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MMWR
Synopsis for February 27, 2004

The MMWR is embargoed until Thursday, 12 PM EST.

  1. Asthma Prevalence and Control Characteristics by Race/Ethnicity United States, 2002
  2. Impact of a Smoking Ban on Restaurant and Bar Revenues ― El Paso, Texas, 2002
  3. Effect of New Susceptibility Breakpoints on Reporting of Resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae ― United States, 2003
  4. Interim Guidelines for the Evaluation of Infants Born to Mothers Infected with West Nile Virus During Pregnancy
No MMWR Telebriefing is scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2004

Synopsis for February 27, 2004

Asthma Prevalence and Control Characteristics by Race/Ethnicity United States, 2002

While asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality is increasing in all groups, asthma prevalence and asthma-control characteristics, such as emergency department visits, asthma attacks, and decreased activity are higher in certain racial/ethnic populations than in the white population. Targeted public health interventions are needed to address disparities in asthma risk and asthma control.

PRESS CONTACT:
Jeanne Moorman, MS

CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(404) 4981000
 

Between 1980 and 1999, increases in asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality were reported among U.S. adults aged >18 years. Non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic AI/ANs, multiracial populations and Hispanics presented less positive asthma control profiles than other populations. Among the estimated 16 million (7.5 %) U.S. adults who reported currently having asthma, self-reported current asthma prevalence among racial/ethnic minority populations ranged from 3.1% to 14.5%, compared with 7.6% among whites.


Impact of a Smoking Ban on Restaurant and Bar Revenues― El Paso, Texas, 2002

Smokefree policies are the most effective way to protect nonsmoking patrons and hospitality workers from the serious risk of secondhand smoke exposure, and can be implemented without damaging effects on hospitality revenues.

PRESS CONTACT:
Margaret McCusker, MD, MS

CDC, Epidemiology Program Office
(512) 458-7111
ext. 6122 (Texas)
 

The City of El Paso, Texas implemented the strongest smoke-free indoor air ordinance in Texas on January 2, 2002, which bans smoking in all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The Texas Department of Health and CDC analyzed sales tax and mixed-beverage tax data spanning 12 years preceding and 1 year after the El Paso smoking ban was implemented. The analysis found that no statistically significant changes in restaurant and bar revenues occurred after the smoking ban took effect. These findings are consistent with and add to the existing body of evidence that local and state laws making enclosed workplaces and public places smokefree do not negatively impact restaurant and bar sales or other related economic indicators.


Effect of New Susceptibility Breakpoints on Reporting of Resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae ― United States, 2003

State and local health officials who conduct surveillance for drug-resistant S. pneumoniae should understand that the new clinical-syndrome based National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) breakpoints for defining susceptibility of S. pneumoniae to cefotaxime and ceftriaxone will cause a large artificial decline in the percentage of non-susceptible isolates on surveillance reports.

PRESS CONTACT:
Carolyn Greene, MD

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 371-5926
 

In January 2003, NCCLS finalized new breakpoints for defining the susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates to cefotaxime and ceftriaxone according to clinical syndrome. The new breakpoints differ for S. pneumoniae isolates causing meningitis and those causing non-meningeal clinical syndromes. An analysis of cefotaxime MIC data collected through the population-based Active Bacterial Core Surveillance of the Emerging Infections Program Network from 1998-2001 showed that applying the new criteria decreased the number of isolates defined as non-susceptible to cefotaxime by >52% annually. A marked drop in reported non-susceptible strains following the implementation of the new criteria may reflect a change in susceptibility definitions rather than biological or epidemiological changes.


Interim Guidelines for the Evaluation of Infants Born to Mothers Infected with West Nile Virus During Pregnancy

The effects of West Nile virus on the fetus and newborn infant are unknown and infants born to mothers who become infected with West Nile virus during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated.

PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communications
(404) 6393286
 

Infants born to mothers who become infected with West Nile virus during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated. The effects of West Nile virus on the fetus and newborn infant are unknown. Many women have delivered apparently healthy babies after pregnancies that were complicated by West Nile virus infection. One woman in 2002 delivered a baby who had severe disease that may have been caused by congenital West Nile virus infection. CDC is studying the outcomes of pregnancies of more that 70 women who acquired West Nile virus infection during pregnancy to learn more about whether or not West Nile virus can cause illness to babies that acquire the infection from their mothers. Doctors are encouraged to report women who become ill with West Nile virus during pregnancy to their state health departments or to CDC.



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