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Issue 45, November 14, 2017


CDC Science Clips: Volume 9, Issue 45, November 14, 2017

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

  1. CDC Public Health Grand Rounds
    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Maternal cardiovascular mortality in Illinois, 2002-2011
        Briller J, Koch AR, Geller SE.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2017 May;129(5):819-826.
        OBJECTIVE: To describe the demographic characteristics of women in Illinois who died from cardiovascular disease during pregnancy or up until 1 year postpartum, addressing specific etiologies, timing of death, proportion of potentially preventable mortality, and factors associated with preventability. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis from the Illinois Department of Public Health Maternal Mortality Review process using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes that attributed cardiovascular disease as the immediate or underlying cause of maternal death in Illinois from 2002 to 2011. We categorized the etiology of cardiovascular mortality, analyzed demographic factors associated with cardiovascular mortality in comparison with noncardiovascular causes, defined the relationship to pregnancy, and identified factors associated with preventability. RESULTS: There were 636 deaths in Illinois from 2002 to 2011 of pregnant women or within 1 year postpartum. One hundred forty women (22.2%) died of cardiovascular causes, for a cardiovascular mortality rate of 8.2 (95% confidence interval 6.9-9.6) per 100,000 live births. Women with cardiovascular mortality were likely to be older and die postpartum. The most common etiologies were related to acquired cardiovascular disease (97.1%) as compared with congenital heart disease (2.9%). Cardiomyopathy was the most common etiology (n=39 [27.9%]), followed by stroke (n=32 [22.9%]), hypertensive disorders (n=18 [12.9%]), arrhythmias (n=15 [10.7%]), and coronary disease (n=13 [9.3%]). Nearly 75% of cardiac deaths were related to pregnancy as compared with 35.3% of noncardiac deaths. More than one fourth of cardiac deaths (28.1%) were potentially preventable, attributable primarily to health care provider and patient factors. CONCLUSION: From 2002 to 2011, more than one fifth of maternal deaths in Illinois were attributed to cardiovascular disease such as cardiomyopathy. More than one fourth of these deaths were potentially preventable. Health care provider and patient factors were identified, which may be modifiable through education and intensive postpartum monitoring, which may diminish mortality. State maternal mortality reviews can identify opportunities for reducing maternal deaths.

      2. State-based maternal death reviews: assessing opportunities to alter outcomes
        Callaghan WM.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Dec;211(6):581-2.

        [No abstract]

      3. Pregnancy-related mortality in the United States, 2011-2013
        Creanga AA, Syverson C, Seed K, Callaghan WM.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug;130(2):366-373.
        OBJECTIVE: To update national population-level pregnancy-related mortality estimates and examine characteristics and causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States during 2011-2013. METHODS: We conducted an observational study using population-based data from the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System to calculate pregnancy-related mortality ratios by year, age group, and race-ethnicity groups. We explored 10 cause-of-death categories by pregnancy outcome during 2011-2013 and compared their distribution with those in our earlier reports since 1987. RESULTS: The 2011-2013 pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 17.0 deaths per 100,000 live births. Pregnancy-related mortality ratios increased with maternal age, and racial-ethnic disparities persisted with non-Hispanic black women having a 3.4 times higher mortality ratio than non-Hispanic white women. Among causes of pregnancy-related deaths, the following groups contributed more than 10%: cardiovascular conditions ranked first (15.5%) followed by other medical conditions often reflecting pre-existing illnesses (14.5%), infection (12.7%), hemorrhage (11.4%), and cardiomyopathy (11.0%). Relative to the most recent report of Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System data for 2006-2010, the distribution of cause-of-death categories did not change considerably. However, compared with serial reports before 2006-2010, the contribution of hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and anesthesia complications declined, whereas that of cardiovascular and other medical conditions increased (population-level percentage comparison). CONCLUSION: The pregnancy-related mortality ratio and the distribution of the main causes of pregnancy-related mortality have been relatively stable in recent years.

      4. Contribution of maternal age and pregnancy checkbox on maternal mortality ratios in the United States, 1978-2012
        Davis NL, Hoyert DL, Goodman DA, Hirai AH, Callaghan WM.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;217(3):352.e1-352.e7.
        BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality ratios (MMR) appear to have increased in the United States over the last decade. Three potential contributing factors are (1) a shifting maternal age distribution, (2) changes in age-specific MMR, and (3) the addition of a checkbox indicating recent pregnancy on the death certificate. OBJECTIVE: To determine the contribution of increasing maternal age on changes in MMR from 1978 to 2012 and estimate the contribution of the pregnancy checkbox on increases in MMR over the last decade. STUDY DESIGN: Kitagawa decomposition analyses were conducted to partition the maternal age contribution to the MMR increase into 2 components: changes due to a shifting maternal age distribution and changes due to greater age-specific mortality ratios. We used National Vital Statistics System natality and mortality data. The following 5-year groupings were used: 1978-1982, 1988-1992, 1998-2002, and 2008-2012. Changes in age-specific MMRs among states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox onto their death certificate before 2008 (n = 23) were compared with states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (n = 11) to estimate the percentage increase in the MMR due to the pregnancy checkbox. RESULTS: Overall US MMRs for 1978-1982, 1988-1992, and 1998-2002 were 9.0, 8.1, and 9.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, respectively. There was a modest increase in the MMR between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 11 states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (8.6 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000, respectively). However, the MMR more than doubled between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 23 states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox (9.0-22.4); this dramatic increase was almost entirely attributable to increases in age-specific MMRs (94.9%) as opposed to increases in maternal age (5.1%), with an estimated 90% of the observed change reflecting the change in maternal death identification rather than a real change in age-specific rates alone. Of all age categories, women ages 40 and older in states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox had the largest increase in MMR-from 31.9 to 200.5-a relative increase of 528%, which accounted for nearly one third of the overall increase. An estimated 28.8% of the observed change was potentially due to maternal death misclassification among women >/=40 years. CONCLUSION: Increasing age-specific maternal mortality seems to be contributing more heavily than a changing maternal age distribution to recent increases in MMR. In states with the standard pregnancy checkbox, the vast majority of the observed change in MMR over the last decade was estimated to be due to the pregnancy checkbox, with the greatest change in MMR occurring in women ages >/=40 years. The addition of a pregnancy checkbox on state death certificates appears to be increasing case identification but also may be leading to maternal death misclassification, particularly for women ages >/=40 years.

      5. Revival of a core public health function: state- and urban-based maternal death review processes
        Goodman D, Stampfel C, Creanga AA, Callaghan WM, Callahan T, Bonzon E, Berg C, Grigorescu V.
        J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 May;22(5):395-8.
        This article reviews some of the current challenges for maternal death review in the United States, describes key findings from an assessment of U.S. capacity for conducting maternal death reviews, and introduces a new Maternal Mortality Initiative that aims to develop standardized guidelines for state- or city-based maternal deaths review processes.

      6. Partnering of public, academic, and private entities to reestablish maternal mortality review in Georgia
        Lindsay MK, Goodman D, Csukas S, Cota P, Loucks TL, Ellis JE.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;130(3):636-640.
        The pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the United States has increased over the past 25 years. Georgia’s pregnancy-related mortality ratio is among the highest in the United States. Confronted with this harsh reality, Georgia reestablished maternal mortality review as one strategy to address its high maternal mortality. To achieve a comprehensive process for review of maternal deaths involved securing the knowledge, resources, and support of physician experts, public health agencies and professional organizations as well as representatives in the state legislature. The six key steps in successfully reinstating maternal mortality review were 1) establishing a maternal mortality advisory committee, 2) developing a defined methodology for comprehensive case identification, 3) convening an introductory maternal mortality review committee meeting, 4) securing legislative protection for the committee, 5) conducting a mock mortality review, and 6) completing a formal first-year case review and producing a summary report of initial findings. This first case review revealed the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in Georgia as hemorrhage, hypertension, cardiac disease, embolism, and seizures. Our objective in this commentary is to share our experiences and advocate for engaging public, private, and academic partners in working on complex and multifactorial public health issues such as high maternal mortality.

      7. Recent increases in the U.S. maternal mortality rate: Disentangling trends from measurement issues
        MacDorman MF, Declercq E, Cabral H, Morton C.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Sep;128(3):447-55.
        OBJECTIVE: To develop methods for trend analysis of vital statistics maternal mortality data, taking into account changes in pregnancy question formats over time and between states, and to provide an overview of U.S. maternal mortality trends from 2000 to 2014. METHODS: This observational study analyzed vital statistics maternal mortality data from all U.S. states in relation to the format and year of adoption of the pregnancy question. Correction factors were developed to adjust data from before the standard pregnancy question was adopted to promote accurate trend analysis. Joinpoint regression was used to analyze trends for groups of states with similar pregnancy questions. RESULTS: The estimated maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births) for 48 states and Washington, DC (excluding California and Texas, analyzed separately) increased by 26.6%, from 18.8 in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014. California showed a declining trend, whereas Texas had a sudden increase in 2011-2012. Analysis of the measurement change suggests that U.S. rates in the early 2000s were higher than previously reported. CONCLUSION: Despite the United Nations Millennium Development Goal for a 75% reduction in maternal mortality by 2015, the estimated maternal mortality rate for 48 states and Washington, DC, increased from 2000 to 2014; the international trend was in the opposite direction. There is a need to redouble efforts to prevent maternal deaths and improve maternity care for the 4 million U.S. women giving birth each year.

      8. Deaths from unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide during or within 1 year of pregnancy in Philadelphia
        Mehta PK, Bachhuber MA, Hoffman R, Srinivas SK.
        Am J Public Health. 2016 Dec;106(12):2208-2210.
        OBJECTIVES: To understand the effect of unintentional injuries (e.g., drug overdose), suicide, and homicide on pregnancy-associated death (death during or within 1 year of pregnancy). METHODS: We analyzed all cases of pregnancy-associated death among Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, residents from 2010 to 2014, examining cause of death, contributing factors, and history of health care use. RESULTS: Approximately half (49%; 42 of 85) of pregnancy-associated deaths were from unintentional injuries (n = 31), homicide (n = 8), or suicide (n = 3); drug overdose was the leading cause (n = 18). Substance use was noted during or around events leading to death in 46% (31 of 67) of nonoverdose deaths. A history of serious mental illness was noted in 39% (32 of 82) of nonsuicide deaths. History of intimate partner violence (IPV) was documented in 19% (15 of 77) of nonhomicide deaths. Regardless of cause of death, approximately half of all decedents had an unscheduled hospital visit documented within a month of death. CONCLUSIONS: Unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide contribute to many deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women. Interventions focused on substance use, mental health, and IPV may reduce pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths.

      9. Levels of maternal care
        Menard MK, Kilpatrick S, Saade G, Hollier LM, Joseph GF, Barfield W, Callaghan W, Jennings J, Conry J.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Mar;212(3):259-71.
        In the 1970s, studies demonstrated that timely access to risk-appropriate neonatal and obstetric care could reduce perinatal mortality. Since the publication of the Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy report, more than 3 decades ago, the conceptual framework of regionalization of care of the woman and the newborn has been gradually separated with recent focus almost entirely on the newborn. In this current document, maternal care refers to all aspects of antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum care of the pregnant woman. The proposed classification system for levels of maternal care pertains to birth centers, basic care (level I), specialty care (level II), subspecialty care (level III), and regional perinatal health care centers (level IV). The goal of regionalized maternal care is for pregnant women at high risk to receive care in facilities that are prepared to provide the required level of specialized care, thereby reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States.

      10. Maternal deaths from suicide and overdose in Colorado, 2004-2012
        Metz TD, Rovner P, Hoffman MC, Allshouse AA, Beckwith KM, Binswanger IA.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Dec;128(6):1233-1240.
        OBJECTIVE: To ascertain demographic and clinical characteristics of maternal deaths from self-harm (accidental overdose or suicide) to identify opportunities for prevention. METHODS: We report a case series of pregnancy-associated deaths resulting from self-harm in the state of Colorado between 2004 and 2012. Self-harm deaths were identified from several sources, including death certificates. Birth and death certificates along with coroner, prenatal care, and delivery hospitalization records were abstracted. Descriptive analyses were performed. For context, we describe demographic characteristics of women with a maternal death from self-harm and all women with live births in Colorado. RESULTS: Among the 211 total maternal deaths in Colorado over the study interval, 30% (n=63) resulted from self-harm. The pregnancy-associated death ratio from overdose was 5.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.4-7.2) per 100,000 live births and from suicide 4.6 (95% CI 3.0-6.6) per 100,000 live births. Detailed records were obtained for 94% (n=59) of women with deaths from self-harm. Deaths were equally distributed throughout the first postpartum year (mean 6.21+/-3.3 months postpartum) with only six maternal deaths during pregnancy. Seventeen percent (n=10) had a known substance use disorder. Prior psychiatric diagnoses were documented in 54% (n=32) and prior suicide attempts in 10% (n=6). Although half (n=27) of the women with deaths from self-harm were noted to be taking psychopharmacotherapy at conception, 48% of them discontinued the medications during pregnancy. Fifty women had toxicology testing available; pharmaceutical opioids were the most common drug identified (n=21). CONCLUSION: Self-harm was the most common cause of pregnancy-associated mortality, with most deaths occurring in the postpartum period. A four-pronged educational and program building effort to include women, health care providers, health care systems, and both governments and organizations at the community and national levels may allow for a reduction in maternal deaths.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Incidence of end-stage renal disease attributed to diabetes among persons with diagnosed diabetes – United States and Puerto Rico, 2000-2014
        Burrows NR, Hora I, Geiss LS, Gregg EW, Albright A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1165-1170.
        During 2014, 120,000 persons in the United States and Puerto Rico began treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (i.e., kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation) (1). Among these persons, 44% (approximately 53,000 persons) had diabetes listed as the primary cause of ESRD (ESRD-D) (1). Although the number of persons initiating ESRD-D treatment each year has increased since 1980 (1,2), the ESRD-D incidence rate among persons with diagnosed diabetes has declined since the mid-1990s (2,3). To determine whether ESRD-D incidence has continued to decline in the United States overall and in each state, the District of Columbia (DC), and Puerto Rico, CDC analyzed 2000-2014 data from the U.S. Renal Data System and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. During that period, the age-standardized ESRD-D incidence among persons with diagnosed diabetes declined from 260.2 to 173.9 per 100,000 diabetic population (33%), and declined significantly in most states, DC, and Puerto Rico. No state experienced an increase in ESRD-D incidence rates. Continued awareness of risk factors for kidney failure and interventions to improve diabetes care might sustain and improve these trends.

