--1997. The report presents national data for 1997 on legal induced abortions compiled from the 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia.
  • In 1997, 1,184,758 legal, induced abortions were reported to CDC, representing a decrease of 3% from the number reported in 1996. As in 1996, the 1997 national abortion rate of 20 per 1,000 women of reproductive age (aged 15-44 years) continues to be the lowest rate recorded since 1975. The national abortion ratio (number of legal abortions per 1000 live births) decreased from 314 in 1996 to 305 in 1997, and was lower than for any year since 1975.
  • Since 1990 (the year in which the number of abortions was highest), the annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States has steadily declined. The number of abortions reported to CDC for 1997 showed a decline from the previous year and is the lowest recorded number since 1978.
  • Women who obtained legal abortions in 1997, as in previous years, were predominantly white and unmarried. About one-fifth of women who obtained abortions were aged 19 years or younger.
  • Curettage (suction and sharp) remained the primary procedure, accounting for 98% of all legal abortion procedures.
  • Most abortions are performed early in pregnancy–as in previous years, more than half (55%) of legal abortions were performed during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy; approximately 88% were performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Factors that may have contributed to the decrease in the proportion of pregnancies that ended in abortion since 1990 include a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies, changes in contraceptive practices, including an increased use of condoms among young women and men, reduced access to abortion services, and possible changes in attitudes concerning abortion.

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