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Current Issue

CDC Science Clips: Volume 12, Issue 16, May 26, 2020

Science Clips is produced weekly to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge for the public health community. Each article features an Altmetric Attention scoreexternal icon to track social and mainstream media mentions!

This week Science Clips is pleased to feature literature on the respiratory protection needs for healthcare personnel during times of epidemics and pandemics (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirators-strategy/index.html?deliveryName=FCP_3_DM22504).

  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas - Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Personnel during Pandemics
    • Level of Protection
      1. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masksexternal icon
        Leung NH, Chu DK, Shiu EY, Chan KH, McDevitt JJ, Hau BJ, Yen HL, Li Y, Ip DK, Peiris JS, Seto WH, Leung GM, Milton DK, Cowling BJ.
        Nat Med. 2020 May;26(5):676-680.
        We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.

      2. This systematic review and meta-analysis quantified the protective effect of facemasks and respirators against respiratory infections among healthcare workers. Relevant articles were retrieved from Pubmed, EMBASE, and Web of Science. Meta-analyses were conducted to calculate pooled estimates. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) indicated a protective effect of masks and respirators against clinical respiratory illness (CRI) (risk ratio [RR] = 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI]:0.46-0.77) and influenza-like illness (ILI) (RR = 0.34; 95% CI:0.14-0.82). Compared to masks, N95 respirators conferred superior protection against CRI (RR = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.36-0.62) and laboratory-confirmed bacterial (RR = 0.46; 95% CI: 0.34-0.62), but not viral infections or ILI. Meta-analysis of observational studies provided evidence of a protective effect of masks (OR = 0.13; 95% CI: 0.03-0.62) and respirators (OR = 0.12; 95% CI: 0.06-0.26) against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This systematic review and meta-analysis supports the use of respiratory protection. However, the existing evidence is sparse and findings are inconsistent within and across studies. Multicentre RCTs with standardized protocols conducted outside epidemic periods would help to clarify the circumstances under which the use of masks or respirators is most warranted.

      3. N95 respirators vs medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: A randomized clinical trialexternal icon
        Radonovich LJ, Simberkoff MS, Bessesen MT, Brown AC, Cummings DA, Gaydos CA, Los JG, Krosche AE, Gibert CL, Gorse GJ, Nyquist AC, Reich NG, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Price CS, Perl TM.
        Jama. 2019 Sep 3;322(9):824-833.
        Importance: Clinical studies have been inconclusive about the effectiveness of N95 respirators and medical masks in preventing health care personnel (HCP) from acquiring workplace viral respiratory infections. Objective: To compare the effect of N95 respirators vs medical masks for prevention of influenza and other viral respiratory infections among HCP. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cluster randomized pragmatic effectiveness study conducted at 137 outpatient study sites at 7 US medical centers between September 2011 and May 2015, with final follow-up in June 2016. Each year for 4 years, during the 12-week period of peak viral respiratory illness, pairs of outpatient sites (clusters) within each center were matched and randomly assigned to the N95 respirator or medical mask groups. Interventions: Overall, 1993 participants in 189 clusters were randomly assigned to wear N95 respirators (2512 HCP-seasons of observation) and 2058 in 191 clusters were randomly assigned to wear medical masks (2668 HCP-seasons) when near patients with respiratory illness. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza. Secondary outcomes included incidence of acute respiratory illness, laboratory-detected respiratory infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory illness, and influenzalike illness. Adherence to interventions was assessed. Results: Among 2862 randomized participants (mean [SD] age, 43 [11.5] years; 2369 [82.8%]) women), 2371 completed the study and accounted for 5180 HCP-seasons. There were 207 laboratory-confirmed influenza infection events (8.2% of HCP-seasons) in the N95 respirator group and 193 (7.2% of HCP-seasons) in the medical mask group (difference, 1.0%, [95% CI, -0.5% to 2.5%]; P = .18) (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.18 [95% CI, 0.95-1.45]). There were 1556 acute respiratory illness events in the respirator group vs 1711 in the mask group (difference, -21.9 per 1000 HCP-seasons [95% CI, -48.2 to 4.4]; P = .10); 679 laboratory-detected respiratory infections in the respirator group vs 745 in the mask group (difference, -8.9 per 1000 HCP-seasons, [95% CI, -33.3 to 15.4]; P = .47); 371 laboratory-confirmed respiratory illness events in the respirator group vs 417 in the mask group (difference, -8.6 per 1000 HCP-seasons [95% CI, -28.2 to 10.9]; P = .39); and 128 influenzalike illness events in the respirator group vs 166 in the mask group (difference, -11.3 per 1000 HCP-seasons [95% CI, -23.8 to 1.3]; P = .08). In the respirator group, 89.4% of participants reported "always" or "sometimes" wearing their assigned devices vs 90.2% in the mask group. Conclusions and Relevance: Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01249625.

      4. BACKGROUND: Conflicting recommendations exist related to which facial protection should be used by health care workers to prevent transmission of acute respiratory infections, including pandemic influenza. We performed a systematic review of both clinical and surrogate exposure data comparing N95 respirators and surgical masks for the prevention of transmissible acute respiratory infections. METHODS: We searched various electronic databases and the grey literature for relevant studies published from January 1990 to December 2014. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies and case-control studies that included data on health care workers wearing N95 respirators and surgical masks to prevent acute respiratory infections were included in the meta-analysis. Surrogate exposure studies comparing N95 respirators and surgical masks using manikins or adult volunteers under simulated conditions were summarized separately. Outcomes from clinical studies were laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, influenza-like illness and workplace absenteeism. Outcomes from surrogate exposure studies were filter penetration, face-seal leakage and total inward leakage. RESULTS: We identified 6 clinical studies (3 RCTs, 1 cohort study and 2 case-control studies) and 23 surrogate exposure studies. In the meta-analysis of the clinical studies, we found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in associated risk of (a) laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection (RCTs: odds ratio [OR] 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.64-1.24; cohort study: OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.03-6.41; case-control studies: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.25-3.36); (b) influenza-like illness (RCTs: OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.19-1.41); or (c) reported workplace absenteeism (RCT: OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.57-1.50). In the surrogate exposure studies, N95 respirators were associated with less filter penetration, less face-seal leakage and less total inward leakage under laboratory experimental conditions, compared with surgical masks. INTERPRETATION: Although N95 respirators appeared to have a protective advantage over surgical masks in laboratory settings, our meta-analysis showed that there were insufficient data to determine definitively whether N95 respirators are superior to surgical masks in protecting health care workers against transmissible acute respiratory infections in clinical settings.

    • Availability During Epidemics and Pandemics
      1. Potential demand for respirators and surgical masks during a hypothetical influenza pandemic in the United Statesexternal icon
        Carias C, Rainisch G, Shankar M, Adhikari BB, Swerdlow DL, Bower WA, Pillai SK, Meltzer MI, Koonin LM.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2015 May 1;60 Suppl 1:S42-51.
        BACKGROUND: To inform planning for an influenza pandemic, we estimated US demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators (respirators) by healthcare and emergency services personnel and need for surgical masks by pandemic patients seeking care. METHODS: We used a spreadsheet-based model to estimate demand for 3 scenarios of respirator use: base case (usage approximately follows epidemic curve), intermediate demand (usage rises to epidemic peak and then remains constant), and maximum demand (all healthcare workers use respirators from pandemic onset). We assumed that in the base case scenario, up to 16 respirators would be required per day per intensive care unit patient and 8 per day per general ward patient. Outpatient healthcare workers and emergency services personnel would require 4 respirators per day. Patients would require 1.2 surgical masks per day. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Assuming that 20% to 30% of the population would become ill, 1.7 to 3.5 billion respirators would be needed in the base case scenario, 2.6 to 4.3 billion in the intermediate demand scenario, and up to 7.3 billion in the maximum demand scenario (for all scenarios, between 0.1 and 0.4 billion surgical masks would be required for patients). For pandemics with a lower attack rate and fewer cases (eg, 2009-like pandemic), the number of respirators needed would be higher because the pandemic would have longer duration. Providing these numbers of respirators and surgical masks represents a logistic challenge for US public health agencies. Public health officials must urgently consider alternative use strategies for respirators and surgical masks during a pandemic that may vary from current practices.

      2. Personal protective equipment supply chain: Lessons learned from recent public health emergency responsesexternal icon
        Patel A, D'Alessandro MM, Ireland KJ, Burel WG, Wencil EB, Rasmussen SA.
        Health Secur. 2017 May/Jun;15(3):244-252.
        Personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects healthcare workers from infection is a critical component of infection control strategies in healthcare settings. During a public health emergency response, protecting healthcare workers from infectious disease is essential, given that they provide clinical care to those who fall ill, have a high risk of exposure, and need to be assured of occupational safety. Like most goods in the United States, the PPE market supply is based on demand. The US PPE supply chain has minimal ability to rapidly surge production, resulting in challenges to meeting large unexpected increases in demand that might occur during a public health emergency. Additionally, a significant proportion of the supply chain is produced off-shore and might not be available to the US market during an emergency because of export restrictions or nationalization of manufacturing facilities. Efforts to increase supplies during previous public health emergencies have been challenging. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic, the commercial supply chain of pharmaceutical and healthcare products quickly became critical response components. This article reviews lessons learned from these responses from a PPE supply chain and systems perspective and examines ways to improve PPE readiness for future responses.

      3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly infectious agent that causes fatal respiratory illnesses, which is of great global public health concern. Currently, there is no effective vaccine for tackling this COVID19 pandemic where disease countermeasures rely upon preventing or slowing person-to-person transmission. Specifically, there is increasing efforts to prevent or reduce transmission to front-line healthcare workers (HCW). However, there is growing international concern regarding the shortage in supply chain of critical one-time-use personal and protective equipment (PPE). PPE are heat sensitive and are not, by their manufacturer's design, intended for reprocessing. Most conventional sterilization technologies used in hospitals, or in terminal medical device sterilization providers, cannot effectively reprocess PPE due to the nature and severity of sterilization modalities. Contingency planning for PPE stock shortage is important. Solutions in the Republic of Ireland include use of smart communication channels to improve supply chain, bespoke production of PPE to meets gaps, along with least preferred option, use of sterilization or high-level disinfection for PPE reprocessing. Reprocessing PPE must consider material composition, functionality post treatment, along with appropriate disinfection. Following original manufacturer of PPE and regulatory guidance is important. Technologies deployed in the US, and for deployment in the Republic of Ireland, are eco-friendly, namely vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VH2O2), such as for filtering facepiece respirators and UV irradiation and High-level liquid disinfection (Actichlor+) is also been pursed in Ireland. Safeguarding supply chain of PPE will sustain vital healthcare provision and will help reduce mortality.

    • Strategies to Ensure Availability - Control Banding
      1. Approach to prioritizing respiratory protection when demand exceeds supplies during an influenza pandemic: A call to actionexternal icon
        Patel A, Lee L, Pillai SK, Valderrama AL, Delaney LJ, Radonovich L.
        Health Secur. 2019 Mar/Apr;17(2):152-155.

    • Strategies to Ensure Availability - Stockpiling

    • Strategies to Ensure Availability - Extended Use and Limited Reuse
      1. Institution of a novel process for N95 respirator disinfection with vaporized hydrogen peroxide in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic at a large academic medical centerexternal icon
        Grossman J, Pierce A, Mody J, Gagne J, Sykora C, Sayood S, Cook S, Shomer N, Liang SY, Eckhouse S.
        J Am Coll Surg. 2020 Apr 27.
        Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an invaluable yet limited resource when it comes to protecting healthcare workers against infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, N95 respirator supply chains are severely strained and conservation strategies are needed. A multidisciplinary team at the Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Jewish Hospital, and BJC Healthcare was formed to implement a program to disinfect N95 respirators. The process described extends the life of N95 respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) disinfection and allows healthcare workers to retain their own N95 respirator across a large metropolitan health care system.

      2. Can N95 respirators be reused after disinfection? How many times?external icon
        Liao L, Xiao W, Zhao M, Yu X, Wang H, Wang Q, Chu S, Cui Y.
        ACS Nano. 2020 May 5.
        The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a major shortage of N95 respirators, which are essential for protecting healthcare professionals and the general public who may come into contact with the virus. Thus, it is essential to determine how we can reuse respirators and other personal protective equipment in these urgent times. We investigated multiple commonly used disinfection schemes on media with particle filtration efficiency of 95%. Heating was recently found to inactivate the virus in solution within 5 min at 70 °C and is among the most scalable, user-friendly methods for viral disinfection. We found that heat (≤85 °C) under various humidities (≤100% relative humidity, RH) was the most promising, nondestructive method for the preservation of filtration properties in meltblown fabrics as well as N95-grade respirators. At 85 °C, 30% RH, we were able to perform 50 cycles of heat treatment without significant changes in the filtration efficiency. At low humidity or dry conditions, temperatures up to 100 °C were not found to alter the filtration efficiency significantly within 20 cycles of treatment. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was a secondary choice, which was able to withstand 10 cycles of treatment and showed small degradation by 20 cycles. However, UV can potentially impact the material strength and subsequent sealing of respirators. Finally, treatments involving liquids and vapors require caution, as steam, alcohol, and household bleach all may lead to degradation of the filtration efficiency, leaving the user vulnerable to the viral aerosols.

      3. Effectiveness of N95 facepiece respirators in filtering aerosol following storage and sterilizationexternal icon
        Lin TH, Tseng CC, Huang YL, Lin HC, Lai CY, Lee SA.
        Aerosol Air Qual Res. 2020 ;20(4):833.
        The use of electret N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95FFRs) after prolonged storage or treatment can reduce the expense of buying non-expired N95 and thus enable developing and developed countries to optimize their use of limited resources to against airborne particles and diseases, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The filtration performance of five N95FFR models following long-term storage, removal of charge using isopropanol alcohol (IPA), autoclaving, or treatment with gamma-radiation was assessed using a TSI 8130 automated filter tester. Statistically significant differences were found in the penetration (P), pressure drop (Δp) and quality factor (qf) between non-expired and expired N95 models 3M-8210 and 3M-8511. A statistically significant linear correlation was also obtained between the N95 penetration ratio (PR) and the difference between year of manufacture and time of test (DYM). The PR of N95 was more strongly influenced by eliminating the charge (for extremely out-of-date respirators) on the electret filter than by the DYM. Sterilization by gamma irradiation increased the P into non-expired and expired N95FFR models (p < 0.05), reducing their qf. The qf of all N95FFR models, except UVEX-3200, was strongly affected by gamma irradiation, the removal of charge using IPA, autoclaving, and storage in that order. All expired models maintained acceptable filtration performance and still could be used to collect aerosol effectively, even though models 3M-8511 and 3M-1860 had been manufactured up to 13 years previously. As the COVID-19 outbreaks in 2019 and is getting worse in 2020, these data are useful in developing a global stockpiling strategy to maximize the longevity of N95FFRs for public health and healthcare workers. However, the aging of the straps and seal materials (rubbers, plastics) of the N95FFRs may affect their fit factor and effectiveness.

