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Volume 6, Number 1—February 2000

Volume 6, Number 1—February 2000   PDF Version [PDF - 3.33 MB - 100 pages]


  • From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age PDF Version [PDF - 783 KB - 11 pages]
    P. Reiter
       View Abstract

    Present global temperatures are in a warming phase that began 200 to 300 years ago. Some climate models suggest that human activities may have exacerbated this phase by raising the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Discussions of the potential effects of the weather include predictions that malaria will emerge from the tropics and become established in Europe and North America. The complex ecology and transmission dynamics of the disease, as well as accounts of its early history, refute such predictions. Until the second half of the 20th century, malaria was endemic and widespread in many temperate regions, with major epidemics as far north as the Arctic Circle. From 1564 to the 1730s—the coldest period of the Little Ice Age—malaria was an important cause of illness and death in several parts of England. Transmission began to decline only in the 19th century, when the present warming trend was well under way. The history of the disease in England underscores the role of factors other than temperature in malaria transmission.

  • Could a Tuberculosis Epidemic Occur in London as It Did in New York? PDF Version [PDF - 67 KB - 5 pages]
    A. C. Hayward and R. J. Coker
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    In early 1999, more than 160 senior physicians, public health officials, and nurses met to discuss London's tuberculosis (TB) control program. The program was examined against the public health response of New York City's Bureau of Tuberculosis Control during a 1988-1992 epidemic. This article outlines TB epidemiology and control in New York City 10 years ago and in London today to assess whether the kind of epidemic that occurred in New York could occur in London.

  • Japanese Encephalitis Immunization in South Korea: Past, Present, and Future PDF Version [PDF - 529 KB - 8 pages]
    Y. M. Sohn
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    Japanese encephalitis (JE), once a major public health problem in South Korea, has declined since the 1980s, as a result of improved living conditions, a mosquito eradication program, and a national JE vaccination program, which includes annual booster vaccine for all children < 15 years of age. Increased immunity has greatly reduced illness and death; however, vaccine adverse effects are increasing, and a National Compensation Program for Vaccine Injury was begun in 1995. This article reviews past successes, current problems, and future direction of the JE vaccination program in South Korea.


  • Coccidioidomycosis in New York State PDF Version [PDF - 145 KB - 5 pages]
    V. Chaturvedi et al.
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    Coccidioidomycosis, a systemic fungal disease caused by Coccidioides immitis, is endemic in the southwestern United States and in parts of Mexico and Central and South America. Only sporadic cases have been reported in areas (including New York) where the disease is not endemic. We used hospital discharge records and state mycology laboratory data to investigate the characteristics of C. immitis infections among New York State residents. From 1992 to 1997, 161 persons had hospital discharge diagnoses of coccidioidomycosis (ICD9 Code 114.0 - 114.5, 114.9). From 1989 to 1997, 49 cultures from patients were confirmed as C. immitis; 26 of these patients had traveled to disease-endemic areas. Fourteen of 16 isolates had multilocus genotypes similar to those of Arizona isolates, which corroborates the travel-related acquisition of the disease. Our results indicate that coccidioidomycosis may be more common in New York residents than previously recognized. Increased awareness among health-care providers should improve timely diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis and prevention of associated illnesses and deaths among patients in nondisease-endemic areas.

  • Dengue Surveillance in Florida, 1997-98 PDF Version [PDF - 86 KB - 6 pages]
    J. Gill et al.
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    Recent dengue outbreaks in the Caribbean and Central and South America and the presence of competent mosquito vectors increase the likelihood of future autochthonous transmission in Florida. During April 1997 to March 1998, a laboratory-based active surveillance program detected 18 cases of dengue involving all four dengue serotypes. All patients reported recent travel to countries with indigenous dengue transmission. These results demonstrate that dengue infections are imported into Florida at a much higher rate than reflected by previous passive surveillance; therefore, the risk for local dengue transmission may be increasing.


  • Norwalk-Like Calicivirus Genes in Farm Animals PDF Version [PDF - 210 KB - 6 pages]
    W. H. van der Poel et al.
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    Viruses closely related to Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs) were recently found in stored stool samples from two calves (United Kingdom and Germany) and four pigs (Japan), sparking discussions about the potential for zoonotic transmission. To investigate if NLVs are commonly present in farm animals, pooled stool samples from 100 pig farms, 48 chicken farms, 43 dairy cow herds, and 75 veal calf farms from the Netherlands were assayed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction amplification, using primers specific for the detection of NLVs from humans. NLV RNA was detected in 33 (44%) of the specimens from veal calf farms and two (2%) specimens from pig farms. Our data show that NLV infections—until recently thought to be restricted to humans—occur often in calves and sometimes in pigs. While zoonotic transmission has not been proven, these findings suggest that calves and pigs may be reservoir hosts of NLVs.


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