      2. Objectives: To examine associations between four health behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol drinking, and obesity) and three health indices (health-related quality of life, life expectancy, and quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE)) among US adults with depression. Methods: Data were obtained from the 2006, 2008, and 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. The EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D) health preference scores were estimated on the basis of extrapolations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s healthy days measures. Depression scores were estimated using the eight-item Patient Health Questionnaire. Life expectancy estimates were obtained from US life tables, and QALE was estimated from a weighted combination of the EQ-5D scores and the life expectancy estimates. Outcomes were summarized by depression status for the four health behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol drinking, and obesity). Results: For depressed adults, current smokers and the physically inactive had significantly lower EQ-5D scores (0.040 and 0.171, respectively), shorter life expectancy (12.9 and 10.8 years, respectively), and substantially less QALE (8.6 and 10.9 years, respectively). For nondepressed adults, estimated effects were similar but smaller. Heavy alcohol drinking among depressed adults, paradoxically, was associated with higher EQ-5D scores but shorter life expectancy. Obesity was strongly associated with lower EQ-5D scores but only weakly associated with shorter life expectancy. Conclusions: Among depressed adults, physical inactivity and smoking were strongly associated with lower EQ-5D scores, life expectancy, and QALE, whereas obesity and heavy drinking were only weakly associated with these indices. These results suggest that reducing physical inactivity and smoking would improve health more among depressed adults.

      3. BACKGROUND: Cardiometabolic and chronic pulmonary diseases may be associated with modifiable risk factors that can be targeted to prevent multimorbidity. OBJECTIVES: (i) Estimate the prevalence of multimorbidity across four cardiometabolic and chronic pulmonary disease groups; (ii) compare the prevalence of multimorbidity to that of one disease and no disease; and (iii) quantify population attributable fractions (PAFs) for modifiable risk factors of multimorbidity. DESIGN: Data from adults aged 18-79 years who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2012 were examined. Multimorbidity was defined as >/=2 co-occurring diseases across four common cardiometabolic and chronic pulmonary disease groups. Multivariate-adjusted PAFs for poverty, obesity, smoking, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were estimated. RESULTS: Among 16,676 adults, the age-standardized prevalence of multimorbidity was 9.3%. The occurrence of multimorbidity was greater with age, from 1.5% to 5.9%, 15.0% and 34.8% for adults aged 18-39, 40-54, 55-64 and 65-79 years, respectively. Multimorbidity was greatest among the poorest versus non-poorest adults and among blacks versus other races/ethnicities. Multimorbidity was also greater in adults with obesity, hypertension, and low HDL cholesterol. Risk factors with greatest PAFs were hypertension (38.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 29.4-47.4) and obesity (19.3%; 95% CI 10.2-28.2). CONCLUSIONS: In the USA, 9.3% of adults have multimorbidity across four chronic disease groups, with a disproportionate burden among older, black, and poor adults. Our results suggest that targeting two intermediate modifiable risk factors, hypertension and obesity, might help to reduce the prevalence of multimorbidity in US adults.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Pathogen-specific burden of outpatient diarrhea in infants in Nepal: A multisite prospective case-control study
        Cardemil CV, Sherchand JB, Shrestha L, Sharma A, Gary HE, Estivariz CF, Diez-Valcarce M, Ward ML, Bowen MD, Vinje J, Parashar U, Chu SY.
        J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2017 Sep 01;6(3):e75-e85.
        Background: Nonsevere diarrheal disease in Nepal represents a large burden of illness. Identification of the specific disease-causing pathogens will help target the appropriate control measures. Methods: Infants aged 6 weeks to 12 months were recruited from 5 health facilities in eastern, central, and western Nepal between August 2012 and August 2013. The diarrhea arm included infants with mild or moderate diarrhea treatable in an outpatient setting; the nondiarrhea arm included healthy infants who presented for immunization visits or had a mild nondiarrheal illness. Stool samples were tested for 15 pathogens with a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and real-time reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR assays for rotavirus and norovirus. Rotavirus- and norovirus-positive specimens were genotyped. We calculated attributable fractions (AFs) to estimate the pathogen-specific burden of diarrhea and adjusted for facility, age, stunting, wasting, and presence of other pathogens. Results: We tested 307 diarrheal and 358 nondiarrheal specimens. Pathogens were detected more commonly in diarrheal specimens (164 of 307 [53.4%]) than in nondiarrheal specimens (113 of 358 [31.6%]) (P < .001). Rotavirus (AF, 23.9% [95% confidence interval (CI), 14.9%-32.8%]), Salmonella (AF, 12.4% [95% CI, 6.6%-17.8%]), and Campylobacter (AF, 5.6% [95% CI, 1.3%-9.8%]) contributed most to the burden of disease. In these diarrheal specimens, the most common genotypes for rotavirus were G12P[6] (27 of 82 [32.9%]) and G1P[8] (16 of 82 [19.5%]) and for norovirus were GII.4 Sydney (9 of 26 [34.6%]) and GII.7 (5 of 26 [19.2%]). Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the introduction of a rotavirus vaccine in Nepal will likely decrease outpatient diarrheal disease burden in infants younger than 1 year, but interventions to detect and target other pathogens, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter spp, should also be considered.

      2. Cohort profile: the China Ageing REespiratory infections Study (CARES), a prospective cohort study in older adults in Eastern China
        Cowling BJ, Xu C, Tang F, Zhang J, Shen J, Havers F, Wendladt R, Leung NH, Greene C, Iuliano AD, Shifflett P, Song Y, Zhang R, Kim L, Chen Y, Chu DK, Zhu H, Shu Y, Yu H, Thompson MG.
        BMJ Open. 2017 Nov 01;7(10):e017503.
        PURPOSE: This study was established to provide direct evidence on the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in older adults in two cities in Jiangsu Province, China, and the potential impact of acute respiratory infections on frailty. PARTICIPANTS: The cohort was enrolled in Suzhou and Yancheng, two cities in Jiangsu Province in Eastern China. Between November 2015 and March 2016, we enrolled 1532 adults who were 60-89 years of age, and collected blood samples along with baseline data on demographics, general health, chronic diseases, functional status and cognitive function through face-to-face interviews using a standardised questionnaire. Participants are being followed weekly throughout the year to identify acute respiratory illnesses. We schedule home visits to ill participants to collect mid-turbinate nasal and oropharyngeal swabs for laboratory testing and detailed symptom information for the acute illness. Regular follow-up including face-to-face interviews and further blood draws will take place every 6-12 months. FINDINGS TO DATE: As of 3 September 2016, we had identified 339 qualifying acute respiratory illness events and 1463 (95%) participants remained in the study. Laboratory testing is ongoing. FUTURE PLANS: We plan to conduct laboratory testing to estimate the incidence of influenza virus and RSV infections in older adults. We plan to investigate the impact of these infections on frailty and functional status to determine the association of pre-existing immune status with protection against influenza and RSV infection in unvaccinated older adults, and to assess the exposure to avian influenza viruses in this population.

      3. Progress toward regional measles elimination – worldwide, 2000-2016
        Dabbagh A, Patel MK, Dumolard L, Gacic-Dobo M, Mulders MN, Okwo-Bele JM, Kretsinger K, Papania MJ, Rota PA, Goodson JL.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1148-1153.
        The fourth United Nations Millennium Development Goal, adopted in 2000, set a target to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015. One indicator of progress toward this target was measles vaccination coverage (1). In 2010, the World Health Assembly (WHA) set three milestones for measles control by 2015: 1) increase routine coverage with the first dose of a measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) among children aged 1 year to >/=90% at the national level and to >/=80% in every district; 2) reduce global annual measles incidence to <5 cases per million population; and 3) reduce global measles mortality by 95% from the 2000 estimate (2).* In 2012, WHA endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan,dagger with the objective of eliminating measles in four World Health Organization (WHO) regions by 2015 and in five regions by 2020. Countries in all six WHO regions have adopted goals for measles elimination by or before 2020. Measles elimination is defined as the absence of endemic measles virus transmission in a region or other defined geographic area for >/=12 months, in the presence of a high quality surveillance system that meets targets of key performance indicators. This report updates a previous report (3) and describes progress toward global measles control milestones and regional measles elimination goals during 2000-2016. During this period, annual reported measles incidence decreased 87%, from 145 to 19 cases per million persons, and annual estimated measles deaths decreased 84%, from 550,100 to 89,780; measles vaccination prevented an estimated 20.4 million deaths. However, the 2015 milestones have not yet been met; only one WHO region has been verified as having eliminated measles. Improved implementation of elimination strategies by countries and their partners is needed, with focus on increasing vaccination coverage through substantial and sustained additional investments in health systems, strengthening surveillance systems, using surveillance data to drive programmatic actions, securing political commitment, and raising the visibility of measles elimination goals.

      4. Rapid field response to a cluster of illnesses and deaths – Sinoe County, Liberia, April-May, 2017
        Doedeh J, Frimpong JA, Yealue KD, Wilson HW, Konway Y, Wiah SQ, Doedeh V, Bao U, Seneh G, Gorwor L, Toe S, Ghartey E, Larway L, Gweh D, Gonotee P, Paasewe T, Tamatai G, Yarkeh J, Smith S, Brima-Davis A, Dauda G, Monger T, Gornor-Pewu LW, Lombeh S, Naiene J, Dovillie N, Korvayan M, George G, Kerwillain G, Jetoh R, Friesen S, Kinkade C, Katawera V, Amo-Addae M, George RN, Gbanya MZ, Dokubo EK.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1140-1143.
        On April 25, 2017, the Sinoe County Health Team (CHT) notified the Liberia Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia of an unknown illness among 14 persons that resulted in eight deaths in Sinoe County. On April 26, the National Rapid Response Team and epidemiologists from CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in Liberia were deployed to support the county-led response. Measures were immediately implemented to identify all cases, ascertain the cause of illness, and control the outbreak. Illness was associated with attendance at a funeral event, and laboratory testing confirmed Neisseria meningitidis in biologic specimens from cases. The 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa devastated Liberia’s already fragile health system, and it took many months for the country to mount an effective response to control the outbreak. Substantial efforts have been made to strengthen Liberia’s health system to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats. The rapid and efficient field response to this outbreak of N. meningitidis resulted in implementation of appropriate steps to prevent a widespread outbreak and reflects improved public health and outbreak response capacity in Liberia.

      5. Mass gatherings create environments conducive to the transmission of infectious diseases. Thousands of mass gatherings are held annually in the United States; however, information on the frequency and characteristics of respiratory disease outbreaks and on the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions at these gatherings is scarce. We administered an online assessment to the 50 state health departments and 31 large local health departments in the United States to gather information about mass gathering-related respiratory disease outbreaks occurring between 2009 and 2014. The assessment also captured information on the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions to slow disease transmission in these settings. We downloaded respondent data into a SAS dataset for descriptive analyses. We received responses from 43 (53%) of the 81 health jurisdictions. Among these, 8 reported 18 mass gathering outbreaks. More than half (n = 11) of the outbreaks involved zoonotic transmission of influenza A (H3N2v) at county and state fairs. Other outbreaks occurred at camps (influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 [n = 2] and A (H3) [n = 1]), religious gatherings (influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 [n = 1] and unspecified respiratory virus [n = 1]), at a conference (influenza A (H1N1)pdm09), and a sporting event (influenza A). Outbreaks ranged from 5 to 150 reported cases. Of the 43 respondents, 9 jurisdictions used nonpharmaceutical interventions to slow or prevent disease transmission. Although respiratory disease outbreaks with a large number of cases occur at many types of mass gatherings, our assessment suggests that such outbreaks may be uncommon, even during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, which partially explains the reported, but limited, use of nonpharmaceutical interventions. More research on the characteristics of mass gatherings with respiratory disease outbreaks and effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical interventions would likely be beneficial for decision makers at state and local health departments when responding to future outbreaks and pandemics.

      6. Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and cooling towers, New York City, New York, USA
        Fitzhenry R, Weiss D, Cimini D, Balter S, Boyd C, Alleyne L, Stewart R, McIntosh N, Econome A, Lin Y, Rubinstein I, Passaretti T, Kidney A, Lapierre P, Kass D, Varma JK.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Nov;23(11).
        The incidence of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States has been increasing since 2000. Outbreaks and clusters are associated with decorative, recreational, domestic, and industrial water systems, with the largest outbreaks being caused by cooling towers. Since 2006, 6 community-associated Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks have occurred in New York City, resulting in 213 cases and 18 deaths. Three outbreaks occurred in 2015, including the largest on record (138 cases). Three outbreaks were linked to cooling towers by molecular comparison of human and environmental Legionella isolates, and the sources for the other 3 outbreaks were undetermined. The evolution of investigation methods and lessons learned from these outbreaks prompted enactment of a new comprehensive law governing the operation and maintenance of New York City cooling towers. Ongoing surveillance and program evaluation will determine if enforcement of the new cooling tower law reduces Legionnaires’ disease incidence in New York City.

      7. Notes from the field: Postflooding leptospirosis – Louisiana, 2016
        Frawley AA, Schafer IJ, Galloway R, Artus A, Ratard RC.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1158-1159.

        [No abstract]

      8. Gay identity and HIV risk for black and Latino men who have sex with men
        Henny KD, Nanin J, Gaul Z, Murray A, Sutton MY.
        Sex Cult. 2017 :1-13.
        Strong gay identity among white men who have sex with men (MSM) has been associated with decreased HIV risk, but data for black and Latino MSM (BLMSM) are inconclusive. We examined gay identity and HIV risk among BLMSM to inform social and structural HIV intervention strategies. BLMSM were administered a computerized survey as part of an HIV research study during 2011-2012 conducted in New York City. We used a brief scale of Gay Identity Questionnaire. After data analysis, Stage I (not fully accepting) and Stage II (fully accepting) gay identity were determined based on participant responses. We used logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between gay identity with HIV risk and social determinant factors. Among 111 self-identified BLMSM (median age = 32 years, 68.4% with some college or higher education), 34.2% reported receptive anal sex without condoms in the previous three months. Gay Identity Questionnaire Scale assessment indicated that 22 (19.8%) were Stage I, and 85 (76.6%) were Stage II in this BLMSM sample. Stage II gay identity was more likely seen among BLMSM with high involvement in the gay community (aOR 3.2; CI 1.00, 10.26) and less likely among BLMSM who exchanged sex for food or shelter (aOR 0.15; CI 0.02, 0.98). Fully accepting gay identity may be protective for BLMSM as it relates to transactional sex; these factors warrant further research and consideration as part of HIV prevention strategies.