      4. Planning for epidemics and pandemics: Assessing the potential impact of extended use and reuse strategies on respirator usage rates to support supply-and-demand planning effortsexternal icon
        Yorio P, Fisher E, Kilinc-Balci F, Harney J, Seaton M, Dahm M, Niemeier T.
        Journal of the International Society for Respirator Protection. 2020 ;37(1):52-60.
        During epidemics and pandemics healthcare personnel (HCP) are on the front line of disease containment and mitigation. Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), serve an important role in minimizing HCP risks and are in high demand during public health emergencies. Because PPE demand can exceed supply, various public health strategies have been developed to reduce the rate of PPE consumption as supply dwindles. Extended use and limited reuse of N95 FFRs are strategies advocated by many governmental agencies used to increase the number of times a device can be used. Increased use of respirators designed for reuse - such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and elastomeric half-mask and full facepiece air-purifying respirators - is another option designed to reduce the continuous need for new devices as the daily need for respirator use increases. Together, these strategies are designed to reduce the number of PPE units that must be discarded daily and, therefore, extend the longevity of available supply. The purpose of this paper is to theoretically estimate the impact of extended use and limited reuse strategies for N95 FFRs and the increased use of reusable respirator options on PPE consumed. The results suggest that a considerable reduction in PPE consumption would result from extended use and limited reuse of N95 FFRs and the increased use of respirators designed for reuse; however, the practical benefits must be balanced with the risks and economic costs. In addition, extended use and reuse strategies must be accompanied by proper procedures to reduce risk. The study is designed to support epidemic and pandemic PPE supply and demand planning efforts.

    • Strategies to Ensure Availability - Respirators Designed for Reuse
      1. Reusable elastomeric respirators in health care: Considerations for routine and surge useexternal icon
        National Academies of Sciences , Engineering , and Medicine .
        Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2019 .
        Protecting the health and safety of health care workers is vital to the health of each of us. Preparing for and responding to a future influenza pandemic or to a sustained outbreak of an airborne transmissible disease requires a high-level commitment to respiratory protection for health care workers across the wide range of settings in which they work and the jobs that they perform. Keeping health care workers healthy is an ethical commitment both in terms of addressing the occupational risks faced by health care workers and of providing for the continuity of patient care and services needed to maintain the health of individuals and communities. During a public health emergency, challenges will arise concerning the availability of respiratory protective devices (i.e., respirators). Reusable respirators (specifically, reusable half-facepiece elastomeric respirators) are the standard respiratory protection device used in many industries, and they provide an option for use in health care that has to date not been fully explored. The durability and reusability of elastomeric respirators make them desirable for stockpiling for emergencies, where the need for large volumes of respirators can be anticipated. However, they are used infrequently in health care. Reusable Elastomeric Respirators in Health Care explores the potential for the use of elastomeric respirators in the U.S. health care system with a focus on the economic, policy, and implementation challenges and opportunities. This report examines the practicability of elastomeric use in health care on a routine basis and during an influenza pandemic or other large aerosol-transmissible outbreak, when demand for respiratory protective devices by U.S. health care personnel may be larger than domestic supplies. The report also addresses the issues regarding emergency stockpile management of elastomeric respiratory protective devices.

      2. Training and fit testing of health care personnel for reusable elastomeric half-mask respirators compared with disposable N95 respiratorsexternal icon
        Pompeii LA, Kraft CS, Brownsword EA, Lane MA, Benavides E, Rios J, Radonovich LJ.
        Jama. 2020 Mar 25;323(18):1849-52.
        This study examines the feasibility of rapidly training and fit testing health care workers to use elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs), widely used in construction and manufacturing, as an alternative to N95 respirators during periods of shortage.


  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Level of adult client satisfaction with clinic flow time and services of an integrated non-communicable disease-HIV testing services clinic in Soweto, South Africa: a cross-sectional studyexternal icon
        Hopkins KL, Hlongwane KE, Otwombe K, Dietrich J, Cheyip M, Khanyile N, Doherty T, Gray GE.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2020 May 11;20(1):404.
        BACKGROUND: While HIV Testing Services (HTS) have increased, many South Africans have not been tested. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the top cause of death worldwide. Integrated NCD-HTS could be a strategy to control both epidemics. Healthcare service strategies depends partially on positive user experience. We investigated client satisfaction of services and clinic flow time of an integrated NCD-HTS clinic. METHODS: This prospective, cross-sectional study evaluated HTS client satisfaction with an HTS clinic at two phases. Phase 1 (February-June 2018) utilised standard HTS services: counsellor-led height/weight/blood pressure measurements, HIV rapid testing, and symptoms screening for sexually transmitted infections/Tuberculosis. Phase 2 (June 2018-March 2019) further integrated counsellor-led obesity screening (body mass index/abdominal circumference measurements), rapid cholesterol/glucose testing; and nurse-led Chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV)/cervical cancer screening. Socio-demographics, proportion of repeat clients, clinic flow time, and client survey data (open/closed-ended questions using five-point Likert scale) are reported. Fisher's exact test, chi-square analysis, and Kruskal Wallis test conducted comparisons. Multiple linear regression determined predictors associated with clinic time. Content thematic analysis was conducted for free response data. RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-four and three hundred thirty-three participants were from Phase 1 and 2, respectively (N = 617). Phase 1 participants were significantly older (median age 36.5 (28.0-43.0) years vs. 31.0 (25.0-40.0) years; p = 0.0003), divorced/widowed (6.7%, [n = 19/282] vs. 2.4%, [n = 8/332]; p = 0.0091); had tertiary education (27.9%, [n = 79/283] vs. 20.1%, [n = 67/333]; p = 0.0234); and less female (53.9%, [n = 153/284] vs 67.6%, [n = 225/333]; p = 0.0005), compared to Phase 2. Phase 2 had 10.2% repeat clients (n = 34/333), and 97.9% (n = 320/327) were 'very satisfied' with integrated NCD-HTS, despite standard HTS having significantly shorter median time for counsellor-led HTS (36.5, interquartile range [IQR]: 31.0-45.0 vs. 41.5, IQR: 35.0-51.0; p < 0.0001). Phase 2 associations with longer clinic time were clients living together/married (est = 6.548; p = 0.0467), more tests conducted (est = 3.922; p < 0.0001), higher overall satisfaction score (est = 1.210; p = 0.0201). Those who matriculated experienced less clinic time (est = - 7.250; p = 0.0253). CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to integrate counsellor-led NCD rapid testing into standard HTS within historical HTS timeframes, yielding client satisfaction. Rapid cholesterol/glucose testing should be integrated into standard HTS. Research is required on the impact of cervical cancer/HPV screenings to HTS clinic flow to determine if it could be scaled up within the public sector.

      2. The public health road map to respond to the growing dementia crisisexternal icon
        Olivari BS, French ME, McGuire LC.
        Innov Aging. 2020 ;4(1):igz043.
        As the proportion of older adults in the United States is projected to increase dramatically in the coming decades, it is imperative that public health address and maintain the cognitive health of this growing population. More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) today, and this number is projected to more than double by 2050. The public health community must be proactive in outlining the response to this growing crisis. Promoting cognitive decline risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis, and increasing the use and availability of timely data are critical components of this response. To prepare state, local, and tribal organizations, CDC and the Alzheimer's Association have developed a series of Road Maps that chart the public health response to dementia. Since the initial Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map release in 2007, the Road Map has undergone two new iterations, with the most recent version, The HBI's State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map, released in late 2018. Over the past several years, significant advances were made in the science of risk reduction and early detection of ADRD. As a result, the public health response requires a life-course approach that focuses on reducing risk and identifying memory issues earlier to improve health outcomes. The most recent Road Map was revised to accommodate these strides in the science and to effect change at the policy, systems, and environment levels. The 2018-2023 Road Map identifies 25 actions that state and local public health agencies and their partners can implement to promote cognitive health and address cognitive impairment and the needs of caregivers. The actions are categorized into four traditional domains of public health, and the Road Map can help public health and its partners chart a course for a dementia-prepared future.

    • Communicable Diseases

      1. Chlamydia trachomatis and human papillomavirus serostatus in Puerto Rican womenexternal icon
        Castaneda-Avila MA, Suarez-Perez E, Bernabe-Dones R, Unger ER, Panicker G, Ortiz AP.
        P R Health Sci J. 2020 Mar;39(1):28-33.
        OBJECTIVE: There is a high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in Puerto Rico, but little is known about the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection in healthy Puerto Rican women. Thus we aimed to evaluate the seroprevalence and association and the association between HPV and CT. METHODS: This was a secondary data analysis from a cross-sectional, populationbased, study of HPV infection in women aged 16-64 years in Puerto Rico (2010-2013). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to detect serum antibodies to CT and HPV. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for the association between HPV and CT serostatus. RESULTS: The study included 524 women; mean age was 42 years. Overall, 97 (18.5%) women were CT-seropositive, 251 (47.0%) were HPV seropositive, and 57 (10.9%) had antibodies for both CT and HPV. Women who were CT-seropositive were more likely (p<0.05) to also be seropositive to any HPV type (ORadjusted: 1.7, IC 95% =1.1, 2.6), HPV 16/18 (ORadjusted: 1.6, IC 95% =1.0, 2.6) and HPV 6/11 (ORadjusted: 1.6, IC 95% =1.1, 2.6) than those CT-seronegative, after adjusting for possible confounding factors. CONCLUSION: Given the association between CT and HPV seropositivity, longitudinal studies to evaluate whether CT infection influences HPV incidence and persistence in this group are warranted.

      2. Characteristics of health care personnel with COVID-19 - United States, February 12-April 9, 2020external icon
        CDC COVID-19 Response Team.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Apr 17;69(15):477-481.
        As of April 9, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had resulted in 1,521,252 cases and 92,798 deaths worldwide, including 459,165 cases and 16,570 deaths in the United States (1,2). Health care personnel (HCP) are essential workers defined as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials (3). During February 12-April 9, among 315,531 COVID-19 cases reported to CDC using a standardized form, 49,370 (16%) included data on whether the patient was a health care worker in the United States; including 9,282 (19%) who were identified as HCP. Among HCP patients with data available, the median age was 42 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 32-54 years), 6,603 (73%) were female, and 1,779 (38%) reported at least one underlying health condition. Among HCP patients with data on health care, household, and community exposures, 780 (55%) reported contact with a COVID-19 patient only in health care settings. Although 4,336 (92%) HCP patients reported having at least one symptom among fever, cough, or shortness of breath, the remaining 8% did not report any of these symptoms. Most HCP with COVID-19 (6,760, 90%) were not hospitalized; however, severe outcomes, including 27 deaths, occurred across all age groups; deaths most frequently occurred in HCP aged ≥65 years. These preliminary findings highlight that whether HCP acquire infection at work or in the community, it is necessary to protect the health and safety of this essential national workforce.

      3. Coronavirus disease 2019 in children - United States, February 12-April 2, 2020external icon
        CDC COVID-19 Response Team.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Apr 10;69(14):422-426.
        As of April 2, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in >890,000 cases and >45,000 deaths worldwide, including 239,279 cases and 5,443 deaths in the United States (1,2). In the United States, 22% of the population is made up of infants, children, and adolescents aged <18 years (children) (3). Data from China suggest that pediatric COVID-19 cases might be less severe than cases in adults and that children might experience different symptoms than do adults (4,5); however, disease characteristics among pediatric patients in the United States have not been described. Data from 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States occurring during February 12-April 2, 2020 were analyzed. Among 149,082 (99.6%) reported cases for which age was known, 2,572 (1.7%) were among children aged <18 years. Data were available for a small proportion of patients on many important variables, including symptoms (9.4%), underlying conditions (13%), and hospitalization status (33%). Among those with available information, 73% of pediatric patients had symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath compared with 93% of adults aged 18-64 years during the same period; 5.7% of all pediatric patients, or 20% of those for whom hospitalization status was known, were hospitalized, lower than the percentages hospitalized among all adults aged 18-64 years (10%) or those with known hospitalization status (33%). Three deaths were reported among the pediatric cases included in this analysis. These data support previous findings that children with COVID-19 might not have reported fever or cough as often as do adults (4). Whereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group. Social distancing and everyday preventive behaviors remain important for all age groups as patients with less serious illness and those without symptoms likely play an important role in disease transmission (6,7).

      4. Geographic differences in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and incidence - United States, February 12-April 7, 2020external icon
        CDC COVID-19 Response Team.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Apr 17;69(15):465-471.
        Community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in the United States in February 2020. By mid-March, all 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), New York City (NYC), and four U.S. territories had reported cases of COVID-19. This report describes the geographic distribution of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths reported by each U.S. state, each territory and freely associated state,* DC, and NYC during February 12-April 7, 2020, and estimates cumulative incidence for each jurisdiction. In addition, it projects the jurisdiction-level trajectory of this pandemic by estimating case doubling times on April 7 and changes in cumulative incidence during the most recent 7-day period (March 31-April 7). As of April 7, 2020, a total of 395,926 cases of COVID-19, including 12,757 related deaths, were reported in the United States. Cumulative COVID-19 incidence varied substantially by jurisdiction, ranging from 20.6 cases per 100,000 in Minnesota to 915.3 in NYC. On April 7, national case doubling time was approximately 6.5 days, although this ranged from 5.5 to 8.0 days in the 10 jurisdictions reporting the most cases. Absolute change in cumulative incidence during March 31-April 7 also varied widely, ranging from an increase of 8.3 cases per 100,000 in Minnesota to 418.0 in NYC. Geographic differences in numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, cumulative incidence, and changes in incidence likely reflect a combination of jurisdiction-specific epidemiologic and population-level factors, including 1) the timing of COVID-19 introductions; 2) population density; 3) age distribution and prevalence of underlying medical conditions among COVID-19 patients (1-3); 4) the timing and extent of community mitigation measures; 5) diagnostic testing capacity; and 6) public health reporting practices. Monitoring jurisdiction-level numbers of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and changes in incidence is critical for understanding community risk and making decisions about community mitigation, including social distancing, and strategic health care resource allocation.

      5. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic (1). As of March 28, 2020, a total of 571,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26,494 deaths have been reported worldwide (2). Reports from China and Italy suggest that risk factors for severe disease include older age and the presence of at least one of several underlying health conditions (3,4). U.S. older adults, including those aged ≥65 years and particularly those aged ≥85 years, also appear to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated outcomes; however, data describing underlying health conditions among U.S. COVID-19 patients have not yet been reported (5). As of March 28, 2020, U.S. states and territories have reported 122,653 U.S. COVID-19 cases to CDC, including 7,162 (5.8%) for whom data on underlying health conditions and other known risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections were reported. Among these 7,162 cases, 2,692 (37.6%) patients had one or more underlying health condition or risk factor, and 4,470 (62.4%) had none of these conditions reported. The percentage of COVID-19 patients with at least one underlying health condition or risk factor was higher among those requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission (358 of 457, 78%) and those requiring hospitalization without ICU admission (732 of 1,037, 71%) than that among those who were not hospitalized (1,388 of 5,143, 27%). The most commonly reported conditions were diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. These preliminary findings suggest that in the United States, persons with underlying health conditions or other recognized risk factors for severe outcomes from respiratory infections appear to be at a higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19 than are persons without these conditions.

