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Current Issue

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 17, May 11, 2021

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.

  1. Top Articles of the Week
    Selected weekly by a senior CDC scientist from the standard sections listed below.
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      • Incidence of and Trends in the Leading Cancers With Elevated Incidence Among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations, 2012-2016external icon
        Melkonian SC, Weir HK, Jim MA, Preikschat B, Haverkamp D, White MC.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 6;190(4):528-538.
        Cancer incidence varies among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations, as well as between AI/AN and White populations. This study examined trends for cancers with elevated incidence among AI/AN compared with non-Hispanic White populations and estimated potentially avoidable incident cases among AI/AN populations. Incident cases diagnosed during 2012-2016 were identified from population-based cancer registries and linked with the Indian Health Service patient registration databases to improve racial classification of AI/AN populations. Age-adjusted rates (per 100,000) and trends were calculated for cancers with elevated incidence among AI/AN compared with non-Hispanic White populations (rate ratio of >1.0) according to region. Trends were estimated using joinpoint regression analyses. Expected cancers were estimated by applying age-specific cancer incidence rates among non-Hispanic White populations to population estimates for AI/AN populations. Excess cancer cases among AI/AN populations were defined as observed minus expected cases. Liver, stomach, kidney, lung, colorectal, and female breast cancers had higher incidence rates among AI/AN populations across most regions. Between 2012 and 2016, nearly 5,200 excess cancers were diagnosed among AI/AN populations, with the largest number of excess cancers (1,925) occurring in the Southern Plains region. Culturally informed efforts could reduce cancer disparities associated with these and other cancers among AI/AN populations.

      • History of vigorous leisure-time physical activity and early onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), data from the national ALS registry: 2010-2018external icon
        Raymond J, Mehta P, Larson T, Factor-Litvak P, Davis B, Horton K.
        Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2021 Apr 24:1-10.
        Background: Previous research has suggested that vigorous physical activity (VPA) during adolescence and early adulthood is associated with ALS. The National ALS Registry (Registry) collects physical activity data from persons with ALS. Objective: To examine the association between vigorous VPA and early onset ALS, defined as a diagnosis before age 60, among patients enrolled in the Registry. VPA was defined as engaging in dynamic exercise for at least 10 minutes in a session that caused heavy sweating or large increases in breathing or heart rate. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 5463 ALS patients with VPA history and 956 ALS patients who never engaged in VPA. Patient characteristics were collected via online surveys in the following areas: demographic, lifetime VPA history, and initial onset of symptoms. General linear modeling was used to estimate mean age of diagnosis and to compute 95% confidence intervals. Results: Patients who reported engaging in VPA at least moderately (three times a week) during early adulthood were more likely to have an ALS diagnosis earlier compared to patients who did not (p < 0.0001). After controlling for year of birth, statistically significant associations between those reporting VPA at age 15-24 and 25-34 and diagnosis of ALS earlier (p = 0.0009, p = 0.0144 respectively). Conclusion: Patients with ALS who had a history of VPA before age 35, were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ALS before age 60 compared to patients with ALS who never engaged vigorously. More research is needed in the relationship between VPA and early onset ALS.

    • Communicable Diseases
    • Environmental Health
      • CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Tracking Program) receives administrative data annually from 25-30 states to track potential environmental exposures and to make data available for public access. In 2019, the CDC Tracking Program conducted a cross-sectional survey among principal investigators or program managers of the 26 funded programs to improve access to timely, accurate, and local data. All 26 funding recipients reported having access to hospital inpatient data, and most states (69.2%) regularly update data user agreements to receive the data. Among the respondents, 15 receive record-level data with protected health information (PHI) and seven receive record-level data without PHI. Regarding geospatial resolution, approximately 50.0% of recipients have access to the street address or census tract information, 34.6% have access to ZIP code, and 11.5% have other sub-county geographies (e.g., town). Only three states receive administrative data for their residents from all border states. The survey results will help the Tracking Program to identify knowledge gaps and perceived barriers to the use and accessibility of administrative data for the CDC Tracking Program. The information collected will inform the development of resources that can provide solutions for more efficient and timely data exchange.

    • Food Safety
      • The aim of the article was to discuss food safety procedures, staff training and certification, monitoring, and EHS-Net findings that helped strengthen food safety policies and practices. Recently, EHS-Net embarked on a new 5-year cooperative agreement (2020-2025) with many of the same partners that contributed to past successful work. The study looks forward to addressing new food safety challenges together, with the goal of improving retail food safety practices and policies and restaurant food safety, as well as reducing foodborne illness and outbreaks. A primary focus going forward will be on preventing ill workers and norovirus outbreaks.

    • Genetics and Genomics
    • Health Disparities
    • Injury and Violence
      • Interactive media such as video games and virtual reality (VR) provide users with lived experiences that may be dangerous or even impossible in daily life. By providing interactive experiences in highly authentic, detail-rich contexts, these technologies have demonstrated measurable success in impacting how people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. At the same time, violent interactive media content has been historically connected with a range of antisocial effects in both popular press and academic research. Extant literature has established a small-but-statistically significant effect of interactive media violence on aggressive thoughts and behaviors, which could serve as a risk factor for interpersonal violence. However, left unexplored is the seemingly paradoxical claim that under some conditions, interactive media experiences might protect against interpersonal violence. Drawing on advances in media theory and research and the evolution of interactive media content and production practices, the current manuscript suggests ways in which interactive media violence may be leveraged to lower the likelihood of real-world violence experiences. For example, research on both violent and non-violent games has found that players can (a) express guilt after committing violent acts, (b) report reflective and introspective emotional reactions during gameplay, and (c) debate the morality of their actions with others. Regarding VR, studies have demonstrated that (a) witnessing physical violence in immersive spaces led participants to take the perspective of victims and better understand their emotional state and (b) controlled exposure to traumatic or violent events can be used for treatment. Broadly, studies into video games and VR demonstrate that the impact of actions in virtual worlds transfer into the physical worlds to influence (later) attitudes and behaviors. Thus, how these experiences may be potentially harnessed for social change is a compelling and open consideration, as are side-effects of such interventions on vulnerable groups. The current manuscript summarizes emerging research perspectives (as well as their limitations) to offer insight into the potential for interactive media violence to protect against real-world violence victimization and perpetration.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      • Activated CD4+ T cells and CD14hiCD16+ monocytes correlate with antibody response following influenza virus infection in humansexternal icon
        Wong SS, Oshansky CM, Guo XZ, Ralston J, Wood T, Reynolds GE, Seeds R, Jelley L, Waite B, Jeevan T, Zanin M, Widdowson MA, Huang QS, Thomas PG, Webby RJ, Turner N, Baker M, Grant C, McArthur C, Roberts S, Trenholmes A, Wong C, Taylor S, Thompson M, Gross D, Duque J, Haven K, Aley D, Muponisi P, Chand B, Chen Y, Plewes L, Sawtell F, Lawrence S, Cogcoy R, Smith J, Gravidez F, Ma M, Chamberlin S, Davey K, Knowles T, McLeish JA, Todd A, Bocacao J, Gunn W, Kawakami P, Walker S, Madge R, Moore N, Rahnama F, Qiao H, Tse F, Zibaei M, Korrapadu T, Optland L, Dela Cruz C, The S.
        Cell Reports Medicine. 2021 ;2(4).
        The failure to mount an antibody response following viral infection or seroconversion failure is a largely underappreciated and poorly understood phenomenon. Here, we identified immunologic markers associated with robust antibody responses after influenza virus infection in two independent human cohorts, SHIVERS and FLU09, based in Auckland, New Zealand and Memphis, Tennessee, USA, respectively. In the SHIVERS cohort, seroconversion significantly associates with (1) hospitalization, (2) greater numbers of proliferating, activated CD4+ T cells, but not CD8+ T cells, in the periphery during the acute phase of illness, and (3) fewer inflammatory monocytes (CD14hiCD16+) by convalescence. In the FLU09 cohort, fewer CD14hiCD16+ monocytes during early illness in the nasal mucosa were also associated with the generation of influenza-specific mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG antibodies. Our study demonstrates that seroconversion failure after infection is a definable immunological phenomenon, associated with quantifiable cellular markers that can be used to improve diagnostics, vaccine efficacy, and epidemiologic efforts.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      • Explaining Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths, 2011-2017external icon
        Parks SE, Erck Lambert AB, Hauck FR, Cottengim CR, Faulkner M, Shapiro-Mendoza CK.
        Pediatrics. 2021 May;147(5).
        BACKGROUND: Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) represents a broad group of explained and unexplained infant deaths (<1 year old). Explaining why SUID occurs is critical to understanding etiology and prevention. Death certificate data cannot differentiate explained from unexplained SUID cases nor describe the surrounding circumstances. We report SUID rates by explained and unexplained categories and describe demographics and history of recent injury or illness using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention SUID Case Registry. METHODS: The registry is a population-based surveillance system built on Child Death Review programs. Data are derived from multiple sources, including death certificates, scene investigations, and autopsy reports. Cases included SUIDs reported by states or jurisdictions participating in the registry during 2011-2017. Cases were classified into explained and unexplained categories by using the registry's classification system. Frequencies, percentages, and mortality rates per 100 000 live births were calculated. RESULTS: Of the 4929 SUID cases, 82% were categorized as unexplained. Among all cases, 73% had complete case information. Most SUIDs (72%) occurred in an unsafe sleep environment. The SUID mortality rate was 97.3 per 100 000 live births. Among explained and possible suffocation deaths, ∼75% resulted from airway obstruction attributed to soft bedding. CONCLUSIONS: Unsafe sleep factors were common in explained and unexplained SUID cases, but deaths could only be classified as explained suffocation for ∼20% of cases. Further analysis of unexplained deaths, including continued improvements to death scene investigation and documentation, may generate hypotheses for physiologic and genetic research, advance our understanding of gaps in SUID investigation, and enhance our understanding of infants at highest risk.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      • Engaging religious leaders to promote safe burial practices during the 2014-2016 ebola virus disease outbreak, Sierra Leoneexternal icon
        Lyons P, Winters M, Zeebari Z, Schmidt-Hellerau K, Sengeh P, Jalloh MB, Jalloh MF, Nordenstedt H.
        Bull World Health Organ. 2021 April;99(4):271-279.
        Objective To quantify the potential impact of engaging religious leaders in promoting safe burial practices during the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Methods We analysed population-based household survey data from 3540 respondents collected around the peak of the outbreak in Sierra Leone, December 2014. Respondents were asked if in the past month they had heard an imam or pastor say that people should not touch or wash a dead body. We used multilevel logistic regression modelling to examine if exposure to religious leaders' messages was associated with protective burial intentions if a family member died at home and other Ebola protective behaviours. Findings Of the respondents, 3148 (89%) had been exposed to faith-based messages from religious leaders on safe Ebola burials and 369 (10%) were unexposed. Exposure to religious leaders' messages was associated with a nearly twofold increase in the intention to accept safe alternatives to traditional burials and the intention to wait >= 2 days for burial teams (adjusted odds ratio, aOR: 1.69; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.23-2.31 and aOR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.38-2.44, respectively). Exposure to messages from religious leaders was also associated with avoidance of traditional burials and of contact with suspected Ebola patients (aOR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.14-1.89 and aOR: 1.65; 95% CI: 1.27-2.13, respectively). Conclusion Public health messages promoted by religious leaders may have influenced safe burial behaviours during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Engagement of religious leaders in risk communication should be prioritized during health emergencies in similar settings.


  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. The Incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Ohio 2016-2018: The Ohio Population-Based ALS Registryexternal icon
        Andrew AS, Pioro EP, Li M, Shi X, Gui J, Stommel EW, Butt TH, Peipert D, Henegan P, Tischbein M, Cazzolli P, Novak J, Quick A, Pugar KD, Sawlani K, Katirji B, Hayes TA, Horton DK, Mehta P, Bradley WG.
        Neuroepidemiology. 2021 Apr 26:1-10.
        INTRODUCTION: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, neuromuscular disease with no cure. ALS incidence rates have not been assessed specifically in Ohio, yet the state contains both metropolitan and rural areas with a variety of environmental factors that could contribute to disease etiology. We report the incidence of ALS in Ohio residents diagnosed from October 2016 through September 2018. METHODS: We engaged practitioners from 9 Ohio sites to identify newly diagnosed ALS patients and to complete case report forms with demographic and clinical information. ALS was diagnosed according to the Awaji criteria and classified as either definite, probable, or possible. We developed a method to estimate missing cases using a Poisson regression model to impute cases in counties with evidence of undercounting. RESULTS: We identified 333 newly diagnosed ALS patients residing in Ohio during the 2-year index period and found incidence rates varied in the 88 state counties. After incorporating the estimated 27% of missing cases, the corrected crude annual incidence was 1.96/100,000 person-years, and the age- and gender-standardized incidence was 1.71/100,000 person-years (standardized to the 2010 US census). DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The estimated Ohio incidence of ALS is overall similar to that reported in other states in the USA. This study reveals a geospatial variation in incidence within the state, and areas with higher rates warrant future investigation.

      2. Skin cancer is the most common, yet oftentimes preventable, cancer type in the United States. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight is the most prominent environmental risk factor for skin cancer. Besides environmental exposure, demographic characteristics such as race, age, and socioeconomic (SES) status may make some groups more vulnerable. Based on county-level UV data and demographic risk factors, two vulnerability indices for skin cancer were generated using an additive percentile rank approach. With these indices, univariate local Moran's I spatial autocorrelation identified significant clusters, or hotspots, of neighboring counties with high overall vulnerability indices. Clusters were identified separately for skin cancer incidence and mortality. Counties with high vulnerabilities were spatially distributed across the United States in a pattern that generally increased to the South and West. Clusters of counties with high skin cancer incidence vulnerability were mostly observed in Utah and Colorado, even with highly conservative levels of significance. Meanwhile, clusters for skin cancer mortality vulnerability were observed in southern Alabama and west Florida as well as across north Alabama, north Georgia and up through the Tennessee-North Carolina area. These highly vulnerable counties where environmental and demographic risk factors significantly overlap could be prioritized for preventive interventions, emphasizing local need based on unique underlying spatial patterns of risk for each skin cancer outcome.

      3. Comorbidities in a Nationwide, Heterogenous Population of Veterans with Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndromeexternal icon
        Laden BF, Bresee C, De Hoedt A, Dallas KB, Scharfenberg A, Saxena R, Senechal JF, Barbour KE, Kim J, Freedland SJ, Anger JT.
        Urology. 2021 Apr 23.
        OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of comorbid conditions in a nationwide population of men and women with IC/BPS utilizing a more heterogeneous sample than most studies to date. METHODS: Using the Veterans Affairs Informatics and Computing Infrastructure, we identified random samples of male and female patients with and without an ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnosis of IC/BPS. Presence of comorbidities (NUAS [chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines], back pain, diabetes, and smoking) and psychosocial factors (alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual trauma, and history of depression) were determined using ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Associations between these variables and IC/BPS status were evaluated while adjusting for the potential confounding impact of race/ethnicity, age, and gender. RESULTS: Data was analyzed from 872 IC/BPS patients (355 [41%] men, 517 [59%] women) and 558 non-IC/BPS patients (291 [52%] men, 267 [48%] women). IC/BPS patients were more likely than non-IC/BPS patients to have a greater number of comorbidities (2.72+/-1.77 vs 1.73+/-1.30, p<0.001), experience one or more NUAS (chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines) (45% [388/872] vs. 18% [101/558]; p<0.001) and had a higher prevalence of at least one psychosocial factor (61% [529/872] v. 46% [256/558]; p<0.001). Differences in the frequencies of comorbidities between patients with and without IC/BPS were more pronounced in female patients. CONCLUSIONS: These findings validate the findings of previous comorbidity studies of IC/BPS in a more diverse population.

