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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Increase in Coccidioidomycosis – California, 2000-2007

PRESS CONTACT: Ken August
Office of Public Affairs, California Health and Human Services Agency
(916) 440-7259

Given recent increases in coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever), medical providers should have heightened suspicion for this disease when seeing patients who live or have traveled in areas where coccidioidomycosis is endemic areas and develop influenza—like illness, pneumonia, or signs of disseminated infection. People who are at risk for severe coccidioidomycosis, including older persons, pregnant women, immunocompromised patients, and persons of black race or Filipino ancestry, should attempt to decrease their risk by avoiding exposure to dusty air as much as possible when in these endemic areas. Coccidioidomycosis is a potentially serious illness that usually affects the lungs. The disease is caused by inhaling airborne spores from a fungus that lives in the soil of some southwestern states. California has experienced marked increases in coccidioidomycosis cases and hospitalizations since 2000. During 2000—2006, the rate of reported coccidioidomycosis cases in California increased continuously from approximately 2.5 to 8.0 cases per 100,000 persons, and the rate of coccidioidomycosis hospitalizations increased from 1.8 to 4.1 per 100,000 persons. In 2007, these rates decreased slightly. However, rates of coccidioidomycosis remain the highest in California since 1995.

Trends in Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease – United States, 2000-2006

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

Despite a new prevention policy in 2002, the rate of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) disease in the first week of life for black infants increased between 2003 and 2006. CDC will continue to monitor GBS disease rates and investigate opportunities to reduce racial differences in disease incidence. The bacterium GBS is a major cause of serious infections in newborns. GBS is preventable by giving pregnant women, who carry the bacteria, intravenous antibiotics during labor. In 2002, CDC published guidelines recommending all pregnant women be screened for GBS. Between 2000 and 2003, the rate of GBS infections among infants < 7 days of age decreased. However, from 2003 to 2006 the rate of GBS infections increased among black infants for reasons that are not totally understood. CDC continues to research this problem to learn what, if any, additional interventions can be implemented.

Cigarette Brand Preference Among Middle and High School Students Who are Established Smokers – United States, 2004 and 2006

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

Research suggests that exposure to tobacco advertising and promotional activities play a role in influencing youth to start smoking. Knowing the cigarette brand preferences of student smokers, and the advertising and marketing used to promote these brands, provides vital information that can be incorporated into public health efforts to reduce youth smoking. The three most heavily advertised brands—Marlboro, Newport, and Camel—continue to be the preferred brand of cigarettes smoked by middle and high school student smokers. According to this new study, 78 percent of middle school students and 87 percent of high school students prefer to smoke these three brands. The report found a considerable difference in brand preference among students by gender and ethnicity. Marlboro is the preferred brand for middle and high school females (50 percent and 54 percent, respectively) compared to males (38 percent and 50 percent, respectively). The use of Camel was higher for middle school males (12 percent) than middle school females (4 percent). The report also found that black middle and high school students (60 percent and 79 percent, respectively) preferred Newport, a menthol cigarette that is strategically marketed to black communities.

Update: Influenza Activity – United States, September 28, 2008-January 31, 2009

PRESS CONTACT: Matthew McKenna
Director, Office on Smoking and Health
(770) 488-5493

No summary available.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Historical Document: February 12, 2009
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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