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MMWR
Synopsis for April 21, 2000

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. E.S.T. Thursdays.

  1. HIV-Related Tuberculosis Among Transgender Persons — Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City Area, 1998–2000
  2. Prevalence of Leisure-Time Physical Activity Among Overweight Persons — United States, 1998
  3. Escherichia coli O111:H8 Outbreak Among Teenage Campers — Texas, 1999
  4. Surveillance at the Rainbow Family of Living Light Annual Gathering — Pennsylvania, 1999
 

MMWR
Synopsis for April 21, 2000

HIV-Related Tuberculosis Among Transgender Persons — Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City Area, 1998–2000

Tuberculosis outbreak uncovers need for outreach to transgender community.

 
PRESS CONTACT: 
Office of Communications

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–8895
Public health officials from Baltimore and New York City, working with CDC, have identified an outbreak of HIV-related tuberculosis (TB) that has spread through transgender communities in both metropolitan areas. To date, investigators have identified 26 cases of active disease and 37 dormant or latent infections among men and women who either had contact with or were members of a social network, which revolves primarily around a system of virtual "houses." Each "house" represents a local social club of gay and bisexual individuals, some of whom are transgender. House members interact when traveling to or participating in fashion and dance competitions. Because house members travel frequently, public health officials are concerned that TB may be circulating in this social network in other cities. CDC is working with TB control staff in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to determine if there are additional TB cases linked to this outbreak.

 

Prevalence of Leisure-Time Physical Activity Among Overweight Persons — United States, 1998

Two-thirds of overweight people use physical activity as a strategy for weight loss; however, only one-fifth report being active at nationally recommended levels.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Mary Ellen Simpson, Ph.D., R.N., M.S.

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488–6035
Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the United States among all segments of the population and regions of the country. Because obesity is a risk factor for numerous chronic health conditions and because weight loss can reduce risk factors for these conditions, weight loss is important for obese persons. National guidelines recommend that weight reduction should be centered around a combination of strategies which include reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity. CDC conducted a study among overweight U.S. adults trying to lose weight to estimate the proportion who engage in some form of physical activity. The results indicate that about two-thirds of overweight adults are using physical activity to achieve weight reduction. However, only one-fifth of them met the national recommendations for physical activity.  

 

Escherichia coli O111:H8 Outbreak Among Teenage Campers — Texas, 1999 

There are several strains of E. coli bacteria that can infect people and cause illness, and sometimes death.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
John Brooks, M.D.

CDC, National Center for for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639-2206
When people think of dangerous E. coli, most think of E. coli O157. However, E. coli O157 is just one among numerous members of the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). In 1999, a group of Texas teenagers attending a cheerleading camp became ill with E. coli O111 (called STEC) . Infections with STEC can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and in a limited number of cases hemolytic uremic syndrome. Although outbreaks from STEC in this country have been usually associated with E. coli O157, this outbreak illustrates that non-O157 STEC also cause outbreaks. Limited data indicate that up to 50% of STEC infections in the United States may be due to non-O157 serotypes. Recent technological developments now enable any clinical laboratory to detect, culture and isolate STEC. Previously, only a small number of specialized laboratories could test for STEC.

Surveillance at the Rainbow Family of Living Light Annual Gathering — Pennsylvania, 1999 

Mass outdoor gatherings pose unique public health challenges, and require collaboration between event organizers and public health officials.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Elizabeth A. Talbot, M.D.

CDC, National Center for for HIV, STD, & TB Prevention
(404) 639-8120
Ensuring the health of persons attending mass outdoor gatherings can be challenging when sanitary facilities and potable water are not readily available. This report describes the Rainbow Family of Living Light’s 1999 Annual Gathering which was held in the Allegheny National Forest (PA), and attended by approximately 20,000 persons over 2 weeks. Public health officials collaborated with Rainbow Family members to prevent infectious disease outbreaks — especially infectious diarrhea — by providing information about appropriate latrine use, handwashing, and water treatment to the Gathering’s health volunteers and attendees. One hundred and fifteen medical visits were reported; injuries were the leading cause for seeking health care (32%), followed by infections (24%). This report provides a model and recommendations for addressing the public health challenges of similar mass outdoor gatherings.


 

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