      6. Globally, approximately 170,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported, including an estimated 7,000 deaths in approximately 150 countries (1). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic (2). Data from China have indicated that older adults, particularly those with serious underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death than are younger persons (3). Although the majority of reported COVID-19 cases in China were mild (81%), approximately 80% of deaths occurred among adults aged ≥60 years; only one (0.1%) death occurred in a person aged ≤19 years (3). In this report, COVID-19 cases in the United States that occurred during February 12-March 16, 2020 and severity of disease (hospitalization, admission to intensive care unit [ICU], and death) were analyzed by age group. As of March 16, a total of 4,226 COVID-19 cases in the United States had been reported to CDC, with multiple cases reported among older adults living in long-term care facilities (4). Overall, 31% of cases, 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged ≥65 years with the highest percentage of severe outcomes among persons aged ≥85 years. In contrast, no ICU admissions or deaths were reported among persons aged ≤19 years. Similar to reports from other countries, this finding suggests that the risk for serious disease and death from COVID-19 is higher in older age groups.

      7. Highlights from the 2019 HIV Diagnostics Conference: Optimizing testing for HIV, STIs, and HCVexternal icon
        Chavez PR, Soehnlen MK, Van Der Pol B, Gaynor AM, Wesolowski LG, Owen SM.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2020 May;47(5S Suppl 1):S2-s7.

      8. Receptive anal sex contributes substantially to heterosexually-acquired HIV infections among at-risk women in twenty US cities: results from a modelling analysisexternal icon
        Elmes J, Silhol R, Hess KL, Gedge LM, Nordsletten A, Staunton R, Anton P, Shacklett B, McGowan I, Dang Q, Adimora AA, Dimitrov DT, Aral S, Handanagic S, Paz-Bailey G, Boily MC.
        Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 May 8:e13263.
        PROBLEM: Receptive anal intercourse (RAI) is more efficient than receptive vaginal intercourse (RVI) at transmitting HIV, but its contribution to heterosexually-acquired HIV infections among at-risk women in the US is unclear. METHOD OF STUDY: We analysed sexual behaviour data from surveys of 9,152 low-income heterosexual women living in 20 cities with high rates of HIV conducted in 2010 and 2013 as part of US National HIV Behavioral Surveillance. We estimated RAI prevalence (past-year RAI) and RAI fraction (fraction of all sex acts (RVI and RAI) at the last sexual episode that were RAI among those reporting past-year RAI) overall and by key demographic characteristics. These results and HIV incidence were used to calibrate a risk-equation model to estimate the population attributable fraction of new HIV infections due to RAI (PAFRAI ) accounting for uncertainty in parameter assumptions. RESULTS: RAI prevalence (overall: 32%, city range: 19-60%) and RAI fraction (overall: 27%, city-range: 18-34%) were high overall and across cities, and positively associated with exchange sex. RAI accounted for an estimated 41% (uncertainty range: 18-55%) of new infections overall (city range: 21-57%). Variability in PAFRAI estimates was most influenced by uncertainty in the estimate of the per-act increased risk of RAI relative to RVI and the number of sex acts. CONCLUSIONS: RAI may contribute disproportionately to new heterosexually-acquired HIV infections among at-risk low-income women in the US, meaning that tools to prevent HIV transmission during RAI are warranted. Number of RVI and RAI acts should also be collected to monitor heterosexually-acquired HIV infections.

      9. Update on extensively drug-resistant Salmonella Serotype Typhi infections among travelers to or from Pakistan and report of ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella Serotype Typhi infections among travelers to Iraq - United States, 2018-2019external icon
        Francois Watkins LK, Winstead A, Appiah GD, Friedman CR, Medalla F, Hughes MJ, Birhane MG, Schneider ZD, Marcenac P, Hanna SS, Godbole G, Walblay KA, Wiggington AE, Leeper M, Meservey EH, Tagg KA, Chen JC, Abubakar A, Lami F, Asaad AM, Sabaratnam V, Ikram A, Angelo KM, Walker A, Mintz E.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 22;69(20):618-622.
        Ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (Typhi), the bacterium that causes typhoid fever, is a growing public health threat. Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Typhi is resistant to ceftriaxone and other antibiotics used for treatment, including ampicillin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (1). In March 2018, CDC began enhanced surveillance for ceftriaxone-resistant Typhi in response to an ongoing outbreak of XDR typhoid fever in Pakistan. CDC had previously reported the first five cases of XDR Typhi in the United States among patients who had spent time in Pakistan (2). These illnesses represented the first cases of ceftriaxone-resistant Typhi documented in the United States (3). This report provides an update on U.S. cases of XDR typhoid fever linked to Pakistan and describes a new, unrelated cluster of ceftriaxone-resistant Typhi infections linked to Iraq. Travelers to areas with endemic Typhi should receive typhoid vaccination before traveling and adhere to safe food and water precautions (4). Treatment of patients with typhoid fever should be guided by antimicrobial susceptibility testing whenever possible (5), and clinicians should consider travel history when selecting empiric therapy.

      10. Trends in state policy support for sexual minorities and HIV-related outcomes among men who have sex with men in the United States, 2008-2014external icon
        Hatzenbuehler ML, McKetta S, Goldberg N, Sheldon A, Friedman SR, Cooper HL, Beane S, Williams LD, Tempalski B, Smith JC, Ibragimov U, Mermin J, Stall R.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 May 7.
        BACKGROUND: To examine trends in state-level policy support for sexual minorities and HIV outcomes among MSM. METHODS: This longitudinal analysis linked state-level policy support for sexual minorities (N=94 Metropolitan Statistical Areas [MSAs] in 38 states) to 7 years of data (2008-2014) from CDC on HIV outcomes among MSM. Using latent growth mixture modeling, we combined 11 state-level policies (e.g., non-discrimination laws including sexual orientation as a protected class) from 1999-2014, deriving 3 latent groups: consistently low policy support; consistently high policy support; and increasing trajectory of policy support. Outcomes were HIV diagnoses per 10,000 MSM; late diagnoses (number of deaths within 12 months of HIV diagnosis and AIDS diagnoses within three months of HIV diagnosis) per 10,000 MSM; AIDS diagnoses per 10,000 MSM with HIV; and AIDS-related mortality per 10,000 MSM with AIDS. RESULTS: Compared to MSAs in states with low levels and increasing policy support for sexual minorities, MSAs in states with the highest level of policy support had lower risks of HIV diagnoses (Risk Difference [RD]=-37.9, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -54.7, -21.0), late diagnoses (RD=-12.5, 95% CI: -20.4, -4.7), and AIDS-related mortality (RD=-33.7, 95% CI: -61.2, -6.2), controlling for time and 7 MSA-level covariates. In low policy support states, 27% of HIV diagnoses, 21% of late diagnoses, and 10% of AIDS deaths among MSM were attributable to policy climate. CONCLUSION: State-level policy climate related to sexual minorities was associated with HIV health outcomes among MSM and could be a potential public health tool for HIV prevention and care.

      11. Notes from the field: Assessing the role of food handlers in hepatitis a virus transmission - multiple states, 2016-2019external icon
        Hofmeister MG, Foster MA, Montgomery MP, Gupta N.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 22;69(20):636-637.

      12. High COVID-19 attack rate among attendees at events at a church - Arkansas, March 2020external icon
        James A, Eagle L, Phillips C, Hedges DS, Bodenhamer C, Brown R, Wheeler JG, Kirking H.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 22;69(20):632-635.
        On March 16, 2020, the day that national social distancing guidelines were released (1), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) was notified of two cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from a rural county of approximately 25,000 persons; these cases were the first identified in this county. The two cases occurred in a husband and wife; the husband is the pastor at a local church (church A). The couple (the index cases) attended church-related events during March 6-8, and developed nonspecific respiratory symptoms and fever on March 10 (wife) and 11 (husband). Before his symptoms had developed, the husband attended a Bible study group on March 11. Including the index cases, 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases occurred among 92 (38%) persons who attended events held at church A during March 6-11; three patients died. The age-specific attack rates among persons aged </=18 years, 19-64 years, and >/=65 years were 6.3%, 59.4%, and 50.0%, respectively. During contact tracing, at least 26 additional persons with confirmed COVID-19 cases were identified among community members who reported contact with church A attendees and likely were infected by them; one of the additional persons was hospitalized and subsequently died. This outbreak highlights the potential for widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, both at group gatherings during church events and within the broader community. These findings underscore the opportunity for faith-based organizations to prevent COVID-19 by following local authorities' guidance and the U.S. Government's Guidelines: Opening Up America Again (2) regarding modification of activities to prevent virus transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      13. Update: Public health response to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak - United States, February 24, 2020external icon
        Jernigan DB, CDC COVID-19 Response Team.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Feb 28;69(8):216-219.
        An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States (1). As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China (1). There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. This report summarizes the aggressive measures (2,3) that CDC, state and local health departments, multiple other federal agencies, and other partners are implementing to slow and try to contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. These measures require the identification of cases and contacts of persons with COVID-19 in the United States and the recommended assessment, monitoring, and care of travelers arriving from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. Although these measures might not prevent widespread transmission of the virus in the United States, they are being implemented to 1) slow the spread of illness; 2) provide time to better prepare state and local health departments, health care systems, businesses, educational organizations, and the general public in the event that widespread transmission occurs; and 3) better characterize COVID-19 to guide public health recommendations and the development and deployment of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. U.S. public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, and CDC is coordinating efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners. Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action by CDC, state and local health departments, health care providers, and communities.

      14. Outbreak of norovirus illness among wildfire evacuation shelter populations - Butte and Glenn Counties, California, November 2018external icon
        Karmarkar E, Jain S, Higa J, Fontenot J, Bertolucci R, Huynh T, Hammer G, Brodkin A, Thao M, Brousseau B, Hopkins D, Kelly E, Sheffield M, Henley S, Whittaker H, Herrick RL, Pan CY, Chen A, Kim J, Schaumleffel L, Khwaja Z, Epson E, Chai SJ, Wadford D, Vugia D, Lewis L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 22;69(20):613-617.
        The Camp Fire, California's deadliest wildfire, began November 8, 2018, and was extinguished November 25 (1). Approximately 1,100 evacuees from the fire sought emergency shelter. On November 10, acute gastroenteritis (AGE) was reported in two evacuation shelters; norovirus illness was suspected, because it is commonly detected in shelter-associated AGE outbreaks. Norovirus is highly contagious and resistant to several disinfectants. Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD), assisted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), initiated active surveillance to identify cases, confirm the etiology, and assess shelter infection prevention and control (IPC) practices to guide recommendations. During November 8-30, a total of 292 patients with AGE were identified among nine evacuation shelters; norovirus was detected in 16 of 17 unique patient stool specimens. Shelter IPC assessments revealed gaps in illness surveillance, isolation practices, cleaning, disinfection, and handwashing. CDPH and BCPHD collaborated with partner agencies to implement AGE screening, institute isolation protocols and 24-hour cleaning services, and promote proper hand hygiene. During disasters with limited resources, damaged infrastructure, and involvement of multiple organizations, establishing shelter disease surveillance and IPC is difficult. However, prioritizing effective surveillance and IPC at shelter activation is necessary to prevent, identify, and contain outbreaks.

      15. How men who have sex with men experience HIV health services in Kampala, Ugandaexternal icon
        King R, Sebyala Z, Ogwal M, Aluzimbi G, Apondi R, Reynolds S, Sullivan P, Hladik W.
        BMJ Global Health. 2020 ;5(4).
        In sub-Saharan Africa, men who have sex with men (MSM) are socially, largely hidden and face disproportionate risk for HIV infection. Attention to HIV epidemics among MSM in Uganda and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa has been obscured by repressive governmental policies, criminalisation, stigma and the lack of basic epidemiological data describing these epidemics. In this paper, we aim to explore healthcare access, experiences with HIV prevention services and structural barriers to using healthcare services in order to inform the acceptability of a combination HIV prevention package of services for men who have sex with men in Uganda. We held focus group discussions (FGDs) with both MSM and healthcare providers in Kampala, Uganda, to explore access to services and to inform prevention and care. Participants were recruited through theoretical sampling with criteria based on ability to answer the research questions. Descriptive thematic coding was used to analyse the FGD data. We described MSM experiences, both negative and positive, as they engaged with health services. Our findings showed that socio-structural factors, mediated by psychological and relational factors impacted MSM engagement in care. The socio-structural factors such as stigma, homophobia and policy issues emerged strongly as did the mediating factors such as relations with specific health staff and a social support structure. A combination intervention addressing structural, social and psychological barriers could have an impact even in the precarious policy environment where this study was conducted.


      16. Surveillance to track progress toward polio eradication - worldwide, 2018-2019external icon
        Lickness JS, Gardner T, Diop OM, Chavan S, Jorba J, Ahmed J, Gumede N, Johnson T, Butt O, Asghar H, Saxentoff E, Grabovac V, Avagyan T, Joshi S, Rey-Benito G, Iber J, Henderson E, Wassilak SG, Anand A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 22;69(20):623-629.
        Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was launched in 1988, the number of polio cases worldwide has declined approximately 99.99%; only two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) have never interrupted wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission (1). The primary means of detecting poliovirus circulation is through surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) among children aged <15 years with testing of stool specimens for WPV and vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) (genetically reverted strains of the vaccine virus that regain neurovirulence) in World Health Organization (WHO)-accredited laboratories (2,3). In many locations, AFP surveillance is supplemented by environmental surveillance, the regular collection and testing of sewage to provide awareness of the extent and duration of poliovirus circulation (3). This report presents 2018-2019 poliovirus surveillance data, focusing on 40 priority countries* with WPV or VDPV outbreaks or at high risk for importation because of their proximity to a country with an outbreak. The number of priority countries rose from 31 in 2018 to 40 in 2019 because of a substantial increase in the number of VDPV outbreaks(dagger) (2,4). In areas with low poliovirus immunity, VDPVs can circulate in the community and cause outbreaks of paralysis; these are known as circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) (4). In 2019, only 25 (63%) of the 40 designated priority countries met AFP surveillance indicators nationally; subnational surveillance performance varied widely and indicated focal weaknesses. High quality, sensitive surveillance is important to ensure timely detection and response to cVDPV and WPV transmission.

      17. Measles and rubella IgG seroprevalence in persons 6 month-35 years of age, Mongolia, 2016external icon
        Nogareda F, Gunregjav N, Sarankhuu A, Munkhbat E, Ichinnorov E, Nymadawa P, Wannemuehler K, Mulders MN, Hagan J, Patel MK.
        Vaccine. 2020 May 4.
        BACKGROUND: In 2015-2016, Mongolia experienced an unexpected large measles outbreak affecting mostly young children and adults. After two nationwide vaccination campaigns, measles transmission declined. To determine if there were any remaining immunity gaps to measles or rubella in the population, a nationally representative serosurvey for measles and rubella antibodies was conducted after the outbreak was over. METHODS: A nationwide, cross-sectional, stratified, three-stage cluster serosurvey was conducted in November-December 2016. A priori, four regional strata (Ulaanbaatar, Western, Central, and Gobi-Eastern) and five age strata (6 months-23 months, 2-7 years, 8-17 years, 18-30 years, and 31-35 years) were created. Households were visited, members interviewed, and blood specimens were collected from age-appropriate members. Blood specimens were tested for measles immunoglobulin G (IgG) and rubella IgG (Enzygnost(R) Anti-measles Virus/IgG and Anti-rubella Virus/IgG, Siemens, Healthcare Diagnostics Products, GmbH Marburg, Germany). Factors associated with seropositivity were evaluated. RESULTS: Among 4598 persons aged 6 months to 35 years participating in the serosurvey, 94% were measles IgG positive and 95% were rubella IgG positive. Measles IgG seropositivity was associated with increasing age and higher education. Rubella IgG seropositivity was associated with increasing age, higher education, smaller household size, receipt of MMR in routine immunization, residence outside the Western Region, non-Muslim religious affiliation, and non-Kazakh ethnicity. Muslim Kazakhs living in Western Region had the lowest rubella seroprevalence of all survey participants. CONCLUSIONS: Nationally, high immunity to both measles and rubella has been achieved among persons 1-35 years of age, which should be sufficient to eliminate both measles and rubella if future birth cohorts have >/= 95% two dose vaccination coverage. Catch-up vaccination is needed to close immunity gaps found among some subpopulations, particularly Muslim Kazakhs living in Western Region.

