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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

State-Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults – United States, 2007

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

The prevalence of obesity among adults in all states is higher than national health objectives for 2010. Actions to address this problem should: increase physical activity; increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables; decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages; and reduce the consumption of high calorie foods. These efforts should include changing environments and policies that support these behaviors. In 2007, no state met the year 2010 objective to reduce the prevalence of obesity to 15 percent or less for adults. In Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee the prevalence of obesity among adults 18 years of age and older was above 30 percent. Colorado had the lowest obesity prevalence at 18.7 percent.

Balamuthia Amebic Encephalitis – California, 1999-2007

PRESS CONTACT: Suanne Buggy, Deputy Director
California Department of Public Health, Office of Public Affairs
(916) 440-7259

Early recognition of balamuthiasis in patients with unexplained encephalitis is key in slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. The report describes 10 cases of balamuthiasis, nine of which were fatal. Balamuthiasis is a rare type of encephalitis caused by a free-living amoeba that is difficult to diagnose because the clinical symptoms mimic those of several other types of encephalitis and few laboratories perform appropriate diagnostic testing. Additionally, many physicians are unaware of the disease. The lack of recognition and subsequent delay in diagnosis might be a factor in its high mortality.

Silicosis-Related Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 65 Years – United States, 1968-2005

PRESS CONTACT: Fred Blosser, Public Affairs
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(202) 245-0645

The increased proportion over time of silicosis-related deaths among young adults underscores the need for targeted prevention programs, investigation of cases, and individual case follow-up of silicosis deaths occurring at younger ages. An exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust usually occurs in occupational settings including mining, construction, manufacturing and other industries and can result in silicosis and other lung diseases. A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that a key measure of the severity and prevalence of the occupational lung disease silicosis declined substantially from 1968 to 2005, but the decline leveled off from 1995 to 2005, and the decline among young adults was less marked, meaning that a greater proportion of cases occurred among younger workers. The results indicate that intense occupational overexposures to silica, which causes the disabling and often deadly occupational disease, continue to occur despite legally enforceable limits. The NIOSH study recommends hazard surveillance, workplace-specific interventions, and strengthening of current silicosis prevention and elimination efforts to protect workers' health.

Salmonella Litchfield Outbreak Associated with a Hotel Restaurant – Atlantic City, New Jersey, 2007

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

One or more ill food handlers can cause recurring contamination of foods and trigger a prolonged Salmonella outbreak. Enhanced federal and state communication systems can detect such outbreaks even among mobile, tourist populations, and enable public health officials to stop the outbreak and institute preventive measures. During May – July 2007, a Salmonella Litchfield outbreak occurred in a hotel restaurant in Atlantic City, NJ that was scheduled to permanently close in September 2007. By the end of the outbreak, 30 persons from 9 states reported illness, including 10 restaurant food handlers. Hundreds of cases were likely unreported. In an epidemiologic study, eating raw fruit salad was associated with illness. At least one ill food handler was the likely source of repeated food contamination. Restaurant management should reinforce safe food handling practices, including the avoidance of bare-hand contact with raw food and food handling when staff have diarrheal illness. Public health officials should consider heightened inspections of restaurants with impending closures to preempt potential lapses in sanitation and hygienic food handling.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: July 17, 2008
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