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Notice to Readers: Update on MMWR Table II: AIDS Surveillance Data and Provisional Nationally Notifiable Disease Data

CDC has received inquiries about the absence of provisional 2004 AIDS surveillance data among National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) case report data presented in Table II of MMWR (1). The AIDS case report data usually are updated monthly in this table. However, although states report data to CDC on a monthly basis, because of an internal data processing problem, CDC did not publish 2004 data until last week (2). If any delay occurs in presenting monthly updates in provisional AIDS case counts in Table II, CDC will add a footnote to explain the reason for the delay.

MMWR Table II includes cumulative (year-to-date) incidence data for selected nationally notifiable diseases for the current and preceding year, by state. NNDSS data can be used to identify aberrations or discrepancies in reported disease incidence, whether because of a true change in disease incidence or reporting artifacts. However, because of reporting delays, data reported in the current year are only an estimate of true disease incidence, whereas data with which they are compared from the preceding year represent finalized (or nearly finalized) data that account for delayed case reporting from states to CDC and include subsequent corrections. When current year-to-date provisional data indicate fewer cases than for the preceding year, the difference might indicate 1) a real decrease in cases or 2) artifactual changes attributed to reporting delays in the current year. The interpretation of provisional NNDSS weekly case counts also is complicated because it differs by state and disease program and is highly subject to changes in state-specific surveillance system policies and procedures.

Readers can send their comments on the use and display of provisional NNDSS data to CDC by telephone, 770-488-8359 or by e-mail,


  1. CDC. Table II: provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, weeks ending March 27, 2004 and March 22, 2003 (12th week). MMWR 2004;53:271--9.
  2. CDC. Table II: provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, weeks ending April 17, 2004 and April 12, 2003 (15th week). MMWR 2004;53:325--33.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

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This page last reviewed 4/29/2004