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Issue 18, May 3, 2022

CDC Science Clips: Volume 14, Issue 18, May 3, 2022

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. 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.
    • Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship
      1. Pretreatment human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drug resistance among treatment-naive infants newly diagnosed with HIV in 2016 in Namibia: Results of a nationally representative studyexternal icon
        Jordan MR, Bikinesi L, Ashipala L, Mutenda N, Brantuo M, Hunt G, Shiningavamwe A, Mutandi G, Beukes A, Beard S, Battey K, Dziuban EJ, Raizes E, Adjei P, Tang A, Giron A, Hong SY.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 May;9(5):ofac102.
        BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends routine surveillance of pretreatment human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drug resistance (HIVDR) in children <18 months of age diagnosed with HIV through early infant diagnosis (EID). In 2016, 262 children <18 months of age were diagnosed with HIV in Namibia through EID. Levels of HIVDR in this population are unknown. METHODS: In 2016, Namibia surveyed pretreatment HIVDR among children aged <18 months following WHO guidance. Reverse transcriptase, protease, and integrase regions of HIV-1 were genotyped from remnant dried blood spot specimens from all infants diagnosed with HIV in Namibia in 2016. HIVDR was predicted using the Stanford HIVdb algorithm. RESULTS: Of 262 specimens genotyped, 198 HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase sequences and 118 HIV-1 integrase sequences were successfully amplified and analyzed. The prevalence of efavirenz/nevirapine (EFV/NVP), abacavir (ABC), zidovudine, lamivudine/emtricitabine (3TC/FTC), and tenofovir (TDF) resistance was 62.6%, 17.7%, 5.6%, 15.7%, and 10.1%, respectively. No integrase inhibitor resistance was detected. CONCLUSIONS: The high level of EFV/NVP resistance is unsurprising; however, levels of ABC and TDF resistance are among the highest observed to date in infants in sub-Saharan Africa. The absence of resistance to dolutegravir (DTG) is reassuring but underscores the need to further study the impact of ABC and 3TC/FTC resistance on pediatric protease inhibitor- and DTG-based regimens and accelerate access to other antiretroviral drugs. Results underscore the need for antiretroviral therapy optimization and prompt management of high viral loads in infants and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Proceedings From a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Workshop to control hypertensionexternal icon
        Commodore-Mensah Y, Loustalot F, Himmelfarb CD, Desvigne-Nickens P, Sachdev V, Bibbins-Domingo K, Clauser SB, Cohen DJ, Egan BM, Fendrick AM, Ferdinand KC, Goodman C, Graham GN, Jaffe MG, Krumholz HM, Levy PD, Mays GP, McNellis R, Muntner P, Ogedegbe G, Milani RV, Polgreen LA, Reisman L, Sanchez EJ, Sperling LS, Wall HK, Whitten L, Wright JT, Wright JS, Fine LJ.
        Am J Hypertens. 2022 Mar 8;35(3):232-243.
        Hypertension treatment and control prevent more cardiovascular events than management of other modifiable risk factors. Although the age-adjusted proportion of US adults with controlled blood pressure (BP) defined as <140/90 mm Hg, improved from 31.8% in 1999-2000 to 48.5% in 2007-2008, it remained stable through 2013-2014 and declined to 43.7% in 2017-2018. To address the rapid decline in hypertension control, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a virtual workshop with multidisciplinary national experts. Also, the group sought to identify opportunities to reverse the adverse trend and further improve hypertension control. The workshop immediately preceded the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Control Hypertension, which recognized a stagnation in progress with hypertension control. The presentations and discussions included potential reasons for the decline and challenges in hypertension control, possible "big ideas," and multisector approaches that could reverse the current trend while addressing knowledge gaps and research priorities. The broad set of "big ideas" was comprised of various activities that may improve hypertension control, including: interventions to engage patients, promotion of self-measured BP monitoring with clinical support, supporting team-based care, implementing telehealth, enhancing community-clinical linkages, advancing precision population health, developing tailored public health messaging, simplifying hypertension treatment, using process and outcomes quality metrics to foster accountability and efficiency, improving access to high-quality health care, addressing social determinants of health, supporting cardiovascular public health and research, and lowering financial barriers to hypertension control.

      2. Prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the United States using established and novel methodologies, 2017external icon
        Mehta P, Raymond J, Punjani R, Han M, Larson T, Kaye W, Nelson LM, Topol B, Muravov O, Genson C, Horton DK.
        Amyotroph lateral scler frontotemporal degener. 2022 Apr 15:1-9.
        Objective:To estimate the prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the United States for 2017 using data from the National ALS Registry (Registry) as well as capture-recapture methodology to account for under-ascertainment. Established in 2010, the Registry collects and examines data on ALS patients in the US to better describe the epidemiology of ALS (i.e. risk factor exposures, demographics).Methods: The Registry compiled data from national administrative databases (from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Veterans Benefits Administration) and a voluntary enrollment data through a web portal (www.cdc.gov/als). To estimate the number of missing cases, capture-recapture methodology was utilized.Results: The Registry conservatively identified 17,800 adult persons (lower-bound estimate) who met the Registry definition of ALS for an age-adjusted prevalence of 5.5 per 100,000 US population. Using capture-recapture methodology, we obtained a "mean case count" of 24,821 ALS cases (prevalence of 7.7 per 100,000 U.S. population) and estimated the upper-bound estimate to be 31,843 cases (prevalence of 9.9 per 100,000 U.S. population). The pattern of patient characteristics (e.g. age, sex, and race/ethnicity) remained unchanged from previous Registry reports. Overall, ALS was most common among whites, males, and persons aged 60-69 years. The age groups with the lowest number of cases were persons aged 18-39 years. Males had a higher prevalence than females overall and across all data sources.Conclusions: Existing Registry methodology, along with capture-recapture methodology, are being used to better describe the epidemiology and demographics of ALS in the US.

      3. The National Clinical Care Commission Report: Improving federal programs that impact diabetes prevention and careexternal icon
        Conlin PR, Greenlee C, Schillinger D, Lopata A, Boltri JM, Tracer H, Albright A, Bullock A, Herman WH.
        Ann Intern Med. 2022 Apr;175(4):594-597.

      4. Ictal electroencephalographic characteristics of nodding syndrome: A comparative case-series from South Sudan, Tanzania, and Ugandaexternal icon
        Mazumder R, Lagoro DK, Nariai H, Danieli A, Eliashiv D, Engel J, Dalla Bernardina B, Kegele J, Lerche H, Sejvar J, Matuja W, Schmutzhard E, Bonanni P, De Polo G, Wagner T, Winkler AS.
        Ann Neurol. 2022 Apr 19.
        Nodding syndrome (NS) is a poorly understood form of childhood-onset epilepsy that is characterized by the pathognomonic ictal phenomenon of repetitive vertical head drops. To evaluate the underlying ictal neurophysiology, ictal EEG features were evaluated in nine participants with confirmed NS from South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda and ictal presence of high frequency gamma oscillations on scalp EEG were assessed. Ictal EEG during the head nodding episode predominantly showed generalized slow waves or sharp-and-slow wave complexes followed by electrodecrement. Augmentation of gamma activity (30- 70 Hz) was seen during the head nodding episode in all the participants. We confirm that head nodding episodes in persons with NS from the three geographically distinct regions in sub-Saharan Africa share the common features of slow waves with electrodecrement and superimposed gamma activity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

      5. County-level trends in hypertension-related cardiovascular disease mortality-United States, 2000 to 2019external icon
        Vaughan AS, Coronado F, Casper M, Loustalot F, Wright JS.
        J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Apr 5;11(7):e024785.
        Background Amid stagnating declines in national cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, documenting trends in county-level hypertension-related CVD death rates can help activate local efforts prioritizing hypertension prevention, detection, and control. Methods and Results Using death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System, Bayesian spatiotemporal models were used to estimate county-level hypertension-related CVD death rates and corresponding trends during 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2019 for adults aged ≥35 years overall and by age group, race or ethnicity, and sex. Among adults aged 35 to 64 years, county-level hypertension-related CVD death rates increased from a median of 23.2 per 100 000 in 2000 to 43.4 per 100 000 in 2019. Among adults aged ≥65 years, county-level hypertension-related CVD death rates increased from a median of 362.1 per 100 000 in 2000 to 430.1 per 100 000 in 2019. Increases were larger and more prevalent among adults aged 35 to 64 years than those aged ≥65 years. More than 75% of counties experienced increasing hypertension-related CVD death rates among patients aged 35 to 64 years during 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2019 (76.2% [95% credible interval, 74.7-78.4] and 86.2% [95% credible interval, 84.6-87.6], respectively), compared with 48.2% (95% credible interval, 47.0-49.7) during 2000 to 2010 and 66.1% (95% credible interval, 64.9-67.1) for patients aged ≥65 years. The highest rates for both age groups were among men and Black populations. All racial and ethnic categories in both age groups experienced widespread county-level increases. Conclusions Large, widespread county-level increases in hypertension-related CVD mortality sound an alarm for intensified clinical and public health actions to improve hypertension prevention, detection, and control and prevent subsequent CVD deaths in counties across the nation.

      6. A review of potential national chronic pain surveillance systems in the United Statesexternal icon
        Duca LM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Nahin RL, Von Korff M, Murphy LB, Theis K, Guglielmo D, Dahlhamer J, Porter L, Falasinnu T, Mackey S.
        J Pain. 2022 Apr 11.
        Pain has been established as a major public health problem in the United States (U.S.) with 50 million adults experiencing chronic pain and 20 million afflicted with high-impact chronic pain (i.e., chronic pain that interferes with life or work activities). High financial and social costs are associated with chronic pain. Over the past two decades, pain management has been complicated by the marked increase in opioids prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer pain and by the concurrent opioid crisis. Monitoring the prevalence of chronic pain and pain management is especially important because pain management is changing in uncertain ways. We review potential U.S. chronic pain surveillance systems, present potential difficulties of chronic pain surveillance, and explore how to address chronic pain surveillance in the current opioid era. We consider case definitions, severity, anatomic site, and varieties of chronic pain management strategies in reviewing and evaluating national surveys for chronic pain surveillance. Based on the criteria evaluated, the National Health Interview Survey offers the best single source for pain surveillance as the pain-related questions administered are brief, valid, and cover a broad scope of pain-related phenomenon. Perspective: This review article describes data sources that can be leveraged to conduct national chronic pain surveillance in the United States, explores case defining or pain-related questions administered, and evaluates them against eight surveillance attributes.

      7. Potential gains in life expectancy associated with achieving treatment goals in US adults with type 2 diabetesexternal icon
        Kianmehr H, Zhang P, Luo J, Guo J, Pavkov ME, Bullard KM, Gregg EW, Ospina NS, Fonseca V, Shi L, Shao H.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Apr 1;5(4):e227705.
        IMPORTANCE: Improvements in control of factors associated with diabetes risk in the US have stalled and remain suboptimal. The benefit of continually improving goal achievement has not been evaluated to date. OBJECTIVE: To quantify potential gains in life expectancy (LE) among people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) associated with lowering glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), systolic blood pressure (SBP), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and body mass index (BMI) toward optimal levels. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this decision analytical model, the Building, Relating, Assessing, and Validating Outcomes (BRAVO) diabetes microsimulation model was calibrated to a nationally representative sample of adults with T2D from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2015-2016) using their linked short-term mortality data from the National Death Index. The model was then used to conduct the simulation experiment on the study population over a lifetime. Data were analyzed from January to October 2021. EXPOSURE: The study population was grouped into quartiles on the basis of levels of HbA1c, SBP, LDL-C, and BMI. LE gains associated with achieving better control were estimated by moving people with T2D from the current quartile of each biomarker to the lower quartiles. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Life expectancy. RESULTS: Among 421 individuals, 194 (46%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 65.6 (8.9) years. Compared with a BMI of 41.4 (mean of the fourth quartile), lower BMIs of 24.3 (first), 28.6 (second), and 33.0 (third) were associated with 3.9, 2.9, and 2.0 additional life-years, respectively, in people with T2D. Compared with an SBP of 160.4 mm Hg (fourth), lower SBP levels of 114.1 mm Hg (first), 128.2 mm Hg (second), and 139.1 mm Hg (third) were associated with 1.9, 1.5, and 1.1 years gained in LE in people with T2D, respectively. A lower LDL-C level of 59 mg/dL (first), 84.0 mg/dL (second), and 107.0 mg/dL (third) were associated with 0.9, 0.7, and 0.5 years gain in LE, compared with LDL-C of 146.2 mg/dL (fourth). Reducing HbA1c from 9.9% (fourth) to 7.7% (third) was associated with 3.4 years gain in LE. However, a further reduction to 6.8% (second) was associated with only a mean of 0.5 years gain in LE, and from 6.8% to 5.9% (first) was not associated with LE benefit. Overall, reducing HbA1c from the fourth quartile to the first is associated with an LE gain of 3.8 years. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings can be used by clinicians to motivate patients in achieving the recommended treatment goals and to help prioritize interventions and programs to improve diabetes care in the US.

      8. Progression to diabetes among older adults with hemoglobin a1c-defined prediabetes in the USexternal icon
        Koyama AK, Bullard KM, Pavkov ME, Park J, Mardon R, Zhang P.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Apr 1;5(4):e228158.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. HIV testing program activities and challenges in four U.S. urban areasexternal icon
        Carey JW, Courtenay-Quirk C, Carnes N, Wilkes AL, Schoua-Glusberg A, Tesfaye C, Betley V, Pedersen S, Randall LA, Frew PM.
        AIDS Educ Prev. 2022 Apr;34(2):99-115.
        The national "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America" supports expanded testing in jurisdictions and groups with disproportionate HIV burden. Public health planners benefit from learning HIV testing service (HTS) strengths, challenges, and innovations. We conducted semistructured interviews with 120 HTS staff from local health departments, community-based organizations, and community members in Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Washington, DC. We coded interview transcripts using qualitative methods to identify themes. Program strengths include HIV testing integration with other client services; prioritized testing and tailored incentives; multiple advertising methods; and partnerships among HTS providers. Challenges include stigma, fear, and disparities; funding requirements that create competition between providers; and service accessibility, unnecessary repeat testing, and insufficient innovation. The four jurisdictions addressed some, but not all, of these challenges. Cross-jurisdictional collaboration, together with state and federal partners plus program data may help identify additional strategies for strengthening HTS.

