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Table 3. CASES OF SPECIFIED DESEASES: SELECTED CITIES FOR WEEK ENDED
APRIL 11, 1953
Table 3. CASES OF SPECIFIED DISEASES: SELECTED CITIES FOR WEEK ENDED
APRIL 11, 1953--Continued
The chart shows the number of deaths reported for 106 major cities of the United States by week for the current year, and, for comparison, the median of the number of deaths reported for the corresponding weeks of the three previous calendar years. (The median is the central one of the three values arranged in order of magnitude.) If a report is not received from a city in time to be included in the total for the current week, an estimate is made to maintain comparability for graphic presentation.
The figures reported represent the number of death certificates received in the vital statistics offices during the week indicated, for deaths occurring in that city. Figures compiled in this way, by week of receipt, usually approximate closely the number of deaths occurring during the week. However, differences are to be expected because of variations in the interval
between death and receipt of the certificate.
While week-to-week changes in the total number of deaths reported for all major cities generally represent a change in mortality conditions, this may not be true for variations in weekly figures for each city. For example, in a city where 50 deaths are the weekly average, the number of deaths occurring in a week may be expected to vary by chance alone from 36 to 64 (d 2Vd, where d represents the average number of deaths per week).
The number of deaths in cities of the same size may also differ because of variations in the age, race, and sex composition of their populations, and because some cities are hospital centers serving the surrounding areas. Changes from year to year in the number of deaths may be due in part to population increases or decreases.
THE L Public Health Service
April 24. 1953
Washington 25, D.C.
Vol. 2, No. 15
Provisional Information on Selected Notifiable Diseases in the United States for
Week Ended April 18, 1953
in Oregon for the week ended April 11. This brings the total cases in the past 3 weeks to 4, the largest number reported since 1947 when 13 occurred. All these cases were traced to a single source of uncooked Polish sausage.
The number (836) of reported cases of infectious hepatitis for the current week is larger than any weekly total since January 1, 1952, when the disease was added to the list of notifiable diseases, For the corresponding week of 1952 the number was 238. During the first 15 weeks of 1953, a total of 9,637 cases was reported as compared with 6,688 for the corresponding week of last year. For the current week States reporting more than 50 cases were: Iowa, 90; Kentucky, 64; Colorado, 62; New York, 51; and Connecticut, 51.
Dr. W. H. Y. Smith, Alabama Department of Health, reports an outbreak of shigellosis in a high school. The principal of the school reported that approximately 269 students were absent with acute gastro-enteritis. Information was collected on 961 persons, 465 of whom had varying degrees of nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, fever, and in some cases, vomiting, delirium, and prostration. Stool and blood samples were collected for laboratory study. Arrangements were made for the collection of convalescent blood samples. Shigella sonnei was isolated from the stools of a selected group of 23 patients. Samples of food could not be obtained for examination and it was not possible to determine the vehicle of infection. No carrier of the organism was found.
Dr. James O. Wails, Oklahoma Department of Health, has supplied information on the case of smallpox reported last week. This case occurred in a 78-year-old man who was extremely deaf and it was almost impossible to get a good history. He lives alone in a small mining town in the northeastern part of the State. He had not been out of this town during the 2 months preceding his illness, nor had he received any visitors from out of town. The patient had two vaccination scars and reports that an attempt at vaccination was made about 25 years ago but it failed to take. Eruptions came on apparently quite suddenly and were extremely thick over practically all of his body. His temperature was never more than 102,o and most of the time was about 100.° He had considerable discomfort and pain, especially backache, but was not extremely sick. His eruptions consisted of crops. In a 2-inchsquare area it was possible to find tiny papules, macules, vesicules, pustules, and crusts that were black in color. These were extremely numerous over his entire body, and 3 to 4 days later extended to the palms of his hands and soles of his feet. Seven, and possibly 8, cases of chickenpox were reported in his town and neighborhood. In the opinion of several physicians the symptoms did not indicate smallpox. However, material taken from both vesicules and pustules was inoculated in a chick embryo. The growth which resulted was thought to be either smallpox or herpes, Since generalized herpes did not appear to be a likely diagnosis, it was concluded that this was a confirmed smallpox case.
Dr. Morris Greenberg, New York City Department of Health, reports 2 outbreaks of gastro-enteritis. The first outbreak occurred among 15 persons who attended a buffet supper at a private home. Twelve became ill from 1 to 6 hours after eating cold ham. The ham was prepared 24 hours before serving and was said to have been refrigerated. Laboratory examination of the ham revealed the presence of a large number of hemolytic Staphylococcus aureus. Coliform organisms were also found.
The second outbreak occurred among patients and employees in a hospital following the ingestion of creamed turkey. Although the turkey was served to about 250 patients and several employees, the outbreak was confined to 2 adjacent wards. The turkey and cream sauce had been prepared at 10:00 a.m. and thereafter unrefrigerated. The meat was served for the noon meal without any ill effects. However, when it was served for the evening meal 12 patients and a nurse became ill from 6 to 14 hours after this meal. It was concluded that only a portion of the creamed turkey had become contaminated. Stool cultures of the food handlers and of those who became ill were negative. Samples of the turkey were also negative.
Dr. W. R. Giedt, Washington State Department of Health, reports 2 outbreaks of gastro-enteritis in widely separated counties. One outbreak occurred in a private home and consisted of 4 cases. The illness occurred in all who ate ham. The meat was a precooked ham which was purchased at a local market where it was cut in 3 pieces. It was cooked for 1 hour on the day of purchase and for 30 minutes on the following day. After the first cooking it was placed in a deep freeze, and after the second, it was refrigerated. On the day following the second cooking it was sliced and served cold. Cultures of the meat surface revealed many colonies of gram positive coccus resembling M. pyogenes albus. Cultures of the equipment yielded M. pyogenes var. albus.
The other outbreak occurred among persons who attended an Easter egg hunt sponsored by local civic groups. An investi gation revealed that the eggs were purchased from a local egg and poultry company. Eggs from this company had not given rise to such an incident in the past. The eggs were hard boiled April 1, and brought to a private residence where they were dyed
Dr. R. L. Cleere, Colorado Department of Public Health, gives preliminary information on an outbreak of infectious hepatitis in a county in the northeastern part of the State. The outbreak occurred between March 7 and April 13, 1953. Practically all of the 49 reported cases were in boys who participated in athletic events at a high school. The incubation period was from 10 to 14 days. The suspected source was a possible contaminated water supply at the school. The plumbing is still under study, but it is believed that the water could have become contaminated through faulty plumbing.
Dr. H. M. Erickson, Oregon State Board of Health, reports 1 case of tularemia in his Communicable Disease Summary for the week ended April 11. This was a student who contracted the disease in a college laboratory.
Dr. H. M. Erickson also reports 3 new cases of trichiniasis