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MMWR
Synopsis for September 15, 2000

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

  1. Human Ingestion of Bacillus anthracis-Contaminated Meat, Minnesota, August 2000
  2. Outbreak of Acute Febrile Illness Among Participants in EcoChallenge Sabah 2000 — Malaysia, 2000
  3. Screening With the Prostate Specific Antigen Test — Texas, 1997
  4. Update: West Nile Virus Activity — Northeastern United States, 2000
 

MMWR
Synopsis for September 15, 2000

Human Ingestion of Bacillus anthracis-Contaminated Meat, Minnesota, August 2000

Anthrax is present in the environment and can cause disease in livestock and wild animals.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Peter Dull

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

This report summarizes an investigation of a farm family that consumed meat from a steer that had been infected with Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax. The animal was slaughtered on the farm and did not enter the public meat supply. Public health authorities have recommended that the exposed family members take preventative antibiotics and begin anthrax vaccination. This case re-emphasizes that anthrax is present in the environment and can cause disease in livestock and wild animals. Veterinarians and public health officials should actively consider the possibility of anthrax when dealing with sick livestock. Vaccination of livestock against anthrax remains the safest and most effective way to prevent both animal and human disease.

 

Outbreak of Acute Febrile Illness Among Participants in EcoChallenge Sabah 2000 — Malaysia, 2000

CDC is working with state and local health departments to investigate cases of leptospirosis among people who recently participated in the Eco-Challenge.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

Several athletes from Idaho and California have reported being ill with fever and muscle aches. Preliminary laboratory tests at CDC suggests a diagnosis of Leptospirosis. Approximately 155 persons (not including media and family members of participants) from the United States participated in the event. CDC is encouraging athletes who participated in the event and are ill to contact their physician about treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Athletes who participated in the event and are not ill should also contact their physician to decide if they should take antibiotics to prevent getting sick. Note: This article ONLY is not embargoed.

 

Screening With the Prostate Specific Antigen Test — Texas, 1997

Men residing in Texas, who are 40 years of age and older, are following their doctor’s advice to have a PSA test for prostate cancer screening.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Phil Huang, M.D., M.P.H.

Texas Department of Health
(512) 458–7234
 

In Texas, 90% of the men whose doctor recommended the PSA test followed their advice. In addition, 24% of men, who were not told of the test, also reported having had a PSA test. The study identified a strong association between a doctor’s recommendation and receipt of a PSA test. This indicates that physician advice is a key determinant in a man’s decision of whether to be tested or not for prostate cancer. Physicians should counsel patients about the definite risks and potential benefits of treatment for early prostate cancer, so that patients can participate in the decision-making about being screened. Further, physicians need access to the most current information about PSA testing and prostate cancer, and incorporate such information into their clinical practices.

(Alternate: Mathew McKenna, M.D., M.P.H., CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, (770) 488–4227)

 

Update: West Nile Virus Activity — Northeastern United States, 2000

West Nile Virus (WNV) circulates between mosquitoes and birds and only incidentally infects people, horses, and other mammals.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

Since July 20, nine persons have been hospitalized with central nervous system infections associated with WNV. Eight of these patients resided in New York (Staten Island and Brooklyn), and one resided in New Jersey (Hudson County). All patients have been discharged from the hospital, except one 87-year-old man who remains in critical condition. Many counties with intense WNV activity in mosquito and bird populations during Summer 2000 have not reported WNV infections in people or other mammals. This is probably the result of a combination of factors including intensive mosquito control activities, and human outdoor activities and use of protective measures. Most persons with WNV infection do not have symptoms. A study conducted in New York City (Queens) after the 1999 outbreak showed that <1 percent of infected persons developed severe disease.


 

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