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Surveillance for waterborne-disease outbreaks--United States, 1995-1996; Cardiovascular disease risk factors and preventive practices among adults--United States, 1994 : a behavioral risk factor atlas
  • Published Date:
    December 11, 1998
Filetype[PDF - 1.24 MB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), Epidemiology Program Office. ; National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (U.S.). Division of Adult and Community Health ; National Center for Infectious Diseases (U.S.), Division of Parasitic Diseases.
  • Series:
    MMWR. CDC surveillance summaries : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. CDC surveillance summaries ; v. 47, no. SS-5
  • Document Type:
  • Description:
    Surveillance for waterborne-disease outbreaks--United States, 1995-1996 / Deborah A. Levy, Michelle S. Bens, Gunther F. Craun, Rebecca L. Calderon, Barbara L. Herwaldt -- Cardiovascular disease risk factors and preventive practices among adults--United States, 1994 : a behavioral risk factor atlas / Robert A. Hahn, Gregory W. Heath, Man-Huei Chang, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System State Coordinators.

    Surveillance for waterborne-disease outbreaks--United States, 1995-1996: "Abstract Problem/Condition: Since 1971, CDC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have maintained a collaborative surveillance system for collecting and periodically reporting data that relate to occurrences and causes of waterborne-disease outbreaks (WBDOs). Reporting Period Covered: This summary includes data for January 1995 through December 1996 and previously unreported outbreaks in 1994. Description of the System: The surveillance system includes data about outbreaks associated with drinking water and recreational water. State, territorial, and local public health departments are primarily responsible for detecting and investigating WBDOs and for voluntarily reporting them to CDC on a standard form. Results: For the period 1995-1996, 13 states reported a total of 22 outbreaks associated with drinking water. These outbreaks caused an estimated total of 2,567 persons to become ill. No deaths were reported. The microbe or chemical that caused the outbreak was identified for 14 (63.6%) of the 22 outbreaks. Giardia lamblia and Shigella sonnei each caused two (9.1%) of the 22 outbreaks; Escherichia coli O157:H7, Plesiomonas shigelloides, and a small round structured virus were implicated for one outbreak (4.5%) each. One of the two outbreaks of giardiasis involved the largest number of cases, with an estimated 1,449 ill persons. Seven outbreaks (31.8% of 22) of chemical poisoning, which involved a total of 90 persons, were reported. Copper and nitrite were associated with two outbreaks (9.1% of 22) each and sodium hydroxide, chlorine, and concentrated liquid soap with one outbreak (4.5%) each. Eleven (50.0%) of the 22 outbreaks were linked to well water, eight in noncommunity and three in community systems. Only three of the 10 outbreaks associated with community water systems were caused by problems at water treatment plants; the other seven resulted from problems in the water distribution systems and plumbing of individual facilities (e.g., a restaurant). Six of the seven outbreaks were associated with chemical contamination of the drinking water; the seventh outbreak was attributed to a small round structured virus. Four of the seven outbreaks occurred because of backflow or backsiphonage through a cross-connection, and two occurred because of high levels of copper that leached into water after the installation of new plumbing. For three of the four outbreaks caused by contamination from a cross-connection, an improperly installed vacuum breaker or a faulty backflow prevention device was identified; no protection against backsiphonage was found for the fourth outbreak. Thirty-seven outbreaks from 17 states were attributed to recreational water exposure and affected an estimated 9,129 persons, including 8,449 persons in two large outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis. Twenty-two (59.5%) of these 37 were outbreaks of gastroenteritis; nine (24.3%) were outbreaks of dermatitis; and six (16.2%) were single cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri, all of which were fatal. The etiologic agent was identified for 33 (89.2%) of the 37 outbreaks. Six (27.3%) of the 22 outbreaks of gastroenteritis were caused by Cryptosporidium parvum and six (27.3%) by E. coli O157:H7. All of the latter were associated with unchlorinated water (i.e., in lakes) or inadequately chlorinated water (i.e., in a pool). Thirteen (59.1%) of these 22 outbreaks were associated with lake water, eight (36.4%) with swimming or wading pools, and one(4.5%) with a hot spring. Of the nine outbreaks of dermatitis, seven (77.8%) were outbreaks of Pseudomonas dermatitis associated with hot tubs, and two (22.2%) were lake-associated outbreaks of swimmer's itch caused by Schistosoma species. Interpretation: WBDOs caused by E. coli O157:H7 were reported more frequently than in previous years and were associated primarily with recreational lake water. This finding suggests the need for better monitoring of water quality and identification of sources of contamination. Although protozoan parasites, especially Cryptosporidium and Giardia, were associated with fewer reported outbreaks than in previous years, they caused large outbreaks that affected a total of approximately 10,000 persons; all of the outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis were associated with recreational water, primarily swimming pools. Prevention of pool-associated outbreaks caused by chlorine-resistant parasites (e.g., Cryptosporidium and to a lesser extent Giardia) is particularly difficult because it requires improved filtration methods as well as education of patrons about hazards associated with fecal accidents, especially in pools frequented by diaper-aged children. The proportion of reported drinking water outbreaks associated with community water systems that were attributed to problems at water treatment plants has steadily declined since 1989 (i.e., 72.7% for 1989-1990, 62.5% for 1991-1992, 57.1% for 1993-1994, and 30.0% for 1995-1996). This decrease might reflect improvements in water treatment and in operation of plants. The outbreaks attributed to contamination in the distribution system suggest that efforts should be increased to prevent cross-connections, especially by installing and monitoring backflow prevention devices. Actions Taken: Surveillance data that identify the types of water systems, their deficiencies, and the etiologic agents associated with outbreaks are used to evaluate the adequacy of current technologies for providing safe drinking and recreational water. In addition, they are used to establish research priorities and can lead to improved water-quality regulations." - p. 1