      2. Surveillance and correlation of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, antigen, virus isolation, and self-reported symptoms in a longitudinal study with daily samplingexternal icon
        Bonenfant G, Deyoe J, Wong T, Grijalva CG, Cui D, Talbot HK, Hassell N, Halasa N, Chappell J, Thornburg NJ, Rolfes MA, Wentworth D, Zhou B.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 20.
        The novel coronavirus pandemic incited unprecedented demand for assays that detect viral nucleic acids, viral proteins, and corresponding antibodies. The 320 molecular diagnostics in receipt of FDA emergency use authorization mainly focus on viral detection; however, no currently approved test can be used to infer infectiousness, i.e., the presence of replicable virus. As the number of tests conducted increased, persistent SARS-CoV-2 RNA positivity by RT-PCR in some individuals led to concerns over quarantine guidelines. To this end, we attempted to design an assay that reduces the frequency of positive test results from individuals who do not shed culturable virus. We describe multiplex quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays that detect genomic RNA (gRNA) and subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) species of SARS-CoV-2, including spike (S), nucleocapsid (N), membrane (M), envelope (E), and ORF8. Viral RNA abundances calculated from these assays were compared with antigen presence, self-reported symptoms, and culture outcome (virus isolation) using samples from a 14-day longitudinal household transmission study. By characterizing the clinical and molecular dynamics of infection, we show sgRNA detection has higher predictive value for culture outcome compared to detection of gRNA alone. Our findings suggest sgRNA presence correlates with active infection and may help identify individuals shedding culturable virus.

      3. Epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of influenza-associated hospitalizations in U.S. children over 9 seasons following the 2009 H1N1 pandemicexternal icon
        Kamidani S, Garg S, Rolfes MA, Campbell AP, Cummings CN, Haston JC, Openo KP, Fawcett E, Chai SJ, Herlihy R, Yousey-Hindes K, Monroe ML, Kim S, Lynfield R, Smelser C, Muse A, Felsen CB, Billing L, Thomas A, Talbot HK, Schaffner W, Risk I, Anderson EJ.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 19.
        BACKGROUND: Recent population-based data are limited regarding influenza-associated hospitalizations in U.S. children. METHODS: We identified children <18 years hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during 2010-2019 seasons through CDC's Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network. Adjusted hospitalization and in-hospital mortality rates were calculated, and multivariable logistic regression was conducted to evaluate risk factors for pneumonia, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. RESULTS: Over 9 seasons, adjusted influenza-associated hospitalization incidence rates ranged from 10-375 per 100,000 persons each season and were highest among infants <6 months. Rates decreased with increasing age. The highest in-hospital mortality rates were observed in children <6 months (0.73 per 100,000 persons). Over time, antiviral treatment significantly increased from 56% to 85% (P < .001) and influenza vaccination rates increased from 33% to 44% (P = .003). Among the 13,235 hospitalized children, 2,676 (20%) of hospitalized children were admitted to the ICU, 2,262 (17%) had pneumonia, 690 (5%) required mechanical ventilation, and 72 (0.5%) died during hospitalization. As compared with those <6 months of age, hospitalized children ≥13 years had higher odds of pneumonia (adjusted odds ratios [aOR], 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-3.4), ICU admission (aOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3-1.9), mechanical ventilation (aOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.2), and death (aOR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.2-9.3). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalization and death rates were greatest in younger children at the population level. Among hospitalized children, however, older children had a higher risk of severe outcomes. Continued efforts to prevent and attenuate influenza in children are needed.

      4. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A): case finding through systematic review of electronic medical recordsexternal icon
        Melgar M, Haston J, DeCuir J, Cheng Q, Arnold KE, Meng L, Murphy DJ, Overton E, Hollberg J, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Patel P, Campbell AP, Godfred-Cato D, Belay ED.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 20.
        BACKGROUND: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A) is a severe condition temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we applied the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition to identify diagnosed and undiagnosed MIS-A cases among adults discharged April 2020-January 2021 from four Atlanta, Georgia hospitals affiliated with a single medical center. Non-MIS-A COVID-19 hospitalizations were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision encounter code U07.1. We calculated the ratio of MIS-A to COVID-19 hospitalizations, compared demographic characteristics of the two cohorts, and described clinical characteristics of MIS-A patients. RESULTS: We identified 11 MIS-A cases, none of which were diagnosed by the treatment team, and 5,755 COVID-19 hospitalizations (ratio 1: 523). Compared with patients with COVID-19, patients with MIS-A were more likely to be younger than 50 years (72.7% vs. 26.1%, p < 0.01) and to be non-Hispanic Black persons (81.8% vs. 50.0%, p = 0.04). Ten patients with MIS-A (90.9%) had at least one underlying medical condition. Two MIS-A patients (18.2%) had a previous episode of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, occurring 37 and 55 days prior to admission. All MIS-A patients developed left ventricular systolic dysfunction. None had documented mucocutaneous involvement. All required intensive care, all received systemic corticosteroids, eight (72.7%) required mechanical ventilation, two (18.2%) required mechanical cardiovascular circulatory support, and none received intravenous immunoglobulin. Two (18.2%) died or were discharged to hospice. CONCLUSIONS: MIS-A is severe but likely underrecognized complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improved recognition of MIS-A is needed to quantify its burden and identify populations at highest risk.

      5. Preservation of lymphocyte functional fitness in perinatally-infected and treated HIV+ pediatric patients displaying sub-optimal viral controlexternal icon
        Khanolkar A, Muller WJ, Simpson BM, Cerullo J, Williams R, Sowers SB, Matthews K, Mercader S, Hickman CJ, D'Aquila RT, Liu G.
        Commun Med (Lond). 2022 ;2.
        BACKGROUND: Host-pathogen dynamics associated with HIV infection are quite distinct in children versus adults. We interrogated the functional fitness of the lymphocyte responses in two cohorts of perinatally infected HIV+ pediatric subjects with early anti-retroviral therapy (ART) initiation but divergent patterns of virologic control. We hypothesized that sub-optimal viral control would compromise immune functional fitness. METHODS: The immune responses in the two HIV+ cohorts (n = 6 in each cohort) were benchmarked against the responses measured in age-range matched, uninfected healthy control subjects (n = 11) by utilizing tests for normality, and comparison [the Kruskal-Wallis test, and the two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test (where appropriate)]. Lymphocyte responses were examined by intra-cellular cytokine secretion, degranulation assays as well as phosflow. A subset of these data were further queried by an automated clustering algorithm. Finally, we evaluated the humoral immune responses to four childhood vaccines in all three cohorts. RESULTS: We demonstrate that contrary to expectations pediatric HIV+ patients with sub-optimal viral control display no significant deficits in immune functional fitness. In fact, the patients that display better virologic control lack functional Gag-specific T cell responses and compared to healthy controls they display signaling deficits and an enrichment of mitogen-stimulated CD3 negative and positive lymphocyte clusters with suppressed cytokine production. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the immune resilience in HIV+ children on ART with sub-optimal viral control. With respect to HIV+ children on ART with better viral control, our data suggest that this cohort might potentially benefit from targeted interventions that might mitigate cell-mediated immune functional quiescence.

      6. Risk-factors for exposure associated with SARS-CoV-2 detection after recent known or potential COVID-19 exposures among patients seeking medical care at a large urban, public hospital in Fulton County, Georgia - a cross-sectional investigationexternal icon
        Smith-Jeffcoat SE, Sleweon S, Koh M, Khalil GM, Schechter MC, Rebolledo PA, Kasinathan V, Hoffman A, Rossetti R, Shragai T, O'Laughlin K, Espinosa CC, Bankamp B, Bowen MD, Paulick A, Gargis AS, Folster JM, da Silva J, Biedron C, Stewart RJ, Wang YF, Kirking HL, Tate JE.
        Front Public Health. 2022 ;10:809356.
        We aimed to describe frequency of COVID-19 exposure risk factors among patients presenting for medical care at an urban, public hospital serving mostly uninsured/Medicare/Medicaid clients and risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Consenting, adult patients seeking care at a public hospital from August to November 2020 were enrolled in this cross-sectional investigation. Saliva, anterior nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs were collected and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR. Participant demographics, close contact, and activities ≤14 days prior to enrollment were collected through interview. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among 1,078 participants, 51.8% were male, 57.0% were aged ≥50 years, 81.3% were non-Hispanic Black, and 7.6% had positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. Only 2.7% reported COVID-19 close contact ≤14 days before enrollment; this group had 6.79 adjusted odds of testing positive (95%CI = 2.78-16.62) than those without a reported exposure. Among participants who did not report COVID-19 close contact, working in proximity to ≥10 people (adjusted OR = 2.17; 95%CI = 1.03-4.55), choir practice (adjusted OR = 11.85; 95%CI = 1.44-97.91), traveling on a plane (adjusted OR = 5.78; 95%CI = 1.70-19.68), and not participating in an essential indoor activity (i.e., grocery shopping, public transit use, or visiting a healthcare facility; adjusted OR = 2.15; 95%CI = 1.07-4.30) were associated with increased odds of testing positive. Among this population of mostly Black, non-Hispanic participants seeking care at a public hospital, we found several activities associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection in addition to close contact with a case. Understanding high-risk activities for SARS-CoV-2 infection among different communities is important for issuing awareness and prevention strategies.

      7. Risk factors for Ebola virus disease among household care providers, Sierra Leone, 2015external icon
        Duffy N, Bruden D, Thomas H, Nichols E, Knust B, Hennessy T, Reichler MR.
        Int J Epidemiol. 2022 Apr 20.
        BACKGROUND: Household contacts who provide care to an Ebola virus disease (EVD) case have a 3-fold higher risk of EVD compared with contacts who do not provide care. METHODS: We enrolled persons with confirmed EVD from December 2014 to April 2015 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and their household contacts. Index cases and contacts were interviewed, and contacts were followed for 21 days to identify secondary cases. Epidemiological data were analysed to describe household care and to identify risk factors for developing EVD. RESULTS: Of 838 contacts in 147 households, 156 (17%) self-reported providing care to the index case; 56 households had no care provider, 52 a single care provider and 39 multiple care providers. The median care provider age was 29 years, 68% were female and 32% were the index case's spouse. Care providers were more likely to report physical contact, contact with body fluids or sharing clothing, bed linens or utensils with an index case, compared with non-care providers (P <0.01). EVD risk among non-care providers was greater when the number of care providers in the household increased (odds ratio: 1.61; 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.4). In multivariable analysis, factors associated with care provider EVD risk included no piped water access and absence of index case fever, and protective factors included age <20 years and avoiding the index case. CONCLUSIONS: Limiting the number of care providers in a household could reduce the risk of EVD transmission to both care providers and non-care providers. Strategies to protect care providers from EVD exposure are needed.

      8. History and classification of Aigai virus (formerly Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus genotype VI)external icon
        Papa Άννα Παπά A, Marklewitz M, Paraskevopoulou Σοφία Παρασκευοπούλου S, Garrison AR, Alkhovsky Альховский Сергей Владимирович SV, Avšič-Županc T, Bente DA, Bergeron É, Burt F, Di Paola N, Ergünay K, Hewson R, Mirazimi A, Sall AA, Spengler JR, Postler TS, Palacios G, Kuhn JH.
        J Gen Virol. 2022 Apr;103(4).
        Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is the medically most important member of the rapidly expanding bunyaviral family Nairoviridae. Traditionally, CCHFV isolates have been assigned to six distinct genotypes. Here, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Nairoviridae Study Group outlines the reasons for the recent decision to re-classify genogroup VI (aka Europe-2 or AP-92-like) as a distinct virus, Aigai virus (AIGV).

