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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Pertussis Epidemic — Washington, 2012

Division of News & Electronic Media

Pertussis vaccination remains the single-most effective strategy for prevention of infection and for protection of infants and others at high risk. The U.S. is on track for record high pertussis rates this year.  In the ongoing Washington State epidemic, high rates of pertussis have occurred in infants younger than age 1 and in 10 year old children.  In addition, high rates of disease are seen in adolescents aged 13–14 years previously vaccinated with tetanus toxoid, reduced dose diphtheria toxoids, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Washington has had 2,520 cases as of June 16, 2012.  While acellular pertussis vaccines provide excellent immediate protection, the increased rates of pertussis in adolescents fully vaccinated with acellular vaccine during childhood suggests early waning of immunity after Tdap vaccination. Despite this increase, pertussis vaccination remains the single-most effective strategy to prevent infection.  The focus of control and prevention efforts includes protecting infants and improving vaccination coverage in adolescents and adults, especially pregnant women and others who have close contacts with infants.

2. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in Metropolitan Areas — United States, 2009

Division of News & Electronic Media

The variation in motor vehicle crash mortality rates highlights a need to better understand the factors that affect the risk of these deaths in large metropolitan areas. In the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, motor vehicle crash death rates were lower for all ages (8.2 deaths per 100,000 residents) compared to the nation (11.1 deaths per 100,000 residents) in 2009. In these metro areas, crash death rates were higher for 15-24 year olds compared to people of all ages. Rates in individual metro areas varied widely, with rates generally higher in southern metro areas. Urban sprawl may be partly responsible for these patterns affecting crash deaths. For young people in particular, prevention efforts include:  enforcement of minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years old; and use of strong Graduated Driver Licensing policies, including nighttime driving limits and passenger restrictions.

3. Tornado-Related Fatalities — Five States, Southeastern United States, April 25–28, 2011

Division of News & Electronic Media

Individuals who work or live in a tornado-prone area should develop a tornado safety plan prior to severe weather. During April 25–28, 2011, the third deadliest tornado disaster occurred in the southeastern U.S. despite modern advances in tornado forecasting, advanced warning times, and media coverage.  CDC reviewed data from the American Red Cross, death certificates and the National Weather Service to describe the fatalities by demographic characteristics, shelter used, cause of death, and tornado severity in the affected states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Of the 338 deaths, approximately one-third were older adults, almost half occurred in single-family homes, and a quarter happened in mobile homes.  One-half of the 27 tornadoes were rated powerful (EF-4 or EF-5) and were responsible for almost 90 percent of the deaths. The use of safe rooms is crucial to preventing tornado-related deaths.

4. Alcohol Use Among Women of Childbearing Age — United States, 2006–2010

Division of News & Electronic Media

Alcohol consumption (any use and binge drinking) among pregnant women is still an important public health concern. An estimated 7.6 percent of pregnant women (or 1 in 13) and 51.5 percent of nonpregnant women (or 1 in 2) reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. Among pregnant women, the highest estimates of reported alcohol use were among those who were aged 35-44 years (14.3 percent); white (8.3 percent), college graduates (10.0 percent), or employed (9.6 percent). The study also found that among binge drinkers, the average frequency and intensity of binge episodes were similar, about three times per month and approximately six drinks on an occasion, among those who were pregnant than those who were not.  Pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age who misuse alcohol are an important population for public health interventions.  Because no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy has been established and alcohol is known to cause birth defects, developmental disabilities, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should refrain from drinking alcohol.

5. Tuberculosis Outbreak Associated with Homelessness — Florida, 2004–2012

Jessica Hammonds
Florida Department of Health

Notes from the Field - Summary not available


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