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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Estimates of Deaths Associated with Seasonal Influenza — United States, 1976–2007

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
Phone: (404) 639-3286

CDC has released updated estimates of the number of deaths associated with influenza from 1976 through 2007, the most recent year for which national death certificate reports are available. (These estimates do not encompass the period of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.) This estimated range is in contrast to a widely cited figure of 36,000 influenza-associated deaths annually, which was derived from a study using the same methodology but looking only at data from the 1990s when influenza A (H3N2) viruses were prominent. During the three decades prior to 2007, the estimated number of annual influenza-associated deaths from respiratory and circulatory causes ranged from a low of about 3,300 deaths to a high of nearly 49,000 deaths. About 90 percent of influenza-associated deaths occurred among adults age 65 and older. Seasons when influenza A (H3N2) viruses were prominent had 2.7 times more influenza-associated deaths than years when influenza A (H1N1) or B viruses were prominent. CDC believes that because there is substantial variability in estimates of influenza-associated mortality by year, by influenza virus type, and by age group, summaries of influenza-associated mortality should present a range of estimated deaths that reference specific age groups and circulating influenza strains rather than one annualized number.

2. Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2000–2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
Phone: (404) 639-3286

Tobacco use continues to be the single leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, and more than 80 percent of established adult smokers begin before the age of 18. To monitor trends in tobacco use among middle and high school students, CDC analyzed data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). The findings in this report indicate that from 2000 to 2009. The prevalence of current tobacco and cigarette use and experimentation with smoking cigarettes has declined for middle school and high schools students; however, for most tobacco use measures, no significant declines were noted from 2006–2009. This lack of significant change indicates that the current rate of decline in tobacco use is relatively slow. The report also indicates that overall, the percentage of middle and high school students who have never tried cigarettes but are open to trying (i.e., “susceptibility”) has not changed. To further decrease tobacco use and susceptibility to use among youth, restrictions on advertising, promotion, and availability of tobacco products to youth should be combined with broader tobacco-control strategies, such as tobacco-free policies and tobacco product price increases.

3. Changes in Measurement of Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) Vaccination Coverage — National Immunization Survey, United States, 2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
Phone: (404) 639-3286

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) is now using a more valid way to measure Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccination coverage, by taking into account the type of vaccine received. Since its beginning in 1994, the NIS has considered a child aged 19-35 months to be fully vaccinated with Hib vaccine if the child had received 3 or more doses of any Hib-containing vaccine (3+Hib). For some children however, this resulted in a misclassification because some Hib vaccine product types require 4 doses to be fully vaccinated while others require 3 doses. The new method for measuring Hib vaccination coverage takes into account the vaccine product type. Preliminary data from the first half of 2009 NIS were analyzed and the new method for measuring Hib vaccination coverage was compared to the previous 3+Hib measure. The findings indicated that, based on the new method, which produced more valid measurements of Hib coverage, the percentage of children aged 19-35 months who received the primary Hib series according to the interim ACIP recommendations was 92.9 percent, while the percentage fully vaccinated was 56.9 percent. Coverage with the previous method based on receipt of 3 or more doses of Hib vaccine was intermediate between these two measures, at 82.9 percent.



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