      18. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants with congenital cytomegalovirus infection in Western Kenyaexternal icon
        Oneko M, Otieno NA, Dollard SC, Lanzieri TM.
        J Clin Virol. 2020 Apr 29;128:104367.

      19. Sexual-risk and STI-testing behaviors of a national sample of non-students, two-year, and four-year college studentsexternal icon
        Renfro KJ, Haderxhanaj L, Coor A, Eastman-Mueller H, Oswalt S, Kachur R, Habel MA, Becasen JS, Dittus PJ.
        J Am Coll Health. 2020 May 14:1-8.
        Objective: To determine whether sexual-risk and STI-testing behaviors differ by college student status.Participants: Sexually experienced 17- to 25-year-olds from a 2013 nationally representative panel survey that evaluated the "Get Yourself Tested" campaign. Non-students (n = 628), 2-yr (n = 319), and 4-yr college students (n = 587) were surveyed.Methods: Bivariate analyses and multiple logistic regression were used.Results: Students were less likely than non-students to have had an early sexual debut and to have not used condoms in their most recent relationship. 4-yr students were less likely than non-students to have had multiple sexual partners. 2-yr students were less likely than non-students to have not used contraception in their most recent relationship.Conclusions: 2-yr and 4-yr college students were less likely than non-students to engage in sexual-risk behaviors. Given potentially greater risk for STI acquisition among non-students, identification and implementation of strategies to increase sexual health education and services among this population is needed.

      20. Public health response to the initiation and spread of pandemic COVID-19 in the United States, February 24-April 21, 2020external icon
        Schuchat A, CDC COVID-19 Response Team.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 May 8;69(18):551-556.
        From January 21 through February 23, 2020, a total of 14 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were diagnosed in six U.S. states, including 12 cases in travelers arriving from China and two in household contacts of persons with confirmed infections. An additional 39 cases were identified in persons repatriated from affected areas outside the United States (1). Starting in late February, reports of cases with no recent travel to affected areas or links to known cases signaled the initiation of pandemic spread in the United States (2). By mid-March, transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had accelerated, with rapidly increasing case counts indicating established transmission in the United States. Ongoing traveler importation of SARS-CoV-2, attendance at professional and social events, introduction into facilities or settings prone to amplification, and challenges in virus detection all contributed to rapid acceleration of transmission during March. Public health responses included intensive efforts to detect cases and trace contacts, and implementation of multiple community mitigation strategies. Because most of the population remains susceptible to infection, recognition of factors associated with amplified spread during the early acceleration period will help inform future decisions as locations in the United States scale back some components of mitigation and strengthen systems to detect a potential transmission resurgence. U.S. circulation of SARS-CoV-2 continues, and sustained efforts will be needed to prevent future spread within the United States.

      21. Trends over time in HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs in 89 large US metropolitan statistical areas, 1992-2013external icon
        Williams LD, Ibragimov U, Tempalski B, Stall R, Satcher Johnson A, Wang G, Cooper HL, Friedman SR.
        Annals of Epidemiology. 2020 May;45:12-23.
        Purpose: After years of stable or declining HIV prevalence and declining incidence among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the United States, some rapidly emerging outbreaks have recently occurred in new areas (e.g., Scott County, Indiana). However, to our knowledge, trends over time in HIV prevalence among PWID in US metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across all major regions of the country have not been systematically estimated beyond 2002, and the extent to which HIV prevalence may be increasing in other areas is largely unknown. This article estimates HIV prevalence among PWID in 89 of the most populated US MSAs, both overall and by geographic region, using more recent surveillance and HIV testing data. Method(s): We computed MSA-specific annual estimates of HIV prevalence (both diagnosed and undiagnosed infections) among PWID for these 89 MSAs, for 1992-2013, using several data series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National HIV Surveillance System and National HIV Prevention Monitoring and Evaluation data; Holmberg's (1997) estimates of 1992 PWID population size and of HIV prevalence and incidence among PWID; and research estimates from published literature using 1992-2013 data. A mixed effects model, with time nested within MSAs, was used to regress the literature review estimates on all of the other data series. Multiple imputation was used to address missing data. Resulting estimates were validated using previous 1992-2002 estimates of HIV prevalence and data on antiretroviral (ARV) prescription volumes and examined for patterns based on geographic region, numbers of people tested for HIV, and baseline HIV prevalence. Result(s): Mean (across all MSAs) trends over time suggested decreases through 2002 (from approximately 11.4% in 1992 to 9.2% in 2002), followed by a period of stability, and steep increases after 2010 (to 10.6% in 2013). Validation analyses found a moderate positive correlation between our estimates and ARV prescription volumes (r = 0.45), and a very strong positive correlation (r = 0.94) between our estimates and previous estimates by Tempalski et al. (2009) for 1992-2002 (which used different methods). Analysis by region and baseline prevalence suggested that mean increases in later years were largely driven by MSAs in the Western United States and by MSAs in the Midwest that had low baseline prevalence. Our estimates suggest that prevalence decreased across all years in the Eastern United States. These trends were particularly clear when MSAs with very low numbers of people tested for HIV were removed from analyses to reduce unexplained variability in mean trajectories. Conclusion(s): Our estimates suggest a fairly large degree of variation in 1992-2013 trajectories of PWID HIV prevalence among 89 US MSAs, particularly by geographic region. They suggest that public health responses in many MSAs (particularly those with larger HIV prevalence among PWID in the early 1990s) were sufficient to decrease or maintain HIV prevalence over time. However, future research should investigate potential factors driving the estimated increase in prevalence after 2002 MSAs in the West and Midwest. These findings have potentially important implications for program and/or policy decisions, but estimates for MSAs with low HIV testing denominators should be interpreted with caution and verified locally before planning action.

    • Global Health
      1. BACKGROUND: Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan resettle in the United States annually. Despite the increase in SIV admissions to the US over recent years, little is known about the health conditions in SIV populations. We assessed the burden of select communicable and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in SIV adults to guide recommendations to clinicians in the US. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed overseas medical exam data in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN) for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the US from April 2009 through December 2017 in this cross-sectional analysis. We describe demographic characteristics, tuberculosis screening results, self-reported NCDs, and risk factors for NCDs (such as obesity and tobacco use). In our data set, most SIVH were male (Iraqi: 59.7%; Afghan: 54.7%) and aged 18-44 (Iraqi: 86.3%; Afghan: 95.6%). About 2.3% of Afghan SIVH and 1.1% of Iraqi SIVH had a tuberculosis condition. About 0.3% of all SIVH reported having chronic hepatitis. Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use. Iraqi SIVH were 3.7 times more likely to have obesity (95% CI: 3.4-4.0), 2.5 times more likely to report diabetes (95% CI: 1.7-3.5), and 2.5 times more likely to be current or former smokers (95% CI: 2.3-2.7) than Afghan SIVH. Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and the underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams. CONCLUSION: In this analysis, we found that 56.5% of all SIVH were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use. In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH. State public health agencies and clinicians doing domestic screening examinations of SIVH should consider screening for obesity-as per the CDC's Guidelines for the US Domestic Medical Examination for Newly Arriving Refugees-and smoking and, if appropriate, referral to weight management and smoking cessation services. US clinicians can consider screening for other NCDs at the domestic screening examination. Future studies can explore the health profile of SIV populations, including the prevalence of mental health conditions, after integration into the US.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Gastrointestinal microbiota disruption and risk of colonization with Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in intensive care unit patientsexternal icon
        Pettigrew MM, Gent JF, Kong Y, Halpin AL, Pineles L, Harris AD, Johnson JK.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Aug 1;69(4):604-613.
        BACKGROUND: Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) colonizes the gastrointestinal tract of intensive care unit (ICU) patients, and CRPA colonization puts patients at increased risk of CRPA infection. Prior studies have not examined relationships between the microbiota, medications, and CRPA colonization acquisition. METHODS: Data and perirectal swabs were obtained from a cohort of ICU patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Patients (N = 109) were classified into 3 groups by CRPA colonization-acquisition status and antimicrobial exposure. We conducted 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing of an ICU admission swab and >/=1 additional swab and evaluated associations between patient characteristics, medications, the gastrointestinal microbiota, and CRPA colonization acquisition. RESULTS: ICU patients had low levels of diversity and high relative abundances of pathobionts. Piperacillin-tazobactam was prescribed more frequently to patients with CRPA colonization acquisition than those without. Piperacillin-tazobactam was associated with low abundance of potentially protective taxa (eg, Lactobacillus and Clostridiales) and increased risk of Enterococcus domination (odds ratio [OR], 5.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.03-14.92). Opioids were associated with dysbiosis in patients who did not receive antibiotics; potentially protective Blautia and Lactobacillus were higher in patients who did not receive opioids. Several correlated taxa, identified at ICU admission, were associated with lower risk of CRPA colonization acquisition (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, .38-.87). CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics differed in their impact on the microbiota, with piperacillin-tazobactam being particularly damaging. Certain bacterial taxa (eg, Clostridiales) were negatively associated with CRPA colonization acquisition. These taxa may be markers of risk for CRPA colonization acquisition and/or serve a protective role.

      2. Mutations in TAC1B: A novel genetic determinant of clinical fluconazole resistance in Candida aurisexternal icon
        Rybak JM, Munoz JF, Barker KS, Parker JE, Esquivel BD, Berkow EL, Lockhart SR, Gade L, Palmer GE, White TC, Kelly SL, Cuomo CA, Rogers PD.
        mBio. 2020 May 12;11(3).
        Candida auris has emerged as a multidrug-resistant pathogen of great clinical concern. Approximately 90% of clinical C. auris isolates are resistant to fluconazole, the most commonly prescribed antifungal agent, and yet it remains unknown what mechanisms underpin this fluconazole resistance. To identify novel mechanisms contributing to fluconazole resistance in C. auris, fluconazole-susceptible C. auris clinical isolate AR0387 was passaged in media supplemented with fluconazole to generate derivative strains which had acquired increased fluconazole resistance in vitro Comparative analyses of comprehensive sterol profiles, [(3)H]fluconazole uptake, sequencing of C. auris genes homologous to genes known to contribute to fluconazole resistance in other species of Candida, and relative expression levels of C. auris ERG11, CDR1, and MDR1 were performed. All fluconazole-evolved derivative strains were found to have acquired mutations in the zinc-cluster transcription factor-encoding gene TAC1B and to show a corresponding increase in CDR1 expression relative to the parental clinical isolate, AR0387. Mutations in TAC1B were also identified in a set of 304 globally distributed C. auris clinical isolates representing each of the four major clades. Introduction of the most common mutation found among fluconazole-resistant clinical isolates of C. auris into fluconazole-susceptible isolate AR0387 was confirmed to increase fluconazole resistance by 8-fold, and the correction of the same mutation in a fluconazole-resistant isolate, AR0390, decreased fluconazole MIC by 16-fold. Taken together, these data demonstrate that C. auris can rapidly acquire resistance to fluconazole in vitro and that mutations in TAC1B significantly contribute to clinical fluconazole resistance.IMPORTANCE Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant pathogen of global concern, known to be responsible for outbreaks on six continents and to be commonly resistant to antifungals. While the vast majority of clinical C. auris isolates are highly resistant to fluconazole, an essential part of the available antifungal arsenal, very little is known about the mechanisms contributing to resistance. In this work, we show that mutations in the transcription factor TAC1B significantly contribute to clinical fluconazole resistance. These studies demonstrated that mutations in TAC1B can arise rapidly in vitro upon exposure to fluconazole and that a multitude of resistance-associated TAC1B mutations are present among the majority of fluconazole-resistant C. auris isolates from a global collection and appear specific to a subset of lineages or clades. Thus, identification of this novel genetic determinant of resistance significantly adds to the understanding of clinical antifungal resistance in C. auris.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Comparative reactogenicity of enhanced influenza vaccines in older adultsexternal icon
        Cowling BJ, Thompson MG, Ng TW, Fang VJ, Perera R, Leung NH, Chen Y, So HC, Ip DK, Iuliano AD.
        J Infect Dis. 2020 May 14.
        BACKGROUND: We analysed data from a randomized controlled trial on the reactogenicity of three enhanced influenza vaccines compared to standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine. METHODS: We enrolled community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong, and randomly allocated them to receive 2017/18 northern hemisphere formulations of: standard-dose vaccine (FluQuadri, Sanofi Pasteur); MF59-adjuvanted vaccine (FLUAD, Seqirus); high-dose vaccine (Fluzone High Dose, Sanofi Pasteur); or recombinant-hemagglutinin vaccine (Flublok, Sanofi Pasteur). Local and systemic reactions were evaluated at Days 1, 3, 7 and 14 after vaccination. RESULTS: Reported reactions were generally mild and short-lived. Systemic reactions occurred in similar proportions of participants by vaccine. Some local reactions were slightly more frequently reported among recipients of the MF59-adjuvanted vaccine and the high-dose vaccine compared to standard dose recipients. Participants reporting feverishness one day after vaccination had mean-fold-rises in post-vaccination hemagglutination inhibition titers that were 1.85-fold higher (95% CI: 1.01, 3.38) for A(H1N1) compared to those who did not report feverishness. CONCLUSIONS: Some acute local reactions were more frequent following vaccination with MF59-adjuvanted and high-dose influenza vaccines compared to standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine, while systemic symptoms occurred at similar frequencies in all groups. The association between feverishness and immunogenicity should be further investigated in a larger population.