      9. Subtypes and risk behaviors among incident HIV cases in the Bangkok Men Who Have Sex with Men Cohort Study, Thailand, 2006-2014
        Lam CR, Holtz TH, Leelawiwat W, Mock PA, Chonwattana W, Wimonsate W, Varangrat A, Thienkrua W, Rose C, Chitwarakorn A, Curlin ME.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2017 Oct;33(10):1004-1012.
        HIV-1 incidence and prevalence remain high among men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women (TGW), in Thailand. To examine the link between epidemiologic factors and HIV-1 subtype transmission among Thai MSM, we compared covariates of infection with HIV CRF01_AE and other HIV strains among participants in the Bangkok MSM Cohort Study (BMCS). The BMCS was an observational cohort study of Thai MSM and TGW with up to 60 months of follow-up at 4 monthly intervals. Participants underwent HIV/sexually transmitted infections testing and provided behavioral data at each visit. Infecting viral strain was characterized by gene sequencing and/or multiregion hybridization assay. We correlated behavioral/clinical variables with infecting strain using Cox proportional hazards. Among a total of 1372 HIV seronegative enrolled participants with 4,192 person-years of follow-up, we identified 215 seroconverters between April 2006 and December 2014, with 177 infected with CRF01_AE and 38 with non-CRF01_AE subtype. Age 18-21 years (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.4-3.5), age 22-29 (AHR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1-2.3), living alone (AHR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.1), drug use (AHR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.4-3.5), intermittent condom use (AHR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.3-2.3), any receptive anal intercourse (AHR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2-2.4), group sex (AHR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.2), anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 (AHR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.1), and Treponema pallidum antibody positivity (AHR 2.5, 95% CI: 1.4-4.4) were associated with CRF01_AE infection. Age 18-21 years (AHR 5.1, 95% CI: 1.6-16.5), age 22-29 (AHR 3.6, 95% CI: 1.3-10.4), drug use (AHR 3.1, 95% CI: 1.3-7.5), group sex (AHR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1-5.0), and hepatitis B virus surface antigen (AHR 3.6, 95% CI: 1.3-10.2) were associated with non-CRF01_AE infection. We observed several significant biological and behavioral correlates of infection with CRF01_AE and other HIV strains among Thai MSM. Divergence in correlates by strain may indicate differences in HIV transmission epidemiology between CRF01_AE and other strains. These differences could reflect founder effects, transmission within networks distinguished by specific risk factors, and possibly biological differences between HIV strains.

      10. Legionnaires’ disease outbreak caused by endemic strain of Legionella pneumophila, New York, New York, USA, 2015
        Lapierre P, Nazarian E, Zhu Y, Wroblewski D, Saylors A, Passaretti T, Hughes S, Tran A, Lin Y, Kornblum J, Morrison SS, Mercante JW, Fitzhenry R, Weiss D, Raphael BH, Varma JK, Zucker HA, Rakeman JL, Musser KA.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Nov;23(11):1784-1791.
        During the summer of 2015, New York, New York, USA, had one of the largest and deadliest outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in the history of the United States. A total of 138 cases and 16 deaths were linked to a single cooling tower in the South Bronx. Analysis of environmental samples and clinical isolates showed that sporadic cases of legionellosis before, during, and after the outbreak could be traced to a slowly evolving, single-ancestor strain. Detection of an ostensibly virulent Legionella strain endemic to the Bronx community suggests potential risk for future cases of legionellosis in the area. The genetic homogeneity of the Legionella population in this area might complicate investigations and interpretations of future outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.

      11. Rapid laboratory identification of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C as the cause of an outbreak – Liberia, 2017
        Patel JC, George J, Vuong J, Potts CC, Bozio C, Clark TA, Thomas J, Schier J, Chang A, Waller JL, Diaz MH, Whaley M, Jenkins LT, Fuller S, Williams DE, Redd JT, Arthur RR, Taweh F, Vera Walker Y, Hardy P, Freeman M, Katawera V, Gwesa G, Gbanya MZ, Clement P, Kohar H, Stone M, Fallah M, Nyenswah T, Winchell JM, Wang X, McNamara LA, Dokubo EK, Fox LM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1144-1147.
        On April 25, 2017, a cluster of unexplained illness and deaths among persons who had attended a funeral during April 21-22 was reported in Sinoe County, Liberia (1). Using a broad initial case definition, 31 cases were identified, including 13 (42%) deaths. Twenty-seven cases were from Sinoe County (1), and two cases each were from Grand Bassa and Monsterrado counties, respectively. On May 5, 2017, initial multipathogen testing of specimens from four fatal cases using the Taqman Array Card (TAC) assay identified Neisseria meningitidis in all specimens. Subsequent testing using direct real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed N. meningitidis in 14 (58%) of 24 patients with available specimens and identified N. meningitidis serogroup C (NmC) in 13 (54%) patients. N. meningitidis was detected in specimens from 11 of the 13 patients who died; no specimens were available from the other two fatal cases. On May 16, 2017, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia and the Ministry of Health of Liberia issued a press release confirming serogroup C meningococcal disease as the cause of this outbreak in Liberia.

      12. ICTV virus taxonomy profile: Pneumoviridae
        Rima B, Collins P, Easton A, Fouchier R, Kurath G, Lamb RA, Lee B, Maisner A, Rota P, Wang L.
        J Gen Virol. 2017 Oct 31.
        The family Pneumoviridae comprises large enveloped negative-sense RNA viruses. This taxon was formerly a subfamily within the Paramyxoviridae, but was reclassified in 2016 as a family with two genera, Orthopneumovirus and Metapneumovirus. Pneumoviruses infect a range of mammalian species, while some members of the Metapneumovirus genus may also infect birds. Some viruses are specific and pathogenic for humans, such as human respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus. There are no known vectors for pneumoviruses and transmission is thought to be primarily by aerosol droplets and contact. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the Pneumoviridae, which is available at www.ictv.global/report/pneumoviridae.

      13. Laboratory-based respiratory virus surveillance pilot project on select cruise ships in Alaska, 2013-15
        Rogers KB, Roohi S, Uyeki TM, Montgomery D, Parker J, Fowler NH, Xu X, Ingram DJ, Fearey D, Williams SM, Tarling G, Brown CM, Cohen NJ.
        J Travel Med. 2017 Sep 01;24(6).
        Background: Influenza outbreaks can occur among passengers and crews during the Alaska summertime cruise season. Ill travellers represent a potential source for introduction of novel or antigenically drifted influenza virus strains to the United States. From May to September 2013-2015, the Alaska Division of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and two cruise lines implemented a laboratory-based public health surveillance project to detect influenza and other respiratory viruses among ill crew members and passengers on select cruise ships in Alaska. Methods: Cruise ship medical staff collected 2-3 nasopharyngeal swab specimens per week from passengers and crew members presenting to the ship infirmary with acute respiratory illness (ARI). Specimens were tested for respiratory viruses at the Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL); a subset of specimens positive for influenza virus were sent to CDC for further antigenic characterization. Results: Of 410 nasopharyngeal specimens, 83% tested positive for at least one respiratory virus; 71% tested positive for influenza A or B virus. Antigenic characterization of pilot project specimens identified strains matching predominant circulating seasonal influenza virus strains, which were included in the northern or southern hemisphere influenza vaccines during those years. Results were relatively consistent across age groups, recent travel history, and influenza vaccination status. Onset dates of illness relative to date of boarding differed between northbound (occurring later in the voyage) and southbound (occurring within the first days of the voyage) cruises. Conclusions: The high yield of positive results indicated that influenza was common among passengers and crews sampled with ARI. This finding reinforces the need to bolster influenza prevention and control activities on cruise ships. Laboratory-based influenza surveillance on cruise ships may augment inland influenza surveillance and inform control activities. However, these benefits should be weighed against the costs and operational limitations of instituting laboratory-based surveillance programs on ships.

      14. CONTEXT: Targeted identification and treatment of people with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are key components of the US tuberculosis elimination strategy. Because of recent policy changes, some LTBI treatment may shift from public health departments to the private sector. OBJECTIVES: To (1) develop methodology to estimate initiation and completion of treatment with isoniazid for LTBI using claims data, and (2) estimate treatment completion rates for isoniazid regimens from commercial insurance claims. METHODS: Medical and pharmacy claims data representing insurance-paid services rendered and prescriptions filled between January 2011 and March 2015 were analyzed. PARTICIPANTS: Four million commercially insured individuals 0 to 64 years of age. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Six-month and 9-month treatment completion rates for isoniazid LTBI regimens. RESULTS: There was an annual isoniazid LTBI treatment initiation rate of 12.5/100 000 insured persons. Of 1074 unique courses of treatment with isoniazid for which treatment completion could be assessed, almost half (46.3%; confidence interval, 43.3-49.3) completed 6 or more months of therapy. Of those, approximately half (48.9%; confidence interval, 44.5-53.3) completed 9 months or more. CONCLUSIONS: Claims data can be used to identify and evaluate LTBI treatment with isoniazid occurring in the commercial sector. Completion rates were in the range of those found in public health settings. These findings suggest that the commercial sector may be a valuable adjunct to more traditional venues for tuberculosis prevention. In addition, these newly developed claims-based methods offer a means to gain important insights and open new avenues to monitor, evaluate, and coordinate tuberculosis prevention.

      15. Effectiveness of beta-Lactam monotherapy vs macrolide combination therapy for children hospitalized with pneumonia
        Williams DJ, Edwards KM, Self WH, Zhu Y, Arnold SR, McCullers JA, Ampofo K, Pavia AT, Anderson EJ, Hicks LA, Bramley AM, Jain S, Grijalva CG.
        JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Oct 30.
        Importance: beta-Lactam monotherapy and beta-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy are both common empirical treatment strategies for children hospitalized with pneumonia, but few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of these 2 treatment approaches. Objective: To compare the effectiveness of beta-lactam monotherapy vs beta-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy among a cohort of children hospitalized with pneumonia. Design, Setting, and Participants: We analyzed data from the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community Study, a multicenter, prospective, population-based study of community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizations conducted from January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, in 3 children’s hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The study included all children (up to 18 years of age) who were hospitalized with radiographically confirmed pneumonia and who received beta-lactam monotherapy or beta-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy. Data analysis was completed in April 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures: We defined the referent as beta-lactam monotherapy, including exclusive use of an oral or parenteral second- or third-generation cephalosporin, penicillin, ampicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, amoxicillin, or amoxicillin-clavulanate. Use of a beta-lactam plus an oral or parenteral macrolide (azithromycin or clarithromycin) served as the comparison group. We modeled the association between these groups and patients’ length of stay using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. Covariates included demographic, clinical, and radiographic variables. We further evaluated length of stay in a cohort matched by propensity to receive combination therapy. Logistic regression was used to evaluate secondary outcomes in the unmatched cohort, including intensive care admission, rehospitalizations, and self-reported recovery at follow-up. Results: Our study included 1418 children (693 girls and 725 boys) with a median age of 27 months (interquartile range, 12-69 months). This cohort was 60.1% of the 2358 children enrolled in the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community Study with radiographically confirmed pneumonia in the study period; 1019 (71.9%) received beta-lactam monotherapy and 399 (28.1%) received beta-lactam plus macrolide combination therapy. In the unmatched cohort, there was no statistically significant difference in length of hospital stay between children receiving beta-lactam monotherapy and combination therapy (median, 55 vs 59 hours; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.74-1.01). The propensity-matched cohort (n = 560, 39.5%) showed similar results. There were also no significant differences between treatment groups for the secondary outcomes. Conclusions and Relevance: Empirical macrolide combination therapy conferred no benefit over beta-lactam monotherapy for children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. The results of this study elicit questions about the routine empirical use of macrolide combination therapy in this population.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Dairy production practices and associated risks for bovine vaccinia exposure in cattle, Brazil
        Borges IA, McCollum AM, Mehal JM, Haberling D, Dutra LA, Vieira FN, Andrade LA, Kroon EG, Holman RC, Reynolds MG, Trindade GS.
        New Microbes New Infect. 2017 November;20:43-50.
        A cross-sectional serosurvey was performed to identify environmental features or practices of dairy farms associated with risk for exposure to vaccinia-like viruses in dairy cattle in Brazil. Sera from 103 cows from 18 farms in Minas Gerais state were examined for Orthopoxvirus-neutralizing antibodies. A database of 243 binary or multiple-selection categorical variables regarding the physical features and surrounding ecology of each property was obtained. Thirteen of 46 presumptive predictor variables were found to be significantly associated with Orthopoxvirus serostatus by univariate logistic regression methods. Use of teat sanitizer and having felids on the property were independently associated with virus exposure by multivariable analysis. Rodents have long been suspected of serving as maintenance reservoirs for vaccinia-like viruses in Brazil. Therefore, domestic felids are not only effective predators of small rodent pests, but also their urine can serve as a deterrent to rodent habitation in buildings such as stables and barns. These results corroborate previous evidence of the high significance of rodents in the Vaccinia virus transmission cycle, and they also raise questions regarding the common use of teat sanitizers in dairy production areas.

      2. Neutralizing antibodies for orthobunyaviruses in Pantanal, Brazil
        Pauvolid-Correa A, Campos Z, Soares R, Nogueira RM, Komar N.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Nov;11(11):e0006014.
        The Pantanal is a hotspot for arbovirus studies in South America. Various medically important flaviviruses and alphaviruses have been reported in domestic and wild animals in the region. To expand the knowledge of local arbovirus circulation, a serosurvey for 14 Brazilian orthobunyaviruses was conducted with equines, sheep and free-ranging caimans. Sera were tested for specific viral antibodies using plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Monotypic reactions were detected for Maguari, Xingu, Apeu, Guaroa, Murutucu, Oriboca, Oropouche and Nepuyo viruses. Despite the low titers for most of the orthobunyaviruses tested, the detection of monotypic reactions for eight orthobunyaviruses suggests the Pantanal as a region of great orthobunyavirus diversity. The present data, in conjunction with previous studies that detected a high diversity of other arboviruses, ratify the Pantanal as an important natural reservoir for sylvatic and medically important arboviruses in Brazil.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Harmful algal bloom-associated illnesses in humans and dogs identified through a pilot surveillance system – New York, 2015
        Figgatt M, Hyde J, Dziewulski D, Wiegert E, Kishbaugh S, Zelin G, Wilson L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1182-1184.
        Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are photosynthetic, aquatic organisms found in fresh, brackish, and marine water around the world (1). Rapid proliferation and accumulation of potentially toxin-producing cyanobacteria characterize one type of harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs have the potential to cause illness in humans and animals (2,3); however, the epidemiology of these illnesses has not been well characterized. Statewide in 2015, a total of 139 HABs were identified in New York, 97 (70%) of which were confirmed through laboratory analysis; 77 independent beach closures were ordered at 37 beaches on 20 different bodies of water. To better characterize HAB-associated illnesses, during June-September 2015, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) implemented a pilot surveillance system in 16 New York counties. Activities included the collection of data from environmental HAB reports, illness reports, poison control centers, and syndromic surveillance, and increased outreach to the public, health care providers, and veterinarians. During June-September, 51 HAB-associated illnesses were reported, including 35 that met the CDC case definitions*; 32 of the cases occurred in humans and three in dogs. In previous years, New York never had more than 10 HAB-associated illnesses reported statewide. The pilot surveillance results from 16 counties during a 4-month period suggest that HAB-associated illnesses might be more common than previously reported.

