Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
MMWR News Synopsis for September 11, 2008
- Detailed Estimates from a New HIV Incidence Surveillance System — United States, 2006
- Communitywide Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak — Utah, 2007
- Cross-Contamination of Clinical Specimens with Bacillus anthracis During a Laboratory Proficiency Test — Idaho, 2006
There will be an MMWR telebriefing scheduled for:
September 11, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.
PRESS CONTACT: National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
CDC Fact Sheet:
A new analysis of recently released national HIV incidence data provides, for the first time, a further breakdown of new HIV infections among various races, transmission categories, and age groups, as well as by gender. The previous report showed that nearly three quarters of the estimated 56,300 new infections in 2006 were among men, and researchers now know that men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for nearly three quarters of those infections. In this analysis, researchers were able to further examine new infections among whites, African Americans and Hispanics. Among MSM in these groups, whites accounted for 46 percent of new infections, followed by blacks at 35 percent and Hispanics at 19 percent. Important racial/ethnic differences in the ages at which MSM became infected were seen. Racial/ethnic disparities among young MSM were particularly alarming; among MSM aged 13–29, incidence in blacks was roughly twice that of whites and of Hispanics. White MSM in older age groups also were heavily impacted. Among women, blacks and Hispanics were most severely affected, with rates about 15 and four times the rate in white women, respectively. These findings confirm the continued need to focus prevention efforts on all MSM, as well other groups disproportionately affected, including African Americans and Hispanics.
PRESS CONTACT: Division of Media Relations
Cryptosporidium can cause large community outbreaks unless public health agencies, pool operators, and the public work together to keep pools safe. In 2007, Utah experienced a large (over 1,900 cases) communitywide outbreak of Cryptosporidium infection, which causes diarrheal illness. The outbreak likely was associated with pools, water parks, and interactive fountains and disproportionately impacted children aged <5 years. Preventing such an outbreak requires preparation by public health agencies before the chlorine-resistant parasite starts spreading in the community. Once it begins spreading, response must be immediate. By working together, public health agencies, community partners such as pool operators, and the public can stop the spread of Cryptosporidium. Swimmers can help by not swimming when they are ill with diarrhea and not swallowing the water used for swimming
Cross-Contamination of Clinical Specimens with Bacillus anthracis During a Laboratory Proficiency Test — Idaho, 2006
PRESS CONTACT: Emily Simnitt, Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
Public health personnel monitoring reportable disease and laboratory personnel initiating proficiency testing exercises for select-exempt strains of high-priority bioterrorism agents should work together so that communication about such exercises becomes routine. Laboratorians can minimize potential for cross-contamination by avoiding certain practices. In July 2006, two patient clinical samples at different hospital laboratories were apparently cross-contaminated with the Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis during a proficiency testing exercise in Idaho. The Sterne strain of B. anthracis is relatively avirulent, posing no danger to the participating laboratorians. However, initial reports of apparent cases of anthrax caused concern with public health epidemiologists unaware of the ongoing exercise, and prompted epidemiologic investigation of both cases. Swift laboratory investigation indicated the avirulent Sterne strain of B. anthracis, and that the patient samples were apparently cross-contaminated during processing. This report underscores the need to use laboratory practices which minimize cross-contamination of specimens and for communication with public health surveillance personnel in the jurisdictions where laboratory proficiency testing of high-priority bioterrorism agents will take place. Vigilance for biological threats must always be maintained.
- Page last reviewed: September 11, 2008
- Page last updated: September 11, 2008
- Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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