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MMWR
Synopsis for July 27, 2001

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

  1. West Nile Virus Activity Eastern United States, 2001
  2. Global Progress Toward Laboratory Containment of Wild Polioviruses, June 2001
  3. Heat-Related Deaths Los Angeles, California, 19992000, and United States, 19791998

MMWR Reports & Recommendations
July 27, 2001/Vol. 50/No. RR-13

Updated Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems: Recommendations from the Guidelines Working Group

The purpose of evaluating public health surveillance systems is to ensure that problems of public health importance are being monitored efficiently and effectively. CDC's Guidelines for Evaluating Surveillance Systems are being updated to address the need for a) the integration of surveillance and health information systems, b) the establishment of data standards, c) the electronic exchange of health data, and d) changes in the objectives of public health surveillance to facilitate the response of public health to emerging health threats (e.g., new diseases).

Contact: Kate Galatas, M.P.H.
CDC, Epidemiology Program Office
(770) 4888356


Synopsis for July 27, 2001

West Nile Virus Activity Eastern United States, 2001

This article ONLY is embargoed until 11 AM ET.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 6393286
Telebriefing number: 1-888-456-0278
 


During the last two summers, West Nile virus was isolated from birds, mosquitoes, horses and humans. Given our incomplete and evolving knowledge of the impact of WN virus in the Americas, as well as the efficacy of control efforts, the virus will remain an important public health challenge in the next decade. Federal agencies continue to work with state and local public health, animal health and environmental professionals as West Nile Virus continues to appear in new locations. A telebriefing on West Nile Virus will be held on July 26, 2001 beginning at 11 AM EST. To attend the briefing via toll-free audio conference with the ability to ask questions call 1-888-456-0278. The conference name is "West Nile." The panel of scientific experts invited to present include: CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the United States Geological Survey.

 

Global Progress Toward Laboratory Containment of Wild Polioviruses, June 2001

Substantial progress has been made towards achieving the 1988 World Health Assembly resolution for eradication of poliomyelitis.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Roland Sutter, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.

CDC, National Immunization Program
(404) 6398252
 


As global eradication approaching, there is increasing focus on minimizing the risk of reintroduction of wild polioviruses from laboratory sources. In 1998, WHO prepared a draft Global Plan of Action (endorsed by the World Health Assembly) to address laboratory containment of wild polioviruses. Substantial progress in implementing the first phase, consisting in creating a global inventory of laboratories with wild poliovirus or potentially infectious materials. Though much work remains, almost 400 laboratories with wild poliovirus materials have been identified. This inventory will serve as the foundation for all further containment activities, involving increasingly stringent biosafety requirements for laboratories handling wild poliovirus materials. All countries will need to demonstrate that the risk of reintroducing wild poliovirus from their laboratories has been effectively minimized in order for global certification to occur.

 

Heat-Related Deaths Los Angeles, California, 19992000, and United States, 19791998

Heat-related illness and death are preventable.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Reinhard Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H.

CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(404) 4981357
 


Hundreds die each year from heat-related deaths, and yet death from heat exposure is one of the most preventable public health problems. This year extreme heat may be of particular concern because of the energy problems facing many areas of the country. Air conditioning provides the most protection from heat exposure and heat-related deaths. However, some people may be fearful of high utility bills and limit their use of air conditioning. Such action can place people who are already at risk for heat illness at increased risk. Groups who are at particular risk for heat-related illness include the elderly, young children, those chronically ill, and others. Relatives, neighbors, and caretakers of persons at risk for heat-related death should be educated to frequently evaluate heat-related hazards, recognize symptoms of heat-related morbidity, and take preventive action if necessary.

 


 

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