      2. Urinary concentrations of 3-(diethylcarbamoyl)benzoic acid (DCBA), a major metabolite of N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) and semen parameters among men attending a fertility center
        Segal TR, Minguez-Alarcon L, Chiu YH, Williams PL, Nassan FL, Dadd R, Ospina M, Calafat AM, Hauser R.
        Hum Reprod. 2017 Oct 25:1-8.
        STUDY QUESTION: Are specific gravity (SG)-adjusted urinary concentrations of 3-(diethylcarbamoyl)benzoic acid (DCBA) associated with semen parameters among men attending an academic fertility center? SUMMARY ANSWER: Our study did not demonstrate any association between SG-adjusted urinary DCBA concentrations and semen parameters among men attending an academic fertility center. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) is the most common active ingredient in consumer insect repellents. The recent rise in public health concerns regarding mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, have led to an increased use of DEET insect repellents, especially among couples planning pregnancy. Animal studies have observed reproductive toxicity from DEET exposure. However, the reproductive health effects of DEET and its metabolites on human reproduction are unknown. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Between 2007 and 2015, 90 men participating in a prospective cohort study at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center provided 171 urine samples and 250 semen samples for analysis. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The urinary concentrations of DEET, N,N-diethyl-3-hydroxymethylbenzamide (DHMB) and DCBA were quantified by isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry and adjusted by SG. We used linear mixed models to evaluate the association between tertiles of SG-adjusted urinary DCBA concentrations and semen parameters (semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, progressive motility, total progressive motility count, normal morphology and total normal morphology count), adjusting for covariates. DEET and DHMB were not considered for analysis because of the low percentage of detectable concentrations (<7%). Effect modification by BMI and smoking status was explored. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Participants had a median age of 36 years and BMI of 27 kg/m2, and 68% had never smoked. The SG-adjusted geometric mean DCBA urinary concentration was 2.20 mug/l, with 85% detection frequency. The majority of semen parameters fell within the normal range with the exception of progressive motility, where 64% of the men had values below the WHO 2010 lower reference limits. SG-adjusted urinary DCBA concentrations were not associated with semen parameters in unadjusted or adjusted models. Men in the highest tertile of SG-adjusted urinary DCBA concentrations had comparable semen parameters to men in the lowest tertile (2.59 vs. 2.88 ml for semen volume, 47.9 vs. 45.8 million/ml for sperm concentration, 116 vs. 118 million for total sperm count, 25 vs. 24% for progressive sperm motility, and 6.1 vs. 5.8% for morphologically normal sperm). In addition, BMI and smoking status did not modify the associations. LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: We had a relatively small sample size with similar socioeconomic backgrounds and with overall relatively low urinary concentrations of DEET biomarkers. However, our sample size was enough to detect moderate differences with at least 80% statistical power, between the first and third tertiles of urinary DCBA concentrations. Limitations also include possible misclassification of DCBA exposure and difficulties in extrapolating the findings to the general population. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our study found no associations between urinary concentrations of DCBA, a major metabolite of the insect repellent DEET, and semen parameters in men presenting for infertility treatment. While these results are reassuring, further studies including larger sample sizes and higher exposures are warranted. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): The project was financed by the National Institute of Health grants R01ES022955 and R01ES009718 and by grant P30ES000002 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Next-generation sequencing technologies and their application to the study and control of bacterial infections
        Besser J, Carleton HA, Gerner-Smidt P, Lindsey RL, Trees E.
        Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Oct 23.
        BACKGROUND: With the decreasing cost and efficiency of next generation sequencing, the technology is rapidly introduced into clinical and public health laboratory practice. AIMS: In this review, the historical background and principles of first, second and third generation sequencing are described as are the characteristics of the most commonly used sequencing instruments. SOURCES: Peer reviewed literature, white papers and meeting reports. CONTENT & IMPLICATIONS: Next generation sequencing is a technology that potentially could replace many traditional microbiological workflows, providing clinicians and public health specialists with more actionable information than hitherto achievable. Examples of the clinical and public health uses of the technology are provided. The challenge of comparability of different sequencing platforms is discussed. Finally, the future directions of the technology integrating it with laboratory management and public health surveillance systems, and moving it towards performing sequencing directly from the clinical specimen (metagenomics) could lead to yet another fundamental transformation of clinical diagnostics and public health surveillance.

      2. Human genome sequencing at the population scale: A primer on high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis
        Goldfeder RL, Wall DP, Khoury MJ, Ioannidis JP, Ashley EA.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct 15;186(8):1000-1009.
        Most human diseases have underlying genetic causes. To better understand the impact of genes on disease and its implications for medicine and public health, researchers have pursued methods for determining the sequences of individual genes, then all genes, and now complete human genomes. Massively parallel high-throughput sequencing technology, where DNA is sheared into smaller pieces, sequenced, and then computationally reordered and analyzed, enables fast and affordable sequencing of full human genomes. As the price of sequencing continues to decline, more and more individuals are having their genomes sequenced. This may facilitate better population-level disease subtyping and characterization, as well as individual-level diagnosis and personalized treatment and prevention plans. In this review, we describe several massively parallel high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and their associated strengths, limitations, and error modes, with a focus on applications in epidemiologic research and precision medicine. We detail the methods used to computationally process and interpret sequence data to inform medical or preventative action.

      3. Complete coding genome sequences of uncommon GII.8 sapovirus strains identified in diarrhea samples collected from Peruvian children
        Kagning Tsinda E, Malasao R, Furuse Y, Gilman RH, Liu X, Apaza S, Espetia S, Cama V, Oshitani H, Saito M.
        Genome Announc. 2017 Oct 26;5(43).
        We report here two complete coding genome sequences of novel genotype GII.8 sapovirus strains identified in diarrhea samples collected from two Peruvian children. The complete coding genome sequences of both GII.8 variants were determined using the Sanger sequencing method.

    • Health Economics
      1. Unintended costs and consequences of school closures implemented in preparation for Hurricane Isaac in Harrison County School District, Mississippi, August-September 2012
        Zheteyeva Y, Rainey JJ, Gao H, Jacobson EU, Adhikari BB, Shi J, Mpofu JJ, Bhavnani D, Dobbs T, Uzicanin A.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(11):e0184326.
        INTRODUCTION: School closures, while an effective measure against the spread of disease during a pandemic, may carry unintended social and economic consequences for students and families. We evaluated these costs and consequences following a 4-day school closure in Mississippi’s Harrison County School District (HCSD). METHODS: In a survey of all households with students enrolled in HCSD, we collected information on difficulties related to the school closure, including interruption of employment and pay, loss of access to subsidized school meals, and arrangement of alternative childcare. We analyzed this information in the context of certain demographic characteristics of the survey respondents and households, such as race, level of education, and income. We also estimated the average number of lost work days and documented the childcare alternatives chosen by households affected by the school closure. RESULTS: We received 2,229 (28.4%) completed surveys from an estimated 7,851 households eligible to participate. About half (1,082 [48.5%]) of the households experienced at least some difficulty during the closure, primarily in three areas: uncertainty about duration of the closure, lost income, and the effort of arranging alternate childcare. Adults working outside the home, particularly the major wage earner in the household, were more likely to suffer lost income while schools were closed, an effect mitigated by paid leave benefits. Difficulty arranging childcare was reported most frequently by respondents with lower levels of education and households with younger children. Beyond the top three concerns expressed by households in HCSD, the survey also shed light on the issue of food insecurity when subsidized school meals are not available. Reported by 17.9% of households participating in the subsidized school lunch program, difficulty providing meals during the closure was associated with higher numbers of dependent children, selection of “other” as the race of the household respondent, and lower levels of education. CONCLUSION: To help prevent undue financial hardship in families of school children, public health authorities and school administrators should provide recommendations for childcare alternatives and paid leave or remote work options during prolonged school closures, particularly to households in which all adults work outside of the home.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Adenovirus 4/7 vaccine’s effect on disease rates is associated with disappearance of adenovirus on building surfaces at a military recruit base
        Broderick M, Myers C, Balansay M, Vo S, Osuna A, Russell K.
        Mil Med. 2017 Nov;182(11):e2069-e2072.
        BACKGROUND: Febrile respiratory illness resulting from adenovirus types 4 and 7 (Ad4/7) was endemic at military training camps, but controlled by an Ad4/7 vaccine from the 1970s to 1999, the year it was discontinued. Thereafter, rates returned to prevaccine levels. Rates dropped after reintroduction of an Ad4/7 vaccine in 2011. METHODS: Surfaces of the barracks and medical clinic of a training camp were swabbed in 3 studies in 2004 and 1 study in 2007, and tested with culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Similar swabbing was done in 2013 and 2015 and tested with PCR. FINDINGS: In the studies before 2011 (prevaccine), 12% of samples were Ad4/7 positive by culture and 27% positive by PCR. In the 2 studies after 2011 (postvaccine), no samples were Ad4/7 positive. DISCUSSION/IMPACT/RECOMMENDATIONS: The Ad 4/7 vaccine has resulted in the near elimination of Ad4/7-related disease and the disappearance of Ad4/7 from surfaces in a military basic training camp. Renewed transmission of Ad4/7 in this setting would likely require new importation from military recruits and an immunologically naive cohort, which the current vaccination program prevents.

      2. Bacterial meningitis epidemiology and return of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A cases in Burkina Faso in the five years following MenAfriVac mass vaccination campaign
        Diallo AO, Soeters HM, Yameogo I, Sawadogo G, Ake F, Lingani C, Wang X, Bita A, Fall A, Sangare L, Ouedraogo-Traore R, Medah I, Bicaba B, Novak RT.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(11):e0187466.
        BACKGROUND: Historically, Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A (NmA) caused large meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, Burkina Faso became the first country to implement a national meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccine (MACV) campaign. We analyzed nationwide meningitis surveillance data from Burkina Faso for the 5 years following MACV introduction. METHODS: We examined Burkina Faso’s aggregate reporting and national laboratory-confirmed case-based meningitis surveillance data from 2011-2015. We calculated incidence (cases per 100,000 persons), and described reported NmA cases. RESULTS: In 2011-2015, Burkina Faso reported 20,389 cases of suspected meningitis. A quarter (4,503) of suspected meningitis cases with cerebrospinal fluid specimens were laboratory-confirmed as either S. pneumoniae (57%), N. meningitidis (40%), or H. influenzae (2%). Average adjusted annual national incidence of meningococcal meningitis was 3.8 (range: 2.0-10.2 annually) and was highest among infants aged <1 year (8.4). N. meningitidis serogroup W caused the majority (64%) of meningococcal meningitis among all age groups. Only six confirmed NmA cases were reported in 2011-2015. Five cases were in children who were too young (n = 2) or otherwise not vaccinated (n = 3) during the 2010 MACV mass vaccination campaign; one case had documented MACV receipt, representing the first documented MACV failure. CONCLUSIONS: Meningococcal meningitis incidence in Burkina Faso remains relatively low following MACV introduction. However, a substantial burden remains and NmA transmission has persisted. MACV integration into routine childhood immunization programs is essential to ensure continued protection.

      3. Pretravel health preparation of international travelers: Results from the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network
        Hamer DH, MacLeod WB, Chen LH, Hochberg NS, Kogelman L, Karchmer AW, Ooi WW, Benoit C, Wilson ME, Jentes ES, Barnett ED.
        Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality and Outcomes. 2017 July;1(1):78-90.
        Objective To inform future interventions for advising travelers. Patients and Methods We prospectively collected data on travelers seen at the Boston Area Travel Medicine Network, a Boston area research collaboration of 5 travel medicine clinics. Data from 15,440 travelers were collected from March 1, 2008, through July 31, 2010. We compared traveler and trip characteristics and differences in demographic characteristics and travel plans across the 5 clinics, including an analysis of pretravel preparations for certain high-risk destinations. Results More than half of the 15,440 travelers were female (8730 [56.5]), and 72.4% (10,528 of 14,545) were white; the median age was 34 years, and 29.4% of travelers (3077 of 10,483) were seen less than 2 weeks before their departure date. Substantial variation in racial background, purpose of travel, and destination risk existed across the 5 clinics. For example, the proportion of travelers visiting friends and relatives ranged from 7.6% (184 of 2436) to 39.0% (1029 of 2639) (18.7% [2876 of 15,360] overall), and the percentage of travelers to areas with malaria risk ranged from 23.7% (333 of 1403) to 52.0% (1306 of 2512). Although most clinics were likely to have prescribed certain vaccines for high-risk destinations (eg, yellow fever for Ghana travel), there was wide variability in influenza vaccine use for China travel. Conclusion Substantial differences in clinic populations can occur within a single metropolitan area, highlighting why individual physicians and travel clinics need to understand the specific needs of the travelers they serve in addition to general travel medicine.

      4. Vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months – United States, 2016
        Hill HA, Elam-Evans LD, Yankey D, Singleton JA, Kang Y.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1171-1177.
        Vaccination is the most effective intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases in young children (1). Data from the 2016 National Immunization Survey-Child (NIS-Child) were used to assess coverage with recommended vaccines (2) among children aged 19-35 months in the United States. Coverage remained >/=90% for >/=3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (91.9%), >/=1 dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) (91.1%), >/=1 dose of varicella vaccine (90.6%), and >/=3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) (90.5%). Coverage in 2016 was approximately 1-2 percentage points lower than in 2015 for >/=3 doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP), >/=3 doses of poliovirus vaccine, the primary Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) series, >/=3 HepB doses, and >/=3 and >/=4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), with no changes for other vaccines. More direct evaluation of trends by month and year of birth (3) found no change in coverage by age 2 years among children included in combined data from the 2015 and 2016 NIS-Child (born January 2012 through January 2015). The observed decreases in annual estimates might result from random differences in vaccination coverage by age 19 months between children sampled in 2016 and those sampled in 2015, among those birth cohorts eligible to be sampled in both survey years. For most vaccines, 2016 coverage was lower among non-Hispanic black* (black) children than among non-Hispanic white (white) children, and for children living below the federal poverty leveldagger compared with those living at or above the poverty level. Vaccination coverage was generally lower among children insured by Medicaid (2.5-12.0 percentage points), and was much lower among uninsured children (12.4-24.9 percentage points), than among children with private insurance. The Vaccines for Children section sign (VFC) program was designed to increase access to vaccines among children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. Greater awareness and facilitating use of VFC might be helpful in reducing these disparities. Efforts should also be focused on minimizing breaks in continuity of health insurance and eliminating missed opportunities to vaccinate children during visits to health care providers. Despite the observed disparities and small changes in coverage from 2015, vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months remained high and stable in 2016.