      2. Effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccination in children in Senegal during a year of vaccine mismatch: A cluster-randomized trialexternal icon
        Diallo A, Diop OM, Diop D, Niang MN, Sugimoto JD, Ortiz JR, Faye EH, Diarra B, Goudiaby D, Lewis KD, Emery SL, Zangeneh SZ, Lafond KE, Sokhna C, Halloran ME, Widdowson MA, Neuzil KM, Victor JC.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Oct 30;69(10):1780-1788.
        BACKGROUND: The population effects of influenza vaccination in children have not been extensively studied, especially in tropical, developing countries. In rural Senegal, we assessed the total (primary objective) and indirect effectiveness of a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3). METHODS: In this double-blind, cluster-randomized trial, villages were randomly allocated (1:1) for the high-coverage vaccination of children aged 6 months through 10 years with either the 2008-09 northern hemisphere IIV3 or an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Vaccinees were monitored for serious adverse events. All village residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated, were monitored for signs and symptoms of influenza illness using weekly home visits and surveillance in designated clinics. The primary outcome was all laboratory-confirmed symptomatic influenza. RESULTS: Between 23 May and 11 July 2009, 20 villages were randomized, and 66.5% of age-eligible children were enrolled (3918 in IIV3 villages and 3848 in IPV villages). Follow-up continued until 28 May 2010. There were 4 unrelated serious adverse events identified. Among vaccinees, the total effectiveness against illness caused by the seasonal influenza virus (presumed to all be drifted A/H3N2, based on antigenic characterization data) circulating at high rates among children was 43.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 18.6-60.9%). The indirect effectiveness against seasonal A/H3N2 was 15.4% (95% CI -22.0 to 41.3%). The total effectiveness against illness caused by the pandemic influenza virus (A/H1N1pdm09) was -52.1% (95% CI -177.2 to 16.6%). CONCLUSIONS: IIV3 provided statistically significant, moderate protection to children in Senegal against circulating, pre-2010 seasonal influenza strains, but not against A/H1N1pdm09, which was not included in the vaccine. No indirect effects were measured. Further study in low-resource populations is warranted. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT00893906.

      3. INTRODUCTION: In 2006, zoster vaccine live was recommended for adults aged >/=60 years. In 2011, zoster vaccine live was approved for use but not recommended for adults aged 50-59 years. This study assessed zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged 50-59 years and >/=60 years. METHODS: Data from the 2013-2017 National Health Interview Surveys were analyzed in 2019 to estimate national zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged >/=50 years. State-specific zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged >/=50 years was assessed using 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. RESULTS: Among adults aged 50-59 years, zoster vaccine live coverage was 5.7% in 2017, ranging from 4% to 6% during 2013-2017 (test for trend, p>0.05). Zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged 50-59 years ranged from 5.8% in Pennsylvania to 14.7% in South Dakota. By 2017, zoster vaccine live was received by 34.9% of adults aged >/=60 years, a significant increase from 24.2% in 2013. Zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged >/=60 years in 2017 ranged from 26.0% in Mississippi to 51.8% in Vermont. In 2017, major characteristics significantly associated with increased likelihood of zoster vaccine live vaccination among adults aged 50-59 years and >/=60 years were older age, having 4 to 9 physician contacts in the past 12 months, and having a usual place for health care. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an assessment of zoster vaccine live coverage among adults aged >/=50 years before the newly recommended recombinant zoster vaccine came into widespread use. Providers should routinely assess adults' vaccination status and strongly recommend or offer needed vaccines to their patients.

      4. Influenza disease burden among potential target risk groups for immunization in South Africa, 2013-2015external icon
        Tempia S, Walaza S, Moyes J, McMorrow ML, Cohen AL, Edoka I, Fraser H, Treurnicht FK, Hellferscee O, Wolter N, von Gottberg A, McAnerney JM, Dawood H, Variava E, Cohen C.
        Vaccine. 2020 May 7.
        BACKGROUND: Data on influenza burden in risk groups for severe influenza are important to guide targeted influenza immunization, especially in resource limited settings. However, this information is limited overall and in particular in low- and middle-income countries. We sought to assess the mean annual national burden of medically and non-medically attended influenza-associated mild, severe-non-fatal and fatal illness among potential target groups for influenza immunization in South Africa during 2013-2015. METHODS: We used published mean national annual estimates of mild, severe-non-fatal, and fatal influenza-associated illness in South Africa during 2013-2015 and estimated the number of such illnesses occurring among the following risk groups: (i) children aged 6-59 months; (ii) individuals aged 5-64 years with HIV, and/or pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), and/or selected underlying medical conditions (UMC); (iii) pregnant women; and (iv) individuals aged >/=65 years. We also estimated the number of individuals among the same risk groups in the population. RESULTS: During 2013-2015, individuals in the selected risk groups accounted for 45.3% (24,569,328/54,086,144) of the population and 43.5% (4,614,763/10,598,138), 86.8% (111,245/128,173) and 94.5% (10,903/11,536) of the mean annual estimated number of influenza-associated mild, severe-non-fatal and fatal illness episodes, respectively. The rates of influenza-associated illness were highest in children aged 6-59 months (23,983 per 100,000 population) for mild illness, in pregnant women (930 per 100,000 population) for severe-non-fatal illness and in individuals aged >/=65 years (138 per 100,000 population) for fatal illness. CONCLUSION: Influenza immunization of the selected risk groups has the potential to prevent a substantial number of influenza-associated severe illness. Nonetheless, because of the high number of individuals at risk, South Africa, due to financial resources constrains, may need to further prioritize interventions among risk populations. Cost-burden and cost-effectiveness estimates may assist with further prioritization.

      5. Intent to obtain pediatric influenza vaccine among mothers in four middle income countriesexternal icon
        Wagner AL, Gordon A, Tallo VL, Simaku A, Porter RM, Edwards LJ, Duka E, Abu-Khader I, Gresh L, Sciuto C, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Bino S, Sanchez F, Kuan G, de Jesus JN, Simoes EA, Hunt DR, Arbaji AK, Thompson MG.
        Vaccine. 2020 May 6.
        BACKGROUND: Despite a large burden of influenza in middle income countries, pediatric vaccination coverage remains low. The aims of this study were to (1) describe mothers' knowledge and attitudes about influenza illnesses and vaccination, and (2) identify characteristics associated with mothers' intent to vaccinate their child. METHODS: From 2015 to 2017, infants 0-11 months old in Nicaragua, Philippines, Jordan, and Albania were enrolled from community settings and hospitals. Interviewers administered a questionnaire to their mothers. Mothers of infants aged 6-11 months rated their intention (small-to-moderate vs. large chance) to accept pediatric vaccination if it was offered at no-cost. The importance of knowledge, attitudes, and sociodemographic characteristics in predicting influenza vaccination intention was measured as the mean decrease in Gini index when that factor was excluded from 1000 decision trees in a random forest analysis. RESULTS: In total, 1,308 mothers were enrolled from the community setting and 3,286 from the hospital setting. Prevalence of at least some knowledge of influenza illness ranged from 34% in Philippines to 88% in Albania (in the community sample), and between 23% in Philippines to 88% in Jordan (in the hospital sample). In the community sample, most mothers in Albania (69%) and Philippines (58%) would accept the influenza vaccine, and these proportions were higher in the hospital sample for all countries except Albania (48%) (P < 0.0001). Perceived vaccine safety (mean decrease in Gini index = 61) and effectiveness (55), and perceived knowledge of influenza vaccine (45) were the most important predictors of influenza vaccination intention in models that also included country and community versus hospital sample. CONCLUSION: Intent to vaccinate infants aged 6-11 months in four middle income countries was tied primarily to knowledge of the vaccine and perceptions of vaccine safety and effectiveness. These findings were noted among mothers interviewed in the community and mothers of recently hospitalized infants.

    • Informatics
      1. Using Twitter to track unplanned school closures: Georgia public schools, 2015-17external icon
        Ahweyevu JO, Chukwudebe NP, Buchanan BM, Yin J, Adhikari BB, Zhou X, Tse ZT, Chowell G, Meltzer MI, Fung IC.
        Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 May 14:1-5.
        OBJECTIVES: To aid emergency response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers monitor unplanned school closures (USCs) by conducting online systematic searches (OSS) to identify relevant publicly available reports. We examined the added utility of analyzing Twitter data to improve USC monitoring. METHODS: Georgia public school data were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified school and district Twitter accounts with 1 or more tweets ever posted ("active"), and their USC-related tweets in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. CDC researchers provided OSS-identified USC reports. Descriptive statistics, univariate, and multivariable logistic regression were computed. RESULTS: A majority (1,864/2,299) of Georgia public schools had, or were in a district with, active Twitter accounts in 2017. Among these schools, 638 were identified with USCs in 2015-16 (Twitter only, 222; OSS only, 2015; both, 201) and 981 in 2016-17 (Twitter only, 178; OSS only, 107; both, 696). The marginal benefit of adding Twitter as a data source was an increase in the number of schools identified with USCs by 53% (222/416) in 2015-16 and 22% (178/803) in 2016-17. CONCLUSIONS: Policy-makers may wish to consider the potential value of incorporating Twitter into existing USC monitoring systems.

      2. Unplanned closure of public schools in Michigan, 2015-2016: Cross-sectional study on rurality and digital data harvestingexternal icon
        Jackson AM, Mullican LA, Tse ZT, Yin J, Zhou X, Kumar D, Fung IC.
        J Sch Health. 2020 May 7.
        BACKGROUND: For pandemic preparedness, researchers used online systematic searches to track unplanned school closures (USCs). We determine if Twitter provides complementary data. METHODS: Twitter handles of Michigan public schools and school districts were identified. All tweets associated with these handles were downloaded. USC-related tweets were identified using 5 keywords. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were performed in R. RESULTS: Among 3469 Michigan public schools, 2003 maintained their own active Twitter accounts or belonged to school districts with active Twitter accounts. Of these 2003 schools, in 2015-2016 school year, at least 1 USC announcement was identified for 349 schools via the current method only, 678 schools via Twitter only, and 562 schools via both methods. No USC announcements were identified for 414 schools. Rural schools were less likely than city schools to have active Twitter coverage (adjusted relative risk [adjRR] = 0.3956, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.3312-0.4671), and to announce USCs on Twitter (adjRR = 0.5692, 95% CI 0.4645-0.6823), but more likely to have USCs identified by the current method (adjRR = 1.4545, 95% CI 1.3545-1.5490). CONCLUSIONS: Each method identified USCs that were missed by the other. Our results suggested that identifying USCs on Twitter is complementary to the current method.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Advancing injury and violence prevention through data scienceexternal icon
        Ballesteros MF, Sumner SA, Law R, Wolkin A, Jones C.
        J Saf Res. 2020 .
        Introduction: The volume of new data that is created each year relevant to injury and violence prevention continues to grow. Furthermore, the variety and complexity of the types of useful data has also progressed beyond traditional, structured data. In order to more effectively advance injury research and prevention efforts, the adoption of data science tools, methods, and techniques, such as natural language processing and machine learning, by the field of injury and violence prevention is imperative. Method: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has conducted numerous data science pilot projects and recently developed a Data Science Strategy. This strategy includes goals on expanding the availability of more timely data systems, improving rapid identification of health threats and responses, increasing access to accurate health information and preventing misinformation, improving data linkages, expanding data visualization efforts, and increasing efficiency of analytic and scientific processes for injury and violence, among others. Results: To achieve these goals, CDC is expanding its data science capacity in the areas of internal workforce, partnerships, and information technology infrastructure. Practical Application: These efforts will expand the use of data science approaches to improve how CDC and the field address ongoing injury and violence priorities and challenges.

      2. Prevention of sexual violence among college students: Current challenges and future directionsexternal icon
        Bonar EE, DeGue S, Abbey A, Coker AL, Lindquist CH, McCauley HL, Miller E, Senn CY, Thompson MP, Ngo QM, Cunningham RM, Walton MA.
        J Am Coll Health. 2020 May 14:1-14.
        Objective: Preventing sexual violence among college students is a public health priority. This paper was catalyzed by a summit convened in 2018 to review the state of the science on campus sexual violence prevention. We summarize key risk and vulnerability factors and campus-based interventions, and provide directions for future research pertaining to campus sexual violence. Results and Conclusions: Although studies have identified risk factors for campus sexual violence, longitudinal research is needed to examine time-varying risk factors across social ecological levels (individual, relationship, campus context/broader community and culture) and data are particularly needed to identify protective factors. In terms of prevention, promising individual and relational level interventions exist, including active bystander, resistance, and gender transformative approaches; however, further evidence-based interventions are needed, particularly at the community-level, with attention to vulnerability factors and inclusion for marginalized students.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Complete genome sequences of three Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates from Thailand with multidrug resistance and multilocus sequence type 1903external icon
        Cherdtrakulkiat T, Wongsurawat T, Jenjaroenpun P, Sutheeworapong S, Leelawiwat W, Hickey AC, Dunne EF, Raengsakulrach B, Tribuddharat C.
        Microbiol Resour Announc. 2020 May 7;9(19).
        Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) sequence type 1903 (ST1903) is the most common ST of ceftriaxone-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae Here, we report three completed genome sequences of MLST ST1903 N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected from patients at Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, a university hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009 to 2011.

      2. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) produced from vehicle and equipment diesel exhaust (DE) is a common industrial inhalation hazard, particularly in underground mines. The sub-micron particles of DPM (&lt; 800 nm) are composed of a carbonaceous core operationally defined as elemental carbon (EC), which are irregularly arranged graphitic- like &quot;spherule&quot; structures, and a wide-variety of adsorbed, semivolatile organic carbon compounds (OC). In addition to associating chronic exposure to DPM with immunological, respiratory and cardiovascular health issues, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) categorizes this material as carcinogenic to humans, with workers regularly exposed to it demonstrating an elevated risk for lung cancer. Given the long-term health risks associated with repeated and prolonged exposure to DPM, efforts are being directed at reducing the exposure of miners and other workers who may encounter high levels of DPM over the course of a typical working day.

      3. Pharmacokinetic profiles of gabapentin after oral and subcutaneous administration in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)external icon
        Mills PO, Tansey CO, Genzer SC, Mauldin MR, Howard RA, Kling CA, Jackson FR, Matheny AM, Boothe DM, Lathrop GW, Powell N, Gallardo-Romero N.
        J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2020 May 1;59(3):305-309.
        In veterinary and human medicine, gabapentin (a chemical analog of gamma-aminobutyric acid) is commonly prescribed to treat postoperative and chronic neuropathic pain. This study explored the pharmacokinetics of oral and subcutaneous administration of gabapentin at high (80 mg/kg) and low (30 mg/kg) doses as a potential analgesic in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus; n = 24). The doses (30 and 80 mg/kg) and half maximal effective concentration (1.4 to 16.7 ng/mL) for this study were extrapolated from pharmacokinetic efficacy studies in rats, rabbits, and cats. Gabapentin in plasma was measured by using an immunoassay, and data were evaluated using noncompartmental analysis. The peak plasma concentrations (mean +/-1 SD) were 42.6 +/-14.8 and 115.5 +/-15.2 ng/mL, respectively, after 30 and 80 mg/kg SC and 14.5 +/-3.5 and 20.7 +/-6.1 ng/mL after the low and high oral dosages, respectively. All peak plasma concentrations of gabapentin occurred within 5 h of administration. Disappearance half-lives for the low and high oral doses were 7.4 +/- 6.0 h and 5.0 +/- 0.8 h, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate that oral administration of gabapentin at low (30 mg/kg) doses likely would achieve and maintain plasma concentrations at half maximum effective concentration for 12 h, making it a viable option for an every 12-h treatment.

