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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease: Potential Roles of Birth Defects Surveillance Programs — United States, 2010–2011

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In September 2011, it was recommended that all newborns be screened for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) using pulse oximetry, a noninvasive test of blood oxygenation, to prevent death or serious illness. State birth defects surveillance programs have an opportunity to lead the evaluation of screening. CDC partnered with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network to assess state birth defects surveillance programs’ capabilities and levels of readiness to collaborate with state newborn screening programs with CCHD screening. Barriers exist, such as legislative authority, staffing, funding, and informatics infrastructure. State birth defects programs have the data and capability to lead the evaluation of screening for CCHD, but an assessment of infrastructure and resource needs is warranted.

2. Progress Toward Global Eradication of Dracunculiasis — January 2011–June 2012

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With fewer than 1,100 dracunculiasis cases reported in 2011 (the lowest annual total ever), only four endemic countries remaining, and 99 percent of cases in shrinking endemic areas of South Sudan, the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program is closer than ever to the goal of stopping transmission. In 1986, the World Health Assembly called for the elimination of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), a parasitic infection in humans caused by Dracunculus medinensis. At that time, an estimated 3.5 million cases were occurring annually in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Since then, tremendous progress has been made towards global dracunculiasis eradication. In 2011, 1,058 cases were reported from the four remaining endemic countries (Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan). Of the 395 cases reported during January–June 2012, 99 percent were reported from 215 villages in South Sudan. Insecurity in areas of South Sudan and Mali currently poses the greatest threat to the interruption of transmission and the success of the global dracunculiasis eradication campaign. Although earlier target dates for global dracunculiasis eradication were missed, progress is accelerating, and eradication is likely within the next few years if disruption of program operations can be minimized, particularly in northern Mali.

3. Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Chad, January 2011–August 2012

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The polio program in Chad has made tremendous progress in 2012, and continued efforts will be required. Indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) has never been interrupted in Afghanistan, Nigeria, or Pakistan, and polio transmission was reestablished (defined as circulation for greater than or equal to12 months after importation) in four previously polio-free countries in Africa, including Chad, in the 2000s. During 2012, WPV circulation has continued only in Chad and the three remaining endemic countries. In Chad, 132 WPV cases were reported in 2011 (129 WPV1 and three WPV3), compared with 26 WPV cases (11 WPV1 and 15 WPV3) in 2010. Five WPV cases (all WPV1) were reported in 2012 (through August), compared with 114 cases (111 WPV1 and three WPV3 cases) during the same period in 2011. In addition, five cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 occurred during July–August 2012. Current progress suggests that Chad could interrupt WPV transmission in 2012, although challenges remain. With ongoing WPV circulation in Nigeria and low routine immunization coverage, Chad remains at risk for new WPV importations and outbreaks.

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