      5. Update on vaccine-derived polioviruses – worldwide, January 2016-June 2017
        Jorba J, Diop OM, Iber J, Henderson E, Sutter RW, Wassilak SG, Burns CC.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1185-1191.
        In 1988, the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) (1). Among the three wild poliovirus (WPV) serotypes, only type 1 (WPV1) has been detected since 2012. Since 2014, detection of WPV1 has been limited to three countries, with 37 cases in 2016 and 11 cases in 2017 as of September 27. The >99.99% decline worldwide in polio cases since the launch of the GPEI is attributable to the extensive use of the live, attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) in mass vaccination campaigns and comprehensive national routine immunization programs. Despite its well-established safety record, OPV use can be associated with rare emergence of genetically divergent vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) whose genetic drift from the parental OPV strains indicates prolonged replication or circulation (2). VDPVs can also emerge among persons with primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs). Immunodeficiency-associated VDPVs (iVDPVs) can replicate for years in some persons with PIDs. In addition, circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs) can emerge very rarely among immunologically normal vaccine recipients and their contacts in areas with inadequate OPV coverage and can cause outbreaks of paralytic polio. This report updates previous summaries regarding VDPVs (3). During January 2016-June 2017, new cVDPV outbreaks were identified, including two in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (eight cases), and another in Syria (35 cases), whereas the circulation of cVDPV type 2 (cVDPV2) in Nigeria resulted in cVDPV2 detection linked to a previous emergence. The last confirmed case from the 2015-2016 cVDPV type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak in Laos occurred in January 2016. Fourteen newly identified persons in 10 countries were found to excrete iVDPVs, and three previously reported patients in the United Kingdom and Iran (3) were still excreting type 2 iVDPV (iVDPV2) during the reporting period. Ambiguous VDPVs (aVDPVs), isolates that cannot be classified definitively, were found among immunocompetent persons and environmental samples in 10 countries. Cessation of all OPV use after certification of polio eradication will eliminate the risk for new VDPV infections.

      6. Progress in childhood vaccination data in immunization information systems – United States, 2013-2016
        Murthy N, Rodgers L, Pabst L, Fiebelkorn AP, Ng T.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1178-1181.
        In 2016, 55 jurisdictions in 49 states and six cities in the United States used immunization information systems (IISs) to collect and manage immunization data and support vaccination providers and immunization programs. To monitor progress toward achieving IIS program goals, CDC surveys jurisdictions through an annual self-administered IIS Annual Report (IISAR). Data from the 2013-2016 IISARs were analyzed to assess progress made in four priority areas: 1) data completeness, 2) bidirectional exchange of data with electronic health record systems, 3) clinical decision support for immunizations, and 4) ability to generate childhood vaccination coverage estimates. IIS participation among children aged 4 months through 5 years increased from 90% in 2013 to 94% in 2016, and 33 jurisdictions reported >/=95% of children aged 4 months through 5 years participating in their IIS in 2016. Bidirectional messaging capacity in IISs increased from 25 jurisdictions in 2013 to 37 in 2016. In 2016, nearly all jurisdictions (52 of 55) could provide automated provider-level coverage reports, and 32 jurisdictions reported that their IISs could send vaccine forecasts to providers via Health Level 7 (HL7) messaging, up from 17 in 2013. Incremental progress was made in each area since 2013, but continued effort is needed to implement these critical functionalities among all IISs. Success in these priority areas, as defined by the IIS Functional Standards (1), bolsters clinicians’ and public health practitioners’ ability to attain high vaccination coverage in pediatric populations, and prepares IISs to develop more advanced functionalities to support state/local immunization services. Success in these priority areas also supports the achievement of federal immunization objectives, including the use of IISs as supplemental sampling frames for vaccination coverage surveys like the National Immunization Survey (NIS)-Child, reducing data collection costs, and supporting increased precision of state-level estimates.

      7. Implementation of rotavirus surveillance and vaccine introduction – World Health Organization African Region, 2007-2016
        Mwenda JM, Burke RM, Shaba K, Mihigo R, Tevi-Benissan MC, Mumba M, Biey JN, Cheikh D, Poy M, Zawaira FR, Aliabadi N, Tate JE, Hyde T, Cohen AL, Parashar UD.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1192-1196.
        Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe pediatric diarrhea globally, estimated to have caused 120,000 deaths among children aged <5 years in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 (1). In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended rotavirus vaccination for all infants worldwide (2). Two rotavirus vaccines are currently licensed globally: the monovalent Rotarix vaccine (RV1, GlaxoSmithKline; 2-dose series) and the pentavalent RotaTeq vaccine (RV5, Merck; 3-dose series). This report describes progress of rotavirus vaccine introduction (3), coverage (using estimates from WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF]) (4), and impact on pediatric diarrhea hospitalizations in the WHO African Region. By December 2016, 31 (66%) of 47 countries in the WHO African Region had introduced rotavirus vaccine, including 26 that introduced RV1 and five that introduced RV5. Among these countries, rotavirus vaccination coverage (completed series) was 77%, according to WHO/UNICEF population-weighted estimates. In 12 countries with surveillance data available before and after vaccine introduction, the proportion of pediatric diarrhea hospitalizations that were rotavirus-positive declined 33%, from 39% preintroduction to 26% following rotavirus vaccine introduction. These results support introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the remaining countries in the region and continuation of rotavirus surveillance to monitor impact.

      8. Characterization of serum anti-diphtheria antibody activity following administration of equine anti-toxin for suspected diphtheria
        Smith HL, Saia G, Lobikin M, Tiwari T, Cheng SC, Molrine DC.
        Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Sep 21:1-4.
        There is a global shortage of equine-derived diphtheria anti-toxin (DAT) for diphtheria treatment. There are few existing data on serum antibody concentrations and neutralizing activity post-treatment to support development of new therapeutics. Antibody concentrations were quantified by ELISA and anti-toxin neutralizing activity by cytotoxicity assay in serum from 4 patients receiving DAT for suspected diphtheria. Using linear mixed effects modeling, estimated mean (SE) half-life was 78.2 (20.0) hours. Maximum serum neutralizing activity ranged from 28.42-38.64 AU/mL with an estimated mean AUC1-72 of 1396.7 (399.3) AU/mL*hr. These data provide a standard of comparison for development of novel anti-toxins to replace DAT.

      9. A multi-site feasibility study to assess fever and wheezing in children after influenza vaccines using text messaging
        Stockwell MS, Marchant CD, Wodi AP, Barnett ED, Broder KR, Jakob K, Lewis P, Kattan M, Rezendes AM, Barrett A, Sharma D, Fernandez N, LaRussa P.
        Vaccine. 2017 Oct 28.
        BACKGROUND: Using text messaging for vaccine safety monitoring, particularly for non-medically attended events, would be valuable for pandemic influenza and emergency vaccination program preparedness. We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of text messaging to evaluate fever and wheezing post-influenza vaccination in a prospective, observational, multi-site pediatric study. METHODS: Children aged 2-11 years old, with an emphasis on children with asthma, were recruited during the 2014-2015 influenza season from three community-based clinics in New York City, and during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons from a private practice in Fall River, Massachusetts. Parents of enrolled children receiving quadrivalent live attenuated (LAIV4) or inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV4) replied to text messages assessing respiratory symptoms (day 3 and 7, then weekly through day 42), and temperature on the night of vaccination and the next seven nights (day 0-7). Missing data were collected via diary (day 0-7 only) and phone. Phone confirmation was obtained for both presence and absence of respiratory symptoms. Reporting rates, fever (T>/=100.4 degrees F) frequency, proportion of wheezing and/or chest tightness reports captured via text message versus all sources (text, phone, diary, electronic health record) and parental satisfaction were assessed. RESULTS: Across both seasons, 266 children were analyzed; 49.2% with asthma. Parental text message response rates were high (>70%) across sites. Overall, fever frequency was low (day 0-2: 4.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-7.4%]; d3-7: 6.7% [95% CI 4.1-10.8%]). A third (39.2%) of parents reported a respiratory problem in their child, primarily cough. Most (88.2%) of the 52 wheezing and/or chest tightness reports were by text message. Most (88.1%) participants preferred text messaging over paper reporting. CONCLUSIONS: Text messaging can provide information about pediatric post-vaccination fever and wheezing and was viewed positively by parents. It could be a helpful tool for rapid vaccine safety monitoring during a pandemic or other emergency vaccination program. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02295007.

      10. Potential impact of B lineage mismatch on trivalent influenza vaccine effectiveness during the 2015-2016 influenza season among nursery school children in Suzhou, China
        Wang Y, Chen L, Cheng Y, Zhou S, Pang Y, Zhang J, Greene CM, Song Y, Zhang T, Zhao G.
        Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Nov 01:0.
        BACKGROUND: We actively followed a cohort of nursery school children in Suzhou, China to assess the impact of vaccination with trivalent influenza vaccine on the prevention of influenza like illness (ILI). METHODS: We enrolled children aged 36 to 72 months from 13 nursery schools in Suzhou starting two weeks after vaccination during October 2015-February 2016. Every school-day, teachers reported the names of students with ILI to study clinicians, who collected the student’s nasopharyngeal swab or throat swab, either at a study clinic or the child’s home. Swabs were sent to the Suzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s laboratory for influenza testing by RT-PCR. RESULTS: In total, 3278 children were enrolled; 83 (3%) were lost to follow-up, while 3195 (vaccinated: 1492, unvaccinated: 1703) were followed for 24 weeks. During the study, 40 samples tested positive; 17 in the vaccinated (B Victoria: 12; A(H1N1)pdm09: 5) and 23 in the unvaccinated group (B Victoria: 10; B Yamagata: 2; A(H1N1)pdm09: 11). The VE estimates were: 16% overall (95%CI:-58%,56%), 48% (-47%,84%) for influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 43% (-650%,98%) for influenza B Yamagata, and -37% (-227%,42%) for influenza B Victoria. Data were analyzed by vaccinated and unvaccinated groups based on enrollees’ vaccination records. CONCLUSIONS: The VE for A(H1N1)pdm09 was moderate but not significant. Mismatching of B lineage may have compromised trivalent influenza vaccine effectiveness during the 2015-2016 influenza season among nursery school children in Suzhou, China. Additional larger studies are warranted to inform policy related to quadrivalent influenza vaccine licensure in China in the future.

    • Informatics
      1. Improved identification of venous thromboembolism from electronic medical records using a novel information extraction software platform
        Dantes RB, Zheng S, Lu JJ, Beckman MG, Krishnaswamy A, Richardson LC, Chernetsky-Tejedor S, Wang F.
        Med Care. 2017 Oct 30.
        INTRODUCTION: The United States federally mandated reporting of venous thromboembolism (VTE), defined by Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Patient Safety Indicator 12 (AHRQ PSI-12), is based on administrative data, the accuracy of which has not been consistently demonstrated. We used IDEAL-X, a novel information extraction software system, to identify VTE from electronic medical records and evaluated its accuracy. METHODS: Medical records for 13,248 patients admitted to an orthopedic specialty hospital from 2009 to 2014 were reviewed. Patient encounters were defined as a hospital admission where both surgery (of the spine, hip, or knee) and a radiology diagnostic study that could detect VTE was performed. Radiology reports were both manually reviewed by a physician and analyzed by IDEAL-X. RESULTS: Among 2083 radiology reports, IDEAL-X correctly identified 176/181 VTE events, achieving a sensitivity of 97.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 93.7%-99.1%] and specificity of 99.3% (95% CI, 98.9%-99.7%) when compared with manual review. Among 422 surgical encounters with diagnostic radiographic studies for VTE, IDEAL-X correctly identified 41 of 42 VTE events, achieving a sensitivity of 97.6% (95% CI, 87.4%-99.6%) and specificity of 99.8% (95% CI, 98.7%-100.0%). The performance surpassed that of AHRQ PSI-12, which had a sensitivity of 92.9% (95% CI, 80.5%-98.4%) and specificity of 92.9% (95% CI, 89.8%-95.3%), though only the difference in specificity was statistically significant (P<0.01). CONCLUSION: IDEAL-X, a novel information extraction software system, identified VTE from radiology reports with high accuracy, with specificity surpassing AHRQ PSI-12. IDEAL-X could potentially improve detection and surveillance of many medical conditions from free text of electronic medical records.

      2. Variation in interoperability across clinical laboratories nationwide
        Patel V, McNamara L, Dullabh P, Sawchuk ME, Swain M.
        Int J Med Inform. 2017 ;108:175-184.
        Objective To characterize nationwide variation and factors associated with clinical laboratories’: (1) capabilities to send structured test results electronically to ordering practitioners’ EHR systems; and (2) their levels of exchange activity, as measured by whether they sent more than three-quarters of their test results as structured data to ordering practitioners’ EHR systems. Materials and methods A national survey of all independent and hospital laboratories was conducted in 2013. Using an analytic weighted sample of 9382 clinical laboratories, a series of logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify organizational and area characteristics associated with clinical laboratories’ exchange capability and activity. Results Hospital-based clinical laboratories (71%) and larger clinical laboratories (80%) had significantly higher levels of capability compared to independent (58%) and smaller laboratories (48%), respectively; though all had similar levels of exchange activity, with 30% of clinical laboratories sending 75% or more of their test results electronically. In multivariate analyses, hospital and the largest laboratories had 1.87 and 4.40 higher odds, respectively, of possessing the capability to send results electronically compared to independent laboratories (p < 0.001). Laboratories located in areas with a higher share of potential exchange partners had a small but significantly greater capability to send results electronically and higher levels of exchange activity(p < 0.05). Conclusion Clinical laboratories’ capability to exchange varied by size and type; however, all clinical laboratories had relatively low levels of exchange activity. The role of exchange partners potentially played a small but significant role in driving exchange capability and activity.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. There are many published studies of either insect growth regulators (IGR) or chitinase inhibitors applied directly to larvae of stored product insects or incorporated into their diets, but few studies evaluating efficacy of IGRs or chitinase inhibitors applied alone or in combination with a surface for residual control. Tests were conducted to evaluate susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle, Trogoderma variabile (Ballion), the warehouse beetle, and Dermestes maculatus (DeGeer), the hide beetle, to Tekko Pro which contained the IGR pyriproxyfen and the chitinase inhibitor novaluron as active ingredients. Efficacy was assessed by adult emergence of exposed immatures, an index based on development of those exposed immatures, and progeny production of exposed adults. Concrete arenas were treated with the label rate of the insecticide applied to a surface, and bioassays were conducted at 0-16 weeks post-treatment. No exposed T. castaneum eggs or larvae reached the adult stage and index values for exposed eggs and larvae remained near the minimum. Adult emergence of T. variable from eggs or larvae did not exceed 25% for the first 8 weeks of the test, but at the end of the test at 16 weeks adult emergence was 44 and 71%, respectively, for eggs and larvae. No eggs or larvae of D. maculatus emerged as adults, but excessive cannibalization in untreated controls occurred throughout the test. Results show that Tekko Pro will give residual control of T. castaneum and T. variabile, and could replace older conventional neurotoxic insecticides for management of stored product insects.

