The major problems of racing in the United States at the present time are caused by too much racing. This has led to too few horses and small fields. Consequently many owners and trainers are trying to enter their horses too frequently and to race them when they are not really fit to run. The desire to race horses as frequently as possible has led to constant pressure from horsemen through their organizations for so called "permissive medication". Started in the state of Colorado approximately ten years ago this has grown until finally there are only a few states, notably New York and New Jersey that have resisted the pressure. The drug that gave the opening wedge to permissive medication was phenylbutazone, but this in many states has led to the inclusion of other drugs including analgesics and drugs that veterinarians claim are needed for therapeutic purposes. Some states have endeavoured to control phenylbutazone medication by quantitation and while lower limits cause little difficulty, maximum allowable limits have caused problems and are not practical. While there has been no publicity to my knowledge about frusemide (furosemide, lasix) the abuse of this drug for so called "bleeders" is an example that may seriously interfere with drug detection in urine and its use should be confined to proven "bleeders" (i.e. horses suffering from epistaxis). Pre-race blood testing began roughly ten years ago at the harness tracks and has been resisted by our flat tracks rather successfully up to the present time. The blood testing methods and those used by the same laboratories in post-race urine testing is inadequate and will not detect many illegal drugs. (+info)
Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management--United States, 1998.
From October 30 through December 23, 1998, CDC received reports of a series of bioterroristic threats of anthrax exposure. Letters alleged to contain anthrax were sent to health clinics on October 30, 1998, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During December 17-23 in California, a letter alleged to contain anthrax was sent to a private business, and three telephone threats of anthrax contamination of ventilation systems were made to private and public buildings. All threats were hoaxes and are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement officials. The public health implications of these threats were investigated to assist in developing national public health guidelines for responding to bioterrorism. This report summarizes the findings of these investigations and provides interim guidance for public health authorities on bioterrorism related to anthrax. (+info)
Tuberculosis outbreaks in prison housing units for HIV-infected inmates--California, 1995-1996.
During 1995-1996, staff from the California departments of corrections and health services and local health departments investigated two outbreaks of drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB). The outbreaks occurred in two state correctional institutions with dedicated HIV housing units. In each outbreak, all cases were linked by IS6110-based DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. This report describes the investigations of both outbreaks; the findings indicated that M. tuberculosis can spread rapidly among HIV-infected inmates and be transmitted to their visitors and prison employees, with secondary spread to the community. (+info)
The managed care revolution: how medical technologists have tolerated the change.
A repeated cross-sectional study on the psychological profiles and interpersonal styles of highly stressed medical technologists (perfusionists) has found remarkable consistency in internal psychological profiles and differences in interpersonal dynamics over a 6-year period. Six years ago a longitudinal study was begun to track the psychological profiles of perfusionists. Surgeons can repair cardiac defects only after a beating heart has been stopped. In order for the brain and other organs to survive cardiac surgery, they must be perfused with well-oxygenated blood. As a result, the life of every cardiac surgery patient literally sits in the hands of the cardiac perfusionist. The stress of placing patients on and off the 'pump' is one that is experienced by cardiovascular perfusionists on a daily basis. This stress has been likened to that of air traffic controllers who continually prepare planes for take off and/or landing. In the 6 years between studies, medical technologists have changed very little psychologically. They remain very well balanced. However, there have been significant changes in their interpersonal behaviours. Instead of the 'well-balanced' interpersonal profiles of 6 years ago, there is a higher degree of assertiveness/aggressiveness being reported. Managed Care has begun to impact interpersonal behaviours but has not yet altered the more resilient platform of internal psychological balance. (+info)
Premature morbidity from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in women with systemic lupus erythematosus.
OBJECTIVE: To determine rates of morbidity due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases among women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: I used the California Hospital Discharge Database, which contains information on all discharges from acute care hospitals in California, to identify women with SLE who had been hospitalized for treatment of either acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) from 1991 to 1994. I compared the proportions of hospitalizations for each cause among women with SLE with those in a group of women without SLE, for 3 age strata (18-44 years, 45-64 years, and > or =65 years). RESULTS: Compared with young women without SLE, young women with SLE were 2.27 times more likely to be hospitalized because of AMI (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.08-3.46), 3.80 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CHF (95% CI 2.41-5.19), and 2.05 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CVA (95% CI 1.17-2.93). Among middle-aged women with SLE, the frequencies of hospitalization for AMI and CVA did not differ from those of the comparison group, but the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (odds ratio [OR] 1.39, 95% CI 1.05-1.73). Among elderly women with SLE, the risk of hospitalization for AMI was significantly lower (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.51-0.89), the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01-1.49), and the risk of hospitalization for CVA was not significantly different from those in the comparison group. CONCLUSION: Young women with SLE are at substantially increased risk of AMI, CHF, and CVA. The relative odds of these conditions decrease with age among women with SLE. (+info)
Personal exposure to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica in California agriculture.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to measure personal exposure to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica during various agricultural operations in California over a period of one year. METHODS: Ten farms were randomly selected in Yolo and Solano counties and workers were invited to wear personal sampling equipment to measure inhalable and respirable dust levels during various operations. The samples were analysed for endotoxin using the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay and crystalline silica content using X-ray diffraction. In total 142 inhalable samples and 144 respirable samples were collected. RESULTS: The measurements showed considerable difference in exposure levels between various operations, in particular for the inhalable fraction of the dust and the endotoxin. Machine harvesting of tree crops (Geometric mean (GM) = 45.1 mg/m3) and vegetables (GM = 7.9 mg/m3), and cleaning of poultry houses (GM = 6.7 mg/m3) showed the highest inhalable dust levels. Cleaning of poultry houses also showed the highest inhalable endotoxin levels (GM = 1861 EU/m3). Respirable dust levels were generally low, except for machine harvesting of tree crops (GM = 2.8 mg/m3) and vegetables (GM = 0.9 mg/m3). Respirable endotoxin levels were also low. For the inhalable dust fraction, levels were reduced considerably when an enclosed cabin was present. The percentage of crystalline silica was overall higher in the respirable dust samples than the inhalable dust samples. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable differences exist in personal exposure levels to dust, endotoxin and crystalline silica during various agricultural operations in California agriculture with some operations showing very high levels. (+info)
Major histocompatibility complex differentiation in Sacramento River chinook salmon.
The chinook salmon of the Sacramento River, California, have been reduced to a fraction of their former abundance because of human impact and use of the river system. Here we examine the genetic variation at a major histocompatibility complex class II exon in the four Sacramento chinook salmon runs. Examination of the alleles found in these and other chinook salmon revealed nucleotide patterns consistent with selection for amino acid replacement at the putative antigen-binding sites. We found a significant amount of variation in each of the runs, including the federally endangered winter run. All of the samples were in Hardy-Weinberg proportions. A significant amount of genetic differentiation between runs was revealed by several measures of differentiation. Winter run was the most genetically divergent, while the spring, late-fall, and fall runs were less differentiated. (+info)
Farm worker illness following exposure to carbofuran and other pesticides--Fresno County California, 1998.
In California, suspected pesticide-related illnesses and suspected work-related illnesses and injuries are reportable conditions. On July 31, 1998, the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) received a report from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) of a pesticide exposure incident in Fresno County involving 34 farm workers. CDHS investigated this incident by reviewing medical records of the 34 workers and interviewing 29. The findings indicated that the workers became ill after early reentry into a cotton field that had been sprayed with a cholinesterase-inhibiting carbamate pesticides (+info)