      4. Endogenous hormones and anitretroviral exposure in plasma, cervicovaginal fluid, and upper-layer packed cells of Malawian women living with HIVexternal icon
        Nicol M, Cottrell M, Corbett A, Chinula L, Tegha G, Stanczyk F, Hurst S, Kourtis AP, Tang JH.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2020 May 10.
        BACKGROUND: Overlap in metabolism pathways of endogenous female sex hormones and antiretroviral drugs may lead to altered exposure to these compounds. METHODS: In a family planning clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, blood, blood cell, and cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) samples from seventy-three HIV positive Malawian women taken in follicular and luteal menstrual phases were assessed for estradiol and progesterone by chemiluminescent immunoassay, and for antiretroviral concentration by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. RESULTS: In both follicular and luteal phases, estradiol concentrations were lower in women receiving efavirenz compared to women on non-efavirenz regimens or no antiretroviral therapy (p<0.01). Serum estradiol was moderately and negatively correlated with efavirenz plasma (r=-0.36, p<0.001) and CVF (r=-0.50, p<0.001) concentrations. Serum estradiol was a significant predictor of efavirenz CVF concentrations even after adjusting for efavirenz plasma concentrations (p=0.02). In upper-layer packed cells (ULPC), tenofovir diphosphate (TFVdp) concentrations were similar between follicular and luteal phases and were not correlated with estradiol or progesterone concentrations. Tenofovir concentrations in CVF were not associated with menstrual cycle or serum hormone concentrations. CONCLUSION: In CVF and plasma, efavirenz concentrations were negatively correlated with serum estradiol concentrations, suggesting a modulatory effect of estradiol on efavirenz metabolism and/or transport processes, and/or an effect of efavirenz on the metabolism of estradiol. Differences in CVF persisted even after adjusting for plasma concentrations, suggesting a mechanism specific to the female genital compartment separate from absorption or hepatic metabolism. In contrast, TFVdp concentrations in ULPC were not influenced by endogenous estradiol or progesterone concentrations.

      5. Discovery of retro-1 analogs exhibiting enhanced anti-vaccinia virus activityexternal icon
        Priyamvada L, Alabi P, Leon A, Kumar A, Sambhara S, Olson VA, Sello JK, Satheshkumar PS.
        Front Microbiol. 2020 ;11:603.
        Orthopoxviruses (OPXVs) are an increasing threat to human health due to the growing population of OPXV-naive individuals after the discontinuation of routine smallpox vaccination. Antiviral drugs that are effective as postexposure treatments against variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox) or other OPXVs are critical in the event of an OPXV outbreak or exposure. The only US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug to treat smallpox, Tecovirimat (ST-246), exerts its antiviral effect by inhibiting extracellular virus (EV) formation, thereby preventing cell-cell and long-distance spread. We and others have previously demonstrated that host Golgi-associated retrograde proteins play an important role in monkeypox virus (MPXV) and vaccinia virus (VACV) EV formation. Inhibition of the retrograde pathway by small molecules such as Retro-2 has been shown to decrease VACV infection in vitro and to a lesser extent in vivo. To identify more potent inhibitors of the retrograde pathway, we screened a large panel of compounds containing a benzodiazepine scaffold like that of Retro-1, against VACV infection. We found that a subset of these compounds displayed better anti-VACV activity, causing a reduction in EV particle formation and viral spread compared to Retro-1. PA104 emerged as the most potent analog, inhibiting 90% viral spread at 1.3 muM with a high selectivity index. In addition, PA104 strongly inhibited two distinct ST-246-resistant viruses, demonstrating its potential benefit for use in combination therapy with ST-246. These data and further characterizations of the specific protein targets and in vivo efficacy of PA104 may have important implications for the design of effective antivirals against OPXV.

      6. Three years of shared service HIV nucleic acid testing for public health laboratories: Worthwhile for HIV-1 but not for HIV-2external icon
        Styer LM, Gaynor AM, Parker MM, Bennett SB, Wesolowski LG, Ethridge S, Chavez PR, Sullivan TJ, Fordan S, Wroblewski K.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2020 May;47(5S Suppl 1):S8-s12.
        BACKGROUND: In 2016, HIV-2 nucleic acid testing (NAT) was added to a shared service program that conducts HIV-1 NAT for public health laboratories performing the recommended algorithm for diagnosing HIV. Here, we evaluate the usefulness of HIV-2 NAT in this program as compared with HIV-1 NAT. METHODS: Specimens eligible for HIV-1 NAT were reactive on an HIV-1/2 antibody or antigen/antibody initial test and nonreactive or indeterminate on a supplemental antibody test or were reactive for HIV-1 antigen-only on an HIV-1/2 antigen/antibody initial test. Specimens eligible for HIV-2 NAT were reactive on an initial test, HIV-2 indeterminate or HIV indeterminate on a supplemental antibody test and had no detectable HIV-1 RNA or were reactive for HIV-2 antibody on an HIV-1/2 antigen/antibody test, and this reactivity was not confirmed with a supplemental antibody assay. All specimens were tested in a reference laboratory using APTIMA HIV-1 qualitative RNA and/or a validated qualitative HIV-2 RNA real-time PCR assay. RESULTS: During 2016 to 2019, HIV-1 RNA was detected in 234 (14%) of 1731 specimens tested. HIV-2 RNA was not detected in 52 specimens tested. Median time from specimen collection to reporting of HIV-1 and HIV-2 NAT results by year ranged from 9 to 10 days and from 22 to 27 days, respectively. Two specimens with HIV-2 indeterminate results on a supplemental antibody test had detectable HIV-1 RNA. CONCLUSIONS: A shared service model for HIV-1 NAT is both feasible and beneficial for public health laboratories. However, because no HIV-2 infections were detected, our data suggest that this program should reconsider the usefulness of HIV-2 NAT testing.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Effectiveness of clinical training on improving essential newborn care practices in Bossaso, Somalia: a pre and postintervention studyexternal icon
        Amsalu R, Morris CN, Hynes M, Had HJ, Seriki JA, Meehan K, Ayella S, Barasa SO, Couture A, Myers A, Gebru B.
        BMC Pediatr. 2020 May 13;20(1):215.
        BACKGROUND: Increasingly, neonatal mortality is concentrated in settings of conflict and political instability. To promote evidence-based practices, an interagency collaboration developed the Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings: Field Guide. The essential newborn care component of the Field Guide was operationalized with the use of an intervention package encompassing the training of health workers, newborn kit provisions and the installation of a newborn register. METHODS: We conducted a quasi-experimental prepost study to test the effectiveness of the intervention package on the composite outcome of essential newborn care from August 2016 to December 2018 in Bossaso, Somalia. Data from the observation of essential newborn care practices, evaluation of providers' knowledge and skills, postnatal interviews, and qualitative information were analyzed. Differences in two-proportion z-tests were used to estimate change in essential newborn care practices. A generalized estimating equation was applied to account for clustering of practice at the health facility level. RESULTS: Among the 690 pregnant women in labor who sought care at the health facilities, 89.9% (n = 620) were eligible for inclusion, 84.7% (n = 525) were enrolled, and newborn outcomes were ascertained in 79.8% (n = 419). Providers' knowledge improved from pre to posttraining, with a mean difference in score of + 11.9% (95% CI: 7.2, 16.6, p-value < 0.001) and from posttraining to 18-months after training with a mean difference of + 10.9% (95% CI: 4.7, 17.0, p-value < 0.001). The proportion of newborns who received two or more essential newborn care practices (skin-to-skin contact, early breastfeeding, and dry cord care) improved from 19.9% (95% CI: 4.9, 39.7) to 94.7% (95% CI: 87.7, 100.0). In the adjusted model that accounted for clustering at health facilities, the odds of receiving two or more essential newborn practices was 64.5 (95% CI: 15.8, 262.6, p-value < 0.001) postintervention compared to preintervention. Predischarge education offered to mothers on breastfeeding 16.5% (95% CI: 11.8, 21.1) vs 44.2% (95% CI: 38.2, 50.3) and newborn illness danger signs 9.1% (95% CI: 5.4, 12.7) vs 5.0% (95% CI: 2.4, 7.7) remained suboptimal. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention package was feasible and effective in improving essential newborn care. Knowledge and skills gained after training were mostly retained at the 18-month follow-up.

      2. National and state estimates of adults with autism spectrum disorderexternal icon
        Dietz PM, Rose CE, McArthur D, Maenner M.
        J Autism Dev Disord. 2020 May 10.
        U.S. national and state population-based estimates of adults living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nonexistent due to the lack of existing surveillance systems funded to address this need. Therefore, we estimated national and state prevalence of adults 18-84 years living with ASD using simulation in conjunction with Bayesian hierarchal models. In 2017, we estimated that approximately 2.21% (95% simulation interval (SI) 1.95%, 2.45%) or 5,437,988 U.S. adults aged 18 and older have ASD, with state prevalence ranging from 1.97% (95% SI 1.55%, 2.45%) in Louisiana to 2.42% (95% SI 1.93%, 2.99%) in Massachusetts. Prevalence and case estimates of adults living with ASD (diagnosed and undiagnosed) can help states estimate the need for diagnosing and providing services to those unidentified.

      3. Rates of hospitalization for urinary tract infections among Medicaid-insured individuals by spina bifida status, Tennessee 2005-2013external icon
        Gebretsadik T, Cooper WO, Ouyang L, Thibadeau J, Markus T, Cook J, Tesfaye S, Mitchel EF, Newsome K, Carroll KN.
        Disabil Health J. 2020 Apr 21:100920.
        BACKGROUND: Individuals with spina bifida are at increased risk for urinary tract infection (UTI), however there are few population-based investigations of the burden of UTI hospitalizations. OBJECTIVE: We assessed rates and risk factors for UTI hospitalization in individuals with and without spina bifida. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to estimate rates of UTI hospitalization by spina bifida status. We included individuals enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid who lived in one of the Emerging Infections Program's Active Bacterial Surveillance counties between 2005 and 2013. Spina bifida was primarily defined and UTI hospitalizations were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnoses. We also studied a subset without specific health conditions potentially associated with UTI. We used Poisson regression to calculate rate ratios (RR) of UTIs for individuals with versus without spina bifida, adjusting for race, sex and age group. RESULTS: Over the 9-years, 1,239,362 individuals were included and 2,493 met criteria for spina bifida. Individuals with spina bifida had over a four-fold increased rate of UTI hospitalization than those without spina bifida-in the overall study population and in the subset without specific, high-risk conditions (adjusted rate ratios: 4.41, 95% confidence intervals: 3.03, 6.43) and (4.87, 95% CI: 2.99, 7.92), respectively. We detected differences in rates of UTI hospitalization by race and sex in individuals without spina bifida that were not seen among individuals with spina bifida. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with spina bifida had increased rates of UTI hospitalizations, and associated demographic patterns differed from those without spina bifida.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Health risk behavior profile of construction workers, 32 states, 2013-2016external icon
        Boal WL, Li J, Dong XS, Sussell A.
        J Occup Environ Med. 2020 May 12.
        BACKGROUND: Research has suggested that several health risk behaviors were more prevalent among construction workers than among the general workforce. METHODS: The prevalences of six health risk behaviors among construction workers were compared to workers in other industries using data from 32 states in the 2013-2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). RESULTS: Smoking, smokeless tobacco use, binge drinking, no leisure-time physical activity, and not always using a seatbelt were significantly more prevalent (p<.001), and short sleep significantly less prevalent (p < .05), for all construction workers combined compared to workers in other industries. Prevalences varied substantially for all six health risk behaviors by construction occupation. CONCLUSIONS: Due to the high prevalence of some health risk behaviors, construction workers may benefit from interventions to reduce these behaviors, particularly since they are also potentially exposed to workplace hazards.

      2. OBJECTIVE: To update trends in prevalence of back and upper limb musculoskeletal symptoms and risk factors from the 2014 Quality of Work Life (QWL) Survey. METHODS: Quadrennial QWL Surveys, 2002-2014 (with N = 1455, 1537, 1019, and 1124 in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 surveys respectively) were analyzed for reports of back pain and pain in arms. RESULTS: In the fourth analysis of this survey, twelve-year trends continue to show a decline in back pain and pain in arms. Key physical (heavy lifting, hand movements, very hard physical effort) and psychosocial/work organizational factors (low supervisor support, work is always stressful, not enough time to get work done) remain associated with back and arm pain, with the physical risk factors showing the strongest associations. CONCLUSION: Physical exposure risk factors continue to be strongly associated with low back and arm pain and should be the focus of intervention strategies.

      3. Flame retardants, dioxins, and furans in air and on firefighters' protective ensembles during controlled residential firefightingexternal icon
        Fent KW, LaGuardia M, Luellen D, McCormick S, Mayer A, Chen IC, Kerber S, Smith D, Horn GP.
        Environ Int. 2020 May 7;140:105756.
        INTRODUCTION: Structure fires that involve modern furnishings may emit brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), as well as brominated and chlorinated dioxins and furans, into the environment. OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to quantify the airborne and personal protective equipment (PPE) contamination levels of these compounds during controlled residential fires in the U.S., and to evaluate gross-decontamination measures. METHODS: Bulk-sampling was done to confirm the presence of flame retardants (FRs) in the furnishings used in 12 controlled residential structure fires. Area air samples were collected during the fires and PPE wipe samples were collected from the firefighters' turnout jackets and gloves after firefighting. For each fire, half of the jackets were decontaminated and the other half were not. RESULTS: Of the BFRs and OPFRs measured in air during the fire period, decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP) were the most abundant, with medians of 15.6 and 408 microg/m(3), respectively, and were also detected during overhaul. These and several other BFRs and OPFRs were measured on PPE. Some gloves had contaminant levels exceeding 100 ng/cm(2) and were generally more contaminated than jackets. Air and surface levels of the brominated furans appeared to be higher than the chlorinated dioxins and furans. Routine gross decontamination appeared to reduce many of the BFR contaminants, but results for the OPFRs were mixed. CONCLUSIONS: Structure fires are likely to result in a variety of FRs, dioxins, and furans into the environment, leading to PPE contamination for those working on the fireground. Firefighters should wear self-contained breathing apparatus during all phases of the response and launder or decontaminate their PPE (including gloves) after fire events.

      4. Development of fireground exposure simulator (FES) prop for PPE testing and evaluationexternal icon
        Horn GP, Kerber S, Lattz J, Kesler RM, Smith DL, Mayer A, Fent KW.
        Fire Technology. 2020 .
        Research on the performance of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Fire Service is challenged by the ability to repeatedly and feasibly test new designs, interventions and wear trials in realistic conditions that appropriately simulate end use environments. To support firefighter PPE research and firefighter PPE acclimation/training, a multidisciplinary team has developed a low cost, easily replicable approach for simulating conditions commonly encountered by firefighters operating on the interior of a residential structure fire. The testing enclosure can be used with either stationary mannequins or firefighters conducting typical fireground activities, providing a method to study a wide range of PPE and physiological studies as well as training activities that may support developing new technologies and standardized testing opportunities. Environmental gas concentrations and firefighters’ local temperatures were measured during trials and compared to data collected from simulated fireground activities and fireground responses with good agreement.

