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MMWR
Synopsis for July 26, 2002

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

  1. Methemoglobinemia Following Unintentional Ingestion of Sodium Nitrite ― New York, 2002
  2. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults ― United States, 2000
  3. Multistate Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Associated with Eating Ground Beef ― United States, June–July 2002
  4. Weekly Update: West Nile Virus Activity ― United States, July 17–23, 2002

MMWR Reports and Recommendations
Vol. 51(No. RR-9); July 26, 2002

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome — United States: Updated Recommendations for Risk Reduction
This report provides updated recommendations for prevention and control of hantavirus infections associated with rodents in the United States. These recommendations are based on principles of rodent and infection control, and accumulating evidence that most infections result from exposure, in closed spaces, to active infestations of infected rodents. The recommendations contain updated specific measures and precautions for limiting household, recreational, and occupational exposure to rodents, eliminating rodent infestations, rodent-proofing human dwellings, cleaning up rodent-contaminated areas and dead rodents, and working in homes of persons with confirmed hantavirus infection or buildings with heavy rodent infestations.

Contact: James Mills, PhD
CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–1396

Telebriefing, July 25, 2002
WHO: Dr. Paul Mead, CDC foodborne diseases expert, and
Dr. Daniel O'Leary, CDC West Nile Virus expert
WHAT: To discuss the MMWR articles on the E. coli O157:H7 ground meat recall and West Nile Virus cases in the United States, respectively Brief remarks followed by Q/A.
WHEN: Thursday, July 25, 2002; NOON ET
WHERE: At your desk, by toll-free conference line: Dial 866-254-5942
Teleconference name: CDC
A full transcript will be available today following the teleconference at http://www.cdc.gov/media/.

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

Synopsis for July 26, 2002

Methemoglobinemia Following Unintentional Ingestion of Sodium Nitrite ― New York, 2002

Persons with methemoglobinemia generally have cyanosis (lips, other mucous membranes appear blue in color); i.e., oxygen deprivation.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Mary Landrigan, MPA

Westchester County Department of Health
(914) 813–5000
 

This report outlines the investigation in May 2002 of an incident of methemoglobinemia, a relatively unusual and potentially fatal condition, involving five individuals in Yonkers, NY. Because of heightened emphasis on public health preparedness for potential terrorist events, this report also illustrates the importance and efficacy of collaboration by multiple agencies in the timely response to a potential public health threat. Cooperation in the investigation between the local hospital, public health officials, police department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Food and Drug Administration rapidly established the cause of the patients’ acute and severe illness as the inadvertent ingestion of sodium nitrite; mislabeled as table salt.

 

Cigarette Smoking Among Adults ― United States, 2000

CDC report shows that while most smokers want to quit, success rates vary dramatically.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Terry Pechacek, PhD

CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
(770) 488–5493
 

The report reveals that in 2000, 70 percent of adult smokers in the United States wanted to quit, and as many as 41 percent had stopped smoking for at least one day during the preceding year in an effort to quit. Among those who had ever smoked, the percentage of those who had quit was low among some populations. For racial and ethnic groups, the percentage of smokers who had quit was highest for whites at 51 percent and lowest for non-Hispanic blacks at 37.3 percent. Nearly half of the smokers above the poverty line had quit. Barely a third of smokers below the poverty line had quit. The report cites a lack of access to proven treatments for tobacco use as a possible explanation for the lower quit rates among underserved populations.

 

Multistate Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Associated with Eating Ground Beef ― United States, June–July 2002

Thaw ground beef in the refrigerator and cook ground beef to an internal temperature of greater than 160 degrees F to help prevent infection with E. coli O157:H7..

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

During July 2002, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections among Colorado residents. Additional cases have been identified in several other states. An ongoing epidemiological and laboratory investigation has linked human illnesses to eating contaminated ground beef products recalled by ConAgra Beef Company on June 30, 2002. State and local health departments are investigating additional cases to establish epidemiologic and molecular links to the outbreak. This outbreak demonstrates the continuing importance of routine public health surveillance combined with molecular subtyping in epidemiologic investigations. Additional food safety and product recall information is available from USDA at www.usda.gov; telephone 866-849-7438.

 

Weekly Update: West Nile Virus Activity ― United States, July 17–23, 2002

This report summarizes West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance data reported to CDC through ArboNET and verified by states and other jurisdictions as of July 23, 2002.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

During the reporting week of July 17-23, nine human cases of WNV were reported from two states (Louisiana and Mississippi). During the same period, WNV infections were reported in 202 dead crows, 48 other dead birds, 13 horses, and 69 mosquito pools. During 2002, a total of 12 human cases of WNV encephalitis or meningitis have been reported from Louisiana and Mississippi.


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