      9. Isoniazid-associated pellagra during mass scale-up of tuberculosis preventive therapy: a case-control studyexternal icon
        Nabity SA, Mponda K, Gutreuter S, Surie D, Zimba SB, Chisuwo L, Moffitt A, Williams AM, Sharma AJ, Marshall RE, Chiwaula MJ, da Silva R, Kumwenda T, Chilikutali L, Mwamale S, Nagoli E, Mwenyeheri G, Ngongonda D, Kaunda E, Mtoto F, Mhango V, Mbewe K, Melgar M, Odo M, Jahn A, Buono N, Maida A, Girma B, Kalua T, Nyirenda R, Sunguti J, Woelk G, Gunde LJ, Mekonnen TF, Maphosa T, Kim EJ, Auld AF, Muula AS, Oeltmann JE.
        Lancet Glob Health. 2022 May;10(5):e705-e714.
        BACKGROUND: Pellagra is caused by niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency and patients with pellagra present with a characteristic rash. Isoniazid disrupts intracellular niacin synthesis and might induce niacin deficiency. In 2017, Malawi scaled up continuous isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) for tuberculosis prevention among people living with HIV. In addition, an under-diversified diet based on subsistence maize, as is commonly the case in Malawi, is a risk factor for pellagra. We aimed to investigate whether large-scale isoniazid exposure in Malawi contributed to the cumulative risk for pellagra in a nutritionally vulnerable population. METHODS: We did a matched case-control study to evaluate the association between daily, continuous isoniazid exposure and pellagra. We matched sequentially enrolled patients with pellagra each with four control participants by sex and age from referral dermatology centres in three IPT scale-up districts in Malawi (Lilongwe, Blantyre, and Zomba) to evaluate isoniazid as a risk for pellagra using multivariable conditional logistic regression. We established a community clinic referral system surrounding the dermatology clinic in each district to enhance case-finding and included all patients with pellagra, regardless of referral status. The primary outcome was dermatologist-diagnosed pellagra. We calculated the interval between isoniazid initiation and rash onset and assessed 30-day clinical outcomes after multi-B vitamin treatment containing 300 mg nicotinamide daily. FINDINGS: Between Feb 5 and Aug 9, 2019, we enrolled 197 patients with pellagra and 781 matched controls. Isoniazid exposure was associated with an increased risk of pellagra (adjusted odds ratio 42·6 [95% CI 13·3-136·6]). Significant covariates included HIV infection, referral status, food insecurity, underweight, excess alcohol consumption, and, among women, lactation. The median time from isoniazid initiation to rash onset was shorter during the season of food scarcity (5 months [IQR 3-7]) compared with the harvest season (9 months [8-11]; hazard ratio 7·2 [95% CI 3·2-16·2], log-rank p<0·0001). Those with isoniazid-associated pellagra who discontinued isoniazid and adhered to multi-B vitamin treatment showed 30-day clinical improvement. INTERPRETATION: Continuous IPT scale-up and the annual period of food scarcity both increased the risk of pellagra in Malawi. Use of shorter rifamycin-based regimens for tuberculosis prevention and food fortification in populations with undernutrition might reduce this risk. Niacin-containing multi-B vitamin co-administration with isoniazid as pellagra prevention is worth exploring further. FUNDING: This study was supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under project 7173.

      10. Association of secretor status and recent norovirus infection with gut microbiome diversity metrics in a veterans affairs populationexternal icon
        Johnson JA, Read TD, Petit RA, Marconi VC, Meagley KL, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Beenhouwer DO, Brown ST, Holodniy M, Lucero-Obusan CA, Schirmer P, Ingersoll JM, Kraft CS, Neill FH, Atmar RL, Kambhampati AK, Cates JE, Mirza SA, Hall AJ, Cardemil CV, Lopman BA.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 May;9(5):ofac125.
        Norovirus infection causing acute gastroenteritis could lead to adverse effects on the gut microbiome. We assessed the association of microbiome diversity with norovirus infection and secretor status in patients from Veterans Affairs medical centers. Alpha diversity metrics were lower among patients with acute gastroenteritis but were similar for other comparisons.

      11. SARS-CoV-2 infections among neonates born to pregnant people with SARS-CoV-2 infection: Maternal, pregnancy and birth characteristicsexternal icon
        Olsen EO, Roth NM, Aveni K, Santos P, Sizemore L, Halai UA, Nestoridi E, Barton JE, Mobley E, Siebman S, Fussman C, Mbotha D, Dzimira P, Silcox KM, Khuwaja S, Roscom D, Lush M, Chicchelly S, Delgado-López C, Schlosser L, Read J, Ellington SR, Hall AJ, Gilboa SM, Tong VT, Woodworth KR.
        Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2022 Apr 18.
        BACKGROUND: Multiple reports have described neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infection, including likely in utero transmission and early postnatal infection, but published estimates of neonatal infection range by geography and design type. OBJECTIVES: To describe maternal, pregnancy and neonatal characteristics among neonates born to people with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy by neonatal SARS-CoV-2 testing results. METHODS: Using aggregated data from the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET) describing infections from 20 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, we identified neonates who were (1) born to people who were SARS-CoV-2 positive by RT-PCR at any time during their pregnancy, and (2) tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR during the birth hospitalisation. RESULTS: Among 28,771 neonates born to people with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, 3816 (13%) underwent PCR testing and 138 neonates (3.6%) were PCR positive. Ninety-four per cent of neonates testing positive were born to people with infection identified ≤14 days of delivery. Neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infection was more frequent among neonates born preterm (5.7%) compared to term (3.4%). Neonates testing positive were born to both symptomatic and asymptomatic pregnant people. CONCLUSIONS: Jurisdictions reported SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR results for only 13% of neonates known to be born to people with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. These results provide evidence of neonatal infection identified through multi-state systematic surveillance data collection and describe characteristics of neonates with SARS-CoV-2 infection. While perinatal SARS-CoV-2 infection was uncommon among tested neonates born to people with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, nearly all cases of tested neonatal infection occurred in pregnant people infected around the time of delivery and was more frequent among neonates born preterm. These findings support the recommendation for neonatal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing, especially for people with acute infection around the time of delivery.

      12. Evidence to action: Translating innovations in management of child and adolescent TB into routine practice in high-burden countriesexternal icon
        Moore BK, Dlodlo RA, Dongo JP, Verkuijl S, Sekadde MP, Sandy C, Maloney SA.
        Pathogens. 2022 ;11(4).
        Child and adolescent tuberculosis (TB) has been long neglected by TB programs but there have been substantive strides in prioritizing TB among these populations in the past two decades. Yet, gaps remain in translating evidence and policy to action at the primary care level, ensuring access to novel tools and approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention for children and adolescents at risk of TB disease. This article describes the progress that has been made and the gaps that remain in addressing TB among children and adolescents while also highlighting pragmatic approaches and the role of multisectoral partnerships in facilitating integration of innovations into routine program practice. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

      13. A national survey integrating clinical, laboratory, and WASH data to determine the typology of trachoma in Nauruexternal icon
        Lynch KD, Apadinuwe SC, Lambert SB, Hillgrove T, Starr M, Catlett B, Ware RS, Cama A, Webster S, Harding-Esch EM, Bakhtiari A, Butcher R, Cunningham P, Martin D, Gwyn S, Solomon AW, Garabwan C, Kaldor JM, Vaz Nery S.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022 Apr;16(4):e0010275.
        BACKGROUND: The epidemiology of trachoma in several Pacific Islands differs from other endemic settings, in that there is a high prevalence of clinical signs of trachoma, particularly trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF), but few cases of trichiasis and limited evidence of ocular chlamydial infection. This so-called "Pacific enigma" has led to uncertainty regarding the appropriate public health response. In 2019 alongside Nauru's national trachoma population survey, we performed bacteriological and serological assessments of children to better understand the typology of trachoma and to determine whether there is a need for trachoma interventions. METHODS: We used two-stage cluster sampling, examining residents aged ≥1 year and collecting household-level water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) variables. Children aged 1-9 years provided conjunctival swabs and finger-prick dried blood spots to investigate the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis nucleic acid and anti-Pgp3 antibodies, respectively. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In 818 participants aged 1-9 years, the age-adjusted TF prevalence was 21.8% (95% CI 15.2-26.2%); ocular C. trachomatis prevalence was 34.5% (95% CI 30.6-38.9), and anti-Pgp3 antibody prevalence was 32.1% (95% CI 28.4%-36.3%). The age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of trichiasis in ≥15-year-olds was 0.3% (95% CI 0.00-0.85), but no individual with trichiasis had trachomatous scarring (TS). Multivariable analysis showed an association between age and both TF (OR per year of age 1.3 [95% CI 1.2-1.4]) and anti-Pgp3 positivity (OR 1.2 [95% CI 1.2-1.3]). There were high rates of access to water and sanitation and no WASH variable was associated with the presence of TF. CONCLUSIONS: TF, nucleic acid, and age-specific antibody prevalence collectively indicate that high levels of C. trachomatis transmission among children present a high risk of ocular damage due to trachoma. The absence of trichiasis with trachomatous scarring suggest a relatively recent increase in transmission intensity.

      14. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded sexually transmitted disease programsexternal icon
        Wright SS, Kreisel KM, Hitt JC, Pagaoa MA, Weinstock HS, Thorpe PG.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Apr 1;49(4):e61-e63.
        The COVID-19 pandemic impacted sexually transmitted disease (STD) services. Of 59 US-funded STD programs, 91% reported a great deal to moderate impact from staff reassignment in April 2020, with 28% of respondents reporting permanent reassignment of disease intervention specialist staff. Telemedicine was implemented in 47%. Decreases in STD case reports were reported by most jurisdictions.

    • Community Health Services
      1. Reported exposure trends among healthcare personnel COVID-19 cases, USA, March 2020-March 2021external icon
        Billock RM, Groenewold MR, Sweeney MH, de Perio MA, Gaughan DM, Luckhaupt SE.
        Am J Infect Control. 2022 Feb 22.
        BACKGROUND: Health care personnel (HCP) have experienced significant SARS-CoV-2 risk, but exposure settings among HCP COVID-19 cases are poorly characterized. METHODS: We assessed exposure settings among HCP COVID-19 cases in the United States from March 2020 to March 2021 with reported exposures (n = 83,775) using national COVID-19 surveillance data. Exposure setting and reported community incidence temporal trends were described using breakpoint estimation. Among cases identified before initiation of COVID-19 vaccination programs (n = 65,650), we used separate multivariable regression models to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) for associations of community incidence with health care and household and/or community exposures. RESULTS: Health care exposures were the most reported (52.0%), followed by household (30.8%) and community exposures (25.6%). Health care exposures and community COVID-19 incidence showed similar temporal trends. In adjusted analyses, HCP cases were more likely to report health care exposures (aPR = 1.31; 95% CI:1.26-1.36) and less likely to report household and/or community exposures (aPR = 0.73; 95% CI:0.70-0.76) under the highest vs lowest community incidence levels. DISCUSSION: These findings highlight HCP exposure setting temporal trends and workplace exposure hazards under high community incidence. Findings also underscore the need for robust collection of work-related data in infectious disease surveillance. CONCLUSIONS: Many reported HCP cases experienced occupational COVID-19 exposures, particularly during periods of higher community COVID-19 incidence.

      2. Taking care to the patients: a qualitative evaluation of a community-based ART care program in northern Namibiaexternal icon
        Katirayi L, Shoopala N, Mitruka K, Mengistu A, Woelk G, Baughman AL, Mutandi G, Hong SY, Hamunime N.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Apr 14;22(1):498.
        BACKGROUND: Namibia is a large sparsely populated country with a high prevalence of HIV. People living with HIV who reside in remote areas often travel long distances through tough desert terrain to access HIV care and treatment. To address this barrier, community-based antiretroviral therapy (C-BART) sites were established in Okongo (2007-2008) and Eenhana districts (2016) of northern Namibia with the goal of bringing HIV and other health services closer patients' homes. We conducted a qualitative evaluation of the acceptability and challenges of C-BART to guide program improvement. METHODS: For this qualitative descriptive study, research assistants collected data (August-December 2017) through in-depth interviews with 40 patients, seven health extension workers, and 11 policy/program managers, and through four focus group discussions with healthcare workers. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated, and coded using MAXQDA v.12. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The evaluation identified five themes: community ownership, acceptance of the C-BART sites, benefits of the C-BART program for the PLHIV community and their social networks, benefits of the C-BART program to the main health facility, and challenges with the C-BART program. The C-BART program was reported as life-changing by many patients who had previously struggled to afford four-wheel drive vehicles to access care. Patients and healthcare workers perceived that the community as a whole benefited from the C-BART sites not only due to the financial pressure lifted from friends and family members previously asked to help cover expensive transportation, but also due to the perception of diminished stigmatization of people living with HIV and improved health. The C-BART sites became a source of community and social support for those accessing the sites. Healthcare workers reported greater job satisfaction and decongestion of health facilities. The challenges that they reported included delays in authorization of vehicles for transportation to C-BART sites and lack of incentives to provide services in the community. CONCLUSION: The C-BART program can serve as a model of care to expand access to HIV care and treatment and other health services to populations in remote settings, including rural and difficult-to-reach regions. The needs of healthcare workers should also be considered for the optimal delivery of such a model.

      3. Healthcare worker safety program in a COVID-19 alternate care site: The Javits New York Medical Station experienceexternal icon
        Thompson CN, Mugford C, Merriman JR, Chen MA, Hutter JD, Maruna TJ, Bacon WR, Childs RW, Pati R, Clifton GT, Pazdan RM.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2022 Apr 18:1-24.
        OBJECTIVE: In March 2020, New York City (NYC) became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (US). As healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with patients, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was transformed into the nation's largest alternate care site (ACS): Javits New York Medical Station (Javits). Protecting healthcare workers during a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a non-traditional healthcare setting posed unique challenges. We describe components of the healthcare worker safety program implemented at Javits. SETTING: Javits, a large convention center transformed into a field hospital, with clinical staff from the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD). HEALTHCARE WORKER SAFETY METHODS: Key strategies included ensuring one-way flow of traffic on and off the patient floor; developing a matrix detailing PPE required for each work activity and location; PPE extended use and reuse protocols; personnel training; and monitoring adherence to PPE donning/doffing protocols when entering or exiting the patient floor. Javits staff who reported COVID-19 symptoms were immediately isolated, monitored, and offered a SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. CONCLUSIONS: A well-designed and implemented healthcare worker safety plan can minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for healthcare workers. The lessons learned from operating the nation's largest COVID-19 ACS can be adapted to other environments during public health emergencies.