      2. Molecular pathogenesis of chlamydia disease complications: Epithelial-mesenchyme transition and fibrosis
        Igietseme JU, Omosun Y, Nagy T, Stuchlik O, Reed MS, He Q, Partin J, Joseph K, Ellerson D, George Z, Goldstein J, Eko FO, Bandea C, Pohl J, Black CM.
        Infect Immun. 2017 Oct 30.
        The reproductive system complications of genital chlamydial infection include fallopian tube fibrosis and tubal factor infertility. However the molecular pathogenesis of these complications remain poorly understood. The induction of pathogenic epithelial-Mesenchyme Transition (EMT) through miRNA dysregulation was recently proposed as the pathogenic basis of chlamydial complications. Focusing on fibrogenesis, we investigated the hypothesis that chlamydial-induced fibrosis is caused by EMT-driven generation of myofibroblasts, the effector cells of fibrosis that produce excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. The results revealed that the targets of a major category of altered miRNAs during chlamydial infection are key components of the pathophysiological process of fibrogenesis; these target molecules include collagen types I, III and IV, TGF-beta, TGF-betaR1, the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), E-cadherin, SRY-Box 7 (SOX7), and nuclear NFAT kinase dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1a (Dyrk1a). Chlamydial induction of EMT resulted in the generation of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA)-positive myofibroblasts that produced ECM proteins, including collagen type I, III and fibronectin. Furthermore, the inhibition of EMT prevented the generation of myofibroblasts and production of ECM proteins during chlamydial infection. These findings may provide useful avenues for targeting EMT or specific components of the EMT pathways as a therapeutic intervention strategy to prevent chlamydial-related complications.

      3. A chamber study of alkyl nitrate production formed by terpene ozonolysis in the presence of NO and alkanes
        Jackson SR, Harrison JC, Ham JE, Wells JR.
        Atmospheric Environment. 2017 December;171:143-148.
        Organic nitrates are relatively long-lived species and have been shown to have a potential impact on atmospheric chemistry on local, regional, and even global scales. However, the significance of these compounds in the indoor environment remains to be seen. This work describes an impinger-based sampling and analysis technique for organic nitrate species, focusing on formation via terpene ozonolysis in the presence of nitric oxide (NO). Experiments were conducted in a Teflon film environmental chamber to measure the formation of alkyl nitrates produced from alpha-pinene ozonolysis in the presence of NO and alkanes using gas chromatography with an electron capture detector. For the different concentrations of NO and O3 analyzed, the concentration ratio of [O3]/[NO] around 1 was found to produce the highest organic nitrate concentration, with [O3] = 100 ppb & [NO] = 105 ppb resulting in the most organic nitrate formation, roughly 5 ppb. The experiments on alpha-pinene ozonolysis in the presence of NO suggest that organic nitrates have the potential to form in indoor air between infiltrated ozone/NO and terpenes from household and consumer products.

      4. Acute in vitro and in vivo toxicity of a commercial grade boron nitride nanotube mixture
        Kodali VK, Roberts JR, Shoeb M, Wolfarth MG, Bishop L, Eye T, Barger M, Roach KA, Friend S, Schwegler-Berry D, Chen BT, Stefaniak A, Jordan KC, Whitney RR, Porter DW, Erdely AD.
        Nanotoxicology. 2017 Nov 02:1-19.
        Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are an emerging engineered nanomaterial attracting significant attention due to superior electrical, chemical and thermal properties. Currently, the toxicity profile of this material is largely unknown. Commercial grade BNNTs are composed of a mixture (BNNT-M) of approximately 50-60% BNNTs, and approximately 40-50% impurities of boron and hexagonal boron nitride. We performed acute in vitro and in vivo studies with commercial grade BNNT-M, dispersed by sonication in vehicle, in comparison to the extensively studied multiwalled carbon nanotube-7 (MWCNT-7). THP-1 wild-type and NLRP3-deficient human monocytic cells were exposed to 0-100 microg/ml and C57BL/6 J male mice were treated with 40 microg of BNNT-M for in vitro and in vivo studies, respectively. In vitro, BNNT-M induced a dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity and oxidative stress. This was confirmed in vivo following acute exposure increase in bronchoalveolar lavage levels of lactate dehydrogenase, pulmonary polymorphonuclear cell influx, loss in mitochondrial membrane potential and augmented levels of 4-hydroxynonenal. Uptake of this material caused lysosomal destabilization, pyroptosis and inflammasome activation, corroborated by an increase in cathepsin B, caspase 1, increased protein levels of IL-1beta and IL-18 both in vitro and in vivo. Attenuation of these effects in NLRP3-deficient THP-1 cells confirmed NLRP3-dependent inflammasome activation by BNNT-M. BNNT-M induced a similar profile of inflammatory pulmonary protein production when compared to MWCNT-7. Functionally, pretreatment with BNNT-M caused suppression in bacterial uptake by THP-1 cells, an effect that was mirrored in challenged alveolar macrophages collected from exposed mice and attenuated with NLRP3 deficiency. Analysis of cytokines secreted by LPS-challenged alveolar macrophages collected after in vivo exposure to dispersions of BNNT-M showed a differential macrophage response. The observed results demonstrated acute inflammation and toxicity in vitro and in vivo following exposure to sonicated BNNT-M was in part due to NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

      5. The relationships between hand coupling force and vibration biodynamic responses of the hand-arm system
        Pan D, Xu XS, Welcome DE, McDowell TW, Warren C, Wu J, Dong RG.
        Ergonomics. 2017 Oct 31:1-38.
        This study conducted two series of experiments to investigate the relationships between hand coupling force and biodynamic responses of the hand-arm system. In the first experiment, the vibration transmissibility on the system was measured as a continuous function of grip force while the hand was subjected to discrete sinusoidal excitations. In the second experiment, the biodynamic responses of the system subjected to a broadband random vibration were measured under five levels of grip forces and a combination of grip and push forces. This study found that the transmissibility at each given frequency increased with the increase in the grip force before reaching a maximum level. The transmissibility then tended to plateau or decrease when the grip force was further increased. This threshold force increased with an increase in the vibration frequency. These relationships remained the same for both types of vibrations. The implications of the experimental results are discussed. Practitioner Summary Shocks and vibrations transmitted to the hand-arm system may cause injuries and disorders of the system. How to take hand coupling force into account in the risk assessment of vibration exposure remains an important issue for further studies. This study is designed and conducted to help resolve this issue.

      6. Severity of disease in humanized mice infected with Ebola virus or reston virus is associated with magnitude of early viral replication in liver
        Spengler JR, Saturday G, Lavender KJ, Martellaro C, Keck JG, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF, Feldmann H, Prescott J.
        J Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 26.
        Both Ebola virus (EBOV) and Reston virus (RESTV) cause disease in non-human primates, yet only EBOV causes disease in humans. To investigate differences in viral pathogenicity, humanized mice (hu-NSG-SGM3) were inoculated with EBOV or RESTV. Consistent with differences in disease in human infection, pronounced weight loss and markers of hepatic damage and disease were observed exclusively in EBOV-infected mice. These abnormalities were associated with significantly higher EBOV replication in the liver but not in the spleen, suggesting that in this model, efficiency of viral replication in select tissues early in infection may contribute to differences in viral pathogenicity.

      7. Measurement of crystalline silica aerosol using quantum cascade laser-based infrared spectroscopy
        Wei S, Kulkarni P, Ashley K, Zheng L.
        Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 24;7(1):13860.
        Inhalation exposure to airborne respirable crystalline silica (RCS) poses major health risks in many industrial environments. There is a need for new sensitive instruments and methods for in-field or near real-time measurement of crystalline silica aerosol. The objective of this study was to develop an approach, using quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based infrared spectroscopy (IR), to quantify airborne concentrations of RCS. Three sampling methods were investigated for their potential for effective coupling with QCL-based transmittance measurements: (i) conventional aerosol filter collection, (ii) focused spot sample collection directly from the aerosol phase, and (iii) dried spot obtained from deposition of liquid suspensions. Spectral analysis methods were developed to obtain IR spectra from the collected particulate samples in the range 750-1030 cm-1. The new instrument was calibrated and the results were compared with standardized methods based on Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry. Results show that significantly lower detection limits for RCS ( approximately 330 ng), compared to conventional infrared methods, could be achieved with effective microconcentration and careful coupling of the particulate sample with the QCL beam. These results offer promise for further development of sensitive filter-based laboratory methods and portable sensors for near real-time measurement of crystalline silica aerosol.

      8. Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis pncA mutations by the NIPRO GenoscholarPZA-TB II as compared to conventional sequencing
        Willby MJ, Wijkander M, Havumaki J, Johnson K, Werngren J, Hoffner S, Denkinger CM, Posey JE.
        Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Oct 30.
        Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a standard component of first-line treatment regimens for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and is included in treatment regimens for drug-resistant Mtb whenever possible. It is therefore imperative that susceptibility to PZA be reliably assessed prior to initiation of therapy. Currently-available growth-based PZA susceptibility tests are time consuming and results can be inconsistent. Molecular tests have been developed for most first-line antituberculosis drugs, however, a commercial molecular test is not yet available for rapid detection of PZA resistance. Recently, a line probe assay, NIPRO GenoscholarPZA-TB II, was developed for the detection of mutations within the pncA gene including the promoter region likely to lead to PZA resistance. The sensitivity and specificity of this assay was evaluated by two independent laboratories using a combined total of 249 strains with mutations in pncA and its promoter as well as 21 strains with wild-type pncA Overall, the assay showed good sensitivity (93.2%, 95%CI 89.3, 95.8) and moderate specificity (91.2%, 95%CI 77.0, 97.0) for the identification of Mtb predicted to be resistant to PZA based upon the presence of mutations (excluding known PZA susceptible mutations) in the pncA coding region or promoter. The assay shows promise for the molecular prediction of PZA resistance.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Longitudinal changes in BMI z-scores among 45 414 2-4-year olds with severe obesity
        Freedman DS, Butte NF, Taveras EM, Goodman AB, Blanck HM.
        Ann Hum Biol. 2017 Oct 30:1-6.
        BACKGROUND: BMI z-scores (BMIz) based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts among children do not accurately characterise BMI levels among children with very high BMIs. These limitations may be particularly relevant in longitudinal and intervention studies, as the large changes in the L (normality) and S (dispersion) parameters with age can influence BMIz. AIM: To compare longitudinal changes in BMIz with BMI expressed as a percentage of the 95th percentile (%BMIp95) and a modified z-score calculated as log(BMI/M)/S. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 45 414 2-4-year-olds with severe obesity (%BMIp95 >/= 120). RESULTS: Changes in very high BMIz levels differed from the other metrics. Among severely obese 2-year-old girls, for example, the mean BMIz decreased by 0.6 SD between examinations, but there were only small changes in BMIp95 and modified BMIz. Some 2-year-old girls had BMIz decreases of >1 SD, even though they had large increases in BMI, %BMIp95 and modified BMIz. CONCLUSIONS: Among children with severe obesity, BMIz changes may be due to differences in the transformations used to estimate levels of BMIz rather than to changes in body size. The BMIs of these children could be expressed relative to the 95th percentile or as modified z-scores.

      2. BACKGROUND: Counseling for appropriate medication use and folic acid consumption are elements of preconception care critical for improving pregnancy outcomes. Hispanic women receive less preconception care than women of other race/ethnic groups. The objective of this analysis is to describe differences in these two elements of preconception care among Hispanic subsegments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Porter Novelli’s 2013 Estilos survey was sent to 2,609 U.S. Hispanic adults of the Offerwise QueOpinas Panel. Surveys were completed by 1,000 individuals (calculated response rate 42%), and results were weighted to the 2012 U.S. Census Hispanic proportions for sex, age, income, household size, education, region, country of origin, and acculturation. Responses were analyzed with weighted descriptive statistics, linear regression, and Rao-Scott chi-square tests. RESULTS: Of the 499 female respondents, 248 had a child under the age of 18 years and were asked about healthcare provider discussions concerning medication use before or during their last pregnancy. Timing of discussions varied by maternal age, marital status, income, youngest child’s country of birth, and acculturation. Discussions before pregnancy were reported by 47% of the female respondents; high acculturated women more often reported never having such discussions. Among female respondents, 320 were of reproductive age, and 27% of those reported daily multivitamin use. Multivitamin use varied by pregnancy intention and youngest child’s country of birth, but did not vary significantly by acculturation. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in discussions concerning medication use in pregnancy and multivitamin use exist among Hispanic subsegments based on pregnancy intention, marital status, income, youngest child’s country of birth, and level of acculturation.