      5. Education and training to build capacity in Total Worker Health(R): Proposed competencies for an emerging fieldexternal icon
        Newman LS, Scott JG, Childress A, Linnan L, Newhall WJ, McLellan DL, Campo S, Freewynn S, Hammer LB, Leff M, Macy G, Maples EH, Rogers B, Rohlman DS, Tenney L, Watkins C.
        J Occup Environ Med. 2020 May 12.
        OBJECTIVE: Establishment of core competencies for education and training of professionals entering the emerging field of Total Worker Health(R). METHODS: Compilation and distillation of information obtained over a five-year period from Total Worker Health symposia, workshops, and academic offerings, plus contributions from key stakeholders regarding education and training needs. RESULTS: A proposed set of Total Worker Health competencies aligns under six broad domains: Subject Matter Expertise; Advocacy and Engagement; Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation; Communications and Dissemination; Leadership and Management; and Partnership Building and Coordination. CONCLUSIONS: Proposed set of core competencies will help standardize education and training for professionals being trained in Total Worker Health. It serves as an invitation for further input from stakeholders in academia, business, labor, and government.

      6. High-sensitivity cassette for reducing limit of detection for diesel particulate matter samplingexternal icon
        Noll JD, Bugarski A, Vanderslice S, Hummer J.
        Environ Monit Assess. 2020 May 7;192(6):333.
        NIOSH researchers designed a high-sensitivity (HS) cassette to improve the limit of detection of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) method 5040 and the Airtec near real-time diesel particulate matter (DPM) monitor. This was achieved by reducing the size of the diesel particulate matter deposition spot from 8.0 cm(2) (NIOSH method 5040 mining samples) and 7.6 cm(2) (Airtec samples) to 0.5 cm(2). When compared with the standard cassette, the new high-sensitivity cassette improves the limit of detection of NIOSH method 5040 by approximately five times, and the differences between the elemental carbon results from the HS cassette and the standard three-piece cassette were within statistical error. The limit of detection for Airtec measurements improved by approximately 15 times, and the elemental carbon results with the HS cassette between the Airtec and NIOSH method 5040 were within statistical agreement. When used in the Airtec monitor, the high-sensitivity cassette showed promise for measuring short-duration spot checks of ambient concentrations but was limited when performing some long-term sampling due to the resultant loss of dynamic range. Only up to 7 mug of elemental carbon was collected onto the HS cassette before the increase in pump backpressure caused the flow fluctuations to exceed targeted values by unacceptable levels. The HS cassette shows promise for effective engineering evaluations of control technologies and strategies and near real-time diesel particulate matter measurements for a variety of occupations.

      7. Fatigue and short-term unplanned absences among police officersexternal icon
        Riedy S, Dawson D, Fekedulegn D, Andrew M, Vila B, Violanti JM.
        Policing. 2020 .
        Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess whether shift work, sleep loss and fatigue are related to short-term unplanned absences in policing. Design/methodology/approach: N = 367 police officers from the Buffalo Police Department were studied. Day-by-day work and sick leave data were obtained from the payroll. Absenteeism was defined as taking a single sick day on a regularly scheduled workday. Biomathematical models of fatigue (BMMF) predicted officers' sleep–wake behaviors and on-duty fatigue and sleepiness. Prior sleep, fatigue and sleepiness were tested as predictors of absenteeism during the next shift. Findings: A total of 513,666 shifts and 4,868 cases of absenteeism were studied. The odds of absenteeism increased as on-duty fatigue and sleepiness increased and prior sleep decreased. This was particularly evident for swing shift officers and night shift officers who were predicted by BMMF to obtain less sleep and have greater fatigue and sleepiness than day shift officers. The odds of absenteeism were higher for female officers than male officers; this finding was not due to a differential response to sleep loss, fatigue or sleepiness. Practical implications: Absenteeism may represent a self-management strategy for fatigue or compensatory behavior to reduced sleep opportunity. Long and irregular work hours that reduce sleep opportunity may be administratively controllable culprits of absenteeism. Originality/value: Police fatigue has consequences for police officers, departments and communities. BMMF provide a potential tool for predicting and mitigating police fatigue. BMMF were used to investigate the effects of sleep and fatigue on absenteeism.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Lessons learned in conducting mass drug administration for schistosomiasis control and measuring coverage in an operational research settingexternal icon
        Binder S, Campbell CH, Castleman JD, Kittur N, Kinung'hi S, Olsen A, Magnussen P, Karanja DM, Mwinzi PN, Montgomery SP, Secor WE, Phillips AE, Dhanani N, Gazzinelli-Guimaraes PH, Clements M, N'Goran EK, Meite A, Utzinger J, Hamidou AA, Garba A, Fleming FM, Whalen CC, King CH, Colley DG.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) was created to conduct research that could inform programmatic decision-making related to schistosomiasis. SCORE included several large cluster randomized field studies involving mass drug administration (MDA) with praziquantel. The largest of these were studies of gaining or sustaining control of schistosomiasis, which were conducted in five African countries. To enhance relevance for routine practice, the MDA in these studies was coordinated by or closely aligned with national neglected tropical disease control programs. The study protocol set minimum targets of at least 90% for coverage among children enrolled in schools and 75% for all school-age children. Over the 4 years of intervention, an estimated 3.5 million treatments were administered to study communities. By year 4, the median village coverage was at or above targets in all studies except that in Mozambique. However, there was often a wide variation behind these summary statistics, and all studies had several villages with very low or high coverage. In studies where coverage was estimated by comparing the number of people treated with the number eligible for treatment, denominator estimation was often problematic. The SCORE experiences in conducting these studies provide lessons for future efforts that attempt to implement strong research designs in real-world contexts. They also have potential applicability to country MDA campaigns against schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases, most of which are conducted with less logistical and financial support than was available for the SCORE study efforts.

      2. Evaluation, validation, and recognition of the point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen, urine-based assay for mapping Schistosoma mansoni infectionsexternal icon
        Colley DG, King CH, Kittur N, Ramzy RM, Secor WE, Fredericks-James M, Ortu G, Clements MN, Ruberanziza E, Umulisa I, Wittmann U, Campbell CH.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        Efforts to control Schistosoma mansoni infection depend on the ability of programs to effectively detect and quantify infection levels and adjust programmatic approaches based on these levels and program goals. One of the three major objectives of the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) has been to develop and/or evaluate tools that would assist Neglected Tropical Disease program managers in accomplishing this fundamental task. The advent of a widely available point-of-care (POC) assay to detect schistosome circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) in urine with a rapid diagnostic test (the POC-CCA) in 2008 led SCORE and others to conduct multiple evaluations of this assay, comparing it with the Kato-Katz (KK) stool microscopy assay-the standard used for more than 45 years. This article describes multiple SCORE-funded studies comparing the POC-CCA and KK assays, the pros and cons of these assays, the use of the POC-CCA assay for mapping of S. mansoni infections in areas across the spectrum of prevalence levels, and the validation and recognition that the POC-CCA, although not infallible, is a highly useful tool to detect low-intensity infections in low-to-moderate prevalence areas. Such an assay is critical, as control programs succeed in driving down prevalence and intensity and seek to either maintain control or move to elimination of transmission of S. mansoni.

      3. Circulating anodic antigen (CAA): A highly sensitive diagnostic biomarker to detect active Schistosoma infections-improvement and use during SCOREexternal icon
        Corstjens P, de Dood CJ, Knopp S, Clements MN, Ortu G, Umulisa I, Ruberanziza E, Wittmann U, Kariuki T, LoVerde P, Secor WE, Atkins L, Kinung'hi S, Binder S, Campbell CH, Colley DG, van Dam GJ.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) was funded in 2008 to conduct research that would support country schistosomiasis control programs. As schistosomiasis prevalence decreases in many places and elimination is increasingly within reach, a sensitive and specific test to detect infection with Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium has become a pressing need. After obtaining broad input, SCORE supported Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to modify the serum-based antigen assay for use with urine, simplify the assay, and improve its sensitivity. The urine assay eventually contributed to several of the larger SCORE studies. For example, in Zanzibar, we demonstrated that urine filtration, the standard parasite egg detection diagnostic test for S. haematobium, greatly underestimated prevalence in low-prevalence settings. In Burundi and Rwanda, the circulating anodic antigen (CAA) assay provided critical information about the limitations of the stool-based Kato-Katz parasite egg-detection assay for S. mansoni in low-prevalence settings. Other SCORE-supported CAA work demonstrated that frozen, banked urine specimens yielded similar results to fresh ones; pooling of specimens may be a useful, cost-effective approach for surveillance in some settings; and the assay can be performed in local laboratories equipped with adequate centrifuge capacity. These improvements in the assay continue to be of use to researchers around the world. However, additional work will be needed if widespread dissemination of the CAA assay is to occur, for example, by building capacity in places besides LUMC and commercialization of the assay. Here, we review the evolution of the CAA assay format during the SCORE period with emphasis on urine-based applications.

      4. SCORE studies on the impact of drug treatment on morbidity due to Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium infectionexternal icon
        King CH, Binder S, Shen Y, Whalen CC, Campbell CH, Wiegand RE, Olsen A, Secor WE, Montgomery SP, Musuva R, Mwinzi PN, Magnussen P, Kinung'hi S, Andrade GN, Ezeamama AE, Colley DG.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research (SCORE) was funded in 2008 to improve the evidence base for control and elimination of schistosomiasis-better understanding of the systemic morbidities experienced by children in schistosomiasis-endemic areas and the response of these morbidities to treatment, being essential for updating WHO guidelines for mass drug administration (MDA) in endemic areas. This article summarizes the SCORE studies that aimed to gauge the impact of MDA-based treatment on schistosomiasis-related morbidities. Morbidity cohort studies were embedded in the SCORE's larger field studies of gaining control of schistosomiasis in Kenya and Tanzania. Following MDA, cohort children had less undernutrition, less portal vein dilation, and increased quality of life in Year 5 compared with baseline. We also conducted a pilot study of the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC-2) in conjunction with the Kenya gaining control study, which demonstrated beneficial effects of treatment on classroom behavior. In addition, the SCORE's Rapid Answers Project performed systematic reviews of previously available data, providing two meta-analyses related to morbidity. The first documented children's infection-related deficits in school attendance and achievement and in formal tests of learning and memory. The second showed that greater reductions in egg output following drug treatment correlates significantly with reduced odds of most morbidities. Overall, these SCORE morbidity studies provided convincing evidence to support the use of MDA to improve the health of school-aged children in endemic areas. However, study findings also support the need to use enhanced metrics to fully assess and better control schistosomiasis-associated morbidity.

      5. Impact of different mass drug administration strategies for gaining and sustaining control of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium infection in Africaexternal icon
        King CH, Kittur N, Binder S, Campbell CH, N'Goran EK, Meite A, Utzinger J, Olsen A, Magnussen P, Kinung'hi S, Fenwick A, Phillips AE, Gazzinelli-Guimaraes PH, Dhanani N, Ferro J, Karanja DM, Mwinzi PN, Montgomery SP, Wiegand RE, Secor WE, Hamidou AA, Garba A, Colley DG.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        This report summarizes the design and outcomes of randomized controlled operational research trials performed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) from 2009 to 2019. Their goal was to define the effectiveness and test the limitations of current WHO-recommended schistosomiasis control protocols by performing large-scale pragmatic trials to compare the impact of different schedules and coverage regimens of praziquantel mass drug administration (MDA). Although there were limitations to study designs and performance, analysis of their primary outcomes confirmed that all tested regimens of praziquantel MDA significantly reduced local Schistosoma infection prevalence and intensity among school-age children. Secondary analysis suggested that outcomes in locations receiving four annual rounds of MDA were better than those in communities that had treatment holiday years, in which no praziquantel MDA was given. Statistical significance of differences was obscured by a wider-than-expected variation in community-level responses to MDA, defining a persistent hot spot obstacle to MDA success. No MDA schedule led to elimination of infection, even in those communities that started at low prevalence of infection, and it is likely that programs aiming for elimination of transmission will need to add supplemental interventions (e.g., snail control, improvement in water, sanitation and hygiene, and behavior change interventions) to achieve that next stage of control. Recommendations for future implementation research, including exploration of the value of earlier program impact assessment combined with intensification of intervention in hot spot locations, are discussed.

      6. Challenges in protocol development and interpretation of the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation Intervention Studiesexternal icon
        King CH, Kittur N, Wiegand RE, Shen Y, Ge Y, Whalen CC, Campbell CH, Hattendorf J, Binder S.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        In 2010, the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) began the design of randomized controlled trials to compare different strategies for praziquantel mass drug administration, whether for gaining or sustaining control of schistosomiasis or for approaching local elimination of Schistosoma transmission. The goal of this operational research was to expand the evidence base for policy-making for regional and national control of schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the 10-year period of its research programs, as SCORE operational research projects were implemented, their scope and scale posed important challenges in terms of research performance and the final interpretation of their results. The SCORE projects yielded valuable data on program-level effectiveness and strengths and weaknesses in performance, but in most of the trials, a greater-than-expected variation in community-level responses to assigned schedules of mass drug administration meant that identification of a dominant control strategy was not possible. This article critically reviews the impact of SCORE's cluster randomized study design on performance and interpretation of large-scale operational research such as ours.

      7. Discovering, defining, and summarizing persistent hotspots in SCORE studiesexternal icon
        Kittur N, Campbell CH, Binder S, Shen Y, Wiegand R, Mwanga JR, Kinung'hi SM, Musuva RM, Odiere MR, Matendechero SH, Knopp S, Colley DG.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 May 12.
        The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) conducted large field studies on schistosomiasis control and elimination in Africa. All of these studies, carried out in low-, moderate-, and high-prevalence areas, resulted in a reduction in prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma infection after repeated mass drug administration (MDA). However, in all studies, there were locations that experienced minimal or no decline or even increased in prevalence and/or intensity. These areas are termed persistent hotspots (PHS). In SCORE studies in medium- to high-prevalence areas, at least 30% of study villages were PHS. There was no consistent relationship between PHS and the type or frequency of intervention, adequacy of reported MDA coverage, and prevalence or intensity of infection at baseline. In a series of small studies, factors that differed between PHS and villages that responded to repeated MDA as expected included sources of water for personal use, sanitation, and hygiene. SCORE studies comparing PHS with villages that responded to MDA suggest the potential for PHS to be identified after a few years of MDA. However, additional studies in different social-ecological settings are needed to develop generalizable approaches that program managers can use to identify and address PHS. This is essential if goals for schistosomiasis control and elimination are to be achieved.