      4. Self-Reported Vision Impairment and Psychological Distress in U.S. Adultsexternal icon
        Lundeen EA, Saydah S, Ehrlich JR, Saaddine J.
        Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 26:1-11.
        Purpose: Examine the relationship between vision impairment and psychological distress in adults ≥18 years.Methods: Using the 2016-2017 cross-sectional, U.S. National Health Interview Survey, we analyzed self-reported data (n = 57,644) on: Kessler psychological distress scores; general vision impairment (GVI), defined as difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses or contacts; and visual function impairment (VFI), measured using six visual function questions. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for mild/moderate and serious psychological distress, by GVI and VFI status, and identify predictors of psychological distress among those with GVI or VFI.Results: Among adults, 10.6% (95% CI: 10.2, 11.0) had GVI; 11.6% (CI: 11.1, 12.0) had VFI. One in four adults with GVI had psychological distress (14.9% [CI: 13.8, 16.0] reported mild/moderate and 11.2% [CI: 10.2, 12.3] reported serious). Individuals with GVI, versus those without, had higher odds of mild/moderate (aOR = 2.24; CI: 2.00, 2.52) and serious (aOR = 3.41; CI: 2.96, 3.93) psychological distress; VFI had similar findings. Among adults with GVI, odds of serious psychological distress were higher for those aged 18-39 (aOR = 4.46; CI: 2.89, 6.90) or 40-64 (aOR = 6.09; CI: 4.33, 8.57) versus ≥65 years; smokers (aOR = 2.45; CI: 1.88, 3.18) versus non-smokers; physically inactive (aOR = 1.61; CI: 1.22, 2.11) versus active; and with arthritis (aOR = 2.18; CI: 1.66, 2.87) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aOR = 1.65; CI: 1.15, 2.37) versus without.Conclusion: Adults with self-reported vision impairment had higher odds of psychological distress. These findings may inform screening interventions to address psychological distress, particularly among younger working-age adults vision impairment.

      5. Differences in hypertension prevalence and hypertension control by urbanization among adults in the United States, 2013-2018external icon
        Ostchega Y, Hughes JP, Zhang G, Nwankwo T, Graber J, Nguyen DT.
        Am J Hypertens. 2021 Apr 28.
        OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between urbanization and hypertension, stage II hypertension, and hypertension control. METHODS: Data on 16,360 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older from the 2013-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used to estimate the prevalence of hypertension (blood pressure (BP) ≥130/80 mm Hg or use of medication for hypertension), stage II hypertension (BP ≥140/90 mm Hg), and hypertension control (BP < 130/80 mm Hg among hypertensives) by urbanization, classified by levels of metropolitan statistical areas as large MSAs (population ≥ 1,000,000), medium to small MSAs (population 50,000-999,999), and non-MSAs (population <50,000)). RESULTS: All prevalence ratios (PRs) were compared with large MSAs and adjusted for demographics and risk factors. The PRs of hypertension were 1.07 (95% CI= 0.99-1.14) for adults residing in medium to small MSAs and 1.06 (95% CI=0.99- 1.13) for adults residing in non-MSAs, For stage II hypertension, the PRs were higher for adults residing in medium to small MSAs 1.21 (95% CI =1.06-1.36) but not for adults residing in non-MSAs 1.06 (95% CI= 0.88-1.29). For hypertension control, the PRs were 0.96 (95% CI=0.91-1.01) for adults residing in medium to small MSAs and 1.00 (95% CI=0.93-1.06) for adults residing in non-MSAs. CONCLUSION: Among U.S. adults, urbanization was associated with stage II hypertension.

      6. Prevalence of Past-Year Dental Visit Among US Adults Aged 50 Years or Older, With Selected Chronic Diseases, 2018external icon
        Patel N, Fils-Aime R, Li CH, Lin M, Robison V.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2021 Apr 29;18:E40.
        In this study, we used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to conduct multivariable analyses to examine whether having selected chronic diseases was associated with lower past-year dental service utilization among US adults aged 50 years or older. We found consistent lower dental service utilization among older adults with diabetes, heart disease or stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared with those without the disease after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. We also found lower dental service utilization among older adults with lower income, less education, and no health care coverage and among those who smoked. Effective interventions are needed to reduce disparities in access to dental care among at-risk and vulnerable populations.

      7. Cognitive Function in Adolescents and Young Adults With Youth-Onset Type 1 Versus Type 2 Diabetes: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Studyexternal icon
        Shapiro AL, Dabelea D, Stafford JM, D'Agostino R, Pihoker C, Liese AD, Shah AS, Bellatorre A, Lawrence JM, Henkin L, Saydah S, Wilkening G.
        Diabetes Care. 2021 Apr 26.
        OBJECTIVE: Poor cognition has been observed in children and adolescents with youth-onset type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared with control subjects without diabetes. Differences in cognition between youth-onset T1D and T2D, however, are not known. Thus, using data from SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, a multicenter, observational cohort study, we tested the association between diabetes type and cognitive function in adolescents and young adults with T1D (n = 1,095) or T2D (n = 285). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Cognition was assessed via the National Institutes of Health Toolbox Cognition Battery, and age-corrected composite Fluid Cognition scores were used as the primary outcome. Confounder-adjusted linear regression models were run. Model 1 included diabetes type and clinical site. Model 2 additionally included sex, race/ethnicity, waist-to-height ratio, diabetes duration, depressive symptoms, glycemic control, any hypoglycemic episode in the past year, parental education, and household income. Model 3 additionally included the Picture Vocabulary score, a measure of receptive language and crystallized cognition. RESULTS: Having T2D was significantly associated with lower fluid cognitive scores before adjustment for confounders (model 1; P < 0.001). This association was attenuated to nonsignificance with the addition of a priori confounders (model 2; P = 0.06) and Picture Vocabulary scores (model 3; P = 0.49). Receptive language, waist-to-height ratio, and depressive symptoms remained significant in the final model (P < 0.01 for all, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that while youth with T2D have worse fluid cognition than youth with T1D, these differences are accounted for by differences in crystallized cognition (receptive language), central adiposity, and mental health. These potentially modifiable factors are also independently associated with fluid cognitive health, regardless of diabetes type. Future studies of cognitive health in people with youth-onset diabetes should focus on investigating these significant factors.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Early introductions and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 in the United Statesexternal icon
        Alpert T, Brito AF, Lasek-Nesselquist E, Rothman J, Valesano AL, MacKay MJ, Petrone ME, Breban MI, Watkins AE, Vogels CB, Kalinich CC, Dellicour S, Russell A, Kelly JP, Shudt M, Plitnick J, Schneider E, Fitzsimmons WJ, Khullar G, Metti J, Dudley JT, Nash M, Beaubier N, Wang J, Liu C, Hui P, Muyombwe A, Downing R, Razeq J, Bart SM, Grills A, Morrison SM, Murphy S, Neal C, Laszlo E, Rennert H, Cushing M, Westblade L, Velu P, Craney A, Cong L, Peaper DR, Landry ML, Cook PW, Fauver JR, Mason CE, Lauring AS, St George K, MacCannell DR, Grubaugh ND.
        Cell. 2021 Apr 3.
        The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, has become a global public health concern because of its increased transmissibility. Over 2,500 COVID-19 cases associated with this variant have been detected in the United States (US) since December 2020, but the extent of establishment is relatively unknown. Using travel, genomic, and diagnostic data, we highlight that the primary ports of entry for B.1.1.7 in the US were in New York, California, and Florida. Furthermore, we found evidence for many independent B.1.1.7 establishments starting in early December 2020, followed by interstate spread by the end of the month. Finally, we project that B.1.1.7 will be the dominant lineage in many states by mid- to late March. Thus, genomic surveillance for B.1.1.7 and other variants urgently needs to be enhanced to better inform the public health response.

      2. COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Construction Sites - New York City, October-November 2020external icon
        Bushman D, Sekaran J, Jeffery N, Rath C, Ackelsberg J, Weiss D, Wu W, Van Oss K, Johnston K, Huang J, Khatun U, Sheikh T, Sutcliff J, Tsoi B.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 29.
        During October 23-November 16, 2020, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene investigated COVID-19 outbreaks at two construction sites. Challenges in adhering to the New York State Department of Health "Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Construction" were reported. To minimize outbreaks, jurisdictions should increase tailored outreach to the construction industry emphasizing infection prevention.

      3. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a SARS-CoV-2 R.1 Lineage Variant in a Skilled Nursing Facility After Vaccination Program - Kentucky, March 2021external icon
        Cavanaugh AM, Fortier S, Lewis P, Arora V, Johnson M, George K, Tobias J, Lunn S, Miller T, Thoroughman D, Spicer KB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):639-643.
        Although COVID-19 mRNA vaccines demonstrated high efficacy in clinical trials (1), they were not 100% efficacious. Thus, some infections postvaccination are expected. Limited data are available on effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and against emerging variants. The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and a local health department investigated a COVID-19 outbreak in a SNF that occurred after all residents and health care personnel (HCP) had been offered vaccination. Among 83 residents and 116 HCP, 75 (90.4%) and 61 (52.6%), respectively, received 2 vaccine doses. Twenty-six residents and 20 HCP received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including 18 residents and four HCP who had received their second vaccine dose >14 days before the outbreak began. An R.1 lineage variant was detected with whole genome sequencing (WGS). Although the R.1 variant has multiple spike protein mutations, vaccinated residents and HCP were 87% less likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 compared with those who were unvaccinated. Vaccination of SNF populations, including HCP, is critical to reduce the risk for SARS-CoV-2 introduction, transmission, and severe outcomes in SNFs. An ongoing focus on infection prevention and control practices is also essential.

      4. Late conditions diagnosed 1-4 months following an initial COVID-19 encounter: a matched cohort study using inpatient and outpatient administrative data - United States, March 1-June 30, 2020external icon
        Chevinsky JR, Tao G, Lavery AM, Kukielka EA, Click ES, Malec D, Kompaniyets L, Bruce BB, Yusuf H, Goodman AB, Dixon MG, Nakao JH, Datta SD, Mac Kenzie WR, Kadri S, Saydah S, Giovanni JE, Gundlapalli AV.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 28.
        BACKGROUND: Late sequelae of COVID-19 have been reported; however, few studies have investigated the time-course or incidence of late new COVID-19-related health conditions (post-COVID conditions) after COVID-19 diagnosis. Studies distinguishing post-COVID conditions from late conditions caused by other etiologies are lacking. Using data from a large administrative all-payer database, we assessed the type, association, and timing of post-COVID conditions following COVID-19 diagnosis. METHODS: Using the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release (PHD-SR) (release date, October 20, 2020) data, during March-June 2020, 27,589 inpatients and 46,857 outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19 (case-patients) were 1:1 matched with patients without COVID-19 through the 4-month follow-up period (control-patients) by using propensity score matching. In this matched-cohort study, adjusted odds ratios were calculated to assess for late conditions that were more common in case-patients compared with control-patients. Incidence proportion was calculated for conditions that were more common in case-patients than control-patients during 31-120 days following a COVID-19 encounter. RESULTS: During 31-120 days after an initial COVID-19 inpatient hospitalization, 7.0% of adults experienced at least one of five post-COVID conditions. Among adult outpatients with COVID-19, 7.7% experienced at least one of ten post-COVID conditions. During 31-60 days after an initial outpatient encounter, adults with COVID-19 were 2.8 times as likely to experience acute pulmonary embolism as outpatient control-patients and were also more likely to experience a range of conditions affecting multiple body systems (e.g. nonspecific chest pain, fatigue, headache, and respiratory, nervous, circulatory, and gastrointestinal system symptoms) than outpatient control-patients. Children with COVID-19 were not more likely to experience late conditions than children without COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: These findings add to the evidence of late health conditions possibly related to COVID-19 in adults following COVID-19 diagnosis and can inform health care practice and resource planning for follow-up COVID-19 care.

      5. INTRODUCTION: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common during pregnancy and can result in adverse delivery and birth outcomes. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of STIs; Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Treponema pallidum (syphilis), Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among pregnant women visiting an antenatal care center in Nepal. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We adapted and piloted the WHO standard protocol for conducting a prevalence survey of STIs among pregnant women visiting antenatal care center of Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal. Patient recruitment, data collection, and specimen testing took place between November 2019-March 2020. First catch urine sample was collected from each eligible woman. GeneXpert platform was used for CT and NG testing. Wet-mount microscopy of urine sample was used for detection of trichomoniasis. Serological test for HIV was done by rapid and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests. Serological test for syphilis was done using "nonspecific non-treponemal" and "specific treponemal" antibody tests. Tests for CT, NG and trichomoniasis were done as part of the prevalence study while tests for syphilis and HIV were done as part of the routine antenatal testing. RESULTS: 672 women were approached to participate in the study, out of which 591 (87.9%) met the eligibility criteria and consented to participate. The overall prevalence of any STIs was 8.6% (51/591, 95% CI: 6.3-10.8); 1.5% (95% CI: 0.5-2.5) for CT and 7.1% (95% CI: 5.0-9.2) for trichomoniasis infection. None of the samples tested positive for NG, HIV or syphilis. Prevalence of any STI was not significantly different among women, age ≤ 24 years (10%, 25/229) compared to women age ≥25 years (7.1%, 26/362) (p = 0.08). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of trichomoniasis among pregnant women in this sub-urban population of Nepal was high compared to few cases of CT and no cases of NG, syphilis, and HIV. The WHO standard protocol provided a valuable framework for conducting STI surveillance that can be adapted for other countries and populations.

