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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

HIV/AIDS Diagnoses Among Blacks Florida, 1999-20004

PRESS CONTACT: Spencer Lieb, Florida Department of Health
(850) 245-4448

A study of HIV diagnosis rates among blacks (non-Hispanic) in Florida found that rates declined by an average of 8.2 percent per year in men and 10.2 percent per year in women from 1999 through 2004; further analysis of state HIV testing and STD data suggests that the decline was due to a reduction in new HIV infections, not a decrease in HIV testing. Because trends in HIV diagnosis do not necessarily represent trends in new HIV infections, researchers from the Florida Department of Health, in collaboration with CDC, examined additional data sources to help interpret the meaning of the reduced diagnosis rates. They found that the number of HIV tests taken by blacks at publicly funded sites in Florida increased from 1999 through 2004 (by an average of 5.7 percent per year), implying that the decreases in HIV diagnosis rates were not due to a reduction in testing. Researchers also found that gonorrhea diagnosis rates decreased among black men and women statewide during the same period (by an average of 8.7 percent and 7.4 percent per year, respectively), which may be due to a possible reduction in risky sexual behavior that could also have reduced HIV infection rates. Taken together, the findings suggest that the decline in HIV diagnosis rates represents a reduction in new HIV infections. The authors encourage other health departments to use additional data sources such as these to provide more insight when interpreting HIV diagnosis trends.

Rift Valley Fever Outbreak – Kenya, December 2006-January 2007

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

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus can be found in most of the sub-Saharan African countries. The outbreak of RVF in Kenya was precipitated by heavy rains. People can be infected through mosquito bites or by contact with infected animals. Most of the human disease is limited to a fever, but in 1-5 of the cases, severe form such as hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis or retinitis can be observed. There is no treatment and prevention should aim at avoiding mosquitoes and contact with infected animals. Since early December 2006, following unusual heavy rains, the north eastern part of Kenya experienced an outbreak of Rift Valley fever in the same geographic zone as the 1997-98 outbreak. As of January 25, 2007, 404 cases of severe RVF with 118 deaths were reported. RVF cases in livestock have been reported from the same area. The Ministry of Health in Kenya with the support of several national and international organizations (including CDC) has launched a campaign to limit the outbreak by heightened disease surveillance among humans and animals, community mobilizations, animal quarantines, ban of slaughtering livestock, and restriction on transport of livestock, and an integrated vector control strategy.

West Nile Virus Transmission by Blood Transfusion – South Dakota, 2006

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

Although the risk of getting West Nile virus from a blood transfusion is extremely rare and has been greatly reduced by nationwide screening of the blood supply, transfusion-transmission can still occur and can lead to particularly severe illness in patients with suppressed immune function. The risk of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission through blood transfusion has been greatly reduced by nationwide screening of the blood supply, which began in 2003. Although rare, WNV transfusion-transmission can still occur. These transmissions can result in particularly severe illness in patients with suppressed immune systems, such as transplant patients. The current report describes two such cases that occurred in the fall of 2006. Two patients were likely infected with WNV through transfusion of blood products derived from a single donor. Both developed WNV-associated neurological disease after receiving blood products during hospitalization; both were also organ transplant recipients, but there is no evidence to suggest that their WNV infections were from transplanted organs. Health care providers should consider transfusion-transmitted WNV as a potential diagnosis, especially when unexplained neurologic complications follow transfusion in patients with suppressed immune systems. Continued collaboration between state and local health departments, clinicians, hospitals, blood-collection agencies, transplant centers and the CDC can further minimize the risk of WNV transfusion-transmission by promoting rapid response to, and enhanced understanding of, these events.



  • Historical Document: February 1, 2007
  • Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
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