    Cardiovascular disease risk factors and preventive practices among adults--United States, 1994 : a behavioral risk factor atlas : "PROBLEM/CONDITIONS: Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the United States, and state rates of CVD vary by state and by region of the country. Several behavioral risk factors (i.e., overweight, physical inactivity, smoking, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus) and preventive practices (i.e., weight loss and smoking cessation) are associated with the development of CVD and also vary geographically. This summary displays and analyzes geographic variation in the prevalences of selected CVD risk factors. REPORTING PERIOD: 1994 (1992 for prevalence of hypertension). DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based random-digit-dialing telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged > or =18 years; 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in BRFSS in 1994, and 48 states and the District of Columbia participated in 1992. METHODS: Several different analyses were conducted: a) analysis of state risk factor and preventive practice prevalences by sex and race (i.e., black and white); b) mapping; c) cluster analysis; d) correlations of state prevalence rates by sex and race; and e) regression of state risk factor prevalences on state CHD and stroke mortality rates. RESULTS: Mapping the prevalence of selected CVD risk factors and preventive health practices indicates substantial geographic variation for black and white men and women, as confirmed by cluster analysis. Data for blacks are limited by small sample size, especially in western states. Geographic clustering is found for physical inactivity, smoking, and risk factor combinations. Risk factor prevalences are generally lower in the West and higher in the East. White men and white women are more similar in state risk factor rates than other race-sex pairs; white women and black women ranked second in similarity. State prevalences of physical inactivity and hypertension are strongly associated with state mortality rates of CVD. INTERPRETATION: Geographic patterns of risk factor prevalence suggest the presence (or absence) of sociocultural environments that promote (or inhibit) the given risk factor or preventive behavior. Because the risk factors examined in this summary are associated with CVD, further exploration of the reasons underlying observed geographic patterns might be useful. The BRFSS will continue to provide geographic data about cardiovascular health behaviors with a possible emphasis on more data-based small- area analyses and mapping. This will permit states to more adequately monitor trends that affect the burden of CVD in their regions and the United States. Mapping also facilitates the exploration of patterns of morbidity, health-care use, and mortality, as well as the epidemiology of risk factors. Finally, by identifying those segments of the population with high levels of these risk factors and lower levels of the preventive health practices, public health personnel can better allocate resources and target intervention efforts for the prevention of CVD." - p. 35

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