      6. Linked Clusters of SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.351 - Maryland, January-February 2021external icon
        Feder KA, Pearlowitz M, Goode A, Duwell M, Williams TW, Chen-Carrington PA, Patel A, Dominguez C, Keller EN, Klein L, Rivera-Colon A, Mostafa HH, Morris CP, Patel N, Schauer AM, Myers R, Blythe D, Feldman KA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):627-631.
        In late January 2021, a clinical laboratory notified the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) that the SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern B.1.351 had been identified in a specimen collected from a Maryland resident with COVID-19 (1). The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 lineage was first identified in South Africa (2) and might be neutralized less effectively by antibodies produced after vaccination or natural infection with other strains (3-6). To limit SARS-CoV-2 chains of transmission associated with this index patient, MDH used contact tracing to identify the source of infection and any linked infections among other persons. The investigation identified two linked clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection that included 17 patients. Three additional specimens from these clusters were sequenced; all three had the B.1.351 variant and all sequences were closely related to the sequence from the index patient's specimen. Among the 17 patients identified, none reported recent international travel or contact with international travelers. Two patients, including the index patient, had received the first of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccination series in the 2 weeks before their likely exposure; one additional patient had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection 5 months before exposure. Two patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, and one died. These first identified linked clusters of B.1.351 infections in the United States with no apparent link to international travel highlight the importance of expanding the scope and volume of genetic surveillance programs to identify variants, completing contact investigations for SARS-CoV-2 infections, and using universal prevention strategies, including vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, to control the spread of variants of concern.

      7. Assessment of Contact Tracing for COVID-19 among People Experiencing Homelessness, Salt Lake County Health Department, March-May 2020external icon
        Fields VL, Kiphibane T, Eason JT, Hafoka SF, Lopez AS, Schwartz A, Henry A, Tran CH, Tate JE, Kirking HL, Laws RL, Venkatappa T, Mosites E, Montgomery MP.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 21.
        PURPOSE: Contact tracing is intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but it is difficult to conduct among people who live in congregate settings, including people experiencing homelessness (PEH). This analysis compares person-based contact tracing among two populations in Salt Lake County, Utah, from March-May 2020. METHODS: All laboratory-confirmed positive cases among PEH (n=169) and documented in Utah's surveillance system were included in this analysis. The general population comparison group (n=163) were systematically selected from all laboratory-confirmed cases identified during the same period. RESULTS: Ninety-three PEH cases (55%) were interviewed compared to 163 (100%) cases among the general population (p<0.0001). PEH were more likely to be lost to follow-up at end of isolation (14.2%) versus the general population (0%; p-value<0.0001) and provided fewer contacts per case (0.31) than the general population (4.7) (p-value<0.0001). Contacts of PEH were more often unreachable (13.0% vs. 7.1%; p-value<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that contact tracing among PEH should include a location-based approach, along with a person-based approach when resources allow, due to challenges in identifying, locating, and reaching cases among PEH and their contacts through person-based contact tracing efforts alone.

      8. A Comparison of Less Invasive SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Specimens in Nursing Home Residents - Arkansas, June-August 2020external icon
        Gable P, Huang JY, Gilbert SE, Bollinger S, Lyons AK, Sabour S, Surie D, Biedron C, Haney T, Beshearse E, Gregory CJ, Seely KA, Clemmons NS, Patil N, Kothari A, Gulley T, Garner K, Anderson K, Thornburg NJ, Halpin AL, McDonald LC, Kutty PK, Brown AC.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 28.
        BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 testing remains essential for early identification and clinical management of cases. We compared the diagnostic performance of three specimen types for characterizing SARS-CoV-2 in infected nursing home residents. METHODS: A convenience sample of 17 residents were enrolled within 15 days of first positive SARS-CoV-2 result by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and prospectively followed for 42 days. Anterior nasal swabs (AN), oropharyngeal swabs (OP), and saliva specimens (SA) were collected on the day of enrollment, every 3 days for the first 21 days, then weekly for 21 days. Specimens were tested for presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-PCR and replication-competent virus by viral culture. RESULTS: Comparing the three specimen types collected from each participant at each time point, the concordance of paired RT-PCR results ranged from 80-88%. After the first positive result, SA and OP were RT-PCR-positive for ≤48 days; AN were RT-PCR-positive for ≤33 days. AN had the highest percentage of RT-PCR-positive results (81%; 21/26) when collected ≤10 days of participants' first positive result. Eleven specimens were positive by viral culture: nine AN collected ≤19 days following first positive result and two OP collected ≤5 days following first positive result. CONCLUSIONS: AN, OP, and SA were effective methods for repeated testing in this population. More AN than OP were positive by viral culture. SA and OP remained RT-PCR-positive longer than AN, which could lead to unnecessary interventions if RT-PCR detection occurred after viral shedding has likely ceased.

      9. Evidence, Experience, Expertise, and the U.S. COVID-19 Public Health Responseexternal icon
        Goswami ND, Fiore AE, Walke HT.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 24.

      10. Health Care Utilization and Clinical Characteristics of Nonhospitalized Adults in an Integrated Health Care System 28-180 Days After COVID-19 Diagnosis - Georgia, May 2020-March 2021external icon
        Hernandez-Romieu AC, Leung S, Mbanya A, Jackson BR, Cope JR, Bushman D, Dixon M, Brown J, McLeod T, Saydah S, Datta D, Koplan K, Lobelo F.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):644-650.
        As of April 19, 2021, 21.6 million COVID-19 cases had been reported among U.S. adults, most of whom had mild or moderate disease that did not require hospitalization (1). Health care needs in the months after COVID-19 diagnosis among nonhospitalized adults have not been well studied. To better understand longer-term health care utilization and clinical characteristics of nonhospitalized adults after COVID-19 diagnosis, CDC and Kaiser Permanente Georgia (KPGA) analyzed electronic health record (EHR) data from health care visits in the 28-180 days after a diagnosis of COVID-19 at an integrated health care system. Among 3,171 nonhospitalized adults who had COVID-19, 69% had one or more outpatient visits during the follow-up period of 28-180-days. Compared with patients without an outpatient visit, a higher percentage of those who did have an outpatient visit were aged ≥50 years, were women, were non-Hispanic Black, and had underlying health conditions. Among adults with outpatient visits, 68% had a visit for a new primary diagnosis, and 38% had a new specialist visit. Active COVID-19 diagnoses* (10%) and symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 (3%-7%) were among the top 20 new visit diagnoses; rates of visits for these diagnoses declined from 2-24 visits per 10,000 person-days 28-59 days after COVID-19 diagnosis to 1-4 visits per 10,000 person-days 120-180 days after diagnosis. The presence of diagnoses of COVID-19 and related symptoms in the 28-180 days following acute illness suggests that some nonhospitalized adults, including those with asymptomatic or mild acute illness, likely have continued health care needs months after diagnosis. Clinicians and health systems should be aware of post-COVID conditions among patients who are not initially hospitalized for acute COVID-19 disease.

      11. Validation of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification Codes for Identifying Cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrheaexternal icon
        Ho YA, Rahurkar S, Tao G, Patel CG, Arno JN, Wang J, Broyles AA, Dixon BE.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 May 1;48(5):335-340.
        BACKGROUND: While researchers seek to use administrative health data to examine outcomes for individuals with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes used to identify persons with chlamydia and gonorrhea have not been validated. Objectives were to determine the validity of using ICD-10-CM codes to identify individuals with chlamydia and gonorrhea. METHODS: We used data from electronic health records gathered from public and private health systems from October 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016. Patients were included if they were aged 13 to 44 years and received either (1) laboratory testing for chlamydia or gonorrhea or (2) an ICD-10-CM diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or an unspecified STI. To validate ICD-10-CM codes, we calculated positive and negative predictive values, sensitivity, and specificity based on the presence of a laboratory test result. We further examined the timing of clinical diagnosis relative to laboratory testing. RESULTS: The positive predictive values for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and unspecified STI ICD-10-CM codes were 87.6%, 85.0%, and 32.0%, respectively. Negative predictive values were high (>92%). Sensitivity for chlamydia diagnostic codes was 10.6%, and gonorrhea was 9.7%. Specificity was 99.9% for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. The date of diagnosis occurred on or after the date of the laboratory result for 84.8% of persons with chlamydia, 91.9% for gonorrhea, and 23.5% for unspecified STI. CONCLUSIONS: Disease-specific ICD-10-CM codes accurately identify persons with chlamydia and gonorrhea. However, low sensitivities suggest that most individuals could not be identified in administrative data alone without laboratory test results.

      12. BACKGROUND: Handwashing and surface cleaning and disinfection are two hygiene behaviors promoted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Persons with disabilities may be at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions that have been associated with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe self-reported hygiene behaviors among U.S. adults with disabilities to prevent transmission of COVID-19. METHODS: Data were obtained from the March 2020 Porter Novelli ConsumerStyles survey. This study includes 6463 U.S. adults (≥18 years) who participated in the survey (58.2% response rate). Participants were asked about frequent handwashing and surface disinfection. Participants were also asked six questions to assess disability status and disability type. Prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated; chi-square tests were conducted. RESULTS: A total of 1295 (20.3%) of survey participants reported at least one disability and their hygiene-related behavior. Overall, 91.3% of respondents with disabilities reported frequent handwashing; only 72% reported frequent surface disinfection. Those with hearing, vision, cognition, mobility, self-care, and independent living disabilities (range: 77.9%-90.6%) were significantly less likely than those without any disability (94.0%) to report frequent handwashing. People with vision (62.2%) and independent living (66.8%) disabilities were less likely to report frequent surface disinfection than those without any disability (74.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Practices such as handwashing and disinfecting surfaces are effective for reducing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Promotion of hygiene-related practices among people with disabilities is essential. Tailored communications and implementation of evidence-based strategies are needed to address hygiene-related behaviors among the subgroups of people with disabilities most affected.

      13. Mortality, neurodevelopmental impairments, and economic outcomes after invasive group B streptococcal disease in early infancy in Denmark and the Netherlands: a national matched cohort studyexternal icon
        Horváth-Puhó E, van Kassel MN, Gonçalves BP, de Gier B, Procter SR, Paul P, van der Ende A, Søgaard KK, Hahné SJ, Chandna J, Schrag SJ, van de Beek D, Jit M, Sørensen HT, Bijlsma MW, Lawn JE.
        Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2021 Apr 21.
        BACKGROUND: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) disease is a leading cause of neonatal death, but its long-term effects have not been studied after early childhood. The aim of this study was to assess long-term mortality, neurodevelopmental impairments (NDIs), and economic outcomes after infant invasive GBS (iGBS) disease up to adolescence in Denmark and the Netherlands. METHODS: For this cohort study, children with iGBS disease were identified in Denmark and the Netherlands using national medical and administrative databases and culture results that confirmed their diagnoses. Exposed children were defined as having a history of iGBS disease (sepsis, meningitis, or pneumonia) by the age of 89 days. For each exposed child, ten unexposed children were randomly selected and matched by sex, year and month of birth, and gestational age. Mortality data were analysed with the use of Cox proportional hazards models. NDI data up to adolescence were captured from discharge diagnoses in the National Patient Registry (Denmark) and special educational support records (the Netherlands). Health care use and household income were also compared between the exposed and unexposed cohorts. FINDINGS: 2258 children-1561 in Denmark (born from Jan 1, 1997 to Dec 31, 2017) and 697 in the Netherlands (born from Jan 1, 2000 to Dec 31, 2017)-were identified to have iGBS disease and followed up for a median of 14 years (IQR 7-18) in Denmark and 9 years (6-11) in the Netherlands. 366 children had meningitis, 1763 had sepsis, and 129 had pneumonia (in Denmark only). These children were matched with 22 462 children with no history of iGBS disease. iGBS meningitis was associated with an increased mortality at age 5 years (adjusted hazard ratio 4·08 [95% CI 1·78-9·35] for Denmark and 6·73 [3·76-12·06] for the Netherlands). Any iGBS disease was associated with an increased risk of NDI at 10 years of age, both in Denmark (risk ratio 1·77 [95% CI 1·44-2·18]) and the Netherlands (2·28 [1·64-3·17]). A history of iGBS disease was associated with more frequent outpatient clinic visits (incidence rate ratio 1·93 [95% CI 1·79-2·09], p<0·0001) and hospital admissions (1·33 [1·27-1·38], p<0·0001) in children 5 years or younger. No differences in household income were observed between the exposed and unexposed cohorts. INTERPRETATION: iGBS disease, especially meningitis, was associated with increased mortality and a higher risk of NDIs in later childhood. This previously unquantified burden underlines the case for a maternal GBS vaccine, and the need to track and provide care for affected survivors of iGBS disease. FUNDING: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. TRANSLATIONS: For the Dutch and Danish translations of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

      14. Factors Associated with Loss to Follow-up among Patients Receiving HIV Treatment in Nairobi, Kenyaexternal icon
        Koech E, Stafford KA, Mutysia I, Katana A, Jumbe M, Awuor P, Lavoie MC, Ngunu C, Riedel DJ, Ojoo S.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2021 Apr 29.
        OBJECTIVE: We investigated factors associated with loss to follow-up in 24 urban health facilities in Nairobi, Kenya. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of routinely collected data to assess factors associated with lost to follow-up (LTFU) in the period October 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. LTFU was defined as no antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill for ≥90 days and no documentation of transfer, death, or treatment cessation in the patient chart, and if no lapse of ≥90 days between ART refills, patients were considered retained in care. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to compute odds ratios and 95% CI for LTFU. RESULTS: Our analysis included 633 individuals who were LTFU and 13,098 individuals retained in care. Most participants (69.6%) were women, and median age was 33.0 years (interquartile range, 27.2-38.3 years). Median ART duration was shorter among those LTFU (0.4 years) compared to retained patients (2.5 years, p<0.0001). Being male (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04, 1.63, P=0.02), transferring into facilities while already receiving ART (aOR 11.58; 95% CI 8.23, 16.29, P<0.0001), and having a shorter ART duration (<6 months) were associated with increased odds of LTFU. Patients who transferred into a facility while already receiving ART had the highest adjusted odds of being LTFU compared to those retained in care. CONCLUSIONS: In this urban and highly mobile population, transferring into facilities while already receiving ART was strongly associated with LTFU. Focusing programming efforts on patients transferring between urban clinics to identify reasons for transfer and potential barriers to treatment adherence could help improve patient outcomes. Supplementary case management and support may be needed to promote a seamless transition and ensure uninterrupted engagement in HIV care and treatment.

      15. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a preventive medication that could reduce new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM). There are limited data on differing reasons for PrEP nonuse by condomless anal sex (CAS). We examined demographic and behavioral variables associated with PrEP use and reasons for PrEP nonuse by CAS. Data are from the M-cubed Study, collected in a 2018 baseline assessment of MSM (n = 798) in Atlanta, Detroit, and New York City. Participants reported current PrEP use (31%), previous use (8%), and never use (61%). MSM reporting CAS (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.60, confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.73-3.91), age 18-29 (aOR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.26-3.52), 30-39 (aOR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.25-3.59), with a college degree (aOR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.20-3.21), or postgraduate education (aOR = 2.58, 95% CI = 1.51-4.40) had greater odds of current (vs. never) use; uninsured (aOR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.16-0.57) men had lower odds of current (vs. never) use. For never use, more MSM who reported CAS (vs. did not) endorsed the following reasons (p's < 0.05): Insurance wouldn't cover PrEP (20% vs. 12%), Didn't know where to get it (33% vs. 24%) and fewer reported Didn't need PrEP (23% vs. 39%) and Started a committed relationship (7% vs. 25%). For discontinuation, more MSM who reported CAS (vs. did not) endorsed Worry about the safety of PrEP (19% vs. 3%). Efforts are needed to enhance PrEP as an option among older, less educated, and uninsured MSM. These findings may inform how providers can facilitate PrEP use by messaging on access and safety for MSM who reported CAS.

