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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for December 8, 2011

1. State-Specific Prevalence of No Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Adults With and Without Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis — United States, 2009

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Physical activity is important to health, and those persons doing no leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) represent a group where even small gains can produce important improvements in health. Reduction in the overall prevalence of no LTPA may be hindered by population subgroups that have exceptionally high rates of no LTPA, such as adults with arthritis. In 2009, adults with arthritis had a 53 percent higher prevalence of no LTPA compared with adults without arthritis. Rates of no LTPA among adults with arthritis were significantly higher in every state and the District of Columbia compared with adults without arthritis.  In addition, adults with arthritis accounted for 25-47 percent of all adults reporting no LTPA. To reduce the prevalence of no LTPA among all adults, physical activity promotion initiatives should target adults with the use of evidence-based, arthritis-tailored interventions.

2. Update: Influenza Activity — United States, October 2–November 26, 2011

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Influenza activity is currently at low levels in the United States at this early point in the season. However, the influenza season continues through the winter and spring months. Thus far, the majority of the viruses that have been sent to CDC have been well matched to the vaccine. Influenza vaccination is the best method for preventing influenza and its associated complications and is recommended for all individuals >6 months of age. If influenza virus infection is suspected, antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for people who have severe or complicated disease, who require hospitalization or who are at greater risk for influenza-related complications. Influenza vaccination remains the best method for preventing influenza and its associated complications.

3. Recommendations for Use of an Isoniazid–Rifapentine Regimen with Direct Observation to Treat Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection

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CDC recommendations on the use of a new treatment regimen for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) will make treatment shorter and simpler than ever before. Persons with LTBI do not have symptoms and are not contagious; however, if the infection becomes active, the person will develop Tuberculosis (TB) disease, become sick, and can spread the disease to others.  Although the previous standard treatment for LTBI is very effective if patients take the medicine, many patients at risk of developing TB disease never begin the nine month standard course of treatment; among those who do start treatment, many do not complete it.  The new regimen has a significant benefit over the standard treatment by cutting the doses required from 270 daily doses of the anti-TB drug isoniazid to 12 once-weekly doses of the drugs isoniazid and rifapentine. The new recommendations are based on the results of clinical trials and expert opinion, and suggest that treatment be provided under the supervision of a health care worker (called “directly observed therapy”) to ensure completion of doses and to allow for safety monitoring of patients.  CDC underscores that this regimen provides another effective treatment option for many patients at high risk for developing TB disease, but previous LTBI treatment regimens are still recommended as the first choice for some patients. 

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