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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease in the Era of Universal Screening — United States, 2003­2005

PRESS CONTACT: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Under universal screening, we continue to prevent early-onset GBS disease in infants. However small increases in overall disease rates and in particular in black infants, highlights the need to continue our efforts to ensure optimal implementation of the guidelines and to evaluate strategies to prevent further increases in racial disparities in GBS disease. Universal screening of pregnant women for Group B streptococcal (GBS) infections has been recommended for the prevention of GBS in infants since 2002. Screening involves identifying women who are carriers of GBS at 35-37 weeks′ gestation by culture, and then using antibiotics during labor for carriers to prevent transmission of the bacteria to newborns. Our report shows that in the era of universal screening there has been a 32 percent decline in incidence of cases compared to the time period prior to universal screening. Rates of neonatal disease were the lowest in 2003 but in the next two years we found small, successive increases in incidence; these do not negate the overall benefit but still an upward trend is concerning. The increase seems to be most apparent among black infants and from 2003-2005 racial disparities in incidence between black and white infants increased. Among black infants this appears to be affected by increases among both term and preterm infants. We are currently investigating causes of the increases in GBS disease in black infants however at this time; universal screening is still the best method to prevent GBS disease in infants.

Reduced Secondhand Smoke Exposure After Implementation of a Comprehensive Statewide Smoking Ban — New York, June 26, 2003—June 30, 2004

PRESS CONTACT: New York State Department of Health
Claudia Hutton, Director
Public Affairs Group
(518) 474-7354, ext 1

Strengthening existing smokefree policies substantially reduces nonsmokers′ exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke (SHS) causes premature disease and death in nonsmokers, including heart disease and lung cancer. The Surgeon General has concluded that no risk-free level of SHS exposure exists; the only way to fully protect nonsmokers is to completely eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. To assess changes in indoor SHS exposure in nonsmokers, the New York State Department of Health analyzed NY Adult Tobacco Survey data on respondents′ observations of indoor smoking and measured levels of cotinine in saliva among nonsmokers before and after implementation of the 2003 state ban on smoking in indoor workplaces and public places. This is the first study to biologically document decreased SHS exposure among a general population of nonsmokers after implementation of a smoke-free policy. This report adds to the evidence that comprehensive smoke-free air laws substantially reduce nonsmokers′ exposure to secondhand smoke.

Health Professionals and Smokers: Missed Opportunities in Cessation

PRESS CONTACT: Health Canada / Santé Canada
Media Relations / Relations avec les médias
(613) 957-2983

Healthcare providers are in a unique position to offer smoking-cessation advice and provide information on smoking-cessation aids to their patients; however, the results of this analysis indicate that many of these opportunities are being missed. In 2005, although 88 percent of current smokers in Canada reported visiting a health-care provider in the preceding year, only half of these smokers reported being advised to reduce or quit smoking. A smoker′s chance of quitting increases after receiving smoking-cessation information and support from various health-care providers in different disciplines. This report suggests that health professionals need to take greater advantage of opportunities to provide smoking cessation advice to smokers.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: July 19, 2007
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