      16. COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts and Testing During an In-Person Training Event - Uganda, October 12-29, 2020external icon
        Laws RL, Biraro S, Kirungi W, Gianetti B, Aibo D, Awor AC, West C, Sachathep KK, Kiyingi H, Ward J, Mwangi C, Nkurunziza P, Okimait D, Currie D, Ajiboye A, Moore CS, Patel H, Sendagala S, Naluguza M, Mugisha V, Low A, Delgado S, Hoos D, Brown K, Galbraith JS, Hladik W, Nelson L, El-Sadr W, Musinguzi J, Voetsch AC.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 29.
        Large public-health training events may result in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing during trainings for the Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment identified 28/475 (5.9%) individuals with COVID-19 among attendees; most (89.3%) were asymptomatic. Effective COVID-19 mitigation measures, along with SARS-CoV-2 testing, are recommended for in-person trainings, particularly when trainees will have subsequent contact with survey participants.

      17. Hepatitis C Virus Testing Among Men With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Who Have Sex With Men: Temporal Trends and Racial/Ethnic Disparitiesexternal icon
        Li J, Armon C, Palella FJ, Tedaldi E, Novak RM, Fuhrer J, Simoncini G, Carlson K, Buchacz K.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;8(4):ofaa645.
        BACKGROUND: National guidelines recommend that sexually active people with human immunodeficiency virus (PWH) who are men who have sex with men (MSM) be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection at least annually. Hepatitis C virus testing rates vary by race/ethnicity in the general population, but limited data are available for PWH. METHODS: We analyzed medical records data from MSM in the HIV Outpatient Study at 9 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinics from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2019. We excluded observation time after documented past or current HCV infection. We evaluated HCV antibody testing in each calendar year among HCV-seronegative MSM, and we assessed testing correlates by generalized estimating equation analyses. RESULTS: Of 1829 eligible MSM who were PWH, 1174 (64.2%) were non-Hispanic/Latino white (NHW), 402 (22.0%) non-Hispanic black (NHB), 187 (10.2%) Hispanic/Latino, and 66 (3.6%) of other race/ethnicity. Most were ≥40 years old (68.9%), privately insured (64.5%), with CD4 cell count/mm(3) (CD4) ≥350 (77.0%), and with HIV viral load <200 copies/mL (76.9%). During 2011-2019, 1205 (65.9%) had ≥1 HCV antibody test and average annual HCV percentage tested was 30.3% (from 33.8% for NHB to 28.5% for NHW; P < .001). Multivariable factors positively associated (P < .05) with HCV testing included more recent HIV diagnosis, public insurance, lower CD4, prior chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or hepatitis B virus diagnoses, and elevated liver enzyme levels, but not race/ethnicity. CONCLUSIONS: Although we found no disparities by race/ethnicity in HCV testing, low overall HCV testing rates indicate suboptimal uptake of recommended HCV testing among MSM in HIV care.

      18. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Adolescents and Mode of Transmission in Southern Africa: A Multinational Analysis of Population-Based Survey Dataexternal icon
        Low A, Teasdale C, Brown K, Barradas DT, Mugurungi O, Sachathep K, Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha H, Birhanu S, Banda A, Frederix K, Payne D, Radin E, Wiesner L, Ginindza C, Philip N, Musuka G, Sithole S, Patel H, Maile L, Abrams EJ, Arpadi S.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 29.
        BACKGROUND: Adolescents aged 10-19 years living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (ALHIV), both perinatally infected adolescents (APHIV) and behaviorally infected adolescents (ABHIV), are a growing population with distinct care needs. We characterized the epidemiology of HIV in adolescents included in Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (2015-2017) in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Eswatini, and Lesotho. METHODS: Adolescents were tested for HIV using national rapid testing algorithms. Viral load (VL) suppression (VLS) was defined as VL <1000 copies/mL, and undetectable VL (UVL) as VL <50 copies/mL. Recent infection (within 6 months) was measured using a limiting antigen avidity assay, excluding adolescents with VLS or with detectable antiretrovirals (ARVs) in blood. To determine the most likely mode of infection, we used a risk algorithm incorporating recency, maternal HIV and vital status, history of sexual activity, and age at diagnosis. RESULTS: HIV prevalence ranged from 1.6% in Zambia to 4.8% in Eswatini. Of 707 ALHIV, 60.9% (95% confidence interval, 55.3%-66.6%) had HIV previously diagnosed, and 47.1% (41.9%-52.3%) had VLS. Our algorithm estimated that 72.6% of ALHIV (485 of 707) were APHIV, with HIV diagnosed previously in 69.5% of APHIV and 39.4% of ABHIV, and with 65.3% of APHIV and 33.5% of ABHIV receiving ARV treatment. Only 67.2% of APHIV and 60.5% of ABHIV receiving ARVs had UVL. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that two-thirds of ALHIV were perinatally infected, with many unaware of their status. The low prevalence of VLS and UVL in those receiving treatment raises concerns around treatment effectiveness. Expansion of opportunities for HIV diagnoses and the optimization of treatment are imperative.

      19. BACKGROUND: After decades of decline, US incidence of acute hepatitis B flattened since 2010. In persons aged ≥40 years and in jurisdictions affected by the opioid epidemic, there is an increase in new cases. Data suggest new infections are occurring among US-born persons. METHODS: We used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data during 2001-2018 to examine trends and differences in total antibody to hepatitis B virus core antigen (anti-HBc) prevalence in US-born persons. During 2013-2018, the distribution of characteristics was examined. Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test was used to assess trends. RESULTS: During 2001-2006, 2007-2012, and 2013-2018, anti-HBc prevalence was 3.5%, 2.5%, and 2.6% among US-born persons, respectively. This corresponded to 5.7 (range, 4.8-6.6) million US-born persons with resolved or current HBV infection during 2013-2018, including 347,100 persons aged 6-29 years. The most pronounced increase and highest anti-HBc prevalence was among persons who reported injection drug use (IDU), which increased from 35.3% during 2001-2006 to 58.4% during 2013-2018 (P=.07). CONCLUSIONS: Anti-HBc prevalence among US-born persons remained flat during the most recent period, coinciding with a doubling of prevalence among persons reporting IDU. These data are consistent with acute hepatitis B surveillance trends, showing increasing incidence in sub-populations where prevention could be strengthened.

      20. Risk factors for measles virus infection and susceptibility in persons aged 15 years and older in China: A multi-site case-control study, 2012-2013external icon
        Ma C, Hao L, Rodewald L, An Q, Wannemuehler KA, Su Q, An Z, Quick L, Liu Y, Yan R, Liu X, Zhang Y, Yu W, Zhang X, Wang H, Cairns L, Luo H, Gregory CJ.
        Vaccine. 2020 Apr 3;38(16):3210-3217.
        INTRODUCTION: Endemic measles persists in China, despite >95% reported coverage of two measles-containing vaccine doses and nationwide campaign that vaccinated >100 million children in 2010. An increasing proportion of infections now occur among adults and there is concern that persistent susceptibility in adults is an obstacle to measles elimination in China. We performed a case-control study in six Chinese provinces between January 2012 to June 2013 to identify risk factors for measles virus infection and susceptibility among adults. METHODS: Persons ≥15 years old with laboratory-confirmed measles were age and neighborhood matched with three controls. Controls had blood specimens collected to determine their measles IgG serostatus. We interviewed case-patients and controls about potential risk factors for measles virus infection and susceptibility. Unadjusted and adjusted matched odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated via conditional logistic regression. We calculated attributable fractions for infection for risk factors that could be interpreted as causal. RESULTS: 899 cases and 2498 controls were enrolled. Among controls, 165 (6.6%) were seronegative for measles IgG indicating persistent susceptibility to infection. In multivariable analysis, hospital visit and travel outside the prefecture in the prior 1-3 weeks were significant risk factors for measles virus infection. Occupation and reluctance to accept measles vaccination were significant risk factors for measles susceptibility. The calculated attributable fraction of measles cases from hospital visitation was 28.6% (95% CI: 20.6-38.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to a healthcare facility was the largest risk factor for measles virus infection in adults in China. Improved adherence to hospital infection control practices could reduce risk of ongoing measles virus transmission and increase the likelihood of achieving and sustaining measles elimination in China. The use of control groups stratified by serological status identified distinct risk factors for measles virus infection and susceptibility among adults.

      21. SARS-CoV-2 detection on self-collected saliva or anterior nasal specimens compared with healthcare personnel-collected nasopharyngeal specimensexternal icon
        Marx GE, Biggerstaff BJ, Nawrocki CC, Totten SE, Travanty EA, Burakoff AW, Scott T, De Hey JC, Carlson JJ, Wendel KA, Harcourt JL, Tamin A, Thomas JD, Rowan SE.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 29.
        BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal specimens (NPS) are commonly used for SARS-CoV-2 testing but can be uncomfortable for patients. Self-collected saliva or anterior nasal specimens (ANS) for SARS-CoV-2 detection are less invasive but the sensitivity of these specimen types has not been thoroughly evaluated. METHODS: During September-November 2020, 730 adults undergoing SARS-CoV-2 testing at community testing events and homeless shelters in Denver provided self-collected saliva and ANS specimens before NPS collection and answered a short survey about symptoms and specimen preference. Specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR; viral culture was performed on a subset of specimens positive by rRT-PCR. Sensitivity of saliva and ANS for SARS-CoV-2 detection by rRT-PCR was measured against NPS. Subgroup analyses included test outcomes by symptom status and culture results. RESULTS: Sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 detection by rRT-PCR appeared higher for saliva than for ANS (85% vs. 80%) and among symptomatic participants than among those without symptoms (94% vs. 29% for saliva; 87% vs. 50% for ANS). Among participants with culture-positive SARS-CoV-2 by any specimen type, sensitivity of saliva and ANS by rRT-PCR was 94% and 100%, respectively. Saliva and ANS were equally preferred by participants; most would undergo NPS again despite being least preferred. CONCLUSIONS: Saliva was slightly more sensitive than ANS for SARS-CoV-2 detection by rRT-PCR. Both saliva and ANS reliably detected SARS-CoV-2 among participants with symptoms. Self-collected saliva and ANS offer practical advantages, are preferred by patients, and might be most useful for testing people with COVID-19 symptoms.

      22. Performance Evaluation of Serial SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Testing During a Nursing Home Outbreakexternal icon
        McKay SL, Tobolowsky FA, Moritz ED, Hatfield KM, Bhatnagar A, LaVoie SP, Jackson DA, Lecy KD, Bryant-Genevier J, Campbell D, Freeman B, Gilbert SE, Folster JM, Medrzycki M, Shewmaker PL, Bankamp B, Radford KW, Anderson R, Bowen MD, Negley J, Reddy SC, Jernigan JA, Brown AC, McDonald LC, Kutty PK.
        Ann Intern Med. 2021 Apr 27.
        BACKGROUND: To address high COVID-19 burden in U.S. nursing homes, rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests have been widely distributed in those facilities. However, performance data are lacking, especially in asymptomatic people. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing when used for facility-wide testing during a nursing home outbreak. DESIGN: A prospective evaluation involving 3 facility-wide rounds of testing where paired respiratory specimens were collected to evaluate the performance of the BinaxNOW antigen test compared with virus culture and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Early and late infection were defined using changes in RT-PCR cycle threshold values and prior test results. SETTING: A nursing home with an ongoing SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. PARTICIPANTS: 532 paired specimens collected from 234 available residents and staff. MEASUREMENTS: Percentage of positive agreement (PPA) and percentage of negative agreement (PNA) for BinaxNOW compared with RT-PCR and virus culture. RESULTS: BinaxNOW PPA with virus culture, used for detection of replication-competent virus, was 95%. However, the overall PPA of antigen testing with RT-PCR was 69%, and PNA was 98%. When only the first positive test result was analyzed for each participant, PPA of antigen testing with RT-PCR was 82% among 45 symptomatic people and 52% among 343 asymptomatic people. Compared with RT-PCR and virus culture, the BinaxNOW test performed well in early infection (86% and 95%, respectively) and poorly in late infection (51% and no recovered virus, respectively). LIMITATION: Accurate symptom ascertainment was challenging in nursing home residents; test performance may not be representative of testing done by nonlaboratory staff. CONCLUSION: Despite lower positive agreement compared with RT-PCR, antigen test positivity had higher agreement with shedding of replication-competent virus. These results suggest that antigen testing could be a useful tool to rapidly identify contagious people at risk for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 during nascent outbreaks and help reduce COVID-19 burden in nursing homes. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: None.

      23. COVID-19 Outbreak Among Farmworkers - Okanogan County, Washington, May-August 2020external icon
        Miller JS, Holshue M, Dostal TK, Newman LP, Lindquist S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):617-621.
        Okanogan County, Washington, experienced increased community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during summer 2020 (1). Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in agricultural settings, including a large outbreak among employees of a fruit grower during May-August. Because of this outbreak, Okanogan County Public Health and the Washington State Department of Health initiated one-time, on-site screening testing (2) of all orchard and warehouse employees in August 2020 and assessed risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among 3,708 known orchard employees, a valid SARS-CoV-2 test result or information on COVID-19-like symptoms in the absence of a test was available for 3,013 (81%). Cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during approximately 3 months among tested orchard employees was 6%. Cumulative incidence was 12% in employees residing in the community, compared with 4% in employees residing in farmworker housing (p<0.001); point prevalence during the single screening testing event was 1% in both groups. Among 1,247 known warehouse employees, a valid result was available for 726 (58%). Cumulative incidence over approximately 3 months among tested warehouse employees was 23%, with substantial variation across job roles. Positive test results were received by 28% of employees who worked packing and sorting fruit, 24% of those in other roles in the packing and sorting area, 10% of forklift operators, 7% of employees in other warehouse roles, and 6% of office employees. Point prevalence among all warehouse workers was 1% at the screening testing event. Collaboration among employers, community groups, and public health authorities can reveal risk factors and help decrease farmworkers' risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community and the workplace. Creation of a COVID-19 assessment and control plan by agricultural employers, with particular focus on indoor workers whose jobs limit physical distancing, could reduce workplace transmission.

      24. Hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic among people experiencing homelessness-Atlanta, Georgia, 2020external icon
        Montgomery MP, Carry MG, Garcia-Williams AG, Marshall B, Besrat B, Bejarano F, Carlson J, Rutledge T, Mosites E.
        J Community Psychol. 2021 Apr 26.
        People experiencing homelessness are at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may experience barriers to hand hygiene, a primary recommendation for COVID-19 prevention. We conducted in-depth interviews with 51 people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia during May 2020 to August 2020 to (1) describe challenges and opportunities related to hand hygiene and (2) assess hand hygiene communication preferences. The primary hand hygiene barrier reported was limited access to facilities and supplies, which has disproportionately impacted people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. This lack of access has reportedly been exacerbated during COVID-19 by the closure of public facilities and businesses. Increased access to housing and employment were identified as long-term solutions to improving hand hygiene. Overall, participants expressed a preference for access to facilities and supplies over hand hygiene communication materials.