      3. Maternal report of fever from cold or flu during early pregnancy and the risk for noncardiac birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2011
        Waller DK, Hashmi SS, Hoyt AT, Duong HT, Tinker SC, Gallaway MS, Olney RS, Finnell RH, Hecht JT, Canfield MA.
        Birth Defects Res. 2017 Nov 02.
        BACKGROUND: As maternal fever affects approximately 6-8% of early pregnancies, it is important to expand upon previous observations of an association between maternal fever and birth defects. METHODS: We analyzed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a multistate, case-control study of major structural birth defects. Telephone interviews were completed by mothers of cases (n = 17,162) and controls (n = 10,127). Using multivariable logistic regression, we assessed the association between maternal self-report of cold or flu with fever and cold or flu without fever during early pregnancy and 30 categories of non-cardiac birth defects. RESULTS: Maternal report of cold or flu with fever was significantly associated with 8 birth defects (anencephaly, spina bifida, encephalocele, cleft lip with or without cleft palate, colonic atresia/stenosis, bilateral renal agenesis/hypoplasia, limb reduction defects, and gastroschisis) with elevated adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.2 to 3.7. Maternal report of cold or flu without fever was not associated with any of the birth defects studied. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the evidence that maternal fever during early pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for selected birth defects. Elevated associations were limited to mothers who reported a fever, suggesting that it is fever that contributes to the excess risk rather than illnesses associated with it. However, fever may also serve as a marker for more severe infections.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Diet quality or macronutrient composition of total daily sodium intake (dNa) <2300 mg/day in the United States (US) is unknown. Using data from 2011-2014 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), we examined 24-h dietary recalls (n = 10,142) from adults aged >/=18 years and investigated how diet composition and quality are associated with dNa. Diet quality was assessed using components of macronutrients and Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010). Associations were tested using linear regression analysis adjusted for total energy (kcal), age, gender, and race/ethnicity. One-day dNa in the lower quartiles were more likely reported among women, older adults (>/=65 years old), and lower quartiles of total energy (kcal) (p-values </= 0.001). With increasing dNa, there was an increase in the mean protein, fiber, and total fat densities, while total carbohydrates densities decreased. As dNa increased, meat protein, refined grains, dairy, and total vegetables, greens and beans densities increased; while total fruit and whole fruit densities decreased. Modified HEI-2010 total score (total score without sodium component) increased as dNa increased (adjusted coefficient: 0.11, 95% confidence interval = 0.07, 0.15). Although diet quality, based on modified HEI-2010 total score, increased on days with greater dNa, there is much room for improvement with mean diet quality of about half of the optimal level.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Occupational exposure to vapor-gas, dust, and fumes in a cohort of rural adults in Iowa compared with a cohort of urban adults
        Doney BC, Henneberger PK, Humann MJ, Liang X, Kelly KM, Cox-Ganser JM.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 Nov 03;66(21):1-5.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Many rural residents work in the field of agriculture; however, employment in nonagricultural jobs also is common. Because previous studies in rural communities often have focused on agricultural workers, much less is known about the occupational exposures in other types of jobs in rural settings. Characterizing airborne occupational exposures that can contribute to respiratory diseases is important so that differences between rural and urban working populations can be assessed. REPORTING PERIOD: 1994-2011. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: This investigation used data from the baseline questionnaire completed by adult rural residents participating in the Keokuk County Rural Health Study (KCRHS). The distribution of jobs and occupational exposures to vapor-gas, dust, and fumes (VGDF) among all participants was analyzed and stratified by farming status (current, former, and never) then compared with a cohort of urban workers from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Occupational exposure in the last job was assessed with a job-exposure matrix (JEM) developed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The COPD JEM assesses VGDF exposure at levels of none or low, medium, and high. RESULTS: The 1,699 KCRHS (rural) participants were more likely to have medium or high occupational VGDF exposure (43.2%) at their last job than their urban MESA counterparts (15.0% of 3,667 participants). One fifth (20.8%) of the rural participants currently farmed, 43.1% were former farmers, and approximately one third (36.1%) had never farmed. These three farming groups differed in VGDF exposure at the last job, with the prevalence of medium or high exposure at 80.2% for current farmers, 38.7% for former farmers, and 27.4% for never farmers, and all three percentages were higher than the 15.0% medium or high level of VGDF exposure for urban workers. INTERPRETATION: Rural workers, including those who had never farmed, were more likely to experience occupational VGDF exposure than urban workers. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: The occupational exposures of rural adults assessed using the COPD JEM will be used to investigate their potential association with obstructive respiratory health problems (e.g., airflow limitation and chronic bronchitis). This assessment might highlight occupations in need of preventive interventions.

      2. Tailoring computer-based training for Latino immigrant workers: Pilot test of the NIOSH mouse tutorial
        Flynn MA, DeLaney S, Willeford C.
        New Solut. 2017 Jan 01:1048291117734381.
        An interactive tutorial on using a mouse for first-time computer users was developed as part of a training CD-ROM tailored for Latino immigrant workers in trenching and excavation. It was designed for Spanish-speaking users with varying levels of formal education. The tutorial was tested in focus groups with workers who had little or no previous experience using a computer. Findings revealed that while users with less than a fourth-grade education and/or low proficiency in Spanish had some difficulties with the tutorial, they still scored above 67 percent on the performance evaluation; participants with at least a fourth-grade education (the majority) completed it with minimal assistance and scored 80%-100% on the performance evaluation. Feedback from participant focus groups following the computer sessions supported these findings. The results of this study suggest that computer-based training may be able to be made accessible for low computer literacy Latino immigrant workers, if it is tailored to their needs.

      3. Respiratory symptoms in hospital cleaning staff exposed to a product containing hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and acetic acid
        Hawley B, Casey M, Virji MA, Cummings KJ, Johnson A, Cox-Ganser J.
        Ann Work Expo Health. 2017 Oct 25.
        Cleaning and disinfecting products consisting of a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (HP), peracetic acid (PAA), and acetic acid (AA) are widely used as sporicidal agents in health care, childcare, agricultural, food service, and food production industries. HP and PAA are strong oxidants and their mixture is a recognized asthmagen. However, few exposure assessment studies to date have measured HP, PAA, and AA in a health care setting. In 2015, we performed a health and exposure assessment at a hospital where a new sporicidal product, consisting of HP, PAA, and AA was introduced 16 months prior. We collected 49 full-shift time-weighted average (TWA) air samples and analyzed samples for HP, AA, and PAA content. Study participants were observed while they performed cleaning duties, and duration and frequency of cleaning product use was recorded. Acute upper airway, eye, and lower airway symptoms were recorded in a post-shift survey (n = 50). A subset of 35 cleaning staff also completed an extended questionnaire that assessed symptoms reported by workers as regularly occurring or as having occurred in the previous 12 months. Air samples for HP (range: 5.5 to 511.4 ppb) and AA (range: 6.7 to 530.3 ppb) were all below established US occupational exposure limits (OEL). To date, no full-shift TWA OEL for PAA has been established in the United States, however an OEL of 0.2 ppm has been suggested by several research groups. Air samples for PAA ranged from 1.1 to 48.0 ppb and were well below the suggested OEL of 0.2 ppm. Hospital cleaning staff using a sporicidal product containing HP, PAA, and AA reported work-shift eye (44%), upper airway (58%), and lower airway (34%) symptoms. Acute nasal and eye irritation were significantly positively associated with increased exposure to the mixture of the two oxidants: HP and PAA, as well as the total mixture (TM)of HP, PAA, and AA. Shortness of breath when hurrying on level ground or walking up a slight hill was significantly associated with increased exposure to the oxidant mixture (P = 0.017), as well as the TM (P = 0.026). Our results suggest that exposure to a product containing HP, PAA, and AA contributed to eye and respiratory symptoms reported by hospital cleaning staff at low levels of measured exposure.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Quantifying malaria risk in travellers: a quixotic pursuit
        Davlantes EA, Tan KR, Arguin PM.
        J Travel Med. 2017 Sep 01;24(6).

        [No abstract]

      2. Prevalence of substandard and falsified artemisinin-based combination antimalarial medicines on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
        Kaur H, Allan EL, Mamadu I, Hall Z, Green MD, Swamidos I, Dwivedi P, Culzoni MJ, Fernandez FM, Garcia G, Hergott D, Monti F.
        BMJ Glob Health. 2017 ;2(4):e000409.
        INTRODUCTION: Poor-quality artemisinin-containing antimalarials (ACAs), including falsified and substandard formulations, pose serious health concerns in malaria endemic countries. They can harm patients, contribute to the rise in drug resistance and increase the public’s mistrust of health systems. Systematic assessment of drug quality is needed to gain knowledge on the prevalence of the problem, to provide Ministries of Health with evidence on which local regulators can take action. METHODS: We used three sampling approaches to purchase 677 ACAs from 278 outlets on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea as follows: convenience survey using mystery client (n=16 outlets, 31 samples), full island-wide survey using mystery client (n=174 outlets, 368 samples) and randomised survey using an overt sampling approach (n=88 outlets, 278 samples). The stated active pharmaceutical ingredients (SAPIs) were assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography and confirmed by mass spectrometry at three independent laboratories. RESULTS: Content analysis showed 91.0% of ACAs were of acceptable quality, 1.6% were substandard and 7.4% falsified. No degraded medicines were detected. The prevalence of medicines without the SAPIs was higher for ACAs purchased in the convenience survey compared with the estimates obtained using the full island-wide survey-mystery client and randomised-overt sampling approaches. Comparable results were obtained for full island survey-mystery client and randomised overt. However, the availability of purchased artesunate monotherapies differed substantially according to the sampling approach used (convenience, 45.2%; full island-wide survey-mystery client, 32.6%; random-overt sampling approach, 21.9%). Of concern is that 37.1% (n=62) of these were falsified. CONCLUSION: Falsified ACAs were found on Bioko Island, with the prevalence ranging between 6.1% and 16.1%, depending on the sampling method used. These findings underscore the vital need for national authorities to track the scale of ineffective medicines that jeopardise treatment of life-threatening diseases and value of a representative sampling approach to obtain/measure the true prevalence of poor-quality medicines.

      3. Accounting for approximately 11% of all malaria cases, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is central to malaria elimination efforts. To support vector control interventions in DRC, we characterized the dynamics and impact of insecticide resistance in major malaria vectors in 2015. High Plasmodium infection rates were recorded in An. gambiae and An. funestus with P. falciparum predominant over P. malariae. Both mosquito species exhibited high and multiple resistance to major public health insecticide classes. The extremely high resistance to permethrin and DDT in An. gambiae (low mortalities after 6 hours exposure) is worrisome, and is supported by a reduced insecticidal effect of bednets against both mosquito species in laboratory tests. Metabolic and target site insensitivity mechanisms are driving this resistance in An. gambiae but only the former was observed in An. funestus. These findings highlight the urgent need for actions to prolong the effectiveness of insecticide-based interventions in DRC.

    • Public Health Leadership and Management
      1. Achieving public health standards and increasing accreditation readiness: Findings from the National Public Health Improvement Initiative
        Rider N, Frazier CM, McKasson S, Corso L, McKeever J.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017 Oct 27.
        OBJECTIVES: During 2010-2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) to assist 73 public health agencies in conducting activities to increase accreditation readiness, improve efficiency and effectiveness through quality improvement, and increase performance management capacity. A summative evaluation of NPHII was conducted to examine whether awardees met the initiative’s objectives, including increasing readiness for accreditation. DESIGN: A nonexperimental, utilization-focused evaluation with a multistrand, sequential mixed-methods approach was conducted to monitor awardee accomplishments and activities. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, as well as subanalyses of data by awardee characteristics. Thematic analysis using deductive a priori codes was used for qualitative analysis. RESULTS: Ninety percent of awardees reported completing at least 1 accreditation prerequisite during NPHII, and more than half reported completing all 3 prerequisites by the end of the program. Three-fourths of awardees that completed a self-assessment reported closing gaps for at least 1 Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standard. Within 3 years of the launch of PHAB accreditation, 7 NPHII awardees were accredited; another 38 had formally applied for accreditation. CONCLUSIONS: Through NPHII, awardees increased collaborative efforts around accreditation readiness, accelerated timelines for preparing for accreditation, and prioritized the completion of required accreditation activities.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Receipt of selected preventive health services for women and men of reproductive age – United States, 2011-2013
        Pazol K, Robbins CL, Black LI, Ahrens KA, Daniels K, Chandra A, Vahratian A, Gavin LE.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 Oct 27;66(20):1-31.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Receipt of key preventive health services among women and men of reproductive age (i.e., 15-44 years) can help them achieve their desired number and spacing of healthy children and improve their overall health. The 2014 publication Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs (QFP) establishes standards for providing a core set of preventive services to promote these goals. These services include contraceptive care for persons seeking to prevent or delay pregnancy, pregnancy testing and counseling, basic infertility services for those seeking to achieve pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STD) services, and other preconception care and related preventive health services. QFP describes how to provide these services and recommends using family planning and other primary care visits to screen for and offer the full range of these services. This report presents baseline estimates of the use of these preventive services before the publication of QFP that can be used to monitor progress toward improving the quality of preventive care received by women and men of reproductive age. PERIOD COVERED: 2011-2013. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: Three surveillance systems were used to document receipt of preventive health services among women and men of reproductive age as recommended in QFP. The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) collects data on factors that influence reproductive health in the United States since 1973, with a focus on fertility, sexual activity, contraceptive use, reproductive health care, family formation, child care, and related topics. NSFG uses a stratified, multistage probability sample to produce nationally representative estimates for the U.S. household population of women and men aged 15-44 years. This report uses data from the 2011-2013 NSFG. The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is an ongoing, state- and population-based surveillance system designed to monitor selected maternal behaviors and experiences that occur before, during, and shortly after pregnancy among women who deliver live-born infants in the United States. Annual PRAMS data sets are created and used to produce statewide estimates of preconception and perinatal health behaviors and experiences. This report uses PRAMS data for 2011-2012 from 11 states (Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia). The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized civilians in the United States. NHIS collects data on a broad range of health topics, including the prevalence, distribution, and effects of illness and disability and the services rendered for or because of such conditions. Households are identified through a multistage probability household sampling design, and estimates are produced using weights that account for the sampling design, nonresponse, and poststratification adjustments. This report uses data from the 2013 NHIS for women aged 18-44 years. RESULTS: Many preventive health services recommended in QFP were not received by all women and men of reproductive age. For contraceptive services, including contraceptive counseling and advice, 46.5% of women aged 15-44 years at risk for unintended pregnancy received services in the past year, and 4.5% of men who had vaginal intercourse in the past year received services in that year. For sexually transmitted disease (STD) services, among all women aged 15-24 years who had oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an opposite sex partner in the past year, 37.5% were tested for chlamydia in that year. Among persons aged 15-44 years who were at risk because they were not in a mutually monogamous relationship during the past year, 45.3% of women were tested for chlamydia and 32.5% of men were tested for any STD in that year. For preconception care and related preventive health services, data from selected states indicated that 33.2% of women with a recent live birth (i.e., 2-9 months postpartum) talked with a health care professional about improving their health before their most recent pregnancy; of selected preconception counseling topics, the most frequently discussed was taking vitamins with folic acid before pregnancy (81.2%), followed by achieving a healthy weight before pregnancy (62.9%) and how drinking alcohol (60.3%) or smoking (58.2%) during pregnancy can affect a baby. Nationally, among women aged 18-44 years irrespective of pregnancy status, 80.9% had their blood pressure checked by a health care professional and 31.7% received an influenza vaccine in the past year; 54.5% of those with high blood pressure were tested for diabetes, 44.9% of those with obesity had a health care professional talk with them about their diet, and 55.2% of those who were current smokers had a health professional talk with them about their smoking in the past year. Among all women aged 21-44 years, 81.6% received a Papanicolaou (Pap) test in the past 3 years. Receipt of certain preventive services varied by age and race/ethnicity. Among women with a recent live birth, the percentage of those who talked with a health care professional about improving their health before their most recent pregnancy increased with age (range: 25.9% and 25.2% for women aged </=19 and 20-24 years, respectively, to 35.9% and 37.8% for women aged 25-34 and >/=35 years, respectively). Among women with a recent live birth, the percentage of those who talked with a health care professional about improving their health before their most recent pregnancy was higher for non-Hispanic white (white) (35.2%) compared with non-Hispanic black (black) (30.0%) and Hispanic (26.0%) women. Conversely, across most STD screening services evaluated, testing was highest among black women and men and lowest among their white counterparts. Receipt of many preventive services recommended in QFP increased consistently across categories of family income and continuity of health insurance coverage. Prevalence of service receipt was highest among women in the highest family income category (>400% of federal poverty level [FPL]) and among women with insurance coverage for each of the following: contraceptive services among women at risk for unintended pregnancy; medical services beyond advice to help achieve pregnancy; vaccinations (hepatitis B and human papillomavirus [HPV], ever; tetanus, past 10 years; influenza, past year); discussions with a health care professional about improving health before pregnancy and taking vitamins with folic acid; blood pressure and diabetes screening; discussions with a health care professional in the past year about diet, among those with obesity; discussions with a health care professional in the past year about smoking, among current smokers; Pap tests within the past 3 years; and mammograms within the past 2 years. INTERPRETATION: Before 2014, many women and men of reproductive age were not receiving several of the preventive services recommended for them in QFP. Although differences existed by age and race/ethnicity, across the range of recommended services, receipt was consistently lower among women and men with lower family income and greater instability in health insurance coverage. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Information in this report on baseline receipt during 2011-2013 of preventive services for women and men of reproductive age can be used to target improvements in the use of recommended services through the development ofresearch priorities, information for decision makers, and public health practice. Health care administrators and practitioners can use the information to identify subpopulations with the greatest need for preventive services and make informed decisions on resource allocation. Public health researchers can use the information to guide research on the determinants of service use and factors that might increase use of preventive services. Policymakers can use this information to evaluate the impact of policy changes and assess resource needs for effective programs, research, and surveillance on the use of preventive health services for women and men of reproductive age.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Measuring PM2.5, ultrafine particles, nicotine air and wipe samples following the use of electronic cigarettes
        Melstrom P, Koszowski B, Thanner MH, Hoh E, King B, Bunnell R, McAfee T.
        Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Sep 01;19(9):1055-1061.
        Background: Few studies have examined the extent of inhalation or dermal contact among bystanders following short-term, secondhand e-cigarette exposure. Objective: Measure PM2.5 (particles < 2.5 microns), UF (ultrafine particles < 100 nm), and nicotine in air and deposited on surfaces and clothing pre-/during/post- a short-term (2-hour) e-cigarette exposure. Methods: E-cigarettes were used ad libitum by three experienced users for 2 hours during two separate sessions (disposable e-cigarettes, then tank-style e-cigarettes, or “tanks”) in a 1858 ft3 room. We recorded: uncorrected PM2.5 (using SidePak); UF (using P-Trak); air nicotine concentrations (using air samplers; SKC XAD-4 canisters); ambient air exchange rate (using an air capture hood). Wipe samples were taken by wiping 100 cm2 room surfaces pre- and post- both sessions, and clean cloth wipes were worn during the exposure and collected at the end. Results: Uncorrected PM2.5 and UF were higher (p < .0001) during sessions than before or after. Median PM2.5 during exposure was higher using tanks (0.515 mg/m3) than disposables (0.035 mg/m3) (p < .0001). Median UF during exposure was higher using disposables (31 200 particles/cm3) than tanks (25 200 particles/cm3)(p < .0001). Median air nicotine levels were higher (p < .05) during both sessions (disposables = 0.697 ng/L, tanks = 1.833 ng/L) than before (disposables = 0.004 ng/L, tanks = 0.010 ng/L) or after (disposables = 0.115 ng/L, tanks = 0.147 ng/L). Median accumulation rates of nicotine on surface samples were 2.1 ng/100 cm2/h using disposables and 4.0 ng/100 cm2/h using tanks; for cloth samples, it was 44.4 ng/100 cm2/h using disposables and 69.6 ng/100 cm2/h using tanks (p < .01). Mean room ventilation rate was ~5 air changes per hour during both sessions. Conclusions: Short-term e-cigarette use can produce: elevated PM2.5; elevated UF; nicotine in the air; and accumulation of nicotine on surfaces and clothing. Implications: Short-term indoor e-cigarette use produced accumulation of nicotine on surfaces and clothing, which could lead to dermal exposure to nicotine. Short-term e-cigarette use produced elevated PM2.5 and ultrafine particles, which could lead to secondhand inhalation of these particles and any chemicals associated with them by bystanders. We measured significant differences in PM2.5 and ultrafine particles between disposable e-cigarettes and tank-style e-cigarettes, suggesting a difference in the exposure profiles of e-cigarette products.