      4. Cause-specific student absenteeism monitoring in K-12 schools for detection of increased influenza activity in the surrounding community-Dane County, Wisconsin, 2014-2020external icon
        Temte JL, Barlow S, Goss M, Temte E, Schemmel A, Bell C, Reisdorf E, Shult P, Wedig M, Haupt T, Conway JH, Gangnon R, Uzicanin A.
        PLoS One. 2022 ;17(4):e0267111.
        BACKGROUND: Schools are primary venues of influenza amplification with secondary spread to communities. We assessed K-12 student absenteeism monitoring as a means for early detection of influenza activity in the community. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between September 2014 and March 2020, we conducted a prospective observational study of all-cause (a-TOT), illness-associated (a-I), and influenza-like illness-associated (a-ILI) absenteeism within the Oregon School District (OSD), Dane County, Wisconsin. Absenteeism was reported through the electronic student information system. Students were visited at home where pharyngeal specimens were collected for influenza RT-PCR testing. Surveillance of medically-attended laboratory-confirmed influenza (MAI) occurred in five primary care clinics in and adjoining the OSD. Poisson general additive log linear regression models of daily counts of absenteeism and MAI were compared using correlation analysis. FINDINGS: Influenza was detected in 723 of 2,378 visited students, and in 1,327 of 4,903 MAI patients. Over six influenza seasons, a-ILI was significantly correlated with MAI in the community (r = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.53-0.63) with a one-day lead time and a-I was significantly correlated with MAI in the community (r = 0.49; 0.44-0.54) with a 10-day lead time, while a-TOT performed poorly (r = 0.27; 0.21-0.33), following MAI by six days. DISCUSSION: Surveillance using cause-specific absenteeism was feasible and performed well over a study period marked by diverse presentations of seasonal influenza. Monitoring a-I and a-ILI can provide early warning of seasonal influenza in time for community mitigation efforts.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. BACKGROUND: Resistance to major public health insecticides in Côte d'Ivoire has intensified and now threatens the long-term effectiveness of malaria vector control interventions. METHODS: This study evaluated the bioefficacy of conventional and next-generation long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), determined resistance profiles, and characterized molecular and metabolic mechanisms in wild Anopheles coluzzii from Southeast Côte d'Ivoire in 2019. RESULTS: Phenotypic resistance was intense: >25% of mosquitoes survived exposure to 10 times the doses of pyrethroids required to kill susceptible populations. Similarly, the 24-hour mortality rate with deltamethrin-only LLINs was very low and not significantly different from that with an untreated net. Sublethal pyrethroid exposure did not induce significant delayed vector mortality effects 72 hours later. In contrast, LLINs containing the synergist piperonyl butoxide, or new insecticides clothianidin and chlorfenapyr, were highly toxic to A. coluzzii. Pyrethroid-susceptible A. coluzzii were significantly more likely to be infected with malaria, compared with those that survived insecticidal exposure. Pyrethroid resistance was associated with significant overexpression of CYP6P4, CYP6P3, and CYP6Z1. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings raise concerns regarding the operational failure of standard LLINs and support the urgent deployment of vector control interventions incorporating piperonyl butoxide, chlorfenapyr, or clothianidin in areas of high resistance intensity in Côte d'Ivoire.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Youth indoor and outdoor exposure to secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosolexternal icon
        Puvanesarajah S, Tsai J, Alexander DS, Tynan MA, Gentzke AS.
        Am J Prev Med. 2022 Apr 5.
        INTRODUCTION: Secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol exposure are important public health concerns. This is the first study to present separate estimates of public indoor and outdoor secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol exposure among U.S. youth. METHODS: Data came from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, an annual cross-sectional survey of U.S. students in Grades 6-12. Self-reported past 30-day indoor and outdoor secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol exposures were assessed separately. Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios for each outcome were assessed among students overall and stratified by sex, school level, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and current tobacco product use; prevalence also was calculated among those who did not currently use tobacco. RESULTS: Exposure to secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol was reported by 60.6% (95% CI=58.7, 62.4) and 44.5% (95% CI=42.1, 46.9) of U.S. youth, respectively. Among all students, 37.6% (95% CI=36.0, 39.2) and 53.3% (95% CI=51.4, 55.2) reported indoor and outdoor secondhand smoke exposure, respectively; 34.9% (95% CI=32.9, 37.4) and 36.8% (95% CI=34.6, 38.9) reported indoor and outdoor secondhand aerosol exposure, respectively. After adjustment, female versus male students (adjusted prevalence ratio=1.15-1.30) and those who currently use versus do not use combustible tobacco products (adjusted prevalence ratio=1.15-1.36) were more likely to report exposure to all outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 1 in 2 students overall reported outdoor secondhand smoke exposure, and 1 in 3 students reported exposures to each indoor secondhand smoke, indoor secondhand aerosol, and outdoor secondhand aerosol. Separate estimates of indoor and outdoor secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol exposure, along with data on correlates of exposure, provide information to support comprehensive indoor and outdoor smoke-free policies.

      2. In population research, exposure to environmental contaminants is often indirectly assessed by linking residence to geocoded databases of environmental exposures. We explored the potential for misclassification of residence-based environmental exposure as a result of not accounting for the workplace environments of employed pregnant women using data from a National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) analysis of drinking water haloacetic acids and hypospadias. METHODS: The original analysis used NBDPS data from women with haloacetic acid exposure information in eight states who delivered an infant with second- or third-degree hypospadias (cases) or a male infant without a birth defect (controls) between 2000 and 2005. In this bias analysis, we used a uniform distribution to randomly select 11%-14% of employed women that were assumed to change municipal water systems between home and work and imputed new contaminant exposures for tap water beverages consumed at work among the selected women using resampled values from the control population. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the association between hypospadias and haloacetic acid ingestion with the same covariates and exposure cut-points as the original study. We repeated this process across 10,000 iterations and then completed a sensitivity analysis of an additional 10,000 iterations where we expanded the uniform distribution (i.e., 0%, 28%). RESULTS: In both simulations, the average results of the 10,000 iterations were nearly identical to those of the initial study. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that household estimates may be sufficient proxies for worksite exposures to haloacetic acids in tap water.

      3. The article discusses the launch of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance the safety and health of aquatic venues. Topics mentioned include the inclusion of guidelines and best practices about the prevention of pathogen transmission, illness and injury in the code, the MACH definition of splash pad and wading pool, and other web sites that can help prevent transmission of pathogens in public pools and water playgrounds.

      4. Pregnancy urinary concentration of bisphenol A, parabens and other phenols in relation to serum levels of lipid biomarkers: Results from the EARTH studyexternal icon
        Mínguez-Alarcón L, Frueh L, Williams PL, James-Todd T, Souter I, Ford JB, Rexrode KM, Calafat AM, Hauser R, Chavarro JE.
        Sci Total Environ. 2022 Apr 11:155191.
        The epidemiologic literature on associations between urinary phenol concentrations and lipid profiles during pregnancy is limited. We examined whether urinary concentrations of phenol and phenol replacement biomarkers were associated with serum lipid levels among pregnant women. This cross-sectional study included 175 women attending the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center who enrolled in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study between 2005 and 2017 and had data available on urinary phenol biomarkers and serum lipids during pregnancy. We used linear regression models to assess the relationship between groups of urinary phenol and phenol replacement biomarkers and serum lipid levels [total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), non-HDL, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides], while adjusting for age at sample collection, pre-pregnancy BMI, education, race, infertility diagnosis, cycle type, number of fetuses, trimester and specific gravity. In adjusted models, pregnant women with urinary propylparaben concentrations in the highest tertile had 10% [22 (95% CI = 5, 40) mg/dL], 12% [19 (95% CI = 2, 36) mg/dL] and 16% [19 (95% CI = 3, 35) mg/dL] higher mean total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol, respectively, compared to women with concentrations in the lowest tertile. Similar elevations were observed for urinary bisphenol A concentrations. Urinary bisphenol S, benzophenone-3, triclosan, and methylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben were unrelated to serum lipids. Among pregnant women, urinary concentrations of bisphenol A and propylparaben were associated with higher serum levels of total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      1. Collaborative hubs: Making the most of predictive epidemic modelingexternal icon
        Reich NG, Lessler J, Funk S, Viboud C, Vespignani A, Tibshirani RJ, Shea K, Schienle M, Runge MC, Rosenfeld R, Ray EL, Niehus R, Johnson HC, Johansson MA, Hochheiser H, Gardner L, Bracher J, Borchering RK, Biggerstaff M.
        Am J Public Health. 2022 Apr 14:e1-e4.

      2. Community mobilization approaches for large-scale public health surveys: Experiences from the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Projectexternal icon
        Phiri B, Guhathakurta A, Wright C, Pitt B, Maraisane R, Kingwara L, Mulokozi A, Wadonda N, Ngugi C, Payne D.
        J Community Health. 2022 Apr 18.
        Community mobilization is an integral process of raising awareness and increasing participation in a specific program. Communities with long-standing mistrust of health research may otherwise be reluctant to participate in surveys originating outside of their locality, particularly when asked to share personal information, provide blood samples, or undergo medical examinations. Here we discuss the community mobilization approaches undertaken by the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) project to optimize participation in surveys across 13 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The PHIA Project developed a community mobilization strategy to address anticipated community concerns. In each country, a trained cadre of Community Mobilization Coordinators (CMCs) facilitated (1) ongoing communication with leadership and stakeholders at national, provincial/district and local levels; (2) door-to-door visits and group meetings; (3) promotional material dissemination through radio and television jingles and mass social/community media; and (4) the use of public address systems to enhance survey awareness and promote participation. Response rates (RR) were recorded from each survey. The PHIA surveys' mobilization efforts cultivated a receptive environment for data collection. The average household response rate for 13 PHIA surveys was 90.4% and interview RR were consistently over 80%, with women more likely to conduct an interview in all countries except Cote d'Ivoire. 89% of eligible women consented to a blood draw and 81.1% of eligible men consented. The robust and contextualized community mobilization approaches in PHIA were critical for engaging communities in large-scale public health surveys and contributed to high RR in participant interviews and blood draw.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Comparative genomics of disease and carriage serotype 1 pneumococciexternal icon
        Chaguza C, Ebruke C, Senghore M, Lo SW, Tientcheu PE, Gladstone RA, Tonkin-Hill G, Cornick JE, Yang M, Worwui A, McGee L, Breiman RF, Klugman KP, Kadioglu A, Everett DB, Mackenzie G, Croucher NJ, Roca A, Kwambana-Adams BA, Antonio M, Bentley SD.
        Genome Biol Evol. 2022 Apr 19.
        The isolation of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes in systemic tissues of patients with invasive disease versus the nasopharynx of healthy individuals with asymptomatic carriage varies widely. Some serotypes are hyper-invasive, particularly serotype 1, but the underlying genetics remain poorly understood due to the rarity of carriage isolates, reducing the power of comparison with invasive isolates. Here, we use a well-controlled genome-wide association study to search for genetic variation associated with invasiveness of serotype 1 pneumococci from a serotype 1 endemic setting in Africa. We found no consensus evidence that certain genomic variation is overrepresented among isolates from patients with invasive disease than asymptomatic carriage. Overall, the genomic variation explained negligible phenotypic variability, suggesting a minimal effect on the disease status. Furthermore, changes in lineage distribution were seen with lineages replacing each other over time, highlighting the importance of continued pathogen surveillance. Our findings suggest that the hyper-invasiveness is an intrinsic property of the serotype 1 strains, not specific for a "disease-associated" subpopulation disproportionately harbouring unique genomic variation.

    • Global Health
      1. Acute hepatitis A in international travellers: a GeoSentinel analysis, 2008-2020external icon
        Balogun O, Brown A, Angelo KM, Hochberg NS, Barnett ED, Nicolini LA, Asgeirsson H, Grobusch MP, Leder K, Salvador F, Chen L, Odolini S, Díaz-Menéndez M, Gobbi F, Connor BA, Libman M, Hamer DH.
        J Travel Med. 2022 Mar 21;29(2).
        BACKGROUND: Non-immune international travellers are at risk of acquiring hepatitis A. Although hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for unvaccinated travellers to high or intermediate hepatitis A virus endemicity, compliance with this recommendation is not universal.The main objective was to describe the demographic and travel characteristics of international travellers infected with hepatitis A during travel. METHODS: Available data on travellers with confirmed (positive molecular test) or probable (symptomatic individuals with a single positive IgM test) hepatitis A diagnosed during and after travel from January 2008 to December 2020 were obtained from the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network database. We analysed demographic and travel characteristics of infected travellers. RESULTS: Among 254 travellers with hepatitis A (185 confirmed and 69 probable), the median age was 28 years (interquartile range: 19-40), 150 (59%) were male, and among 54 travellers with information available, 53 (98%) were unvaccinated. The most common reasons for travel included tourism (n = 120; 47%) and visiting friends or relatives (VFR; n = 72; 28%). About two-thirds of VFR travellers with hepatitis A (n = 50; 69%) were younger than 20 years old. Hepatitis A was acquired most frequently in South-Central Asia (n = 63; 25%) and sub-Saharan Africa (n = 61; 24%), but 16 travellers (6%) acquired hepatitis A in regions with low endemicity including Western Europe (n = 7; 3%), the Caribbean (n = 6; 2%) and North America (n = 3; 1%). Median duration from illness onset to GeoSentinel site presentation was ~7 days (interquartile range : 4-14 days). Among 88 travellers with information available, 59% were hospitalized. CONCLUSIONS: Despite availability of highly effective vaccines, travellers still acquire hepatitis A, even when traveling to low-endemicity destinations. Providing pre-departure hepatitis A vaccine to susceptible travellers is crucial to reducing travel-associated hepatitis A and should be offered to all travellers as part of the pre-travel consultation, regardless of destination.