      25. COVID-19 Among Workers in the Seafood Processing Industry: Implications for Prevention Measures - Alaska, March-October 2020external icon
        Porter KA, Ramaswamy M, Koloski T, Castrodale L, McLaughlin J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):622-626.
        Large COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in high-density workplaces, such as food processing facilities (1). Alaska's seafood processing industry attracts approximately 18,000 out-of-state workers annually (2). Many of the state's seafood processing facilities are located in remote areas with limited health care capacity. On March 23, 2020, the governor of Alaska issued a COVID-19 health mandate (HM10) to address health concerns related to the impending influx of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic (3). HM10 required employers bringing critical infrastructure (essential) workers into Alaska to submit a Community Workforce Protective Plan.* On May 15, 2020, Appendix 1 was added to the mandate, which outlined specific requirements for seafood processors, to reduce the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in these high-density workplaces (4). These requirements included measures to prevent introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into the workplace, including testing of incoming workers and a 14-day entry quarantine before workers could enter nonquarantine residences. After 13 COVID-19 outbreaks in Alaska seafood processing facilities and on processing vessels during summer and early fall 2020, State of Alaska personnel and CDC field assignees reviewed the state's seafood processing-associated cases. Requirements were amended in November 2020 to address gaps in COVID-19 prevention. These revised requirements included restricting quarantine groups to ≤10 persons, pretransfer testing, and serial testing (5). Vaccination of this essential workforce is important (6); until high vaccination coverage rates are achieved, other mitigation strategies are needed in this high-risk setting. Updating industry guidance will be important as more information becomes available.

      26. Changes in Seasonal Respiratory Illnesses in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemicexternal icon
        Rodgers L, Sheppard M, Smith A, Dietz S, Jayanthi P, Yuan Y, Bull L, Wotiz S, Schwarze T, Azondekon R, Hartnett K, Adjemian J, Kirking HL, Kite Powell A.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 29.
        BACKGROUND: Respiratory tract infections are common, often seasonal, and caused by multiple pathogens. We assessed whether seasonal respiratory illness patterns changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We categorized emergency department (ED) visits reported to the National Syndromic Surveillance Program according to chief complaints and diagnosis codes, excluding visits with diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections. For each week during March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020 ("pandemic period"), we compared the proportion of ED visits in each respiratory category with the proportion of visits in that category during the corresponding weeks of 2017-2019 ("pre-pandemic period"). We analyzed positivity of respiratory viral tests from two independent clinical laboratories. RESULTS: During March 2020, cough, shortness of breath, and influenza-like illness accounted for twice as many ED visits compared with the pre-pandemic period. During the last four months of 2020, all respiratory conditions, except shortness of breath, accounted for a smaller proportion of ED visits than during the pre-pandemic period. Percent positivity for influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza virus, adenoviruses, and human metapneumovirus were lower in 2020 than 2019. Although test volume decreased, percent positivity was higher for rhinovirus/enterovirus during the final weeks of 2020 compared with 2019; with ED visits similar to the pre-pandemic period. DISCUSSION: Broad reductions in respiratory test positivity and respiratory emergency department visits (excluding COVID-19) occurred during 2020. Interventions for mitigating spread of SARS-CoV-2 likely also reduced transmission of other pathogens. Timely surveillance is needed to understand community health threats, particularly when current trends deviate from seasonal norms.

      27. Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) for HIV Prevention: Review of the Proceedings from the Gates Foundation Long Acting (LA) TAF Product Development Meetingexternal icon
        Romano JW, Baum M, Demkovich ZR, Diana F, Dobard C, Feldman PL, Garcia-Lerma JG, Grattoni A, Gunawardana M, Ho DK, Hope TJ, Massud I, Milad M, Moss J, Pons-Faudoa FP, Roller S, van der Straten A, Srinivasan S, Veazey R, Zane D.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2021 Apr 29.
        The ability to successfully develop a safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of HIV infection has proven challenging. Consequently, alternative approaches to HIV infection prevention have been pursued, and there have been a number of successes with differing levels of efficacy. Currently, only two oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) products are available, Truvada and Descovy. Descovy is a newer product not yet indicated in individuals at risk of HIV-1 infection from receptive vaginal sex, since it still needs to be evaluated in this population. A topical dapivirine vaginal ring is currently under regulatory review, and a long acting (LA) injectable cabotegravir product shows strong promise. Although demonstrably effective, daily oral PrEP presents adherence challenges for many users, particularly adolescent girls and young women, key target populations. This limitation has triggered development efforts in LA HIV prevention options. This article reviews efforts supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as similar work by other groups, to identify and develop optimal LA HIV prevention products. Specifically, this article is a summary review of a meeting convened by the foundation in early 2020 that focused on the development of LA products designed for extended delivery of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) for HIV prevention. The review broadly serves as technical guidance for preclinical development of LA HIV prevention products. The meeting examined the technical feasibility of multiple delivery technologies, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and safety of subcutaneous delivery of TAF in animal models. Ultimately, the foundation concluded that there are technologies available for long-term delivery of TAF. However, due to potentially limited efficacy and possible toxicity issues with subcutaneous (SC) delivery, the foundation will not continue investing in the development of LA, SC delivery of TAF products for HIV prevention.

      28. Performance of Repeat BinaxNOW SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing in a Community Setting, Wisconsin, November-December 2020external icon
        Shah MM, Salvatore PP, Ford L, Kamitani E, Whaley MJ, Kaitlin M, Currie DW, Morgan CN, Segaloff HE, Lecher S, Somers T, Van Dyke ME, Bigouette JP, Delaney A, DaSilva J, O'Hegarty M, Boyle-Estheimer L, Abdirizak F, Karpathy SE, Meece J, Ivanic L, Goffard K, Gieryn D, Sterkel A, Bateman A, Kahrs J, Langolf K, Zochert T, Knight NW, Hsu CH, Kirking HL, Tate JE.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 28.
        Repeating the BinaxNOW antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 by two groups of readers within 30 minutes resulted in high concordance (98.9%) in 2,110 encounters. BinaxNOW test sensitivity was 77.2% (258/334) compared to real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Same day antigen testing did not significantly improve test sensitivity while specificity remained high.

      29. Postvaccination SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Skilled Nursing Facility Residents and Staff Members - Chicago, Illinois, December 2020-March 2021external icon
        Teran RA, Walblay KA, Shane EL, Xydis S, Gretsch S, Gagner A, Samala U, Choi H, Zelinski C, Black SR.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):632-638.
        Early studies suggest that COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe illness (1); however, postvaccination SARS-CoV-2 infections (i.e., breakthrough infections) can occur because COVID-19 vaccines do not offer 100% protection (2,3). Data evaluating the occurrence of breakthrough infections and impact of vaccination in decreasing transmission in congregate settings are limited. Skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents and staff members have been disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (4,5), and were prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination (6,7). Starting December 28, 2020, all 78 Chicago-based SNFs began COVID-19 vaccination clinics over several weeks through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program (PPP).(†) In February 2021, through routine screening, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified a SARS-CoV-2 infection in a SNF resident >14 days after receipt of the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination series. SARS-CoV-2 cases, vaccination status, and possible vaccine breakthrough infections were identified by matching facility reports with state case and vaccination registries. Among 627 persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection across 75 SNFs since vaccination clinics began, 22 SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified among 12 residents and 10 staff members across 15 facilities ≥14 days after receiving their second vaccine dose (i.e., breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated persons). Nearly two thirds (14 of 22; 64%) of persons with breakthrough infections were asymptomatic; two residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19, and one died. No facility-associated secondary transmission occurred. Although few SARS-CoV-2 infections in fully vaccinated persons were observed, these cases demonstrate the need for SNFs to follow recommended routine infection prevention and control practices and promote high vaccination coverage among SNF residents and staff members.

      30. Introduction, Transmission Dynamics, and Fate of Early SARS-CoV-2 Lineages in Santa Clara County, Californiaexternal icon
        Villarino E, Deng X, Kemper CA, Jorden MA, Bonin B, Rudman SL, Han GS, Yu G, Wang C, Federman S, Bushnell B, Wadford DA, Lin W, Tao Y, Paden CR, Bhatnagar J, MacCannell T, Tong S, Batson J, Chiu CY.
        J Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 21.
        We combined viral genome sequencing with contact tracing to investigate introduction and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Santa Clara County, California from January 27 to March 21, 2020. Of 558 persons with COVID-19, 101 genomes from 143 available clinical samples comprised 17 different lineages including SCC1 (n=41), WA1 (n=9, including the first 2 reported deaths in the United States, diagnosed post-mortem), D614G (n=4), ancestral Wuhan Hu-1 (n=21), and 13 others (n=26). Public health intervention may have curtailed the persistence of lineages that appeared transiently during February-March. By August, only D614G lineages introduced after March 21 were circulating in SCC.


    • Environmental Health
      1. A cluster of tetrodotoxin poisoning in Omanexternal icon
        Alhatali B, Al Lawatia S, Khamis F, Kantur S, Al-Abri S, Kapil V, Thomas J, Johnson R, Hamelin EI, Coleman RM, Kazzi Z.
        Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2021 Apr 29:1-5.
        INTRODUCTION: Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent sodium channel blocker, with significant neurotoxicity, found in marine animals like pufferfish and blue-ringed octopus. The severity of toxicity depends on the amount of toxin ingested and the outcome depends on the time-lapse to appropriate medical care. CASES REPORT: We report five patients who presented with tetrodotoxin poisoning after consuming fried internal organs of local pufferfish from the coast of Oman. The patients' clinical manifestations were consistent with the expected TTX toxidrome of perioral and generalized paresthesia, weakness of upper and lower extremities, gastrointestinal manifestations, dyspnea, dysarthria, ascending paralysis, hypotension, bradycardia and coma. The severity varied among the patients who recovered completely except one patient who developed a subarachnoid hemorrhage without underlying aneurysms on computed tomography-angiogram. This complication was potentially related to TTX poisoning and has not been previously reported. In addition to standard supportive management, patients with severe illness should potentially receive the intravenous acetylcholinesterase inhibitor neostigmine, and intermittent dialysis. Urine specimens were sent to CDC in Atlanta, where they were analyzed using online solid phase extraction (SPE) with LC-MS/MS and confirmed the diagnosis in all five cases. DISCUSSION: In general, the patients' clinical manifestations were consistent with the expected TTX toxidrome except patient 3 who developed a subarachnoid hemorrhage early during his clinical course. Two patients received neostigmine and underwent dialysis with complete recovery.

      2. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides and incidence of uterine leiomyomata: A prospective ultrasound studyexternal icon
        Orta OR, Wesselink AK, Bethea TN, Claus Henn B, Weuve J, Fruh V, McClean MD, Sjodin A, Baird DD, Wise LA.
        Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Feb;5(1):e127.
        Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are hormone-responsive benign neoplasms. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) can disrupt hormones involved in UL etiology. METHODS: The Study of Environmental, Lifestyle, and Fibroids is a Detroit-area prospective cohort of 1693 Black women 23-35 years of age. At baseline and approximately every 20 months for 5 years, women completed questionnaires and underwent transvaginal ultrasounds. Using a case-cohort study design, we selected 729 UL-free participants at baseline and analyzed baseline plasma samples for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBB-153), and OCPs. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: Compared with total PBDE plasma concentrations <50th percentile, adjusted HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 1.00 (95% CI = 0.68, 1.47), 1.04 (95% CI = 0.63, 1.68), and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.48, 1.50), respectively. HRs for PBB-153 plasma concentrations were generally similar to total PBDE plasma concentrations. Compared with total OCP plasma concentrations <50th percentile, HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 0.86 (95% CI = 0.57, 1.29), 0.73 (95% CI = 0.43, 1.22), and 0.58 (95% CI = 0.32, 1.04), respectively. HRs for individual PBDEs and OCPs were similar to their respective totals. CONCLUSION: We found little support for an association between brominated flame retardant plasma concentrations and UL incidence, and some evidence of lower UL incidence with the highest OCP plasma concentrations.

    • Food Safety
      1. Yersinia enterocolitica Outbreak Associated with Pasteurized Milkexternal icon
        Gruber JF, Morris S, Warren KA, Kline KE, Schroeder B, Dettinger L, Husband B, Pollard K, Davis C, Miller J, Weltman A, Mattioli M, Ray L, Tarr C, Longenberger AH.
        Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2021 Apr 27.
        In July 2019, we investigated a cluster of Yersinia enterocolitica cases affecting a youth summer camp and nearby community in northeastern Pennsylvania. After initial telephone interviews with camp owners and community members, we identified pasteurized milk from a small dairy conducting on-site pasteurization, Dairy A, as a shared exposure. We conducted site visits at the camp and Dairy A where we collected milk and other samples. Samples were cultured for Y. enterocolitica. Clinical and nonclinical isolates were compared using molecular subtyping. We performed case finding, conducted telephone interviews for community cases, and conducted a cohort study among adult camp staff by administering an online questionnaire. In total, we identified 109 Y. enterocolitica cases. Consumption of Dairy A milk was known for 37 (34%); of these, Dairy A milk was consumed by 31 (84%). Dairy A had shipped 214 gallons of pasteurized milk in 5 weekly shipments to the camp by mid-July. Dairy A milk was the only shared exposure identified between the camp and community. Y. enterocolitica was isolated from Dairy A unpasteurized milk samples. Five clinical isolates from camp members, two clinical isolates from community members, and nine isolates from unpasteurized milk were indistinguishable by whole-genome sequencing. The risk for yersinosis among camp staff who drank Dairy A milk was 5.3 times the risk for those who did not (95% confidence interval: 1.6-17.3). Because Dairy A only sold pasteurized milk, pasteurized milk was considered the outbreak source. We recommend governmental agencies and small dairies conducting on-site pasteurization collaborate to develop outbreak prevention strategies.

    • Health Disparities
      1. INTRODUCTION: Little is known about perceived health status and behavioral risk factors among prostate cancer survivors. The objective of this study was to describe racial and ethnic differences in self-reported health status, chronic conditions, and selected behavioral risk factors among prostate cancer survivors in the US. METHODS: We used data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to calculate the prevalence of various levels of health status, chronic conditions, behavioral risk factors, and sociodemographic characteristics among prostate cancer survivors aged 50 years or older. We stratified results by race and ethnicity. RESULTS: Of the 317 prostate cancer survivors in our sample, 33.1% reported no physical activity, 64.2% reported being current drinkers, 26.1% characterized their drinking as moderate/heavy, 42.3% reported being former smokers, and 8.7% were current smokers. Nearly one-third (29.1%) of survivors were obese (body mass index ≥30), and 15.1% had 3 to 6 chronic conditions. A greater percentage of White (29.7%) than Black (14.2%) or Hispanic (16.3%) survivors were moderate/heavy drinkers. A greater percentage of Black (16.2%) than White (7.5%) or Hispanic (7.3%) survivors were current smokers. A greater percentage of Black (25.1%) or Hispanic (27.7%) than White (11.4%) survivors had 3 to 6 chronic conditions. CONCLUSION: As the population of older men increases, prostate cancer diagnoses and those surviving the disease will also increase. Significant racial and ethnic group differences in behavioral risk factors and chronic conditions exist among prostate cancer survivors. Public health could prioritize efforts to improve health behaviors among prostate cancer survivors and use targeted interventions to address disparities.

