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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for September 15, 2011

1. Influenza–Associated Pediatric Deaths — United States, September 2010–August 2011

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

A total of 115 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC that occurred from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011.  Fifty-six (49 percent) of the children who died from influenza virus infections during the 2010-11 influenza season had no reported high-risk medical conditions.  Children without high-risk medical conditions had a shorter interval between illness onset and death (4 days versus 7 days), were more likely to die at home or in the emergency department, and were more likely to have a positive bacterial culture from a sterile site.  Among children who died from influenza, few (23 percent) were vaccinated and 50 percent received antiviral therapy. Although influenza-associated pediatric mortality is rare, healthcare providers should be mindful of the potential for severe outcomes of influenza in children.  Although influenza antiviral medications are a valuable adjunct to preventing and reducing the impact of influenza, annual influenza vaccination remains the primary prevention tool against influenza-associated complications.

2. Update: Influenza Activity — United States and Worldwide, May 22–September 3, 2011

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

The United States experienced low levels of influenza activity from May 22 to September 3, 2011; and influenza A (H3N2), 2009 influenza A (H1N1), and influenza B viruses were detected worldwide and identified sporadically in the United States. Typical seasonal patterns of influenza activity occurred in the Southern Hemisphere.  Although neither the influenza virus strain that will predominate nor the severity of influenza-related disease activity for the 2011–12 influenza season in the United States can be predicted, antigenic characterization of viral isolates submitted during the summer demonstrated that the vast majority of isolates were antigenically similar to the influenza vaccine strains in the Northern Hemisphere 2011–12 vaccine. To prevent influenza and its associated complications, influenza vaccination is recommended in all persons aged ≥ 6 months and should proceed for all persons without contraindications to vaccination as soon as vaccine is available in their community.

3. State–Specific Trends in Lung Cancer and Smoking — United States, 1999–2008

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

The rate of new lung cancer cases in the U.S. dropped among women in 6 states and among men in 35 states between 1999 and 2008. The decrease in lung cancer cases corresponds closely with smoking patterns across the nation. States in the Western region tended to have a low prevalence of current smoking as well as a high proportion of ever smokers who had quit smoking. Improvements in lung cancer incidence provide compelling evidence for state tobacco control policies, such as increasing tobacco excise taxes and enacting smoke-free laws, which can discourage smoking initiation, encourage smoking cessation, and protect nonsmokers at the population level. Further progress requires intensified efforts to reduce cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Effective state tobacco control programs are proven to decrease smoking and reduce the health and economic impact of tobacco-related diseases. To continue to protect Americans, these programs must be adequately funded.


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