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Synopsis February 12, 1999
Needs Assessment Following Hurricane Georges-- Dominican Republic, 1998
Juan Acuna, M.D., MS.c.
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(404) 639-7120 (Alternate: Julie Jacobsen, M.D., same phone number)
|Hurricane Georges struck the Caribbean Islands in September 1998, causing extensive damage and loss of life throughout the region. The Dominican Republic was hardest hit with more than 300 persons killed; extensive infrastructure damage; and severe agricultural losses including the staple crops of rice, plantain, and cassava. In November, CDC assessed the health and nutritional needs of the hurricane-affected population. The most striking finding was the critical need for food, 2 months after the hurricane when relief efforts were decreasing. Following a natural disaster, assessments are usually made the first week to 10 days; however, periodic reassessments are needed to monitor the effectiveness of interventions.
Human Rabies -- Virginia, 1998
Since 1990, 74% of human rabies deaths in the United States were caused by variants of rabies virus associated with bats.
Jennifer McQuiston, D.V.M., M.S.
CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
|On December 31, 1998, a 29-year-old male inmate of the Nottoway Correctional Center died of rabies in Richmond, Virginia. The type of rabies virus responsible for the man's death was a variant normally associated with Eastern pipistrel and silver-haired bats. Although the man did not have a history of contact with bats or other animals, an undetected bat bite is the most likely explanation for this rabies case. Persons who come in contact with bats should seek advice from public health professionals regarding the need for rabies postexposure prophylaxis, even if there is not an obvious bite.
Blastomycosis Acquired Occupationally During Prairie Dog Relocation -- Colorado, 1998
Although the risk of acquiring blastomycosis is small, health-care providers should consider this disease for patients with fungal illnesses.
Elizabeth Hannah, D.V.M., M.P.H.
Colorado Department of Public Health
|On August 31, 1998, two suspected cases of fungal pneumonia were reported to the Boulder County Health Department in Colorado. The two case-patients worked together on the prairie dog relocation project. Pneumonia in both patients was associated with blastomycosis. Blastomycosis is a disease caused by the inhalation of spores from fungus found in soil and rotting wood. In the United States, the disease occurs sporadically throughout the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. Physicians and veterinarians should maintain a high index of suspicion for fungal diseases, like blastomycosis, in patients with pneumonia who participate in outdoor occupational or recreational activities. This report describes the first known cases of blastomycosis in Colorado.
Insurance Coverage of Unintended Pregnancies Resulting in Live Born Infants -- Florida,
Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, 1996
Unintended pregnancy remains high among women whose prenatal care was paid for by public or private insurance including HMO's.
Indu Ahluwalia, M.P.H., Ph.D.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
|Unintended pregnancy is widespread in the United States despite the availability and development of effective contraceptive methods. Many health plans provide limited or no coverage of the five most effective non-permanent methods. Publicly funded contraceptive services are provided to many low-income women; however, the high numbers of unintended pregnancies among these women shows that more contraceptive services are needed. In addition, a recent study found that only half of enrollees in managed care plans and one-third of enrollees in Medicaid managed care plans received information about contraceptive methods. Unintended pregnancy increases the risk of illness for both women and their infants; therefore, efforts are needed to reduce the risks posed by unintended pregnancy by all purchasers and providers of healthcare services.
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