      2. Impact of an LGBTQ Cultural Competence Training Program for Providers on Knowledge, Attitudes, Self-Efficacy and Intensionsexternal icon
        Rhoten B, Burkhalter JE, Joo R, Mujawar I, Bruner D, Scout N, Margolies L.
        J Homosex. 2021 Apr 27:1-12.
        This paper describes the development and implementation of a robust lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) cultural competence curriculum for training health and human service providers across New York State. Between 2013-2018, The National LGBT Cancer Network developed and published Best Practices in Creating and Delivering LGBTQ Cultural Competency Trainings for Health and Social Service Agencies and designed a training curriculum. They also conducted Train the Trainer sessions, and evaluated pre- and post- curriculum knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy and intentions of individuals who attended educational sessions conducted by the certified trainers. Most respondents improved from pretest to posttest, with significant improvements in knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy and intentions. An increase in self-efficacy was significantly associated with pre- to posttest improvement in respondent intention. Future research should focus on what components specifically bolster self-efficacy and intention. Increasing the number of health and human service providers who are trained to address the needs of this population is an important step toward providing culturally competent care.

    • Health Economics
      1. OBJECTIVE: Diabetes is associated with poor oral health, but incremental expenditures for dental care associated with diabetes in the U.S. are unknown. We aimed to quantify these incremental expenditures per person and for the nation. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed data from 46,633 noninstitutionalized adults aged ≥18 years old who participated in the 2016-2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. We used two-part models to estimate dental expenditures per person in total, by payment source, and by dental service type, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, health status, and geographic variables. Incremental expenditure was the difference in predicted expenditure for dental care between adults with and without diabetes. The total expenditure for the U.S. was the expenditure per person multiplied by the estimated number of people with diabetes. Expenditures were adjusted to 2017 USD. RESULTS: The mean adjusted annual diabetes-associated incremental dental expenditure was $77 per person and $1.9 billion for the nation. Of this incremental expenditure, 51% ($40) and 39% ($30) were paid out of pocket and by private insurance, 69% ($53) of the incremental expenditure was for restorative/prosthetic/surgical services, and adults with diabetes had lower expenditure for preventive services than those without (incremental, -$7). Incremental expenditures were higher in older adults, non-Hispanic Whites, and people with higher levels of income and education. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes is associated with higher dental expenditures. These results fill a gap in the estimates of total medical expenditures associated with diabetes in the U.S. and highlight the importance of preventive dental care among people with diabetes.


    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Multispecies Outbreak of Verona Integron-Encoded Metallo-ß-Lactamase-Producing Multidrug Resistant Bacteria Driven by a Promiscuous Incompatibility Group A/C2 Plasmidexternal icon
        de Man TJ, Yaffee AQ, Zhu W, Batra D, Alyanak E, Rowe LA, McAllister G, Moulton-Meissner H, Boyd S, Flinchum A, Slayton RB, Hancock S, Spalding Walters M, Laufer Halpin A, Rasheed JK, Noble-Wang J, Kallen AJ, Limbago BM.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Feb 1;72(3):414-420.
        BACKGROUND: Antibiotic resistance is often spread through bacterial populations via conjugative plasmids. However, plasmid transfer is not well recognized in clinical settings because of technical limitations, and health care-associated infections are usually caused by clonal transmission of a single pathogen. In 2015, multiple species of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), all producing a rare carbapenemase, were identified among patients in an intensive care unit. This observation suggested a large, previously unrecognized plasmid transmission chain and prompted our investigation. METHODS: Electronic medical record reviews, infection control observations, and environmental sampling completed the epidemiologic outbreak investigation. A laboratory analysis, conducted on patient and environmental isolates, included long-read whole-genome sequencing to fully elucidate plasmid DNA structures. Bioinformatics analyses were applied to infer plasmid transmission chains and results were subsequently confirmed using plasmid conjugation experiments. RESULTS: We identified 14 Verona integron-encoded metallo-ß-lactamase (VIM)-producing CRE in 12 patients, and 1 additional isolate was obtained from a patient room sink drain. Whole-genome sequencing identified the horizontal transfer of blaVIM-1, a rare carbapenem resistance mechanism in the United States, via a promiscuous incompatibility group A/C2 plasmid that spread among 5 bacterial species isolated from patients and the environment. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation represents the largest known outbreak of VIM-producing CRE in the United States to date, which comprises numerous bacterial species and strains. We present evidence of in-hospital plasmid transmission, as well as environmental contamination. Our findings demonstrate the potential for 2 types of hospital-acquired infection outbreaks: those due to clonal expansion and those due to the spread of conjugative plasmids encoding antibiotic resistance across species.

      2. Acquisition of ciprofloxacin resistance among an expanding clade of β-lactamase positive, serogroup Y Neisseria meningitidis in the United Statesexternal icon
        Potts CC, Retchless AC, McNamara LA, Marasini D, Reese N, Swint S, Hu F, Sharma S, Blain AE, Lonsway D, Karlsson M, Hariri S, Fox LM, Wang X.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 26.
        BACKGROUND: Penicillin and ciprofloxacin are important for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) management and prevention. IMD cases caused by penicillin- and ciprofloxacin-resistant Neisseria meningitidis containing a ROB-1 β-lactamase gene (blaROB-1) and a mutated DNA gyrase gene (gyrA), have been recently reported in the USA. METHODS: We examined 2097 meningococcal genomes collected through US population-based surveillance from January 2011-February 2020 to identify IMD cases caused by strains with blaROB-1 or gyrA-mediated resistance. Antimicrobial resistance was confirmed phenotypically. The US isolate genomes were compared to non-US isolate genomes containing blaROB-1. Interspecies transfer of ciprofloxacin resistance was assessed by comparing gyrA among Neisseria species. RESULTS: Eleven penicillin- and ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates were identified after December 2018; all were serogroup Y, sequence type 3587, clonal complex (CC) 23, and contained blaROB-1 and a T91I-containing gyrA allele. An additional 22 penicillin-resistant, blaROB-1-containing US isolates with wild-type gyrA were identified from 2013-2020. All 33 blaROB-1-containing isolates formed a single clade, along with 12 blaROB-1-containing isolates from six other countries. Two-thirds of blaROB-1-containing US isolates were from Hispanic individuals. Twelve additional ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates with gyrA T91 mutations were identified. Ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates belonged to six CCs and contained 10 unique gyrA alleles; seven were similar or identical to alleles from N. lactamica or N. gonorrhoeae. CONCLUSIONS: Recent IMD cases caused by a dual resistant serogroup Y suggest changing antimicrobial resistance patterns in the USA. The emerging dual-resistance is due to acquisition of ciprofloxacin resistance by β-lactamase-containing N. meningitidis. Routine antimicrobial resistance surveillance will effectively monitor resistance changes and spread.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Evaluating the potential economic and health impact of rotavirus vaccination in 63 middle-income countries not eligible for Gavi funding: a modelling studyexternal icon
        Debellut F, Clark A, Pecenka C, Tate J, Baral R, Sanderson C, Parashar U, Atherly D.
        Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Apr 20.
        BACKGROUND: Middle-income countries (MICs) that are not eligible for funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have been slow to adopt rotavirus vaccines. Few studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness and benefit-risk of rotavirus vaccination in these settings. We aimed to assess the potential economic and health impact of rotavirus vaccination in 63 MICs not eligible for funding from Gavi. METHODS: In this modelling study, we estimated the cost-effectiveness and benefit-risk of rotavirus vaccination in 63 MICs not eligible to Gavi funding. We used an Excel-based proportionate outcomes model with a finely disaggregated age structure to estimate the number of rotavirus gastroenteritis cases, clinic visits, hospitalisations, and deaths averted by vaccination in children younger than 5 years over a 10-year period. We calculated cost-effectiveness ratios (costs per disability-adjusted life-years averted compared with no vaccination) and benefit-risk ratios (number of hospitalisations due to rotavirus gastroenteritis averted per excess hospitalisations due to intussusception). We evaluated three alternative vaccines available globally (Rotarix, Rotavac, and Rotasiil) and used information from vaccine manufacturers regarding anticipated vaccine prices. We ran deterministic and probabilistic uncertainty analyses. FINDINGS: Over the period 2020-29, rotavirus vaccines could avert 77 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 51-103) cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis and 21 million (12-36) clinic visits, 3 million (1·4-5·6) hospitalisations, and 37 900 (25 900-55 900) deaths due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in 63 MICs not eligible for Gavi support. From a government perspective, rotavirus vaccination would be cost-effective in 48 (77%) of 62 MICs considered. The benefit-risk ratio for hospitalisations prevented versus those potentially caused by vaccination exceeded 250:1 in all countries. INTERPRETATION: In most MICs not eligible for Gavi funding, rotavirus vaccination has high probability to be cost-effective with a favourable benefit-risk profile. Policy makers should consider this new evidence when making or revisiting decisions on the use of rotavirus vaccines in their respective countries. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

      2. Gonococcal vaccines: Public health value and preferred product characteristics; report of a WHO global stakeholder consultation, January 2019external icon
        Gottlieb SL, Ndowa F, Hook EW, Deal C, Bachmann L, Abu-Raddad L, Chen XS, Jerse A, Low N, MacLennan CA, Petousis-Harris H, Seib KL, Unemo M, Vincent L, Giersing BK.
        Vaccine. 2020 Jun 9;38(28):4362-4373.
        Renewed interest in developing vaccines against Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been sparked by the increasing threat of gonococcal antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and growing optimism that gonococcal vaccines are biologically feasible. Evidence suggests serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis vaccines might provide some cross-protection against N. gonorrhoeae, and new gonococcal vaccine candidates based on several approaches are currently in preclinical development. To further stimulate investment and accelerate development of gonococcal vaccines, greater understanding is needed regarding the overall value that gonococcal vaccines might have in addressing public health and societal goals in low-, middle-, and high-income country contexts and how future gonococcal vaccines might be accepted and used, if available. In January 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a multidisciplinary international group of experts to lay the groundwork for understanding the potential health, economic, and societal value of gonococcal vaccines and their likely acceptance and use, and for developing gonococcal vaccine preferred product characteristics (PPCs). WHO PPCs describe preferences for vaccine attributes that would help optimize vaccine value and use in meeting the global public health need. This paper describes the main discussion points and conclusions from the January 2019 meeting of experts. Participants emphasized the need for vaccines to control N. gonorrhoeae infections with the ultimate goals of preventing adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes (e.g., infertility) and reducing the impact of gonococcal AMR. Meeting participants also discussed important PPC considerations (e.g., vaccine indications, target populations, and potential immunization strategies) and highlighted crucial research and data needs for guiding the value assessment and PPCs for gonococcal vaccines and advancing gonococcal vaccine development.

      3. Efficacy of live attenuated and inactivated influenza vaccines among children in rural India: A 2-year, randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trialexternal icon
        Krishnan A, Dar L, Saha S, Narayan VV, Kumar R, Kumar R, Amarchand R, Dhakad S, Chokker R, Choudekar A, Gopal G, Choudhary A, Potdar V, Chadha M, Lafond KE, Lindstrom S, Widdowson MA, Jain S.
        PLoS Med. 2021 Apr 29;18(4):e1003609.
        BACKGROUND: Influenza is a cause of febrile acute respiratory infection (FARI) in India; however, few influenza vaccine trials have been conducted in India. We assessed absolute and relative efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) among children aged 2 to 10 years in rural India through a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted over 2 years. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In June 2015, children were randomly allocated to LAIV, IIV, intranasal placebo, or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in a 2:2:1:1 ratio. In June 2016, vaccination was repeated per original allocation. Overall, 3,041 children received LAIV (n = 1,015), IIV (n = 1,010), nasal placebo (n = 507), or IPV (n = 509). Mean age of children was 6.5 years with 20% aged 9 to 10 years. Through weekly home visits, nasal and throat swabs were collected from children with FARI and tested for influenza virus by polymerase chain reaction. The primary outcome was laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated FARI; vaccine efficacy (VE) was calculated using modified intention-to-treat (mITT) analysis by Cox proportional hazards model (PH) for each year. In Year 1, VE was 40.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) 25.2 to 51.9) for LAIV and 59.0% (95% CI 47.8 to 67.9) for IIV compared with controls; relative efficacy of LAIV compared with IIV was -46.2% (95% CI -88.9 to -13.1). In Year 2, VE was 51.9% (95% CI 42.0 to 60.1) for LAIV and 49.9% (95% CI 39.2 to 58.7) for IIV; relative efficacy of LAIV compared with IIV was 4.2% (95% CI -19.9 to 23.5). No serious adverse vaccine-attributable events were reported. Study limitations include differing dosage requirements for children between nasal and injectable vaccines (single dose of LAIV versus 2 doses of IIV) in Year 1 and the fact that immunogenicity studies were not conducted. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that LAIV and IIV vaccines were safe and moderately efficacious against influenza virus infection among Indian children. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials Registry of India CTRI/2015/06/005902.

      4. Updated Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine After Reports of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Among Vaccine Recipients - United States, April 2021external icon
        MacNeil JR, Su JR, Broder KR, Guh AY, Gargano JW, Wallace M, Hadler SC, Scobie HM, Blain AE, Moulia D, Daley MF, McNally VV, Romero JR, Talbot HK, Lee GM, Bell BP, Oliver SE.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):651-656.
        On February 27, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Janssen COVID-19 (Ad.26.COV2.S) vaccine (Janssen Biotech, Inc., a Janssen Pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson; New Brunswick, New Jersey), and on February 28, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued interim recommendations for its use in persons aged ≥18 years (1,2). On April 13, 2021, CDC and FDA recommended a pause in the use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six U.S. cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia, a rare thromboembolic syndrome, among Janssen COVID-19 vaccine recipients (3). Two emergency ACIP meetings were rapidly convened to review reported cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) and to consider updated recommendations for use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. On April 23, 2021, after a discussion of the benefits and risks of resuming vaccination, ACIP reaffirmed its interim recommendation for use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in all persons aged ≥18 years under the FDA's EUA, which now includes a warning that rare clotting events might occur after vaccination, primarily among women aged 18-49 years. Patient and provider education about the risk for TTS with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, especially among women aged <50 years, as well as the availability of alternative COVID-19 vaccines, is required to guide vaccine decision-making and ensure early recognition and clinical management of TTS.