    • Health Behavior and Risk
      1. Objectives: Some older drivers choose to avoid certain situations where they do not feel confident driving. Little is known about the process by which older drivers may use avoidance in transitioning to non-driving. Methods: We analyzed 2015 ConsumerStyles data for 1198 drivers aged 60+. Driving patterns were examined by sociodemographic and driving characteristics. Avoidance classes were characterized by latent class analysis. Results: Among drivers 60+, 79% reported driving 3+ days/week and 84% reported good to excellent health. We identified four driving avoidance classes (low, mild, moderate, and high). High- (versus low-) avoidance drivers were more likely female, 75+, not White/non-Hispanic, and to have income <$25,000/year. Discussion: Avoidance of selected driving behaviors may be one component of a multi-step process supporting the transition to non-driving. Drivers displaying avoidance behaviors may be receptive to resources to prepare for this transition and minimize negative health and quality of life outcomes that accompany driving cessation.

    • Health Communication and Education
      1. Preferences for shigellosis-related health promotion materials for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men: Results from a qualitative assessment, Atlanta, GAexternal icon
        Respress E, Evener SL, Caruso E, Jacobson K, Bowen A, Kachur RE, Garcia-Williams AG, Wright ER.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Apr 1;49(4):304-309.
        BACKGROUND: Shigellosis, an acute diarrheal disease, is the third most common bacterial infection in the United States. Shigellosis most commonly affects children younger than 5 years; however, clusters and outbreaks of shigellosis have been reported among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Evidence suggests that knowledge of shigellosis among MSM is low, indicating health promotion outreach is needed for this population. METHODS: To inform the development of shigellosis-related health communication materials and strategies, 6 focus groups were conducted in 2017, in Atlanta, GA among 24 self-identified gay and bisexual men. Participants were asked about their preferences and recommendations for health communication materials. RESULTS: Participants indicated they would prefer a range of physical and virtual materials placed in diverse locations where the community would see them. Respondents recommended health messages be simple, quick to read, and concise with limited word counts. Participants also advised the use of diverse images that were inclusive of couples of varying sexual orientations to reduce stigma. Participants advocated for the use of humor and provocative images to increase user engagement. CONCLUSIONS: The results emphasize the potential benefits of conducting formative research when designing health communication materials. Incorporating messaging preferences of MSM in the development of shigellosis-related health communication materials could enhance their relevance for the target population while also avoiding unintended consequences associated with stigmatizing MSM.

    • Health Economics
      1. AIMS: Cost-effectiveness (CE) of lifestyle change programs (LCP) for type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevention is influenced by a participant's risk. We identified the risk threshold of developing T2D in the intervention population that was cost-effective for three formats of the LCP: delivered in-person individually or in groups, or delivered virtually. We compared the cost-effectiveness across program formats when there were more than one cost-effective formats. METHODS: Using the CDC-RTI T2D diabetes CE simulation model, we estimated CEs associated with three program formats in 8 population groups with an annual T2D incidence of 1% to 8%. We generated a nationally representative simulation population for each risk level using the 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. We used an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained in 25-years, to measure the CEs of the programs. We took a health care system perspective RESULTS: To achieve an ICER of $50,000/QALY or lower, the annual T2D incidence of the program participant needed to be ≥5% for the in-person individual program, ≥4% for the digital individual program, and ≥3% for the in-person group program. For those with T2D risk of ≥4%, the in-person group program always dominated the digital individual program. The in-person individual program was cost-effective compared with the in-person group program only among persons with T2D risk of ≥8%. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings could assist decision-makers in selecting the most appropriate target population for different formats of lifestyle intervention programs to prevent T2D.

      2. Health impact and cost-effectiveness of HIV testing, linkage, and early antiretroviral treatment in the Botswana Combination Prevention Projectexternal icon
        Resch SC, Foote JH, Wirth KE, Lasry A, Scott JA, Moore J, Shebl FM, Gaolathe T, Feser MK, Lebelonyane R, Hyle EP, Mmalane MO, Bachanas P, Yu L, Makhema JM, Holme MP, Essex M, Alwano MG, Lockman S, Freedberg KA.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Apr 14.
        BACKGROUND: The Botswana Combination Prevention Project tested the impact of combination prevention (CP) on HIV incidence in a community-randomized trial. Each trial arm had ∼55,000 people, 26% HIV prevalence, and 72% baseline ART coverage. Results showed intensive testing and linkage campaigns, expanded antiretroviral treatment (ART), and voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) referrals increased coverage and decreased incidence over ∼29 months follow-up. We projected lifetime clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of CP in this population. SETTING: Rural and peri-urban communities in Botswana. METHODS: We used the Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications (CEPAC) model to estimate lifetime health impact and cost of 1) earlier ART initiation, and 2) averting an HIV infection, which we applied to incremental ART initiations and averted infections calculated from trial data. We determined the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER, US$/QALY) for CP vs. standard of care. RESULTS: In CP, 1,418 additional people with HIV initiated ART and an additional 304 infections were averted. For each additional person started on ART, life expectancy increased 0.90 QALYs and care costs increased by $869. For each infection averted, life expectancy increased 2.43 QALYs with $9,200 in care costs saved. With CP, an additional $1.7 million were spent on prevention and $1.2 million on earlier treatment. These costs were mostly offset by decreased care costs from averted infections, resulting in an ICER of $79 per QALY. CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced HIV testing, linkage, and early ART initiation improves life expectancy, reduces transmission, and can be cost-effective or cost-saving in settings like Botswana.

    • Health Equity and Health Disparities
      1. Background: Hypertension is a preventable risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Immediate reduction in blood pressure (BP) is necessary for a person with dangerously high BP to prevent injuries related to heart disease and stroke. Differences in the prevalence of hypertension and dangerously high BP (BP alerts) and the distribution of medical follow-ups were examined by race and ethnicity among participants in the Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) program. Materials and Methods: Data (January 2014 through June 2018) were used to identify women, aged 40-64 years, with hypertension at their first WISEWOMAN screening. Women with BP alerts were identified as having an average systolic BP >180 mm Hg or diastolic BP >110 mm Hg at WISEWOMAN baseline screening or rescreening. CDC's WISEWOMAN program is a public health practice program and does not conduct human subject research. Results: Among 65,189 WISEWOMAN participants, 25,098 (38.5%) women had hypertension and 586 (2.3%) of those women had BP alerts. There were significant differences among Hispanic, non-Hispanic black (NHB), and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women in the prevalence of hypertension (26.5%, 67.1%, and 40.2%, respectively, p < 0.001) and BP alerts (1.7%, 3.4%, and 2.1%, respectively, p < 0.001). Among women with BP alerts, 74.7% received a medical follow-up within 7 days and 12.4% received a medical follow-up after 7 days. There were no significant differences in the percentage of women with BP alerts who received a follow-up within 7 days among Hispanic, NHB, and NHW women (71.1%, 77.1%, and 74.4%, respectively, p = 0.085). Conclusions: BP alerts occurred in 2.3% of the WISEWOMAN hypertensive population, and approximately three in four women with BP alerts, regardless of race and ethnicity, received timely follow-up care within 7 days.

      2. Change in unemployment by social vulnerability among United States counties with rapid increases in COVID-19 incidence-July 1-October 31, 2020external icon
        Tang S, Horter L, Bosh K, Kassem AM, Kahn EB, Ricaldi JN, Pao LZ, Kang GJ, Singleton CM, Liu T, Thomas I, Rao CY.
        PLoS One. 2022 ;17(4):e0265888.
        OBJECTIVE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate in the United States peaked at 14.8% in April 2020. We examined patterns in unemployment following this peak in counties with rapid increases in COVID-19 incidence. METHOD: We used CDC aggregate county data to identify counties with rapid increases in COVID-19 incidence (rapid riser counties) during July 1-October 31, 2020. We used a linear regression model with fixed effect to calculate the change of unemployment rate difference in these counties, stratified by the county's social vulnerability (an indicator compiled by CDC) in the two months before the rapid riser index month compared to the index month plus one month after the index month. RESULTS: Among the 585 (19% of U.S. counties) rapid riser counties identified, the unemployment rate gap between the most and least socially vulnerable counties widened by 0.40 percentage point (p<0.01) after experiencing a rapid rise in COVID-19 incidence. Driving the gap were counties with lower socioeconomic status, with a higher percentage of people in racial and ethnic minority groups, and with limited English proficiency. CONCLUSION: The widened unemployment gap after COVID-19 incidence rapid rise between the most and least socially vulnerable counties suggests that it may take longer for socially and economically disadvantaged communities to recover. Loss of income and benefits due to unemployment could hinder behaviors that prevent spread of COVID-19 (e.g., seeking healthcare) and could impede response efforts including testing and vaccination. Addressing the social needs within these vulnerable communities could help support public health response measures.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute-care hospitals: 2022 Updateexternal icon
        Buetti N, Marschall J, Drees M, Fakih MG, Hadaway L, Maragakis LL, Monsees E, Novosad S, O'Grady NP, Rupp ME, Wolf J, Yokoe D, Mermel LA.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2022 Apr 19:1-17.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Key stakeholder perspectives on challenges and opportunities for rural HPV vaccination in North and South Carolinaexternal icon
        Fish LJ, Harrison SE, McDonald JA, Yelverton V, Williams C, Walter EB, Vasudevan L.
        Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2022 Apr 19:1-8.
        The objective of this study was to identify factors at the individual, provider, and systems levels that serve as challenges or opportunities for increasing adolescent vaccination-including Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination-in rural communities in the southern United States (US). As part of a broader study to increase HPV vaccine uptake in the southern US, we conducted in-depth interviews with vaccination stakeholders representing public health and education agencies in North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC). Fourteen key stakeholders were recruited using purposive sampling to obtain insights into challenges and solutions to rural-urban disparities in HPV vaccination coverage. Stakeholders were also queried about their experiences and attitudes toward school-based vaccination promotion programs and campaigns. We used a rapid qualitative approach to analyze the data. Stakeholders identified factors at the individual, provider, and systems levels that serve as challenges to vaccination in rural communities. Similar to previous studies, stakeholders mentioned challenges with healthcare access and vaccine-related misconceptions that pose barriers to HPV vaccination for rural residents. Systems-level challenges identified included limited access to high-speed internet in rural areas that may impact providers' ability to interface with state-level digital systems such as the vaccination registry. Stakeholders identified a number of opportunities to increase HPV vaccination coverage, including through school-based health promotion programs. Stakeholders strongly supported school-based programs and approaches to strengthen confidence and demand for HPV vaccination and to help address persistent social determinants and system level factors that pose challenges to HPV vaccination coverage in many rural areas.

      2. Effectiveness of a serogroup B outer membrane vesicle meningococcal vaccine against gonorrhoea: a retrospective observational studyexternal icon
        Abara WE, Bernstein KT, Lewis FM, Schillinger JA, Feemster K, Pathela P, Hariri S, Islam A, Eberhart M, Cheng I, Ternier A, Slutsker JS, Mbaeyi S, Madera R, Kirkcaldy RD.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 12.
        BACKGROUND: Declining antimicrobial susceptibility to current gonorrhoea antibiotic treatment and inadequate treatment options have raised the possibility of untreatable gonorrhoea. New prevention approaches, such as vaccination, are needed. Outer membrane vesicle meningococcal serogroup B vaccines might be protective against gonorrhoea. We evaluated the effectiveness of a serogroup B meningococcal outer membrane vesicle vaccine (MenB-4C) against gonorrhoea in individuals aged 16-23 years in two US cities. METHODS: We identified laboratory-confirmed gonorrhoea and chlamydia infections among individuals aged 16-23 years from sexually transmitted infection surveillance records in New York City and Philadelphia from 2016 to 2018. We linked gonorrhoea and chlamydia case records to immunisation registry records to determine MenB-4C vaccination status at infection, defined as complete vaccination (two MenB-4C doses administered 30-180 days apart), partial vaccination (single MenB-4C vaccine dose), or no vaccination (serogroup B meningococcal vaccine naive). Using log-binomial regression with generalised estimating equations to account for correlations between multiple infections per patient, we calculated adjusted prevalence ratios (APR) and 95% CIs to determine if vaccination was protective against gonorrhoea. We used individual-level data for descriptive analyses and infection-level data for regression analyses. FINDINGS: Between Jan 1, 2016, and Dec 31, 2018, we identified 167 706 infections (18 099 gonococcal infections, 124 876 chlamydial infections, and 24 731 gonococcal and chlamydial co-infections) among 109 737 individuals linked to the immunisation registries. 7692 individuals were vaccinated, of whom 4032 (52·4%) had received one dose, 3596 (46·7%) two doses, and 64 (<1·0%) at least three doses. Compared with no vaccination, complete vaccination series (APR 0·60, 95% CI 0·47-0·77; p<0·0001) and partial vaccination series (0·74, 0·63-0·88; p=0·0012) were protective against gonorrhoea. Complete MenB-4C vaccination series was 40% (95% CI 23-53) effective against gonorrhoea and partial MenB-4C vaccination series was 26% (12-37) effective. INTERPRETATION: MenB-4C vaccination was associated with a reduced gonorrhoea prevalence. MenB-4C could offer cross-protection against Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Development of an effective gonococcal vaccine might be feasible with implications for gonorrhoea prevention and control. FUNDING: None.

      3. Effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization among adults with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection - United States, June 2021-February 2022external icon
        Plumb ID, Feldstein LR, Barkley E, Posner AB, Bregman HS, Hagen MB, Gerhart JL.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 15;71(15):549-555.
        Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been estimated to confer up to 90% protection against reinfection, although this protection was lower against the Omicron variant compared with that against other SARS-CoV-2 variants (1-3). A test-negative design was used to estimate effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in preventing subsequent COVID-19-associated hospitalization among adults aged ≥18 years with a previous positive nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or diagnosis of COVID-19.(†) The analysis used data from Cosmos, an electronic health record (EHR)-aggregated data set (4), and compared vaccination status of 3,761 case-patients (positive NAAT result associated with hospitalization) with 7,522 matched control-patients (negative NAAT result). After previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 47.5% (95% CI = 38.8%-54.9%) after 2 vaccine doses and 57.8% (95% CI = 32.1%-73.8%) after a booster dose during the Delta-predominant period (June 20-December 18, 2021), and 34.6% (95% CI = 25.5%-42.5%) after 2 doses and 67.6% (95% CI = 61.4%-72.8%) after a booster dose during the Omicron-predominant period (December 19, 2021-February 24, 2022). Vaccination provides protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization among adults with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the highest level of protection conferred by a booster dose. All eligible persons, including those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, should stay up to date with vaccination to prevent COVID-19-associated hospitalization.

