MMWR News Synopsis for February 20, 2014
- