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MMWR
Synopsis for April 5, 2002

The MMWR is embargoed until 12 Noon, ET, Thursdays.

  1. Alcohol Use Among Women of Childbearing Age — United States, 1991–1999
  2. Update: Influenza Activity — United States, 2001–02 Season
  3. Suspected Cutaneous Anthrax in a Laboratory Worker — Texas, 2002
  4. Imported Dengue — United States, 1999 and 2000


Telebriefing, April 4, 2002
WHO: Dr. Louise Floyd, CDC birth defects expert

Dr. Nancy Rosenstein, CDC anthrax expert and Dr. Elena Page, CDC occupational safety expert

WHAT: To discuss articles in this week’s MMWR on alcohol use among women of childbearing age and cutaneous anthrax in a laboratory worker. Brief remarks followed by Q/A..
WHEN: Thursday, April 4, 2002; 12 Noon – 12:30 PM ET
WHERE: At your desk, by toll-free conference line: Dial 866-254-5942
Teleconference name: CDC
A full transcript of this teleconference will be available today following the teleconference on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/media/.

This teleconference will also be audio webcast. Listen LIVE online at http://www.cdc.gov/media/.

Synopsis for April 5, 2002

Alcohol Use Among Women of Childbearing Age — United States, 1991–1999

Healthcare professionals, who provide care for women of childbearing-age, should routinely screen for alcohol use.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Jasjeet Sidhu, MD, MPH

CDC, National Center for Birth Defects and
Developmental Disabilities
(770) 488–7425
 

The findings in this report indicate that the rates of binge drinking (i.e., >5 drinks on any one occasion) and frequent drinking (i.e., >7 drinks per week and/or >5 drinks on any one occasion) during pregnancy remain at high levels. Among non-pregnant women of childbearing age, rates of binge drinking and frequent drinking have not declined. Furthermore, numerous other studies have demonstrated an association between prenatal exposure to alcohol and increased risk for various adverse effects on the developing fetus. This association, coupled with the fact that rates of binge and frequent drinking among pregnant women remain high, has led the United States Department of Health and Human Services to make decreasing alcohol consumption among pregnant women an important objective in their Healthy People 2010 initiative.

 

Update: Influenza Activity — United States, 2001–02 Season

U.S. influenza activity appears to have peaked in February for the 2001—2002 influenza season.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Scott Harper, MD, MPH, MSc

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–3747
 

This report summaries influenza activity in the United States during September 30, 2001–March 23, 2002, and updates previous summaries from this season. Preliminary data collected by CDC indicate that U.S. influenza activity appears to have peaked in February for the 2001–2002 season. The most commonly isolated influenza viruses this season were covered by the strains in the influenza vaccine.

 

Suspected Cutaneous Anthrax in a Laboratory Worker — Texas, 2002

A laboratory worker, who developed cutaneous anthrax, may have become infected because of skin exposure to a contaminated surface.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

The worker had not used gloves while handling vials that were later found to be positive for Bacillis anthracis. CDC and the National Institutes of Health recommend that laboratories producing quantities or concentrations of B. anthracis apply appropriate biosafety practices which emphasize primary and secondary barriers. Gloves should be used whenever handling material that contains or might contain B. anthracis. This investigation did not identify inhalation exposures, and CDC does not recommend prophylaxis for the prevention of cutaneous anthrax.

 

Imported Dengue — United States, 1999 and 2000

Dengue, an acute viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, continues to occur in U.S .residents returning from tropical areas.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
John Hayes, DrPH, MSPH

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(787) 706–2399
 

Blood samples from 216 cases of suspected dengue occurring in 1999 and 2000 were submitted to the CDC, and 41 (19%) were laboratory diagnosed as dengue. The most common symptoms were fever, headache, rash, and body pain. At least three persons were hospitalized, and one patient died in 2000. Available travel histories indicated that most infections were acquired in Asia and the Caribbean islands, but documented cases also included travelers to central and south America, and Africa. Since there is no vaccine, the prevention of dengue relies on avoidance of exposure to mosquitoes. Health-care providers should consider dengue in the differential diagnosis for patients who have compatible manifestations and a history of travel to tropical areas. CDC can assist in the laboratory diagnosis.


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