      4. COVID-19 mortality and vaccine coverage - Hong Kong special administrative region, China, January 6, 2022-March 21, 2022external icon
        Smith DJ, Hakim AJ, Leung GM, Xu W, Schluter WW, Novak RT, Marston B, Hersh BS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 15;71(15):545-548.
        On January 6, 2022, a cluster of COVID-19 cases* caused by the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was detected in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Hong Kong), resulting in the territory's fifth wave of COVID-19 cases (1). This wave peaked on March 4, 2022, with 8,764 COVID-19 cases per million population (2), resulting in a total of 1,049,959 cases and 5,906 COVID-19-associated deaths reported to the Hong Kong Department of Health during January 6-March 21, 2022.(†) Throughout this period, the COVID-19 mortality rate in Hong Kong (37.7 per million population) was among the highest reported worldwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began (3). Publicly available data on age-specific vaccination coverage in Hong Kong with a 2-dose primary vaccination series (with either Sinovac-CoronaVac [Sinovac], an inactivated COVID-19 viral vaccine, recommended for persons aged ≥3 years or BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech], an mRNA vaccine, for persons aged ≥5 years), as of December 23, 2021,(§)(,)(¶) and COVID-19 mortality during January 6-March 21, 2022, were analyzed. By December 23, 2021, 67% of vaccine-eligible persons in Hong Kong had received ≥1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 64% had received ≥2 doses, and 5% had received a booster dose. Among persons aged ≥60 years, these proportions were 52%, 49%, and 7%, respectively. Among those aged ≥60 years, vaccination coverage declined with age: 48% of persons aged 70-79 years had received ≥1 dose, 45% received ≥2 doses, and 7% had received a booster, and among those aged ≥80 years, 20%, 18%, and 2% had received ≥1 dose, ≥2 doses, and a booster dose, respectively. Among 5,906 COVID-19 deaths reported, 5,655 (96%) occurred in persons aged ≥60 years**; among these decedents, 3,970 (70%) were unvaccinated, 18% (1,023) had received 1 vaccine dose, and 12% (662) had received ≥2 doses. The overall rates of COVID-19-associated mortality among persons aged ≥60 years who were unvaccinated, who had received 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose, and who had received ≥2 vaccine doses were 10,076, 1,099, and 473 per million population, respectively; the risk for COVID-19-associated death among unvaccinated persons was 21.3 times that among recipients of 2-3 doses in this age group. The high overall mortality rate during the ongoing 2022 Hong Kong Omicron COVID-19 outbreak is being driven by deaths among unvaccinated persons aged ≥60 years. Efforts to identify and address gaps in age-specific vaccination coverage can help prevent high mortality from COVID-19, especially among persons aged ≥60 years.

      5. Surveillance to track progress toward polio eradication - Worldwide, 2020-2021external icon
        Wilkinson AL, Diop OM, Jorba J, Gardner T, Snider CJ, Ahmed J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 15;71(15):538-544.
        Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established in 1988, the number of reported poliomyelitis cases worldwide has declined by approximately 99.99%. By the end of 2021, wild poliovirus (WPV) remained endemic in only two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). However, a WPV type 1 (WPV1) case with paralysis onset in 2021, was reported by Malawi a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region (AFR) was certified as WPV-free and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) cases were reported from 31 countries during 2020-2021 (1,2). cVDPVs are oral poliovirus vaccine-derived viruses that can emerge after prolonged circulation in populations with low immunity and cause paralysis. The primary means of detecting poliovirus transmission is through surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) among persons aged <15 years, with confirmation through stool specimen testing by WHO-accredited laboratories, supplemented by systematic sampling of sewage and testing for the presence of poliovirus (environmental surveillance). The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in polio vaccination and surveillance activities across WHO regions in 2020; during January-September 2020, the number of reported cases of AFP declined and the interval between stool collection and receipt by laboratories increased compared with the same period in 2019 (3). This report summarizes surveillance performance indicators for 2020 and 2021 in 43 priority countries* and updates previous reports (4). In 2021, a total of 32 (74%) priority countries(†) met two key surveillance performance indicator targets nationally, an improvement from 2020 when only 23 (53%) met both targets; however, substantial national and subnational gaps persist. High-performing poliovirus surveillance is critical to tracking poliovirus transmission. Frequent monitoring of surveillance indicators could help identify gaps, guide improvements, and enhance the overall sensitivity and timelines of poliovirus detection to successfully achieve polio eradication.

    • Informatics
      1. Dashboard development for near real-time visualization of COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance data in the vaccine safety datalinkexternal icon
        Kenigsberg TA, Hause AM, McNeil MM, Nelson JC, Ann Shoup J, Goddard K, Lou Y, Hanson KE, Glenn SC, Weintraub E.
        Vaccine. 2022 Apr 8.
        The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) conducts active surveillance and vaccine safety research studies. Since the start of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program, the VSD has conducted near real-time safety surveillance of COVID-19 vaccines using Rapid Cycle Analysis. VSD investigators developed an internal dashboard to facilitate visualization and rapid reviews of large weekly automated vaccine safety surveillance data. Dashboard development and maintenance was informed by vaccine surveillance data users and vaccine safety partners. Key metrics include population demographics, vaccine uptake, pre-specified safety outcomes, sequential analyses results, and descriptive data on potential vaccine safety signals. Dashboard visualizations are used to provide situational awareness on dynamic vaccination coverage and the status of multiple safety analyses conducted among the VSD population. This report describes the development and implementation of the internal VSD COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, including metrics used to develop the dashboard, which may have application across various other public health settings.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Role of diagnostics in epidemiology, management, surveillance, and control of leptospirosisexternal icon
        Sykes JE, Reagan KL, Nally JE, Galloway RL, Haake DA.
        Pathogens. 2022 ;11(4).
        A One Health approach to the epidemiology, management, surveillance, and control of leptospirosis relies on accessible and accurate diagnostics that can be applied to humans and companion animals and livestock. Diagnosis should be multifaceted and take into account exposure risk, clinical presentation, and multiple direct and/or indirect diagnostic approaches. Methods of direct detection of Leptospira spp. include culture, histopathology and immunostaining of tissues or clinical specimens, and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). Indirect serologic methods to detect leptospiral antibodies include the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and lateral flow methods. Rapid diagnostics that can be applied at the point-of-care; NAAT and lateral flow serologic tests are essential for management of acute infection and control of outbreaks. Culture is essential to an understanding of regional knowledge of circulating strains, and we discuss recent improvements in methods for cultivation, genomic sequencing, and serotyping. We review the limitations of NAATs, MAT, and other diagnostic approaches in the context of our expanding understanding of the diversity of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Novel approaches are needed, such as loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based approaches to leptospiral nucleic acid detection. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

      2. Predicting future community-level ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection prevalence using serological, clinical, molecular, and geospatial dataexternal icon
        Tedijanto C, Aragie S, Tadesse Z, Haile M, Zeru T, Nash SD, Wittberg DM, Gwyn S, Martin DL, Sturrock HJ, Lietman TM, Keenan JD, Arnold BF.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022 Mar;16(3):e0010273.
        Trachoma is an infectious disease characterized by repeated exposures to Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) that may ultimately lead to blindness. Efficient identification of communities with high infection burden could help target more intensive control efforts. We hypothesized that IgG seroprevalence in combination with geospatial layers, machine learning, and model-based geostatistics would be able to accurately predict future community-level ocular Ct infections detected by PCR. We used measurements from 40 communities in the hyperendemic Amhara region of Ethiopia to assess this hypothesis. Median Ct infection prevalence among children 0-5 years old increased from 6% at enrollment, in the context of recent mass drug administration (MDA), to 29% by month 36, following three years without MDA. At baseline, correlation between seroprevalence and Ct infection was stronger among children 0-5 years old (ρ = 0.77) than children 6-9 years old (ρ = 0.48), and stronger than the correlation between active trachoma and Ct infection (0-5y ρ = 0.56; 6-9y ρ = 0.40). Seroprevalence was the strongest concurrent predictor of infection prevalence at month 36 among children 0-5 years old (cross-validated R2 = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.58-0.85), though predictive performance declined substantially with increasing temporal lag between predictor and outcome measurements. Geospatial variables, a spatial Gaussian process, and stacked ensemble machine learning did not meaningfully improve predictions. Serological markers among children 0-5 years old may be an objective tool for identifying communities with high levels of ocular Ct infections, but accurate, future prediction in the context of changing transmission remains an open challenge.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Derivation and validation of a novel risk assessment tool to identify children aged 2-59 months at risk of hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality in 20 countriesexternal icon
        Rees CA, Colbourn T, Hooli S, King C, Lufesi N, McCollum ED, Mwansambo C, Cutland C, Madhi SA, Nunes M, Matthew JL, Addo-Yobo E, Chisaka N, Hassan M, Hibberd PL, Jeena PM, Lozano JM, MacLeod WB, Patel A, Thea DM, Nguyen NT, Kartasasmita CB, Lucero M, Awasthi S, Bavdekar A, Chou M, Nymadawa P, Pape JW, Paranhos-Baccala G, Picot VS, Rakoto-Andrianarivelo M, Rouzier V, Russomando G, Sylla M, Vanhems P, Wang J, Asghar R, Banajeh S, Iqbal I, Maulen-Radovan I, Mino-Leon G, Saha SK, Santosham M, Singhi S, Basnet S, Strand TA, Bhatnagar S, Wadhwa N, Lodha R, Aneja S, Clara AW, Campbell H, Nair H, Falconer J, Qazi SA, Nisar YB, Neuman MI.
        BMJ Glob Health. 2022 Apr;7(4).
        INTRODUCTION: Existing risk assessment tools to identify children at risk of hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality have shown suboptimal discriminatory value during external validation. Our objective was to derive and validate a novel risk assessment tool to identify children aged 2-59 months at risk of hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality across various settings. METHODS: We used primary, baseline, patient-level data from 11 studies, including children evaluated for pneumonia in 20 low-income and middle-income countries. Patients with complete data were included in a logistic regression model to assess the association of candidate variables with the outcome hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality. Adjusted log coefficients were calculated for each candidate variable and assigned weighted points to derive the Pneumonia Research Partnership to Assess WHO Recommendations (PREPARE) risk assessment tool. We used bootstrapped selection with 200 repetitions to internally validate the PREPARE risk assessment tool. RESULTS: A total of 27 388 children were included in the analysis (mean age 14.0 months, pneumonia-related case fatality ratio 3.1%). The PREPARE risk assessment tool included patient age, sex, weight-for-age z-score, body temperature, respiratory rate, unconsciousness or decreased level of consciousness, convulsions, cyanosis and hypoxaemia at baseline. The PREPARE risk assessment tool had good discriminatory value when internally validated (area under the curve 0.83, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.84). CONCLUSIONS: The PREPARE risk assessment tool had good discriminatory ability for identifying children at risk of hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality in a large, geographically diverse dataset. After external validation, this tool may be implemented in various settings to identify children at risk of hospitalised pneumonia-related mortality.

      2. COVID-19 pandemic impact on US childhood caries and potential mitigationexternal icon
        Scherrer C, Naavaal S, Lin M, Griffin SO.
        J Dent Res. 2022 Apr 15:220345221090183.
        Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) and Hispanic and low-income US children have a higher prevalence of untreated caries than their higher-income and non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many dental offices and school sealant programs closed beginning March 2020. We examine the effect of reduced access to restorative care and sealants on the oral health of children from low-income households overall and by race/ethnicity and how increased sealant delivery in September 2022 could mitigate these effects. We used Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation to model COVID-19's impact on first permanent molar (1M) caries incidence and loss in quality of life (disability-adjusted life years [DALYs]) due to time lived with 1M untreated caries. Our model followed a cohort of children aged 7 y in March 2020 until February 2024. Model inputs were primarily obtained from published studies and nationally representative data. Excess DALYs per 1,000 children attributable to reduced access to care during the pandemic were 1.48 overall and greater for Hispanic (2.07) and NHB (1.75) children than for NHW children (0.94). Excess incidence of 1M caries over 4 y was 2.28 percentage points overall and greater for Hispanic (2.63) and NHB (2.40) children than for NHW (1.96) children. Delivering sealants to 50% of eligible 1Ms in September 2022 would not completely mitigate COVID-19's health access impact: overall excess DALYs would decrease to 1.05, and absolute disparities in excess DALYs between NHW children and Hispanic and NHB children would remain but decrease by 0.38 and 0.33, respectively. Sealing 40% of eligible 1Ms, however, would bring overall 4-y caries incidence down to pre-COVID-19 levels and eliminate the differential effect of the pandemic on children from minority groups. The pandemic's negative impact on the oral health of children from low-income households and increased disparities could be partially mitigated with increased sealant delivery.

