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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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1. Progress toward Meeting the Target for High Blood Pressure Control — United States, 2010–2012

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Focused efforts by health insurance plans to improve blood pressure control among their members with hypertension can reduce risk for heart disease and stroke and help achieve the Million Hearts® goal of U.S. health systems and clinics achieving a 70 percent rate of high blood pressure control. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major heart disease and stroke risk factor. Only half of the 67 million U.S. adults who have high blood pressure have their condition under control (blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg).The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts® initiative was established to help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Health insurance plans can help accomplish this goal by encouraging the doctors and health care professionals within their networks to adopt the National Quality Forum’s 0018 performance measure and track their progress over time. The current report found that blood pressure control rates of plans have improved; however, in 2012, the control rates remained below the 70 percent target, at 64 percent.

2. CDC Grand Rounds: Discovering New Diseases via Enhanced Partnership Between Public Health and Pathology Experts

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Effective use of basic and advanced diagnostic laboratory and pathology tools, along with vigilance by alert clinicians, epidemiologists, microbiologists, veterinarians, pathologists, research scientists, and public health officials, especially in cases of unexplained deaths, contributes to the goal of protecting the public from emerging infectious diseases and threats. Every year, in the United States, approximately five of every one million people younger than 49 will die from an infectious disease that is considered unexplained. Emerging and newly recognized infections, such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and West Nile encephalitis, are often associated with life-threatening illnesses and death. In addition, infectious diseases once thought to have been declining, such as pertussis, are again becoming major public health threats. Animals are increasingly recognized as potential vectors of infectious illness, and approximately 75 percent of recently emerging human infectious diseases come from animals. Finally, a world increasingly interconnected through travel and food sources requires more rapid identification of infectious diseases to prevent and control these threats.

3. Notes from the Field

  • Elemental Mercury Spill in School Bus and Residence — North Carolina, 2013
  • Shigella with Decreased Susceptibility to Azithromycin — United States, 2002–2013

 

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