      5. Multistate, Population-Based Distributions of Candidate Vaccine Targets, Clonal Complexes, and Resistance Features of Invasive Group B Streptococci Within the United States, 2015-2017external icon
        McGee L, Chochua S, Li Z, Mathis S, Rivers J, Metcalf B, Ryan A, Alden N, Farley MM, Harrison LH, Snippes Vagnone P, Lynfield R, Smelser C, Muse A, Thomas AR, Schrag S, Beall BW.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 15;72(6):1004-1013.
        BACKGROUND: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis and an important cause of invasive infections in pregnant and nonpregnant adults. Vaccines targeting capsule polysaccharides and common proteins are under development. METHODS: Using whole genome sequencing, a validated bioinformatics pipeline, and targeted antimicrobial susceptibility testing, we characterized 6340 invasive GBS isolates recovered during 2015-2017 through population-based Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) in 8 states. RESULTS: Six serotypes accounted for 98.4% of isolates (21.8% Ia, 17.6% V, 17.1% II, 15.6% III, 14.5% Ib, 11.8% IV). Most (94.2%) isolates were in 11 clonal complexes (CCs) comprised of multilocus sequence types identical or closely related to sequence types 1, 8, 12, 17, 19, 22, 23, 28, 88, 452, and 459. Fifty-four isolates (0.87%) had point mutations within pbp2x associated with nonsusceptibility to 1 or more β-lactam antibiotics. Genes conferring resistance to macrolides and/or lincosamides were found in 56% of isolates; 85.2% of isolates had tetracycline resistance genes. Two isolates carrying vanG were vancomycin nonsusceptible (minimum inhibitory concentration = 2 µg/mL). Nearly all isolates possessed capsule genes, 1-2 of the 3 main pilus gene clusters, and 1 of 4 homologous alpha/Rib family determinants. Presence of the hvgA virulence gene was primarily restricted to serotype III/CC17 isolates (465 isolates), but 8 exceptions (7 IV/CC452 and 1 IV/CC17) were observed. CONCLUSIONS: This first comprehensive, population-based quantitation of strain features in the United States suggests that current vaccine candidates should have good coverage. The β-lactams remain appropriate for first-line treatment and prophylaxis, but emergence of nonsusceptibility warrants ongoing monitoring.

      6. Rotavirus Strain Distribution before and after Introducing Rotavirus Vaccine in Indiaexternal icon
        Varghese T, Alokit Khakha S, Giri S, Nair NP, Badur M, Gathwala G, Chaudhury S, Kaushik S, Dash M, Mohakud NK, Ray RK, Mohanty P, Kumar CP, Venkatasubramanian S, Arora R, Raghava Mohan V, Tate JE, Parashar UD, Kang G.
        Pathogens. 2021 Apr 1;10(4).
        In April 2016, an indigenous monovalent rotavirus vaccine (Rotavac) was introduced to the National Immunization Program in India. Hospital-based surveillance for acute gastroenteritis was conducted in five sentinel sites from 2012 to 2020 to monitor the vaccine impact on various genotypes and the reduction in rotavirus positivity at each site. Stool samples collected from children under 5 years of age hospitalized with diarrhea were tested for group A rotavirus using a commercial enzyme immunoassay, and rotavirus strains were characterized by RT-PCR. The proportion of diarrhea hospitalizations attributable to rotavirus at the five sites declined from a range of 56-29.4% in pre-vaccine years to 34-12% in post-vaccine years. G1P[8] was the predominant strain in the pre-vaccination period, and G3P[8] was the most common in the post-vaccination period. Circulating patterns varied throughout the study period, and increased proportions of mixed genotypes were detected in the post-vaccination phase. Continuous long-term surveillance is essential to understand the diversity and immuno-epidemiological effects of rotavirus vaccination.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Bacterial vector-borne diseases, including Borrelia species, present a significant diagnostic, clinical, and public health challenge due to their overlapping symptoms and the breadth of causative agents and arthropod vectors. The relapsing fever (RF) borreliae encompass both established and emerging pathogens and are transmitted to humans by soft ticks, hard ticks, or lice. We developed a real-time semi-multiplex PCR assay that detects multiple RF borreliae causing human illness and classifies them into one of three groups. The groups are based on genetic similarity and include agents of soft-tick relapsing fever (B. hermsii and others), the emerging hard tick transmitted pathogen B. miyamotoi, and the agent of louse-borne relapsing fever (B. recurrentis) The real-time PCR assay uses a single primer pair designed to amplify all known pathogenic RF borreliae, and multiple TaqMan probes to allow for detection of and differentiation among the three groups. The assay detects all RF borreliae tested with an analytical limit of detection below 15 genome equivalents per reaction. Thirty isolates of RF borreliae encompassing six species were accurately identified. Thirty-nine of 41 residual specimens (EDTA whole blood, serum, or plasma) from patients with RF were detected and correctly classified. None of 42 clinical samples from patients with other infections and 46 culture specimens from non-RF bacteria were detected. The development of a single assay real-time PCR approach will help to improve diagnosis of RF by simplifying the selection of tests to aid in clinical management of acutely ill RF patients.

      2. Carbon Nanotube Exposure Triggers a Cerebral Peptidomic Response: Barrier Compromise, Neuroinflammation and a Hyperexcited Stateexternal icon
        Mostovenko E, Saunders S, Muldoon PP, Bishop L, Campen MJ, Erdely A, Ottens AK.
        Toxicol Sci. 2021 Apr 21.
        The unique physicochemical properties of carbon nanomaterials and their ever-growing utilization generate a serious concern for occupational risk. Pulmonary exposure to these nanoparticles induces local and systemic inflammation, cardiovascular dysfunction, and even cognitive deficits. While multiple routes of extrapulmonary toxicity have been proposed, the mechanism for and manner of neurologic effects remain minimally understood. Here, we examine the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)-derived peptidomic fraction as a reflection of neuropathological alterations induced by pulmonary carbon nanomaterial exposure. Male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 10 or 40 µg of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) by oropharyngeal aspiration. Serum and cerebrospinal fluids were collected 4 h post-exposure. An enriched peptide fraction of both biofluids was analyzed using ion mobility-enabled data-independent mass spectrometry for label-free quantification. MWCNT exposure induced a prominent peptidomic response in the blood and CSF; however, correlation between fluids was limited. Instead, we determined that a MWCNT-induced peptidomic shift occurred specific to the CSF with 292 significant responses found that were not in serum. Identified MWCNT-responsive peptides depicted a mechanism involving aberrant fibrinolysis (fibrinopeptide A), blood-brain barrier permeation (homeobox protein A4), neuroinflammation (transmembrane protein 131 L) with reactivity by astrocytes and microglia, and a pro-degradative (signal transducing adapter molecule, phosphoglycerate kinase), anti-plastic (AF4/FMR2 family member 1, vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein 18) state with the excitation-inhibition balance shifted to a hyperexcited (microtubule-associated protein 1B) phenotype. Overall, the significant pathologic changes observed were consistent with early neurodegenerative disease and were diagnostically reflected in the CSF peptidome. Impact Statement These studies demonstrate in a model of nanotube pulmonary exposure that there is a distinct CSF peptidomic response diagnostic of a compromised blood-brain barrier, neuroinflammation, and a hyperexcited neuronal state that is consistent with early-pathobiology of neurodegenerative disease.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Health Status and Health Care Use Among Adolescents Identified With and Without Autism in Early Childhood - Four U.S. Sites, 2018-2020external icon
        Powell PS, Pazol K, Wiggins LD, Daniels JL, Dichter GS, Bradley CB, Pretzel R, Kloetzer J, McKenzie C, Scott A, Robinson B, Sims AS, Kasten EP, Fallin MD, Levy SE, Dietz PM, Cogswell ME.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):605-611.
        Persons identified in early childhood as having autism spectrum disorder (autism) often have co-occurring health problems that extend into adolescence (1-3). Although only limited data exist on their health and use of health care services as they transition to adolescence, emerging data suggest that a minority of these persons receive recommended guidance* from their primary care providers (PCPs) starting at age 12 years to ensure a planned transition from pediatric to adult health care (4,5). To address this gap in data, researchers analyzed preliminary data from a follow-up survey of parents and guardians of adolescents aged 12-16 years who previously participated in the Study to Explore Early Development (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/seed.html). The adolescents were originally studied at ages 2-5 years and identified at that age as having autism (autism group) or as general population controls (control group). Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) that accounted for differences in demographic characteristics were used to compare outcomes between groups. Adolescents in the autism group were more likely than were those in the control group to have physical difficulties (21.2% versus 1.6%; aPR = 11.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.2-31.9), and to have additional mental health or other conditions(†) (one or more condition: 63.0% versus 28.9%; aPR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.5-2.5). Adolescents in the autism group were more likely to receive mental health services (41.8% versus 22.1%; aPR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.3-2.6) but were also more likely to have an unmet medical or mental health service need(§) (11.0% versus 3.2%; aPR = 3.1; 95% CI = 1.1-8.8). In both groups, a small percentage of adolescents (autism, 7.5%; control, 14.1%) received recommended health care transition (transition) guidance. These findings are consistent with previous research (4,5) indicating that few adolescents receive the recommended transition guidance and suggest that adolescents identified with autism in early childhood are more likely than adolescents in the general population to have unmet health care service needs. Improved provider training on the heath care needs of adolescents with autism and coordination of comprehensive programs(¶) to meet their needs can improve delivery of services and adherence to recommended guidance for transitioning from pediatric to adult health care.

    • Mining
      1. Experiments conducted with limestone dusts and dolomitic marble dusts have indicated that when rock dust is wetted and subsequently dried, it becomes a solid, non-dispersible cake. However, in order to be effectively inert a coal dust explosion, rock dust must be able to disperse as individual particles to air. To counteract this, rock dust manufacturers created treated rock dusts that will resist caking after moisture exposure. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers conducted a series of laboratory-scale experiments on four base rock dusts and their treated counterparts to assess the effectiveness of various anti-caking additives after being exposed to moisture and then dried. The dusts were exposed to moisture using humidity cabinets having a high relative humidity (99% RH) and by also exposing the rock dust bed to water through bottom wicking. The dusts were then evaluated for dispersibility after drying using the NIOSH-designed dust dispersion chamber. The anti-caking additives were different concentrations of stearic acid, oleic acid, and xylene-based surfactants. All results were compared to a reference rock dust used to conduct large-scale experiments in the Lake Lynn Experimental Mine (LLEM), Fairchance, PA. When the untreated dusts were dried after exposure to moisture for 1 day, no dispersion was measured. However, rock dusts treated with anti-caking agents were readily dispersible even after exposure to moisture for 6 months. This report details the analysis and characterization of anti-caking additives using the NIOSH-designed dispersion chamber and the 20-L explosion test chamber. © 2019, This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Surveillance data have highlighted continued disparities in neural tube defects (NTDs) by race-ethnicity in the United States. Starting in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) among infants of Hispanic women of reproductive age. To assess the impact of voluntary corn masa fortification, cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2018 for Hispanic women of reproductive age with available red blood cell (RBC) folate concentrations were analyzed, with additional analyses conducted among Hispanic women whose sole source of folic acid intake was fortified foods (enriched cereal grain products (ECGP) only), excluding ready-to-eat cereals and supplements. RBC folate concentration (adjusted geometric mean) among Hispanic women of reproductive age did not differ between 2011-2016 and 2017-2018, though RBC folate concentration increased significantly among lesser acculturated Hispanic women consuming ECGP only. Concentrations of RBC folate for those born outside the U.S and residing in the U.S <15 years increased from 894 nmol/L (95% CI: 844-946) in 2011-2016 to 1018 nmol/L (95% CI: 982-1162; p < 0.001) in 2017-2018. Primarily Spanish-speaking Hispanic women of reproductive age who only consumed ECGP saw an increase from 941 nmol/L (95% CI: 895-990) in 2011-2016 to 1034 nmol/L (95% CI: 966-1107; p = 0.03) in 2017-2018. By subpopulation, we observed no significant changes in the proportion at risk of NTDs (<748 nmol/L) and no changes in the model-based estimated NTD rates following voluntary corn masa fortification. This analysis suggests that there is a remaining risk among Hispanics for folate sensitive NTDs, though continued monitoring of folate status in future NHANES data cycles will help inform the long-term efficacy of voluntary fortification of corn masa flour.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Testing and Validating Semi-automated Approaches to the Occupational Exposure Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbonsexternal icon
        Santiago-Colón A, Rocheleau CM, Bertke S, Christianson A, Collins DT, Trester-Wilson E, Sanderson W, Waters MA, Reefhuis J.
        Ann Work Expo Health. 2021 Apr 23.
        INTRODUCTION: When it is not possible to capture direct measures of occupational exposure or conduct biomonitoring, retrospective exposure assessment methods are often used. Among the common retrospective assessment methods, assigning exposure estimates by multiple expert rater review of detailed job descriptions is typically the most valid, but also the most time-consuming and expensive. Development of screening protocols to prioritize a subset of jobs for expert rater review can reduce the exposure assessment cost and time requirement, but there is often little data with which to evaluate different screening approaches. We used existing job-by-job exposure assessment data (assigned by consensus between multiple expert raters) from a large, population-based study of women to create and test screening algorithms for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that would be suitable for use in other population-based studies. METHODS: We evaluated three approaches to creating a screening algorithm: a machine-learning algorithm, a set of a priori decision rules created by experts based on features (such as keywords) found in the job description, and a hybrid algorithm incorporating both sets of criteria. All coded jobs held by mothers of infants participating in National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) (n = 35,424) were used in developing or testing the screening algorithms. The job narrative fields considered for all approaches included job title, type of product made by the company, main activities or duties, and chemicals or substances handled. Each screening approach was evaluated against the consensus rating of two or more expert raters. RESULTS: The machine-learning algorithm considered over 30,000 keywords and industry/occupation codes (separate and in combination). Overall, the hybrid method had a similar sensitivity (87.1%) as the expert decision rules (85.5%) but was higher than the machine-learning algorithm (67.7%). Specificity was best in the machine-learning algorithm (98.1%), compared to the expert decision rules (89.2%) and hybrid approach (89.1%). Using different probability cutoffs in the hybrid approach resulted in improvements in sensitivity (24-30%), without the loss of much specificity (7-18%). CONCLUSION: Both expert decision rules and the machine-learning algorithm performed reasonably well in identifying the majority of jobs with potential exposure to PAHs. The hybrid screening approach demonstrated that by reviewing approximately 20% of the total jobs, it could identify 87% of all jobs exposed to PAHs; sensitivity could be further increased, albeit with a decrease in specificity, by adjusting the algorithm. The resulting screening algorithm could be applied to other population-based studies of women. The process of developing the algorithm also provides a useful illustration of the strengths and potential pitfalls of these approaches to developing exposure assessment algorithms.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. World Malaria Day 2021: Commemorating 15 Years of Contribution by the United States President's Malaria Initiativeexternal icon
        Steketee RW, Choi M, Linn A, Florey L, Murphy M, Panjabi R.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Apr 23.
        World Malaria Day 2021 coincides with the 15th anniversary of the United States President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and follows the first anniversary of the declaration of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. From 2006 to the present, the PMI has led to considerable country-managed progress in malaria prevention, care, and treatment in 24 of the highest-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa and three countries in the Southeast Asia Greater Mekong subregion. Furthermore, it has contributed to a 29% reduction in malaria cases and a 60% reduction in the death rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In this context of progress, substantial heterogeneity persists within and between countries, such that malaria control programs can seek subnational elimination in some populations but others still experience substantial malaria disease and death. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most malaria programs have shown resilience in delivering prevention campaigns, but many experienced important disruptions in their care and treatment of malaria illness. Confronting the COVID-19 pandemic and building on the progress against malaria will require fortitude, including strengthening the quality and ensuring the safety and resiliency of the existing programs, extending services to those currently not reached, and supporting the people and partners closest to those in need.

