SACGHS Final Report on Genetic Testing Oversight Released
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The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS) released its final report, U.S. System of Oversight of Genetic Testing. The report provides a comprehensive map of the oversight system for genetic testing, identifies components of the system that need to be strengthened, urges enhanced interagency coordination of activities associated with the oversight of genetic testing, and recommends steps that could be taken by the public and private sectors to help assure public health and safety.

MMWR Update on Measles
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Updated information regarding the number of reported measles cases in the United States was published in the May 1 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The overall number of reported cases declined from 763,094 in 1958 to fewer than 150 cases reported per year since 1997. However, during January 1 - April 25, 2008, a total of 64 confirmed measles cases were reported to CDC, the most reported by this date for any year since 2001. Of the 64 cases, 54 were associated with importation of measles from other countries, and 63 patients were unvaccinated or had unknown or undocumented vaccination status.

Human Rabies Prevention, 2008
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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) recently published the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Human Rabies Prevention. The recommendations update the previous recommendations on human rabies prevention and provide the status of rabies and antirabies biologics in the United States. Included in the report is 1) updated information on human and animal rabies epidemiology; 2) the evidence regarding the effectiveness/efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of rabies biologics; 3) new information on the cost-effectiveness of rabies postexposure prophylaxis; 4) recommendations for rabies postexposure and pre-exposure prophylaxis; and 5) information regarding treatment considerations for human rabies patients.

Increased Detections and Severe Neonatal Disease Associated with Coxsackievirus B1 Infection, United States, 2007
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Recently published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, is an analysis of case reports and preliminary data from the National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS) to describe the severity of neonatal illness associated with coxsackievirus B1 (CVB1) infection. The report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2007, CVB1 for the first time was the predominant enterovirus in the United States, accounting for 113 (25%) of 444 enterovirus infections with known serotypes.

May 2008 marks the 13th anniversary of Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States. May 19 was World Hepatitis Day, which recognized the importance of global commitments to prevent liver disease and cancer caused by viral hepatitis. The May 16 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) included reports on an outbreak of acute hepatitis C associated with unsafe injection practices at an endoscopy clinic and a report on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among young injection-drug users. Both reports highlight the role of viral hepatitis surveillance in detecting outbreaks and populations at risk. Development of effective state and local surveillance for acute and chronic viral hepatitis is a public health priority. For more information on hepatitis, please visit the website of the Hepatitis Foundation International or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage on hepatitis.

National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) are hosting the fifth annual National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis (TB) in San Diego, California from August 11-13, 2008. The conference will focus on drug resistant TB, including drug susceptibility testing (DST) practice and standards for laboratories in the United States. Other topics will include new TB diagnostics, such as the use of molecular tests and interferon gamma release assays (IGRA); global laboratory implications and practice; national plan for laboratory systems; and laboratory integration into TB control.

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