      3. Participation in survey research among mothers with a recent live birth: A comparison of mothers with living versus deceased infants - Findings from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2016-2019external icon
        Kortsmit K, Shulman H, Smith RA, Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Parks SE, Folger S, Whiteman M, Harrison L, Cox S, Christiansen-Lindquist L, Barfield WD, Warner L.
        Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2022 Apr 18.
        BACKGROUND: Despite high infant mortality rates in the United States relative to other developed countries, little is known about survey participation among mothers of deceased infants. OBJECTIVE: To assess differences in survey response, contact and cooperation rates for mothers of deceased versus. living infants at the time of survey mailing (approximately 2-6 months postpartum), overall and by select maternal and infant characteristics. METHODS: We analysed 2016-2019 data for 50 sites from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), a site-specific, population-based surveillance system of mothers with a recent live birth. We assessed differences in survey participation between mothers of deceased and living infants. Using American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) standard definitions and terminology, we calculated proportions of mothers who participated and were successfully contacted among sampled mothers (weighted response and contact rates, respectively), and who participated among contacted mothers (weighted cooperation rate). We then constructed multivariable survey-weighted logistic regression models to examine the adjusted association between infant vital status and weighted response, contact and cooperation rates, within strata of maternal and infant characteristics. RESULTS: Among sampled mothers, 0.3% (weighted percentage, n = 2795) of infants had records indicating they were deceased at the time of survey mailing and 99.7% (weighted percentage, n = 344,379) did not. Mothers of deceased infants had lower unadjusted weighted response (48.3% vs. 56.2%), contact (67.9% vs. 74.3%) and cooperation rates (71.1% vs. 75.6%). However, after adjusting for covariates, differences in survey participation by infant vital status were reduced. CONCLUSIONS: After covariate adjustment, differences in PRAMS participation rates were attenuated. However, participation rates among mothers of deceased infants remain two to four percentage points lower compared with mothers of living infants. Strategies to increase PRAMS participation could inform knowledge about experiences and behaviours before, during and shortly after pregnancy to help reduce infant mortality.

      4. All in the family? A systematic review and meta-analysis of parenting and family environment as risk factors for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childrenexternal icon
        Claussen AH, Holbrook JR, Hutchins HJ, Robinson LR, Bloomfield J, Meng L, Bitsko RH, O'Masta B, Cerles A, Maher B, Rush M, Kaminski JW.
        Prev Sci. 2022 Apr 19:1-23.
        Parenting and family environment have significant impact on child development, including development of executive function, attention, and self-regulation, and may affect the risk of developmental disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This paper examines the relationship of parenting and family environment factors with ADHD. A systematic review of the literature was conducted in 2014 and identified 52 longitudinal studies. A follow-up search in 2021 identified 7 additional articles, for a total of 59 studies that examined the association of parenting factors with ADHD outcomes: ADHD overall (diagnosis or symptoms), ADHD diagnosis specifically, or presence of the specific ADHD symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. For parenting factors that were present in three or more studies, pooled effect sizes were calculated separately for dichotomous or continuous ADHD outcomes, accounting for each study's conditional variance. Factors with sufficient information for analysis were parenting interaction quality (sensitivity/warmth, intrusiveness/reactivity, and negativity/harsh discipline), maltreatment (general maltreatment and physical abuse), parental relationship status (divorce, single parenting), parental incarceration, and child media exposure. All factors showed a significant direct association with ADHD outcomes, except sensitivity/warmth which had an inverse association. Parenting factors predicted diagnosis and overall symptoms as well as inattentive and hyperactive symptoms when measured, but multiple factors showed significant heterogeneity across studies. These findings support the possibility that parenting and family environment influences ADHD symptoms and may affect a child's likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD. Prevention strategies that support parents, such as decreasing parenting challenges and increasing access to parent training in behavior management, may improve children's long-term developmental health.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Firefighters' urinary concentrations of VOC metabolites after controlled-residential and training fire responsesexternal icon
        Fent KW, Mayer AC, Toennis C, Sammons D, Robertson S, Chen IC, Bhandari D, Blount BC, Kerber S, Smith DL, Horn GP.
        Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2022 Apr 11;242:113969.
        INTRODUCTION: Firefighters are exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during structural fire responses and training fires, several of which (e.g., benzene, acrolein, styrene) are known or probable carcinogens. Exposure studies have found that firefighters can absorb chemicals like benzene even when self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) are worn, suggesting that dermal absorption contributes to potentially harmful exposures. However, few studies have characterized VOC metabolites in urine from firefighters. OBJECTIVES: We quantified VOC metabolites in firefighters' urine following live firefighting activity across two field studies. METHODS: In two separate controlled field studies, spot urine was collected before and 3 h after firefighters and firefighter students responded to simulated residential and training fires. Urine was also collected from instructors from the training fire study before the first and 3 h after the last training scenario for each day (instructors led three training scenarios per day). Samples were analyzed for metabolites of VOCs to which firefighters may be exposed. RESULTS: In the residential fire study, urinary metabolites of xylenes (2MHA), toluene (BzMA), and styrene (MADA) increased significantly (at 0.05 level) from pre- to post-fire. In the training fire study, MADA concentrations increased significantly from pre- to post-fire for both firefighter students and instructors. Urinary concentrations of benzene metabolites (MUCA and PhMA) increased significantly from pre- to post-fire for instructors, while metabolites of xylenes (3MHA+4MHA) and acrolein (3HPMA) increased significantly for firefighter students. The two highest MUCA concentrations measured post-shift from instructors exceeded the BEI of 500 μg/g creatinine. CONCLUSIONS: Some of the metabolites that were significantly elevated post-fire are known or probable human carcinogens (benzene, styrene, acrolein); thus, exposure to these compounds should be eliminated or reduced as much as possible through the hierarchy of controls. Given stringent use of SCBA, it appears that dermal exposure contributes in part to the levels measured here.

      2. Airborne substances in the nanoparticle size range would mostly follow the primary airflow patterns, which emphasizes the importance of understanding the airflow dynamics to effectively control exposures to toxic airborne substances such as nanometer-sized particles. Chemical fume hoods are being utilized as primary controls for worker exposure to airborne substances including nanometer-scale materials due to their overall availability and history of effective contaminant. This study evaluates the impact of the body wake on the containment performance of a conventional constant air volume (CAV) and a new “nano” ventilated enclosing hood using numerical methods. Numerical studies have been performed to predict leaks of nanomaterials handled inside the hood. We further performed experiments in this study to validate the velocity fields predicted by the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models and to provide a basis for evaluating the impact of the human body on fume hood containment performance. Using these validated models, the effects of the motion of the arms moving out of the hood were simulated using CFD to assess how one of the common actions of an operator/user may affect containment. Results of our simulations show that areas near the hood side airfoils and directly behind the sash are more likely to concentrate contaminants released inside the hood and potentially result in leakage based on internal airflow patterns. These areas are key to monitor when assessing fume hood containment along with the operator/mannequin breathing zone to get an understanding of potential leak areas which might contribute to operator exposure as well as exposure to others inside the laboratory. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

      3. Welder’s anthrax: A review of an occupational diseaseexternal icon
        de Perio MA, Hendricks KA, Dowell CH, Bower WA, Burton NC, Dawson P, Schrodt CA, Salzer JS, Marston CK, Feldmann K, Hoffmaster AR, Antonini JM.
        Pathogens. 2022 ;11(4).
        Since 1997, nine cases of severe pneumonia, caused by species within the B. cereus group and with a presentation similar to that of inhalation anthrax, were reported in seemingly immunocompetent metalworkers, with most being welders. In seven of the cases, isolates were found to harbor a plasmid similar to the B. anthracis pXO1 that encodes anthrax toxins. In this paper, we review the literature on the B. cereus group spp. pneumonia among welders and other metalworkers, which we term welder’s anthrax. We describe the epidemiology, including more information on two cases of welder’s anthrax in 2020. We also describe the health risks associated with welding, potential mechanisms of infection and pathological damage, prevention measures according to the hierarchy of controls, and clinical and public health considerations. Considering occupational risk factors and controlling exposure to welding fumes and gases among workers, according to the hierarchy of controls, should help prevent disease transmission in the workplace. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

      4. Copper-based preservatives consisting of micronized and nanoscale copper particles have been widely used in applications for wood protection. The widespread use of these preservatives along with the potential release of copper-containing nanoparticles (Cu NPs) during the life cycle of treated wood, has raised concerns over the impacts on the environment and occupational exposure. Along with assessing the potential hazards of these materials, a critical step is determining the chemical and morphological characteristics of the copper species released from copper-treated wood. Therefore, a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) was utilized to characterize and differentiate the released copper-containing particles based on their structures, sizing, and chemical properties. Airborne wood dust samples were collected during the abrasion and sawing of micronized copper (MC) treated wood in a laboratory testing system. Based on the signature Cu L(2,3) edge of EEL spectra, three different copper species (i.e., basic copper carbonate, copper, and copper-wood complex) were identified as major components of the embedded particles in wood dust. In addition, two types of individual Cu NPs consisting of basic copper carbonate and copper were identified. The variation of morphologies and chemical properties of copper-containing particles indicates the importance of copper-wood interactions to determine the formation and distribution of copper species in wood components. Our findings will advance the fundamental understanding of their released forms, potential transformation, and environmental fate during the life cycle.

    • Occupational Safety and Health - Mining
      1. Zambia assessment of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV in the mines (ZATHIM): implications for programs and policiesexternal icon
        Podewils LJ, Long EF, Fuller TJ, Mwakazanga D, Kapungu K, Tembo M, Mwanza S, Curran KG, Smith JP, Tobias JL, Kasongo W.
        BMC Public Health. 2022 Apr 20;22(1):791.
        BACKGROUND: Mineworkers in Southern Africa have the highest rates of tuberculosis (TB) among working populations in the world (The World Bank, Benefits and costs associated with reducing tuberculosis among Southern Africa's mineworkers, 2014), making mineworkers a key population for TB program efforts. The current evaluation aimed to characterize mineworkers and former (ex-) mineworkers, and assess knowledge, attitudes and practices related to TB and HIV care among mineworkers and healthcare workers (HCWs) in Zambia. METHODS: A mixed-methods evaluation of current and former (ex-) mineworkers and HCWs was conducted in the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces, Zambia. Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) related to TB care and policies were assessed using a structured survey. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with current and ex-mineworkers to understand perceptions, practices, and barriers related to accessing healthcare for TB. RESULTS: Overall, 2,792 mineworkers and 94 HCWs completed the KAP survey, and 206 (171 current, 71 ex-) mineworkers participated in FGDs. Mineworkers and ex-mineworkers were knowledgeable about TB symptoms (cough; 94%), transmission (81.7%) and treatment (99.2%). Yet, barriers to seeking care were evident with 30% of mineworkers experiencing cough, and 19% reporting 2 or more TB symptoms at the time of the survey. The majority of mineworkers (70.9%) were aware of policies barring persons from working after a diagnosis of TB, and themes from FGDs and HCW comments (n = 32/62; 51.6%) recognized fear of job loss as a critical barrier to providing timely screening and appropriate care for TB among mineworkers. The majority (76.9%) of mineworkers indicated they would not disclose their TB status to their supervisor, but would be willing to share their diagnosis with their spouse (73.8%). CONCLUSION: Fear of job loss, driven by governmental policy and mistrust in mining companies, is a major barrier to healthcare access for TB among mineworkers in Zambia. As a result of these findings, the government policy prohibiting persons from working in the mines following TB disease is being repealed. However, major reforms are urgently needed to mitigate TB among mineworkers, including ensuring the rights of mineworkers and their communities to healthy living and working environments, improved social responsibility of mining companies, and facilitating choice and access to affordable, timely, and high-quality healthcare services.

      2. This study was developed as part of an effort by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to better understand rock-mass behavior in longwall coal mines in highly stressed, bump-prone ground. The floor-heave and no-floor-heave phenomena at a western US coal mine could not be properly simulated in numerical models using conventional shear-dominant failure criteria (i.e., Mohr–Coulomb or Hoek–Brown failure criterion). The previous numerical study demonstrated these phenomena using a user-defined model of the s-shaped brittle failure criterion in conjunction with a spalling process in the FLAC3D numerical modeling software. The results of the FLAC3D modeling agreed with the observations of the relative amounts of heave from each gate-road system. However, the FLAC3D model adopted many assumptions and simplifications that were not very realistic from a physical or mechanical perspective. To overcome the limitations of the FLAC3D model, 3DEC modeling in conjunction with the discrete fracture network (DFN) technique was performed to better understand the true behavior of floor heave associated with underground mining in an anisotropic stress field. The effect of stress rotation in the mining-induced stress field was considered by using a different geometry of rock fractures in the coal seam. The heterogeneity of the engineering properties (i.e., cohesion and tensile strength) were also considered by using Monte Carlo simulations. Consequently, the 3DEC models using the DFN technique resulted in predictions of floor heave that agreed with observations of the relative amounts of heave from each gate-road system, but the cause of heave was mainly related to the degree of anisotropy instead of the size of the pillar. © 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. The potential impact of anopheles stephensi establishment on the transmission of plasmodium falciparum in Ethiopia and prospective control measuresexternal icon
        Hamlet A, Dengela D, Tongren JE, Tadesse FG, Bousema T, Sinka M, Seyoum A, Irish SR, Armistead JS, Churcher T.
        BMC Med. 2022 Apr 20;20(1):135.
        BACKGROUND: Sub-Saharan Africa has seen substantial reductions in cases and deaths due to malaria over the past two decades. While this reduction is primarily due to an increasing expansion of interventions, urbanisation has played its part as urban areas typically experience substantially less malaria transmission than rural areas. However, this may be partially lost with the invasion and establishment of Anopheles stephensi. A. stephensi, the primary urban malaria vector in Asia, was first detected in Africa in 2012 in Djibouti and was subsequently identified in Ethiopia in 2016, and later in Sudan and Somalia. In Djibouti, malaria cases have increased 30-fold from 2012 to 2019 though the impact in the wider region remains unclear. METHODS: Here, we have adapted an existing model of mechanistic malaria transmission to estimate the increase in vector density required to explain the trends in malaria cases seen in Djibouti. To account for the observed plasticity in An. stephensi behaviour, and the unknowns of how it will establish in a novel environment, we sample behavioural parameters in order to account for a wide range of uncertainty. This quantification is then applied to Ethiopia, considering temperature-dependent extrinsic incubation periods, pre-existing vector-control interventions and Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in order to assess the potential impact of An. stephensi establishment on P. falciparum transmission. Following this, we estimate the potential impact of scaling up ITN (insecticide-treated nets)/IRS (indoor residual spraying) and implementing piperonyl butoxide (PBO) ITNs and larval source management, as well as their economic costs. RESULTS: We estimate that annual P. falciparum malaria cases could increase by 50% (95% CI 14-90) if no additional interventions are implemented. The implementation of sufficient control measures to reduce malaria transmission to pre-stephensi levels will cost hundreds of millions of USD. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial heterogeneity across the country is predicted and large increases in vector control interventions could be needed to prevent a major public health emergency.