      2. Scaling-down mass ivermectin treatment for onchocerciasis elimination: modelling the impact of the geographical unit for decision makingexternal icon
        Stolk WA, Blok DJ, Hamley JI, Cantey PT, de Vlas SJ, Walker M, Basáñez MG.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 28.
        BACKGROUND: Due to spatial heterogeneity in onchocerciasis transmission, the duration of ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) required for eliminating onchocerciasis will vary within endemic areas and the occurrence of transmission 'hotspots' is inevitable. The geographical scale at which stop-MDA decisions are made will be a key driver in how rapidly national programmes can scale down active intervention upon achieving the epidemiological targets for elimination. METHODS: We use two onchocerciasis models (EPIONCHO-IBM and ONCHOSIM) to predict the likelihood of achieving elimination by 2030 in Africa, accounting for variation in pre-intervention endemicity levels and histories of ivermectin treatment. We explore how decision-making at contrasting geographical scales (community vs. larger scale 'project') changes projections on populations still requiring MDA or transitioning to post-treatment surveillance. RESULTS: The total population considered grows from 118 million people in 2020 to 136 million in 2030. If stop-MDA decisions are made at project level, the number of people requiring treatment declines from 69-118 million in 2020 to 59-118 million in 2030. If stop-MDA decisions are made at community level, the numbers decline from 23-81 million in 2020 to 15-63 million in 2030. The lower estimates in these predictions intervals are based on ONCHOSIM, the upper limits on EPIONCHO-IBM. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The geographical scale at which stop-MDA decisions are made strongly determines how rapidly national onchocerciasis programmes can scale down MDA programmes. Stopping in portions of project areas or transmission zones would free up human and economic resources.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Contraceptive counseling experiences among women attending HIV Care and Treatment Centers: a national survey in Kenyaexternal icon
        Dev R, Kohler P, Begnel E, Achwoka D, McGrath CJ, Pintye J, Muthigani W, Singa B, Gondi J, Ng'ang'a L, Langat A, John-Stewart G, Kinuthia J, Drake AL.
        Contraception. 2021 Apr 21.
        OBJECTIVES: To characterize contraceptive counseling experiences among women living with HIV (WLWH) receiving HIV care in Kenya. STUDY DESIGN: Sexually active, WLWH aged 15-49 years were purposively sampled from 109 high-volume HIV Care and Treatment Centers in Kenya between June and September 2016. Cross-sectional surveys were administered to enroll women on a tablet using Open Data Kit. Poisson generalized linear regression models adjusted for facility-level clustering were used to examine cofactors for receiving family planning (FP) counseling with a provider. RESULTS: Overall, 4805 WLWH were enrolled, 60% reported they received FP counseling during the last year, 72% of whom reported they were counseled about benefits of birth spacing and limiting. Most women who received FP counseling were married (64%) and discussed FP with their partner (78%). Use of FP in the last month (adjusted Prevalence Ratio [aPR]=1.74, 95% CI: 1.41-2.15, p<0.001), desire for children in >2 years (aPR=1.18, 95% CI: 1.09-1.28, p<0.001), and concern about contraceptive side-effects (aPR=1.13, 95% CI 1.02-1.25, p<0.05) were significantly higher among WLWH who received FP counseling compared to those that did not. CONCLUSIONS: Over one-third of WLWH did not receiving FP counseling with an HIV care provider during the last year, and counseling was more commonly reported among women who were using FP or desired children in >2 years. IMPLICATIONS: There are missed opportunities for FP counseling in HIV care. FP integration in HIV care could improve FP access and birth spacing or limiting among WLWH.

    • Statistics as Topic
      1. On Different Formulations of a Continuous CTA Modelexternal icon
        Lesaja G, Iacob I, Oganian A.
        Priv Stat Databases. 2020 Sep;12276:166-179.
        In this paper, we consider a Controlled Tabular Adjustment (CTA) model for statistical disclosure limitation of tabular data. The goal of the CTA model is to find the closest safe (masked) table to the original table that contains sensitive information. The measure of closeness is usually measured using ℓ (1) or ℓ (2) norm. However, in the norm-based CTA model, there is no control of how well the statistical properties of the data in the original table are preserved in the masked table. Hence, we propose a different criterion of "closeness" between the masked and original table which attempts to minimally change certain statistics used in the analysis of the table. The Chi-square statistic is among the most utilized measures for the analysis of data in two-dimensional tables. Hence, we propose a Chi-square CTA model which minimizes the objective function that depends on the difference of the Chi-square statistics of the original and masked table. The model is non-linear and non-convex and therefore harder to solve which prompted us to also consider a modification of this model which can be transformed into a linear programming model that can be solved more efficiently. We present numerical results for the two-dimensional table illustrating our novel approach and providing a comparison with norm-based CTA models.

      2. Multivariate Top-Coding for Statistical Disclosure Limitationexternal icon
        Oganian A, Iacob I, Lesaja G.
        Priv Stat Databases. 2020 Sep;12276:136-148.
        One of the most challenging problems for national statistical agencies is how to release to the public microdata sets with a large number of attributes while keeping the disclosure risk of sensitive information of data subjects under control. When statistical agencies alter microdata in order to limit the disclosure risk, they need to take into account relationships between the variables to produce a good quality public data set. Hence, Statistical Disclosure Limitation (SDL) methods should not be univariate (treating each variable independently of others), but preferably multivariate, that is, handling several variables at the same time. Statistical agencies are often concerned about disclosure risk associated with the extreme values of numerical variables. Thus, such observations are often top or bottom-coded in the public use files. Top-coding consists of the substitution of extreme observations of the numerical variable by a threshold, for example, by the 99th percentile of the corresponding variable. Bottom coding is defined similarly but applies to the values in the lower tail of the distribution. We argue that a univariate form of top/bottom-coding may not offer adequate protection for some subpopulations which are different in terms of a top-coded variable from other subpopulations or the whole population. In this paper, we propose a multivariate form of top-coding based on clustering the variables into groups according to some metric of closeness between the variables and then forming the rules for the multivariate top-codes using techniques of Association Rule Mining within the clusters of variables obtained on the previous step. Bottom-coding procedures can be defined in a similar way. We illustrate our method on a genuine multivariate data set of realistic size.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Maternal opioid exposure, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and infant healthcare utilization: A retrospective cohort analysisexternal icon
        Ko JY, Yoon J, Tong VT, Haight SC, Patel R, Rockhill KM, Luck J, Shapiro-Mendoza C.
        Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Apr 20;223:108704.
        BACKGROUND: We sought to describe healthcare utilization of infants by maternal opioid exposure and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) status. METHODS: A longitudinal cohort of 81,833 maternal-infant dyads were identified from Oregon's 2008-2012 linked birth certificate and Medicaid eligibility and claims data. Chi-square tests compared term infants (≥37 weeks of gestational age) by maternal opioid exposure, defined using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes or prescription fills, and NAS, defined using ICD-9-CM codes, such that infants were categorized as Opioid+/ NAS+, Opioid+/NAS-, Opioid-/NAS+, and Opioid-/NAS-. Modified Poisson regression was used to calculate adjusted risk ratios (aRR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for healthcare utilization for each infant group compared to Opioid-/NAS- infants. RESULTS: The prevalence of documented maternal opioid exposure was 123.1 per 1000 dyads and NAS incidence was 5.8 per 1000 dyads. Compared to Opioid-/NAS- infants, infants with maternal opioid exposures were more likely to be hospitalized within 4 weeks (Opioid+/ NAS+: [aRR: 4.7; 95 % CI: 4.3-5.1]; Opioid+/ NAS-: [aRR: 3.7; 95 %CI: 3.1-4.5]) and a year after birth (Opioid+/ NAS+: [aRR: 3.7; 95 %CI: 3.4-4.0]; Opioid+/ NAS-: [aRR: 2.8; 95 %CI: 2.3-3.4]). Infants with maternal opioid exposure and/or NAS were more likely than Opioid-/NAS- infants to have ≥2 sick visits and any ED visits in the year after birth. CONCLUSIONS: Infants with NAS and/or maternal opioid exposure had greater healthcare utilization than infants without NAS or opioid exposure. Efforts to mitigate future hospitalization risk and encourage participation in preventative services within the first year of life may improve outcomes.

      2. Opioid prescription claims among women aged 15-44 years-United States, 2013-2017external icon
        Summers AD, Ailes EC, Bohm MK, Tran EL, Broussard CS, Frey MT, Gilboa SM, Ko JY, Lind JN, Honein MA.
        J Opioid Manag. 2021 Mar-Apr;17(2):125-133.
        OBJECTIVE: To estimate the annual percentage of women of reproductive age with private insurance or Medicaid who had opioid prescription claims during 2013-2017 and describe trends over time. DESIGN: A secondary analysis of insurance claims data from IBM MarketScan® Commercial and Multi-State Medicaid Databases to assess outpatient pharmacy claims for prescription opioids among women aged 15-44 years during 2013-2017. PARTICIPANTS: Annual cohorts of 3.5-3.8 million women aged 15-44 years with private insurance and 0.9-2.1 million women enrolled in Medicaid. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The percentage of women aged 15-44 years with outpatient pharmacy claims for opioid prescriptions. RESULTS: During 2013-2017, the proportion of women aged 15-44 years with private insurance who had claims for opioid prescriptions decreased by 22.1 percent, and among women enrolled in Medicaid, the proportion decreased by 31.5 -percent. CONCLUSIONS: Opioid prescription claims decreased from 2013 to 2017 among insured women of reproductive age. However, opioid prescription claims remained common and were more common among women enrolled in Medicaid than those with private insurance; additional strategies to improve awareness of the risks associated with opioid prescribing may be needed.

      3. OBJECTIVES: Up-to-date information on the occurrence of drug overdose is critical to guide public health response. The objective of our study was to evaluate a near-real-time fatal drug overdose surveillance system to improve timeliness of drug overdose monitoring. METHODS: We analyzed data on deaths in the King County (Washington) Medical Examiner's Office (KCMEO) jurisdiction that occurred during March 1, 2017-February 28, 2018, and that had routine toxicology test results. Medical examiners (MEs) classified probable drug overdoses on the basis of information obtained through the death investigation and autopsy. We calculated sensitivity, positive predictive value, specificity, and negative predictive value of MEs' classification by using the final death certificate as the gold standard. RESULTS: KCMEO investigated 2480 deaths; 1389 underwent routine toxicology testing, and 361 were toxicologically confirmed drug overdoses from opioid, stimulant, or euphoric drugs. Sensitivity of the probable overdose classification was 83%, positive predictive value was 89%, specificity was 96%, and negative predictive value was 94%. Probable overdoses were classified a median of 1 day after the event, whereas the final death certificate confirming an overdose was received by KCMEO an average of 63 days after the event. CONCLUSIONS: King County MEs' probable overdose classification provides a near-real-time indicator of fatal drug overdoses, which can guide rapid local public health responses to the drug overdose epidemic.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Emergency Department Visits for Tick Bites - United States, January 2017-December 2019external icon
        Marx GE, Spillane M, Beck A, Stein Z, Powell AK, Hinckley AF.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 30;70(17):612-616.
        The incidence of tickborne diseases in the United States is increasing; reported cases more than doubled from >22,000 in 2004 to >48,000 in 2016 (1). Ticks are responsible for approximately 95% of all locally acquired vectorborne diseases reported by states and the District of Columbia, with Lyme disease accounting for >80% of those cases (2). After a tick bite, persons might seek care at an emergency department (ED) for tick removal and to receive postexposure prophylaxis, which has been shown to effectively prevent Lyme disease when taken within 72 hours of a high-risk bite (3). Using data from CDC's National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP), investigators examined ED tick bite visits during January 2017-December 2019 by sex, age group, U.S. region, and seasonality. During this 36-month period, 149,364 ED tick bite visits were identified. Mean cumulative incidence was 49 ED tick bite visits per 100,000 ED visits overall; incidence was highest in the Northeast (110 per 100,000 ED visits). The seasonal distribution of ED tick bite visits was bimodal: the larger peak occurred during the spring and early summer, and the smaller peak occurred in the fall. This pattern aligns with the seasonality of a known and abundant human-biter, the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (4). Compared with other age groups, pediatric patients aged 0-9 years accounted for the highest number and incidence of ED tick bite visits; incidence was higher among male patients than among females. Tick bites are not monitored by current surveillance systems because a tick bite is an event that in and of itself is not a reportable condition to health departments. Syndromic surveillance of ED tick bite visits can provide timely information that might predict temporal and geographic risk for exposure to tickborne diseases and guide actionable public health messaging such as avoiding tick habitats, wearing repellent consistently when outdoors, and performing regular tick checks during times of increased tick bite risk.

      2. Dengue Virus Infections among Peace Corps Volunteers in Timor-Leste, 2018-2019external icon
        Sánchez-González L, Venuto M, Poe S, Major CG, Baskara L, Abdiyeva S, Murphy D, Munoz-Jordan JL, Medina FA, Paz-Bailey G, Petersen K, Becker K, Sharp TM.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Apr 26.
        Dengue is an ongoing health risk for Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) working in the tropics. On May 2019, the Peace Corps Office of Health Services notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a dengue outbreak among PCVs in Timor-Leste. The purpose of this investigation was to identify the clinical, demographic, and epidemiological characteristics of PCVs with dengue and recommend dengue preventive measures. To identify PCVs with dengue and describe disease severity, the medical records of PCVs reporting fever during September 2018-June 2019 were reviewed. To identify factors associated with dengue virus (DENV) infection, we administered a questionnaire on demographics, travel history, and mosquito avoidance behaviors and collected blood specimens to detect the anti-DENV IgM antibody to diagnose recent infection. Of 35 PCVs in-country, 11 (31%) tested positive for dengue (NS1, IgM, PCR), eight requiring hospitalization and medical evacuation. Among 27 (77%) PCVs who participated in the investigation, all reported having been recently bitten by mosquitoes and 56% reported being bitten most often at home; only 16 (59%) reported having screens on bedroom windows. Nearly all (93%) PCVs reported using a bed net every night; fewer (70%) reported using mosquito repellent at least once a day. No behaviors were significantly associated with DENV infection. Raising awareness of dengue risk among PCVs and continuing to encourage mosquito avoidance behavior to prevent dengue is critical. Access to and use of measures to avoid mosquito bites should be improved or implemented. Peace Corps medical officers should continue to receive an annual refresher training on dengue clinical management.


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