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Provisional Information on Selected Notifiable Diseases in the United States for
Week Ended March 28 1953
Rates for infectious hepatitis per 100,000 estimated population on an annual basis for 4-week periods from October to March 1953, show that the incidence has been consistently higher in the South than in the other 3 regions-Northeastern, North Central, and West. The peak incidence for all regions was either in January or February. See accompanying chart.
tions, from 1,519 to 1,770; poliomyelitis, from 1,249 to 1,514; scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat, from 37,283 to 50,582; trichiniasis, from 56 to 68; and endemic typhus fever, from 27 to 37. The other notifiable diseases showed little change in numbers reported when compared with last year's figures. However, there have been no cases of human rabies reported during the first quarter of 1953 as compared with 4 for the corresponding period of 1952. The above figures for the first quarter of 1953 exclude a delayed report from Texas.
The following reports were received by the Influenza Information Center, N. I, H., and the National Office of Vital Statistics.
Dr. Harry M. Rose, Columbia University, reports serologic identification of influenza A-prime in 10 cases among patients and staff at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, who had onsets of illness from January 5 to February 2. In one of these cases there was also an 8-fold rise in titer to influenza B (Lee).
Dr. E. H. Lennette, California State Department of Public Health Laboratory, reports serologic diagnoses of 11 cases of influenza A and A-prime and 2 presumptive serologic diagnoses in patients from various localities in California having onsets between February 8 and 25.
New York State Department of Health Laboratories report serologic diagnoses of influenza A-prime from 5 cases in different areas of New York having onsets between January 20 and February 9. A strain of influenza virus A was recovered from a patient at Poughkeepsie, collected on January 27 from an outbreak at Vassar College.
Information is now available from a 10-percent sample of deaths for the United States for the month of January 1953. Figures indicate a 5-fold increase in the death rate per 100,000 esti mated population for influenza in January (17.1) as compared with December 1952 (3.4), and a rate approximately 4 times that for January 1952 (4.6). The death rate for pneumonia in January 1953 (48.4) was 50 percent higher than the rate for December 1952 (31.4), and 33 percent higher than that for January 1952 (36,6). Although these are figures obtained from a sample and subject to sampling errors, they suggest relatively higher rates of mortality than have been experienced in recent years.
According to the February Report on the Labor Force, Current Population Reports, Series P-57, No. 128, Bureau of the Census, 1,246,000 or about 2 percent of the total labor force in the United States were absent from work because of illness du ring the survey week of that month. This is the highest proportion of illness recorded in the labor force since January 1946, when it was 2.2 percent of the total. Information from other sources indicates that most of the illness was due to influenza and other upper respiratory diseases. Reports on the labor force and other available information show that the influenza epidemic reached its peak during February and was comparable with the epidemic which occurred during December 1945 and January 1946. Since the calendar week, which contains the 8th day of the month, is used as the survey week, the highest proportion of illnesses for the month may not be included in the survey. Influenza epidemics
For the first quarter of 1953 the following diseases showed a substantial decrease in numbers reported as compared with the same period of 1952: Brucellosis cases decreased from 415 to 321; diphtheria, from 837 to 552; infectious encephalitis, from 260 to 212; malaria, from 345 to 100; measles, from 263,447 to 112,803; tularemia, from 181 to 126; typhoid fever, from 374 to 279; and whooping cough, from 14,131 to 7,447. On the other hand, increased numbers of the following diseases were reported: Infectious hepatitis, from 5,782 to 7,521; meningococcal Infec-.
usually last 2 or 3 months, and this disease will usually be included in the surveys for 1 or 2 months. Information on illness in the labor force is not available prior to September 1945.
quarters. Beta-hemolytic streptococci were isolated from the throats of 4 patients.
Plague in rats
Mr. Bertram Gross, Hawaii Department of Health, reports the finding of one plague-infected rat within the endemic area of the Hamakua District, on March 9, 1953. This is the first infected animal found during the current year. The rat (R, norvegicus), which was found dead in District 3A, Kapulena area, proved positive for P. pestis on laboratory examination.
Dr. V. A. Getting, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, reports an outbreak of typhoid fever among girls in one social group of a high school. All who became ill had attended a party. Several suspected cases were reported and 8 were confirmed. A suspected carrier is under investigation.
Dr. C. W. Wells, New Hampshire Department of Health, reports that 23 cases of infectious hepatitis occurred in Dover, principally during the latter part of February. Ages of the patients varied from 5 to 47 years, but 40 percent were 15 years of age and under. There have been no deaths in this group.
Communicable diseases in other areas
Dr. A. S. Osborne, Science Attache, American Embassy, London, reports th at 15 cases of smallpox had been diagnosed by March 25 in the Todmorden area of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. All except one case belong to the Todmorden Municipal Borough, and the exception had no human link with the other 14. However, there was exposure to cotton waste from the mill where the first cases occurred. Two of the latest cases are physicians who attended the first cases previous to the diagnosis of smallpox, Two deaths have been reported in this group of cases.
The Ministry of Health of Nicaragua reports that liver specimen obtained from a person, who died March 13, was confirmed as positive for yellow fever by the laboratory in Panama. The patient died in the Siempre Vivas locality, Department of Zelaya.
Streptococcal sore throat
Dr. J. F. Rudmin, County Health Officer in New York State, reports an outbreak of streptococcal sore throat involving 49 girls at a college. While explosive, the disease could not be traced to any common source. The disease was probably spread by contact and the explosiveness was attributed to crowed living
Table 1. COMPARATIVE DATA FOR CASES OF SPECIFIED NOTIFIABLE DBEASES: UNITED STATES
(Numbers after diseases are category numbers of the Sixth Revision of the International Lists, 1948)
-----062 11 Botulism-
1 Brucellosis (undulant fever)-----044 24
64 Encephalitis, acute infectious---082 31
30 Hepatitis, infectious,
and serum----- --092,N998.5 pt. 569 Malaria -----
25 Measles ---
-----085 17,207 31,784 Meningococcal infections - -------057 132 171 Poliomyelitis, acute
74 Rabies in man---
----044 Rocky Mountain spotted fever----104A
1 Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat
--050,051 4,454 3,718 Smallpox---
17 Typhoid fever
24 Typhus fever, endemic
4 Whooping cough
---056 665 977
12) (2) 7,521 12)
100 315,624 | 205,639 '112,803
2,674 2,120 1,770 28,621 28,621 51,514
345 263,447 175,422
1,519 1,112 1,249
1,193 4 9
(2) Apr. 1
(2) 12) 12) 2,268
53,194 (2) 12) (2) 2,159
50,357 (3) (2) 12) 2,809
3 68 126 279
4 56 181 374
Symbols.-1 dash [-] :
: no cases reported; asterisk  : disease stated not notifiable; parentheses, : data not included in total; 3 dashes [---] : data not available.'
Table 2. CASES OF SPECIFIED DISEASES WITH COMPARATIVE DATA: UNIT ED STATES,
EACH DIVISION AND STATE FOR WEEK ENDED MARCH 28, 1953
Table 2. CASES OF SPECIFIED DISEASES WITH COMPARATIVE DATA: UNITED STATES,
EACH DIVISION AND STATE FOR WEEK ENDED MARCH 28, 1953–Continued