      2. BACKGROUND: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are the main malaria vector control measures deployed in Kenya. Widespread pyrethroid resistance among the primary vectors in Western Kenya has necessitated the re-introduction of IRS using an organophosphate insecticide, pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic® 300CS), as a pyrethroid resistance management strategy. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the combined use of non-pyrethroid IRS and LLINs has yielded varied results. We aimed to evaluate the effect of non-pyrethroid IRS and LLINs on malaria indicators in a high malaria transmission area. METHODS: We reviewed records and tallied monthly aggregate of outpatient department (OPD) attendance, suspected malaria cases, those tested for malaria and those testing positive for malaria at two health facilities, one from Nyatike, an intervention sub-county, and one from Suba, a comparison sub-county, both located in Western Kenya, from February 1, 2016, through March 31, 2018. The first round of IRS was conducted in February-March 2017 in Nyatike sub-county and the second round one year later in both Nyatike and Suba sub-counties. The mass distribution of LLINs has been conducted in both locations. We performed descriptive analysis and estimated the effect of the interventions and temporal changes of malaria indicators using Poisson regression for a period before and after the first round of IRS. RESULTS: A higher reduction in the intervention area in total OPD, the proportion of OPD visits due to suspected malaria, testing positivity rate and annual malaria incidences were observed except for the total OPD visits among the under 5 children (59% decrease observed in the comparison area vs 33% decrease in the intervention area, net change -27%, P <0.001). The percentage decline in annual malaria incidence observed in the intervention area was more than twice the observed percentage decline in the comparison area across all the age groups. A marked decline in the monthly testing positivity rate (TPR) was noticed in the intervention area, while no major changes were observed in the comparison area. The monthly TPR reduced from 46% in February 2016 to 11% in February 2018, representing a 76% absolute decrease in TPR among all ages (RR = 0.24, 95% CI 0.12-0.46). In the comparison area, TPR was 16% in both February 2016 and February 2018 (RR = 1.0, 95% CI 0.52-2.09). A month-by-month comparison revealed lower TPR in Year 2 compared to Year 1 in the intervention area for most of the one year after the introduction of the IRS. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated a reduced malaria burden among populations protected by both non-pyrethroid IRS and LLINs implying a possible additional benefit afforded by the combined intervention in the malaria-endemic zone.

    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
      1. The COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment, subsistence needs and mental health among adults with HIV in the United Statesexternal icon
        Beer L, Tie Y, Dasgupta S, McManus T, Chowdhury PP, Weiser J.
        AIDS. 2022 Apr 1;36(5):739-744.
        OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether reported prevalence of unemployment, subsistence needs, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among adults with diagnosed HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic were higher than expected. DESIGN: The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is a complex sample survey of adults with diagnosed HIV in the United States. METHODS: We analyzed 2015-2019 MMP data using linear regression models to calculate expected prevalence, along with corresponding prediction intervals (PI), for unemployment, subsistence needs, depression, and anxiety for June-November 2020. We then assessed whether observed estimates fell within the expected prediction interval for each characteristic, overall and among specific groups. RESULTS: Overall, the observed estimate for unemployment was higher than expected (17% vs. 12%) and exceeded the upper limit of the PI. Those living in households with incomes ≥400% of FPL were the only group where the observed prevalence of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 period was higher than the PIs; in this group, the prevalence of depression was 9% compared with a predicted value of 5% (75% higher) and the prevalence of anxiety was 11% compared with a predicted value 5% (137% higher). We did not see elevated levels of subsistence needs, although needs were higher among Black and Hispanic compared with White persons. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to deliver enhanced employment assistance to persons with HIV and provide screening and access to mental health services among higher income persons may be needed to mitigate the negative effects of the US COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Notes from the field: Wound botulism outbreak among a group of persons who inject drugs - Dallas, Texas, 2020external icon
        Edwards LD, Gomez I, Wada S, Swaney EM, Caruthers MB, Cody I, Tobolowsky FA, Dykes J, Ford L, Davis KR, Griffin CT, Chung W.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 15;71(15):556-557.

    • Veterinary Medicine
      1. Septicaemic listeriosis in a white-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia)external icon
        Struthers JD, Kucerova Z, Finley A, Goe A, Huffman J, Phair K.
        J Comp Pathol. 2022 ;194:7-13.
        A 27-year-old female white-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia) died following an onset of vomiting and ptyalism. Necropsy revealed lesions of suppurative ventriculitis, choroid plexitis, periventricular encephalitis and meningitis with intralesional gram-positive coccobacilli and paired rods. The saki also had suppurative to mononuclear hepatitis, mild intestinal crypt necrosis, proliferative glomerulonephritis, aortic arteriosclerosis, pulmonary interstitial fibrosis, chronic mild epicarditis, ovarian medullary arteriopathy and a focal superficial cerebral fibrotic nodule with surrounding chronic mixed cell inflammation. Listeria monocytogenes was cultured from liver and spinal cord. Intralesional Listeria bacteria were immunolabelled in brain sections and real-time polymerase chain reaction of brain tissue detected L. monocytogenes. Whole genome multilocus sequence typing characterized the cultured bacterial isolates as sequence type 6 and clonal complex 6. A database search for related clinical and food listerial outbreaks identified genetically related isolates but, because these isolates were more than 20 alleles distant from the saki isolates, they were not a related cluster. Reports of listeriosis in non-human primates are infrequent, and when infections do occur, they tend to be haematogenous with the propensity to cause meningoencephalitis. This saki likely ingested environmental L. monocytogenes, which resulted in disease that may have been facilitated by pre-existing co-morbidities and age. © 2022 Elsevier Ltd

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Tracking of mammals and their fleas for plague surveillance in Madagascar, 2018-2019external icon
        Rahelinirina S, Harimalala M, Rakotoniaina J, Randriamanantsoa MG, Dentinger C, Zohdy S, Girod R, Rajerison M.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022 Apr 18.
        Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, remains a major public health threat in Madagascar. To better understand the risk of transmission to humans and to guide targeted plague prevention and control measures, a survey of Y. pestis infection and exposure in mammals and their fleas was implemented. Small mammals were captured in five districts of Madagascar ranging in levels of plague endemicity, as measured by notified cases, from none to active foci. Blood and spleen samples and fleas were collected from small mammals for the detection of anti-Y. pestis F1 antibodies by ELISA, F1 antigens by rapid diagnostic tests, and pla, caf1, and inv genes by polymerase chain reaction. Some rodent fleas were kept alive and reared in the insectary to assess susceptibility to insecticides. Blood was also collected from 15 dogs and tested for anti-F1 antibodies. A total of 557 spleens, 484 sera, and 1,539 fleas were collected from 557 rodents and shrews. Nineteen (3.4%) spleens were positive for F1 antigen, most from Toamasina (N = 13), a historical plague focus. One dog was also found seropositive in Toamasina. Twenty-two (4.5%) serologic specimens from small mammals were positive for anti-F1 antibodies. The flea index was highest in the city of Antananarivo (8.8). No flea was positive for Y. pestis DNA. Flea populations exhibited resistance to various insecticides weakening the efficacy of vector control. This study highlights the potential use of animal-based surveillance to identify the risk of plague transmission in endemic and nonendemic foci for targeted prevention and control.

      2. An algorithmic approach to identifying the aetiology of acute encephalitis syndrome in India: results of a 4-year enhanced surveillance studyexternal icon
        Ravi V, Hameed SK, Desai A, Mani RS, Reddy V, Velayudhan A, Yadav R, Jain A, Saikia L, Borthakur AK, Sharma A, Mohan DG, Bhandopadhyay B, Bhattacharya N, Inamdar L, Hossain S, Daves S, Sejvar J, Dhariwal AC, Sen PK, Venkatesh S, Prasad J, Laserson K, Srikantiah P.
        Lancet Glob Health. 2022 May;10(5):e685-e693.
        BACKGROUND: Annual outbreaks of acute encephalitis syndrome pose a major health burden in India. Although Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) accounts for around 15% of reported cases, the aetiology of most cases remains unknown. We aimed to establish an enhanced surveillance network and to use a standardised diagnostic algorithm to conduct a systematic evaluation of acute encephalitis syndrome in India. METHODS: In this large-scale, systematic surveillance study in India, patients presenting with acute encephalitis syndrome (ie, acute onset of fever with altered mental status, seizure, or both) to any of the 18 participating hospitals across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam were evaluated for JEV (serum and cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] IgM ELISA) per standard of care. In enhanced surveillance, JEV IgM-negative specimens were additionally evaluated for scrub typhus, dengue virus, and West Nile virus by serum IgM ELISA, and for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, dengue virus, herpes simplex virus, and enterovirus by CSF PCR across five referral laboratories. In 2017, chikungunya and Leptospira serum IgM by ELISA and Zika virus serum and CSF by PCR were also tested. FINDINGS: Of 10 107 patients with acute encephalitis syndrome enrolled in enhanced surveillance between Jan 1, 2014, and Dec 31, 2017, 5734 (57·8%) of 9917 participants with available data were male and 6179 (62·7%) of 9856 were children aged 15 years and younger. Among patients who provided a sample of either CSF or serum in enhanced surveillance, an aetiology was identified in 1921 (33·2%) of 5786 patients enrolled between 2014 and 2016 and in 1484 (34·3%) of 4321 patients enrolled in 2017. The most commonly identified aetiologies were JEV (1023 [17·7%] of 5786 patients), scrub typhus (645 [18·5%] of 3489), and dengue virus (161 [5·2%] of 3124). Among participants who provided both CSF and serum specimens, an aetiology was identified in 1446 (38·3%) of 3774 patients enrolled between 2014 and 2016 and in 936 (40·3%) of 2324 enrolled in 2017, representing a 3·1-times increase in the number of patients with acute encephalitis syndrome with an identified aetiology compared with standard care alone (299 [12·9%]; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: Implementation of a systematic diagnostic algorithm in an enhanced surveillance platform resulted in a 3·1-times increase in identification of the aetiology of acute encephalitis syndrome, besides JEV alone, and highlighted the importance of scrub typhus and dengue virus as important infectious aetiologies in India. These findings have prompted revision of the national testing guidelines for this syndrome across India. FUNDING: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      3. Translocation of an anteater (tamandua tetradactyla) infected with rabies from Virginia to Tennessee resulting in multiple human exposures, 2021external icon
        Grome HN, Yackley J, Goonewardene D, Cushing A, Souza M, Carlson A, Craig L, Cranmore B, Wallace R, Orciari L, Niezgoda M, Panayampalli S, Gigante C, Fill MM, Jones T, Schaffner W, Dunn J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Apr 15;71(15):533-537.
        On August 16, 2021, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) was notified of a positive rabies test result from a South American collared anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) in Washington County, Tennessee. Tamanduas, or lesser anteaters, are a species of anteater in which rabies has not previously been reported. The animal was living at a Tennessee zoo and had been recently translocated from a zoo in Virginia. TDH conducted an investigation to confirm the rabies result, characterize the rabies variant, and ascertain an exposure risk assessment among persons who came into contact with the tamandua. Risk assessments for 22 persons were completed to determine the need for rabies postexposure prophylaxis (rPEP); rPEP was recommended for 13 persons, all of whom agreed to receive it. Using phylogenetic results of the virus isolated from the tamandua and knowledge of rabies epidemiology, public health officials determined that the animal was likely exposed to wild raccoons present at the Virginia zoo. This report describes expansion of the wide mammalian species diversity susceptible to rabies virus infection and summarizes the investigation, highlighting coordination among veterinary and human public health partners and the importance of preexposure rabies vaccination for animal handlers and exotic zoo animals.

      4. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) from a fully vaccinated human to a canine in Georgia, July 2021external icon
        Wendling NM, Carpenter A, Liew A, Ghai RR, Gallardo-Romero N, Stoddard RA, Tao Y, Zhang J, Retchless AC, Ahmad A, Bunkley P, Godino C, Mauldin MR, Varela K, Ritter JM, Hennebelle J, Feldpausch A, Gabel J, Kainulainen MH, Herzegh O, Tong S, Spengler JR, Barton Behravesh C.
        Zoonoses Public Health. 2022 Apr 14.
        SARS-CoV-2 infection has been described in a wide range of species, including domestic animals such as dogs and cats. Illness in dogs is usually self-limiting, and further diagnostics may not be pursued if clinical signs resolve or they respond to empirical treatment. As new variants emerge, the clinical presentation and role in transmission may vary in animals. This report highlights different clinical presentations and immunological responses in two SARS-CoV-2 Delta-variant-positive dogs with similar exposure to the same fully vaccinated human with a SARS-CoV-2 infection and emphasizes the need for active surveillance and additional One Health research on SARS-CoV-2 variant infections in companion animals and other species.

DISCLAIMER: Articles listed in the CDC Science Clips are selected by the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library to provide current awareness of the public health literature. An article's inclusion does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the Clips, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.

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