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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Hospital Stays Hospital Charges, and In-Hospital Deaths among Infants with Birth Defects – United States, 2003

PRESS CONTACT: James M. Robbins, Ph.D - University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
(501) 364-3300


Birth defects are serious causes of morbidity and mortality with large economic impacts, and more needs to be done to understand their causes and how to prevent them. Birth defects are leading causes of death and hospital admissions in babies. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time analyzed national data on hospital admissions for infants with 35 different birth defects. They ranked the defects according to number of admissions during the newborn period, number of deaths, risk of in-hospital death, average length-of-stay, and average hospital charge. Different conditions tended to rank higher on different measures. More studies are still needed to examine the long-term effects of birth defects, including effects on families.

Laboratory Confirmed Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli non-0157 – Connecticut, 2000-2005

PRESS CONTACT: William Gerrish - Connecticut Department of Public Health
(860) 509-7270


Specimens testing positive for shiga toxin without further culture confirmation at clinical laboratories should be promptly forwarded to state public health laboratories for confirmation and isolation in order to ensure accurate STEC surveillance and enable improved understanding of non-O157 STEC infections. Changing laboratory practices pose challenges but also opportunities to public health monitoring of some infections. A gradual change in laboratory testing practices with respect to Shiga-toxin producing E. coli from culture to toxin testing has threatened our ability to monitor E. coli O157 infections and detect outbreaks caused by them – but provided an opportunity to better understand the importance of non-O157 E. coli infections. By requiring laboratories performing toxin testing to send specimens to the State laboratory, Connecticut has been able to both fully monitor O157 infections and begin monitoring for infections caused by other serotypes. The information collected suggests that non-O157 infections are more common, but generally less severe than O157 infections. We recommend that all state public health laboratories adjust to changing clinical laboratory practice to enable more complete monitoring of all Shiga-toxin producing E. coli infections.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: January 18, 2007
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