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MMWR
Synopsis for July 28, 2000

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

  1. Prevalence and Health Consequences of Stalking — Louisiana, 1998–1999
  2. Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — European Region, 1998–June 2000
  3. Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics — Selected Locations, United States, 1991–2000
  4. Use of FDA-Approved Pharmacologic Treatments for Tobacco Dependence — United States, 1984–1998
  5. Outbreak of Aseptic Meningitis Associated with Multiple Enterovirus Serotypes — Romania, 1999
 

MMWR
Synopsis for July 28, 2000

Prevalence and Health Consequences of Stalking — Louisiana, 1998–1999

Collecting data on interpersonal violence using a telephone survey is a feasible way to monitor this public health issue.

 
PRESS CONTACT: 
Melvin Kohn, M.D., M.P.H.

Oregon Health Division
(503) 731–4023

 
This report describes the results from the first year of the first population-based monitoring system for stalking at the state level. Data were collected in 1998-1999 by the Louisiana Office of Public Health using an ongoing, random digit-dialed telephone survey. Results reveal that 15% of the women in Louisiana report being stalked in their lifetime. Almost 32% reported a physical injury as a result of stalking, and women stalked by intimates were 4.5 times more likely to be injured than women stalked by others. Fifty-five percent reported experiencing stress that interfered with their regular activities for more than a month. State- and local-level survey data like these help quantify the problem of interpersonal violence, and can be used by public health practitioners to tailor interventions and policy to the specific needs in their communities.

 

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — European Region, 1998–June 2000

Large coordinated polio vaccination activities in the European Region of WHO have been highly successful.

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

CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 639–8252
 

In 1988, the World Health Assembly of WHO resolved to eradicate polio globally by 2000. Substantial progress has been made toward this goal in the 51-member states of the European Region (EUR). Between 1993 and 1998 the regional average for coverage with primary polio vaccination by age 1 has increased from 83% to 94%. Large, coordinated National Immunization Days and other supplemental immunization activities have been highly successful. All but three of the countries, where polio has recently circulated, have established sensitive surveillance systems for acute flaccid paralysis. The last polio case was detected in Agri province in Turkey in November, 1998. Surveillance data suggests that indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus has been interrupted in the region.

 

Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics — Selected Locations, United States, 1991–2000

First responders are at low-risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
S. Deblina Datta, M.D.

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 371–5910
 

The results of five studies, hich were conducted in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Connecticut, Miami, and Pittsburgh, consistently showed that first responders (firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics) are at low risk for HCV infection. After a needle stick contaminated with HCV-positive blood, the average risk for infection is 1.8%, and transmission rarely occurs from mucous membrane exposures to blood. Based on these findings, CDC does not recommend routine HCV testing of first responders unless they have a history indicating an increased risk for infection (e.g., blood transfusion before July 1992 or injection drug use).

 

Use of FDA-Approved Pharmacologic Treatments for Tobacco Dependence — United States, 1984–1998

The health benefits of quitting are significant and are realized within a few years of quitting.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Saul Shiffman, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh
(412) 687–5677
 

A new study shows that the availability of several pharmacological options (nicotine patch, gum, inhaler and nasal spray; and non-nicotine treatment [bupropion, as well as increasing consumers’ access to those options, increases the number of quit attempts utilizing such medications. An estimated 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but only 1.2 million per year succeed in quitting smoking permanently (2.5% of the approximately 48 million adult smokers). However, in the past, few smokers used any assistance when attempting to quit. Pharmacotherapy can double a smoker’s chances of quitting successfully.

(Alternate: Linda Pederson, Ph.D., CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion,770–488–5734)

 

Outbreak of Aseptic Meningitis Associated with Multiple Enterovirus Serotypes — Romania, 1999

Multiple types of enteroviruses can circulate at the same time and cause large outbreaks of viral meningitis.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Howard Gary, Ph. D.

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–2844
 

During July through September, 1999, Romania experienced an outbreak of viral meningitis caused by three different types of enteroviruses. Over 4,700 persons were hospitalized, making this one of the largest recorded viral meningitis outbreaks. Enteroviruses, like the ones that caused this outbreak, cause most cases of viral meningitis. However, this is the first large outbreak documented with more than two types of enteroviruses co-circulating. There is no available treatment for infection with these viruses. Spread of the virus can be reduced by regular handwashing and by not sharing eating or drinking utensils. Infections from enteroviruses are most common during the summer and fall months in most temperate regions of the world.

 


 

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