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Div. of Media Relations
1600 Clifton Road
MS D-14
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 639-3286
Fax (404) 639-7394

Synopsis for December 8, 2000

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. E.S.T. Thursdays.

  1. Influenza Activity — United States, 2000–01 Season
  2. Pseudomonas Dermatitis Associated With Pools and Hot Tubs — Colorado and Maine, 1999–2000
  3. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity — United States, 1999–2000 Season

Public Health Dispatch

Outbreak of Poliomyelitis — Dominican Republic and Haiti, 2000
During July 12-November 18, 2000, 19 persons with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) were identified in the Dominican Republic, including six laboratory-confirmed cases with poliovirus type 1 isolates. In addition, a poliovirus type 1 isolate was identified from an AFP case in Haiti that had paralysis onset on August 30. The outbreak virus is unusual because it is derived from oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). Also, the outbreak represents the first evidence of poliovirus transmission in the Americas since the last poliomyelitis case was reported in 1991.

Contact: Division of Media Relations
CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

Recommendations and Reports

December 8, 2000/Vol. 49/RR-14
Recommendations for Blood Lead Screening of Young Children Enrolled in Medicaid: Targeting a Group at High Risk Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP)
Childhood lead poisoning is a major problem among children enrolled in Medicaid. Children aged 1-5 years enrolled in Medicaid are at increased risk for having elevated blood lead levels. According to estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 1991-1994, Medicaid enrollees accounted for 83% of U.S. children aged 1-5 years who had blood lead levels high enough to require a visit to a physician. Despite longstanding requirements for blood lead screening (at 12 and 24 months of age) in the Medicaid program, an estimated 81% of young children enrolled in Medicaid had not been screened with a blood test. As a result, most Medicaid-enrolled children with elevated blood lead levels are not identified and, therefore, do not receive appropriate treatment or environmental intervention.

Contact: Alan B. Bloch, M.D., M.P.H.
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
(404) 639-2510

Surveillance Summaries

Vol. 49/No. 11/December 8, 2000
Abortion Surveillance - United States, 1997
In 1969, CDC began abortion surveillance to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions, to monitor unintended pregnancy, and to assist efforts to identify and reduce preventable causes of morbidity and mortality associated with abortions. This report summarizes and reviews information reported to CDC regarding legal induced abortions obtained in the United States in 1997. In 1997, a total of 1,186,039 legal abortions were reported to CDC, representing a 3% decrease from the number reported for 1996.

Contact: Katie Baer
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
& Health Promotion
(770) 488-5131

MMWR Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: Flu season is here. Flu vaccination now can protect against flu

  • Based on CDC influenza surveillance, it’s not too late to get a flu shot this flu season.

  • As of Nov. 25, influenza activity in the United States has been low and lower than the same period last year. However, influenza activity is expected to increase in the next few weeks or months.

  • So far this season, influenza specimens taken from patients ill with the flu have been well-matched to the current 2000-01 influenza vaccine strains.

  • During 14 of the last 18 years, the flu season peaked in January or later. The flu season runs through April. The flu shot offers protection 10 to 14 days after vaccination. SO GETTING A FLU SHOT IN DECEMBER CAN STILL PROTECT AGAINST INFLUENZA.

  • Influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. Influenza vaccine is now more widely available and will continue to be available in December and January. The total influenza vaccine supply for this flu season will be similar to the supply used last year. Check with your health care provider about vaccine supply.

  • People at high risk for complications from influenza illness, their household contacts and health care workers who have not yet been vaccinated should make every effort to obtain vaccine and continue to be vaccinated during December and beyond.

  • Anyone 65 years of age or older, residents of nursing homes, adults and children 6 months of age or older with diabetes, immune system problems, or chronic lung disease are considered high risk for complications and should be vaccinated to protect against the flu.

  • Women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season (November through April) should be vaccinated against the flu.

  • About 75 million doses of flu vaccine will be available this year, including 9 million doses that the CDC has ordered to help ensure that enough vaccine is available this year.

  • CDC is distributing national public service announcements to encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated, especially high-risk persons, to get their flu shot now, it’s not too late.

  • For more information about flu disease and flu vaccine, visit:

Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

Special Notice to Media

The MMWR will not be published on Friday, December 29, 2000.

Synopsis for December 8, 2000

Influenza Activity - United States, 2000-01 Season

Influenza activity was low in the U.S. during October 1 to November 25, 2000.

Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286

Influenza activity has been low in the U.S. this season, and lower than during the same period in 1999. However, influenza activity is expected to increase in the next few months. Both influenza type A and type B viruses were isolated and were well-matched to the 2000-01 influenza vaccine strains. So far, influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been the most frequently isolated viruses. As of the end of November, nearly two-thirds of the 75 million doses of influenza vaccine projected to be produced this year had been distributed. Influenza vaccine can still be ordered through a CDC contract with Aventis Pasteur and will be available beginning in mid-December. Persons at high-risk for complications from influenza, health care providers who care for high-risk patients, household contacts of high-risk persons, and persons aged 50-64 years should be offered influenza vaccine in December and beyond.


Pseudomonas Dermatitis Associated With Pools and Hot Tubs - Colorado and Maine, 1999-2000

Pool and hot tub outbreaks of Pseudomonas infections causing rash and outer ear infections are still a common occurrence.

Michael Beach, Ph.D.

CDC, National Center for Infections Diseases
(404) 639–7763

These outbreaks should not occur if aquatic facilities are maintained appropriately. Prevention of these outbreaks necessitates that 1) pool operators maintain pools and hot tubs according to current recommendations and regulations, 2) staff receive thorough training in pool operations, 3) staff understand the capabilities and alert procedures of remote disinfectant monitoring systems, 4) monitoring services alert pools about problems in a timely manner, 5) disinfectant levels are monitored more closely during heavy use, 6) hot tubs are monitored more closely because higher temperatures dissipate chlorine faster, and 7) pool operators understand when and how to use chlorine stabilizers (cyanurates). Swimmer education about the potential for recreational waterborne illnesses may increase advocacy for improved pool operations.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity - United States, 1999-2000 Season

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract illness among infants and children worldwide.

David Shay

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–3727

In the United States, RSV activity is monitored through the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS). From July 1999 through June 2000, NREVSS showed that RSV community outbreaks are becoming widespread. During this period, 72 laboratories in 45 states reported 123, 769 tests for RSV; 15 percent were positive (18, 981). Although most positive tests were reported for the weeks ending October 30, 1999 through March 25, 2000, RSV continued to be detected throughout the year. Severe symptoms associated with RSV (e.g., pneumonia and bronchitis) generally occur among infants 2-6 months old. Symptoms of RSV disease can recur throughout life because of limited protective immunity induced by natural infection. Healthcare providers should consider RSV as a cause of acute respiratory disease in children and adults during community outbreaks.


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