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MMWR
Synopsis for April 28, 2000

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

  1. Surveillance for Adverse Events Associated with Anthrax Vaccination — U.S. Department of Defense, 1998–2000
  2. Serogroup W-135 Meningococcal Disease Among Travelers Returning From Saudi Arabia — United States, 2000
  3. Alcohol Policy and Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates — United States, 1981–1995
  4. Progress Toward Global Poliomyelitis Eradication, 1999
 

MMWR
Synopsis for April 28, 2000

Surveillance for Adverse Events Associated with Anthrax Vaccination — U.S. Department of Defense, 1998–2000

The DoD has performed preliminary studies on the rates of local and systemic adverse events occurring after anthrax vaccination.

 
PRESS CONTACT: 
Commander Donna Murdoch

DoD, Naval Health Research Center
(619) 553–7027

The dangers posed by the potential use of anthrax as a biologic weapon prompted the Department of Defense (DoD) to announce on December 15, 1997, a plan for anthrax vaccination of all U.S. military personnel. This plan, coordinated by the DoD’s Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP), is designed to achieve a phased total force protection against anthrax by 2004. As of February 9, 2000, 406,256 service members had received 1,481,809 doses of anthrax vaccine adsorbed( AVA , manufactured by Bioport, Inc., Lansing, Michigan). Despite possible administrative or disciplinary action, an estimated 350 service members have refused vaccination; some on account of concerns about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. To assess anthrax vaccination safety, DoD has conducted surveys of vaccinated personnel. This report describes three completed or ongoing surveys.

 

Serogroup W-135 Meningococcal Disease Among Travelers Returning From Saudi Arabia — United States, 2000

U.S. healthcare providers should be aware of possible meningococcal disease among travelers returning from the Haji in Saudi Arabia.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Nancy Rosenstein, M.D.

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–3158

On April 9, 2000, CDC received notification rom several public health agencies in Europe that they had detected cases of meningococcal disease among pilgrims (and their close contacts) returning from the Haji in Mecca. As of April 19, 2000, 40 cases of meningococcal disease have been reported to the World Health Organization from the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, and Oman. In addition, 199 cases were reported from Saudi Arabia. The New York City Department of Health has reported three cases; one patient was a returning pilgrim who had been vaccinated, a second patient was a household contact of the returning pilgrim. The third patient may have interacted with other returning pilgrims or their families. These are the only cases identified from the 11,000 pilgrims reported to have traveled from the United States to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Haji.  

 

Alcohol Policy and Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates — United States, 1981–1995

Gonorrhea rates decline with higher beer tax.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Office of Communication

CDC, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention
(404) 639–8895
Based on a national study of alcohol policy changes from 1981 to 1995, CDC researchers estimate that a $.20 state tax increase per six-pack of beer could reduce U.S. gonorrhea rates by almost nine percent. The study analyzed changes in gonorrhea rates among teens - aged 15 to 19 - and young adults - aged 20 to 24 - in the year following an increase in the state beer tax or an increase in the drinking age. States that changed policy were compared with states that did not. When analyzed against the comparison states, two-thirds of the state beer tax increases were associated with a decrease in the gonorrhea rates for teens and almost three-quarters of the beer tax increases were associated with a decrease in gonorrhea rates for young adults. Gonorrhea rates among teens also dropped in a majority of the states that increased their legal drinking age.

 

Progress Toward Global Poliomyelitis Eradication, 1999 

The global polio eradication initiative made great strides in 1999 toward reaching the eradication target by the end of 2000.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Victor Caceres, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639–8252
In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization resolved to eradicate polio globally by the year 2000. During 1998-99 the number of known or suspected countries with circulating poliovirus decreased from 50 to 30. The type 2 poliovirus is on the verge of extinction. Other major milestones in 1999 included 1) passage of a resolution by all WHO member states to support acceleration strategies; 2) the immunization of more than 125 million children during 4 national immunization day (NID)and 2 subnational immunization day (SNID) rounds in India; 3) the immunization of millions of children in countries affected by conflict; 4) a dramatic increase in the quality of surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis; and 5) the expansion of the global eradication partnership.


 

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