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Issue Number 102            August 2, 1999

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. CDC publishes article on achievements in public health: control of infectious diseases
  2. CDC publishes report on meningococcal disease in New England
  3. CDC publishes report on polio eradication during armed conflict
  4. Materials to teach health professionals about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases are available

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(1)
July 30, 1999
CDC PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON ACHIEVEMENTS IN PUBLIC HEALTH: CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article entitled "Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Control of Infectious Diseases" in the July 30, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

Deaths from infectious diseases have declined markedly in the United States during the 20th century, contributing to a sharp drop in infant and child mortality and to a 29.2-year increase in life expectancy. This article reports that "in 1900, 30.4% of all deaths occurred among children aged less than 5 years; in 1997, that percentage was only 1.4%...Disease control resulted from improvements in sanitation and hygiene, the discovery of antibiotics, and the implementation of universal childhood vaccination programs."

Despite these successes, "the appearance of AIDS, the re-emergence of TB (including multidrug-resistant strains), and an overall increase in infectious disease mortality during the 1980s and early 1990s provide additional evidence that as long as microbes can evolve, new diseases will appear."

"For continued success in controlling infectious diseases, the U.S. public health system must prepare to address diverse challenges, including the emergence of new infectious diseases, the re-emergence ofold diseases (sometimes in drug-resistant forms), large foodborne  outbreaks, and acts of bioterrorism."

To obtain a text version of the MMWR article, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a1.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article four below.
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(2)
July 30, 1999
CDC PUBLISHES REPORT ON MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE IN NEW ENGLAND

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report entitled "Menigococcal Disease -- New England, 1993-1998" in the July 30, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

The article includes the following: "During 1998, a cluster of meningococcal disease cases occurred in Rhode Island, and although the situation did not meet ACIP criteria for an outbreak, the Rhode Island Department of Health recommended vaccination of all residents aged 2-22 years. This action stimulated controversy in Rhode Island and the rest of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont) and prompted a review of the epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the region."

The editorial note concludes: "Although some cases may be prevented by this approach, its overall impact may be limited for several reasons: it will not protect children aged less than 2 years, in whom rates of disease are highest; it does not protect against serogroup B disease, which accounts for 26% of disease in the region; and, because the vaccine does not affect carriage, it will not affect disease among the 30%-40% of the target population who chose not to be vaccinated. Monitoring of disease in Rhode Island over the next few years will allow further evaluation of this strategy.

"During 1993-1998, less than 1% of cases in New England were classified as outbreak associated. Most cases of meningococcal disease were sporadic and therefore not preventable with strategies that target outbreaks. For efficacious protection of meningococcal disease in infants and young children, conjugate serogroup A, C, Y, and W135   meningococcal vaccines have been developed through methods similar to those used for Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines. These vaccines will be used routinely in the United Kingdom within the next year and should be available in the United States within 2-4 years. Until they become available, strategies to control meningococcal   disease should continue to focus on antimicrobial chemoprophylaxis of close contacts and use of meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines as recommended by ACIP."

To obtain a text version of the complete report, click here:
http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a2.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article four below.
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(3)
July 30, 1999
CDC PUBLISHES REPORT ON POLIO ERADICATION DURING ARMED CONFLICT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the article, "Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication During Armed Conflict -- Somalia and Southern Sudan,   January 1998-June 1999," in the July 30, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

The article's editorial note begins: "At the end of 1998, poliovirus was suspected or known to circulate in 10 countries in civil conflict, eight of which are on the African continent. Recognizing that these countries are essential to reaching the polio eradication goal, the UN is advocating for days of tranquility during vaccination activities."

Two of these "essential" African countries are Somalia and Sudan. According to the article, "Somalia and parts of southern Sudan have persons living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict and poor infrastructure (e.g., health-care facilities, schools, roads, and power plants)."

Despite the difficulties, progress toward eliminating polio in these areas have been made. The editorial note states: "Progress toward polio eradication in countries with civil unrest, insecurity, and low routine coverage with OPV is critical for the success of the global polio  eradication initiative. Reaching almost all areas and settlements in Somalia and southern Sudan during National Immunization Days and the ability of newly established acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance systems to successfully detect and investigate AFP cases demonstrate that global polio eradication is achievable, even in adverse circumstances. These findings should encourage other countries to implement the key programs that will lead to global polio eradication."

To obtain a text version of the complete MMWR article, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a3.htm

For information on how to obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR, see the instructions that follow article four below.
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(4)
July 30, 1999
MATERIALS TO TEACH HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ABOUT VACCINES AND VACCINE-PREVENTABLE DISEASES ARE AVAILABLE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Availability of Curricular Materials About Vaccines, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, and Vaccination Practices" as a "Notice to Readers" in the July 30, 1999, issue of the MMWR.

The notice reads in part: "CDC and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine (ATPM) announce the availability of curricular materials for teaching students and practitioners about vaccines, vaccine-preventable diseases, and vaccination practices. Materials for medical students, residents, and practicing physicians have been created through the "Teaching Immunization for Medical Education" (TIME) project, a collaborative initiative between ATPM, CDC, and the Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh." Curricular materials for nurses, including "Teaching Immunization Practices: A Comprehensive Curriculum for Nurses," have also been developed through a collaborative initiative for nursing education between ATPM, CDC, and the American Nurses Association.

Additional information is available by calling ATPM at 800-789-6737, or by checking their website at http://www.atpm.org

The CME modules are available on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website at http://www.upmc.edu/CCEHS

For information about the computer-based program for nursing education, call HealthSoft, Inc., at 800-235-0882.

To obtain a text version of the "Notice to Readers," click here: http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4829a4.htm

HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE ELECTRONIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MMWR
To obtain a free electronic subscription to the MMWR (delivered weekly), go to the MMWR website and sign up. When you sign up, you will also automatically begin to receive all new ACIP statements which are published as MMWR's "Recommendations and Reports." To go to the MMWR website, click here: http://www2.cdc.gov/mmwr/

 

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
E-mail: admin@immunize.org Web: http://www.immunize.org/
Tel: 651-647-9009Fax: 651-647-9131

This page was updated on August 2, 1999