      8. Local emergence in Amazonia of Plasmodium falciparum k13 C580Y mutants associated with in vitro artemisinin resistanceexternal icon
        Mathieu LC, Cox H, Early AM, Mok S, Lazrek Y, Paquet JC, Ade MP, Lucchi NW, Grant Q, Udhayakumar V, Alexandre JS, Demar M, Ringwald P, Neafsey DE, Fidock DA, Musset L.
        Elife. 2020 May 12;9.
        Antimalarial drug resistance has historically arisen through convergent de novo mutations in Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in Southeast Asia and South America. For the past decade in Southeast Asia, artemisinins, the core component of first-line antimalarial therapies, have experienced delayed parasite clearance associated with several pfk13 mutations, primarily C580Y. We report that mutant pfk13 has emerged independently in Guyana, with genome analysis indicating an evolutionary origin distinct from Southeast Asia. Pfk13 C580Y parasites were observed in 1.6% (14/854) of samples collected in Guyana in 2016-2017. Introducing pfk13 C580Y or R539T mutations by gene editing into local parasites conferred high levels of in vitro artemisinin resistance. In vitro growth competition assays revealed a fitness cost associated with these pfk13 variants, potentially explaining why these resistance alleles have not increased in frequency more quickly in South America. These data place local malaria control efforts at risk in the Guiana Shield. All recommended treatments against malaria include a drug called artemisinin or some of its derivatives. However, there are concerns that Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes most cases of malaria, will eventually develop widespread resistance to the drug. A strain of P. falciparum partially resistant to artemisinin was seen in Cambodia in 2008, and it has since spread across Southeast Asia. The resistance appears to be frequently linked to a mutation known as pfk13 C580Y. Southeast Asia and Amazonia are considered to be hotspots for antimalarial drug resistance, and the pfk13 C580Y mutation was detected in the South American country of Guyana in 2010. To examine whether the mutation was still circulating in this part of the world, Mathieu et al. collected and analyzed 854 samples across Guyana between 2016 and 2017. Overall, 1.6% of the samples had the pfk13 C580Y mutation, but this number was as high as 8.8% in one region. Further analyses revealed that the mutation in Guyana had not spread from Southeast Asia, but that it had occurred in Amazonia independently. To better understand the impact of the pfk13 C580Y mutation, Mathieu et al. introduced this genetic change into non-resistant parasites from a country neighbouring Guyana. As expected, the mutation made P. falciparum highly resistant to artemisinin, but it also slowed the growth rate of the parasite. This disadvantage may explain why the mutation has not spread more rapidly through Guyana in recent years. Artemisinin and its derivatives are always associated with other antimalarial drugs to slow the development of resistance; there are concerns that reduced susceptibility to artemisinin leads to the parasites becoming resistant to the partner drugs. Further research is needed to evaluate how the pfk13 C580Y mutation affects the parasite's response to the typical combination of drugs that are given to patients.

      9. Sub-national stratification of malaria risk in mainland Tanzania: a simplified assembly of survey and routine dataexternal icon
        Thawer SG, Chacky F, Runge M, Reaves E, Mandike R, Lazaro S, Mkude S, Rumisha SF, Kumalija C, Lengeler C, Mohamed A, Pothin E, Snow RW, Molteni F.
        Malar J. 2020 May 8;19(1):177.
        BACKGROUND: Recent malaria control efforts in mainland Tanzania have led to progressive changes in the prevalence of malaria infection in children, from 18.1% (2008) to 7.3% (2017). As the landscape of malaria transmission changes, a sub-national stratification becomes crucial for optimized cost-effective implementation of interventions. This paper describes the processes, data and outputs of the approach used to produce a simplified, pragmatic malaria risk stratification of 184 councils in mainland Tanzania. METHODS: Assemblies of annual parasite incidence and fever test positivity rate for the period 2016-2017 as well as confirmed malaria incidence and malaria positivity in pregnant women for the period 2015-2017 were obtained from routine district health information software. In addition, parasite prevalence in school children (PfPR5to16) were obtained from the two latest biennial council representative school malaria parasitaemia surveys, 2014-2015 and 2017. The PfPR5to16 served as a guide to set appropriate cut-offs for the other indicators. For each indicator, the maximum value from the past 3 years was used to allocate councils to one of four risk groups: very low (< 1%PfPR5to16), low (1- < 5%PfPR5to16), moderate (5- < 30%PfPR5to16) and high (>/= 30%PfPR5to16). Scores were assigned to each risk group per indicator per council and the total score was used to determine the overall risk strata of all councils. RESULTS: Out of 184 councils, 28 were in the very low stratum (12% of the population), 34 in the low stratum (28% of population), 49 in the moderate stratum (23% of population) and 73 in the high stratum (37% of population). Geographically, most of the councils in the low and very low strata were situated in the central corridor running from the north-east to south-west parts of the country, whilst the areas in the moderate to high strata were situated in the north-west and south-east regions. CONCLUSION: A stratification approach based on multiple routine and survey malaria information was developed. This pragmatic approach can be rapidly reproduced without the use of sophisticated statistical methods, hence, lies within the scope of national malaria programmes across Africa.

    • Physical Activity
      1. Associations between the National Walkability Index and walking among US Adults - National Health Interview Survey, 2015external icon
        Watson KB, Whitfield GP, Thomas JV, Berrigan D, Fulton JE, Carlson SA.
        Prev Med. 2020 May 7:106122.
        The Environmental Protection Agency created the National Walkability Index (Index) to compare and analyze walkability among US communities. Index elements include design, distance to transit, and diversity of land uses. Associations between the Index and walking behavior have not been examined. This study describes associations between the Index and transportation and leisure walking among US adults. Past week self-reported participation in transportation and leisure walking among adults (n=33,672) was obtained from the 2015 Cancer Control Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and analysis completed in 2019. Index scores were linked to NHIS data based on the respondent's residence and classified into least, below average, above average, and most walkable communities. Associations between Index categories and walking were examined with regression models. Overall, the Index was associated with a higher likelihood of walking, especially for transportation. Transportation walking was more common in areas with higher walkability (21.6%-51.6%, least to most walkable). Leisure walking was also more common with greater walkability (48.4%-56.5%, least to most walkable). Transportation and leisure walking by Index categories in urban areas were similar to the overall population; however, it was not associated with walking in rural areas. US adults living in more walkable areas report more transportation and leisure walking, especially among urban areas. Consistent with elements in the Index, associations were stronger for transportation than leisure walking. Findings support the use of the Walkability Index by researchers, professionals, and other relevant stakeholders as a viable indicator of walkability.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Understanding primary care providers' perceptions and practices in implementing confidential adolescent sexual and reproductive health servicesexternal icon
        Sieving RE, Mehus C, Catallozzi M, Grilo S, Steiner RJ, Brar P, Gewirtz O'Brien JR, Gorzkowski J, Kaseeska K, Kelly ED, Klein JD, McRee AL, Randazzo L, Santelli J.
        J Adolesc Health. 2020 May 7.
        PURPOSE: Substantial gaps exist between professional guidelines and practice around confidential adolescent services, including private time between health-care providers and adolescents. Efforts to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) require an understanding of barriers and facilitators to care from the perspectives of primary care providers working with adolescents and their parents. METHODS: We conducted structured qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of pediatricians, family physicians, and nurse practitioners (n = 25) from urban and rural Minnesota communities with higher and lower rates of adolescent pregnancy. Provider interviews included confidentiality beliefs and practices; SRHS screening and counseling; and referral practices. RESULTS: The analysis identified two key themes: (1) individual and structural factors were related to variations in SRH screening and counseling and (2) a wide range of factors influenced provider decision-making in initiating private time. A nuanced set of factors informed SRHS provided, including provider comfort with specific topics; provider engagement and relationship with parents; use of adolescent screening tools; practices, policies, and resources within the clinic setting; and community norms including openness with communication about sex and religious considerations regarding adolescent sexuality. Factors that shaped providers' decisions in initiating private time included adolescent age, developmental stage, health behaviors and other characteristics; observed adolescent-parent interactions; parent support for private time; reason for clinic visit; laws and professional guidelines; and cultural considerations. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest opportunities for interventions related to provider and clinic staff training, routine communication with adolescents and their parents, and clinic policies and protocols that can improve the quality of adolescent SRHS.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Fatal methanol poisoning caused by drinking adulterated locally distilled alcohol: Wakiso District, Uganda, June 2017external icon
        Doreen B, Eyu P, Okethwangu D, Biribawa C, Kizito S, Nakanwagi M, Nguna J, Nkonwa IH, Opio DN, Aceng FL, Alitubeera PH, Kadobera D, Kwesiga B, Bulage L, Ario AR, Zhu BP.
        J Environ Public Health. 2020 ;2020:5816162.
        Background: Methanol, an industrial solvent, can cause illness and death if ingested. In June 2017, the Uganda Ministry of Health was notified of a cluster of deaths which occurred after drinking alcohol. We investigated to determine the cause of outbreak, identify risk factors, and recommend evidence-based control measures. Methods: We defined a probable case as acute loss of eyesight and >/=1 of the following symptoms: profuse sweating, vomiting, dizziness, or loss of consciousness in a resident of either Nabweru or Nangabo Subcounty from 1 to 30 June 2017. In a case-control study, we compared exposures of case-patients and controls selected among asymptomatic neighbors who drank alcohol and matched by age and sex. We collected alcohol samples from implicated bars and wholesaler X for testing. Results: We identified 15 cases; 12 (80%) died. Among case-patients, 12 (80%) were men; the median age was 43 (range: 23-66) years. Thirteen (87%) of 15 case-patients and 15 (25%) of 60 controls last drank a locally distilled alcohol at one of the three bars supplied by wholesaler X (ORM-H = 15; 95% CI: 2.3-106). We found that alcohol sellers sometimes added methanol to drinking alcohol to increase their profit margin. Among the 10 alcohol samples from wholesaler X, the mean methanol content (1200 mg/L, range: 77-2711 mg/L) was 24 times higher than the safe level. Conclusion: This outbreak was caused by drinking a locally distilled alcohol adulterated with methanol from wholesaler X. We recommended enforcing existing laws governing alcohol manufacture and sale. We recommended timely intravenous administration of ethanol to methanol poisoning victims.

      2. Indication-specific opioid prescribing for US patients with Medicaid or private insurance, 2017external icon
        Mikosz CA, Zhang K, Haegerich T, Xu L, Losby JL, Greenspan A, Baldwin G, Dowell D.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2020 May 1;3(5):e204514.
        Importance: Although opioids can be effective medications in certain situations, they are associated with harms, including opioid use disorder and overdose. Studies have revealed unexplained prescribing variation and prescribing mismatched with patient-reported pain for many indications. Objective: To summarize opioid prescribing frequency, dosages, and durations, stratified across numerous painful medical indications. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 2017 US administrative claims data among outpatient clinical settings, including postsurgical discharge. Participants had any of 41 different indications associated with nonsurgical acute or chronic pain or postsurgical pain or pain associated with sickle cell disease or active cancer and were enrolled in either private insurance (including Medicare Advantage) in the OptumLabs Data Warehouse data set (n = 18016259) or Medicaid in the IBM MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid Database (n = 11453392). OptumLabs data were analyzed from October 2018 to March 2019; MarketScan data were analyzed from January to April 2019. Exposures: Nonsurgical acute or chronic pain or postsurgical pain; pain related to sickle cell disease or active cancer. Main Outcomes and Measures: Indication-specific opioid prescribing rates; days' supply per prescription; daily opioid dosage in morphine milligram equivalents; and for chronic pain indications, the number of opioid prescriptions. Results: During the study period, of 18016259 eligible patients with private insurance, the mean (95% CI) age was 42.7 (42.7-42.7) years, and 50.3% were female; of 11453392 eligible Medicaid enrollees, the mean (95% CI) age was 20.4 (20.4-20.4) years, and 56.1% were female. A pain-related indication under study occurred in at least 1 visit among 6380694 patients with private insurance (35.4%) and 3169831 Medicaid enrollees (27.7%); 2270596 (35.6% of 6380694) privately insured patients and 1126508 (35.5% of 3169831) Medicaid enrollees had 1 or more opioid prescriptions. Nonsurgical acute pain opioid prescribing rates were lowest for acute migraines (privately insured, 4.6% of visits; Medicaid, 6.6%) and highest for rib fractures (privately insured, 44.8% of visits; Medicaid, 56.3%), with variable days' supply but similar daily dosage across most indications. Opioid prescribing for a given chronic pain indication varied depending on a patient's opioid use history. Days' supply for postoperative prescriptions was longest for combined spinal decompression and fusion (privately insured, 9.5 days [95% CI, 9.4-9.7 days]) or spinal fusion (Medicaid, 9.1 days [95% CI, 8.9-9.2 days]) and was shortest for vaginal delivery (privately insured, 4.1 days [95% CI, 4.1-4.1 days] vs Medicaid, 4.2 days [95% CI, 4.2-4.2 days]). Conclusions and Relevance: Indication-specific opioid prescribing rates were not always aligned with existing guidelines. Potential inconsistencies between prescribing practice and clinical recommendations, such as for acute and chronic back pain, highlight opportunities to enhance pain management and patient safety.

      3. Secondhand marijuana exposure in a convenience sample of young children in New York Cityexternal icon
        Sangmo L, Braune T, Liu B, Wang L, Zhang L, Sosnoff CS, Blount BC, Wilson KM.
        Pediatr Res. 2020 May 13.
        BACKGROUND: Biomarkers of exposure to marijuana smoke can be detected in the urine of children with exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke, but the prevalence is unclear. METHODS: We studied children between the ages of 0 to 3 years who were coming in for well-child visits or hospitalized on the inpatient general pediatric unit between 2017 and 2018 at Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai. Parents completed an anonymous survey, and urine samples were analyzed for cotinine and 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (COOH-THC), a metabolite of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. RESULTS: Fifty-three children had urine samples available for analysis. COOH-THC was detectable in 20.8% of the samples analyzed and urinary cotinine was detectable in 90.2%. High levels of tobacco exposure (defined as cotinine >/=2.0 ng/ml) were significantly associated with COOH-THC detection (p < 0.01). We found that 34.8% of children who lived in attached housing where smoking was allowed within the property had detectable COOH-THC compared to 13.0% of children who lived in housing where smoking was not allowed at all. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the growing evidence that children are being exposed to marijuana smoke, even in places where recreational marijuana use is illegal. It is critical that more research be done on the impact of marijuana smoke exposure on children's health and development. IMPACT: We found that 20.8% of the 53 children recruited from Mount Sinai Hospital had detectable marijuana metabolites in their urine.Children with household tobacco smoke exposure and children who lived in attached housing where smoking was allowed on the premises were more likely to have detectable marijuana smoke metabolites.This study adds to the growing evidence that children are being exposed to marijuana smoke, even in places where marijuana remains illegal by state law. As states consider marijuana legalization, it is critical that the potential adverse health effects from marijuana exposure in children be taken into account.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Twenty years of Nipah virus research: Where do we go from here?external icon
        Gurley ES, Spiropoulou CF, de Wit E.
        J Infect Dis. 2020 May 11;221(Supplement_4):S359-s362.

      2. A framework to monitor changes in transmission and epidemiology of emerging pathogens: Lessons from Nipah virusexternal icon
        Nikolay B, Salje H, Khan A, Sazzad HM, Satter SM, Rahman M, Doan S, Knust B, Flora MS, Luby SP, Cauchemez S, Gurley ES.
        J Infect Dis. 2020 May 11;221(Supplement_4):S363-s369.
        It is of uttermost importance that the global health community develops the surveillance capability to effectively monitor emerging zoonotic pathogens that constitute a major and evolving threat for human health. In this study, we propose a comprehensive framework to measure changes in (1) spillover risk, (2) interhuman transmission, and (3) morbidity/mortality associated with infections based on 6 epidemiological key indicators derived from routine surveillance. We demonstrate the indicators' value for the retrospective or real-time assessment of changes in transmission and epidemiological characteristics using data collected through a long-standing, systematic, hospital-based surveillance system for Nipah virus in Bangladesh. We show that although interhuman transmission and morbidity/mortality indicators were stable, the number and geographic extent of spillovers varied significantly over time. This combination of systematic surveillance and active tracking of transmission and epidemiological indicators should be applied to other high-risk emerging pathogens to prevent public health emergencies.


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