      2. Deaths involving fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and U-47700 – 10 States, July-December 2016
        O’Donnell JK, Halpin J, Mattson CL, Goldberger BA, Gladden RM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 03;66(43):1197-1202.
        Preliminary estimates of U.S. drug overdose deaths exceeded 60,000 in 2016 and were partially driven by a fivefold increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (excluding methadone), from 3,105 in 2013 to approximately 20,000 in 2016 (1,2). Illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more potent than morphine, is primarily responsible for this rapid increase (3,4). In addition, fentanyl analogs such as acetylfentanyl, furanylfentanyl, and carfentanil are being detected increasingly in overdose deaths (5,6) and the illicit opioid drug supply (7). Carfentanil is estimated to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine (8). Estimates of the potency of acetylfentanyl and furanylfentanyl vary but suggest that they are less potent than fentanyl (9). Estimates of relative potency have some uncertainty because illicit fentanyl analog potency has not been evaluated in humans. This report describes opioid overdose deaths during July-December 2016 that tested positive for fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, or U-47700, an illicit synthetic opioid, in 10 states participating in CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program.* Fentanyl analogs are similar in chemical structure to fentanyl but not routinely detected because specialized toxicology testing is required. Fentanyl was detected in at least half of opioid overdose deaths in seven of 10 states, and 57% of fentanyl-involved deaths also tested positive for other illicit drugs, such as heroin. Fentanyl analogs were present in >10% of opioid overdose deaths in four states, with carfentanil, furanylfentanyl, and acetylfentanyl identified most frequently. Expanded surveillance for opioid overdoses, including testing for fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, assists in tracking the rapidly changing illicit opioid market and informing innovative interventions designed to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

      3. Tobacco use among working adults – United States, 2014-2016
        Syamlal G, King BA, Mazurek JM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1130-1135.
        Cigarette smoking has declined considerably among U.S. adults over several decades (1); however, increases have occurred in the use of noncigarette tobacco products in recent years, and the use of multiple tobacco products has become common among current users of noncigarette tobacco products (2,3). Differences in tobacco use have also been observed across population subgroups, including among working adults (2,4). CDC analyzed National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for 2014-2016 to describe the most recent prevalence estimates of current (every day or some days) tobacco product use among working U.S. adults by industry and occupation. Among working adults, 22.1% (32.7 million) currently used any form of tobacco; 15.4% used cigarettes, 5.8% used other combustible tobacco (cigars, pipes, water pipes or hookahs, very small cigars, and bidis), 3.0% used smokeless tobacco, and 3.6% used electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes); 4.6% (6.9 million) reported current use of two or more tobacco products. By industry, any tobacco use ranged from 11.0% among education services to 34.3% among construction workers; current use of two or more tobacco products was highest among construction workers (7.1%). By occupation, any tobacco use ranged from 9.3% among life, physical, and social science workers to 37.2% among installation, maintenance, and repair workers; current use of two or more tobacco products was highest among installation, maintenance, and repair workers (10.1%). Proven interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco product use, including current use of multiple products, among working adults are important (5,6). Workplace tobacco-control interventions have been especially effective in reducing cigarette smoking prevalence (7).

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Airborne transmission of highly pathogenic influenza virus during processing of infected poultry
        Bertran K, Balzli C, Kwon YK, Tumpey TM, Clark A, Swayne DE.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Nov;23(11):1806-1814.
        Exposure to infected poultry is a suspected cause of avian influenza (H5N1) virus infections in humans. We detected infectious droplets and aerosols during laboratory-simulated processing of asymptomatic chickens infected with human- (clades 1 and 2.2.1) and avian- (clades 1.1, 2.2, and 2.1) origin H5N1 viruses. We detected fewer airborne infectious particles in simulated processing of infected ducks. Influenza virus-naive chickens and ferrets exposed to the air space in which virus-infected chickens were processed became infected and died, suggesting that the slaughter of infected chickens is an efficient source of airborne virus that can infect birds and mammals. We did not detect consistent infections in ducks and ferrets exposed to the air space in which virus-infected ducks were processed. Our results support the hypothesis that airborne transmission of HPAI viruses can occur among poultry and from poultry to humans during home or live-poultry market slaughter of infected poultry.

      2. Notes from the field: Postexposure prophylaxis for rabies after consumption of a prepackaged salad containing a bat carcass – Florida, 2017
        Krishnasamy V, Mauldin MR, Wise ME, Wallace R, Whitlock L, Basler C, Morgan C, Grissom D, Worley S, Stanek D, DeMent J, Yager P, Carson W, Condori RE, Nakazawa Y, Walker C, Li Y, Wynens C, Wellman A, Ellison J, Pieracci E.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1154-1155.

        [No abstract]

      3. Notes from the field: High volume of Lyme disease laboratory reporting in a low-incidence state – Arkansas, 2015-2016
        Kwit NA, Dietrich EA, Nelson C, Taffner R, Petersen J, Schriefer M, Mead P, Weinstein S, Haselow D.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1156-1157.

        [No abstract]

      4. Disparities in Zika virus testing and incidence among women of reproductive age – New York City, 2016
        Lee CT, Greene SK, Baumgartner J, Fine A.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017 Oct 27.
        CONTEXT: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) performs surveillance for reportable diseases, including Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and disease, to inform public health responses. Incidence rates of other mosquito-borne diseases related to international travel are associated with census tract poverty level in NYC, suggesting that high poverty areas might be at higher risk for ZIKV infections. OBJECTIVES: We assessed ZIKV testing rates and incidence of travel-associated infection among reproductive age women in NYC to identify areas with high incidence and low testing rates and assess the effectiveness of public health interventions. DESIGN: We analyzed geocoded ZIKV surveillance data collected by NYC DOHMH. Women aged 15 to 44 years tested during January-July 2016 (n = 4733) were assigned to census tracts, which we grouped by poverty level and quartile of the number of persons born in countries or territories with mosquito-borne ZIKV transmission as a proxy for risk of travel to these areas. We calculated crude ZIKV testing rates, incidence rates, and incidence rate ratios (IRRs). SETTING: New York City. RESULTS: Eight percent of patients (n = 376) tested had evidence of ZIKV infection. Cumulative incidence was higher both in areas with higher versus lower poverty levels (IRR = 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0-3.0) and in areas with the largest versus smallest populations of persons born in countries or territories with mosquito-borne ZIKV transmission (IRR = 11.3; 95% CI, 6.2-20.7). Initially, ZIKV testing rates were lowest in higher poverty areas with the largest populations of persons born in countries or territories with mosquito-borne ZIKV transmission (15/100 000), but following targeted interventions, testing rates were highest in these areas (80/100 000). CONCLUSIONS: Geocoded data enabled us to identify communities with low testing but high ZIKV incidence rates, intervene to promote testing and reduce barriers to testing, and measure changes in testing rates.

      5. Ability to serologically confirm recent Zika virus infection in areas with varying past incidence of dengue virus infection – United States and territories, 2016
        Lindsey NP, Staples JE, Powell K, Rabe IB, Fischer M, Powers AM, Kosoy OI, Mossel EC, Munoz-Jordan JL, Beltran M, Hancock WT, Toews KE, Ellis EM, Ellis BR, Panella AJ, Basile AJ, Calvert AE, Laven J, Goodman CH, Gould CV, Martin SW, Thomas JD, Villanueva J, Mataia ML, Sciulli R, Gose R, Whelen AC, Hills SL.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Nov 01.
        Background. Cross-reactivity within flavivirus antibody assays, produced by shared epitopes in the envelope proteins, can complicate serological diagnosis of Zika virus (ZIKAV) infection. We assessed the utility of the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) to confirm recent ZIKAV infections and rule out misleading positive IgM results in areas with varying past dengue virus (DENV) infection incidence. Methods. We reviewed PRNT results of sera collected for diagnosis of ZIKAV infection from January 1 through August 31, 2016 with positive ZIKAV IgM results and ZIKAV and DENV PRNT performed. PRNT result interpretations included ZIKAV, unspecified flavivirus, DENV infection, or negative. For this analysis, ZIKAV IgM was considered false-positive for samples interpreted as DENV infection or negative. Results. In US states, 208 (27%) of 759 IgM positives were confirmed as ZIKAV, compared to 11 (21%) of 52 in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), 15 (15%) of 103 in American Samoa, and 13 (11%) of 123 in Puerto Rico. In American Samoa and Puerto Rico, more than 80% of IgM positives were unspecified flavivirus infections. The false-positivity rate was 27% in US states, 18% in USVI, 2% in American Samoa, and 6% in Puerto Rico. Conclusions. In US states, PRNT provided a virus-specific diagnosis or ruled out infection in the majority of IgM positive samples. Almost a third of ZIKAV IgM positive results did not confirm; therefore, providers and patients must understand that IgM results are preliminary. In territories with historically higher DENV transmission, PRNT usually could not differentiate between ZIKAV and DENV infections.

      6. Assessing diagnostic coding practices among a sample of healthcare facilities in Lyme disease endemic areas: Maryland and New York – A Brief Report
        Thomas N, Rutz HJ, Hook SA, Hinckley AF, Lukacik G, Backenson BP, Feldman KA, White JL.
        Zoonoses Public Health. 2017 Oct 30.
        The value of using diagnostic codes in Lyme disease (LD) surveillance in highly endemic states has not been well studied. Surveys of healthcare facilities in Maryland (MD) and New York (NY) regarding coding practices were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using diagnostic codes as a potential method for LD surveillance. Most respondents indicated that their practice utilized electronic medical records (53%) and processed medical/billing claims electronically (74%). Most facilities were able to search office visits associated with specific ICD-9-CM and CPT codes (74% and 73%, respectively); no discernible differences existed between the healthcare facilities in both states. These codes were most commonly assigned by the practitioner (82%), and approximately 70% of respondents indicated that these codes were later validated by administrative staff. These results provide evidence for the possibility of using diagnostic codes in LD surveillance. However, the utility of these codes as an alternative to traditional LD surveillance requires further evaluation.

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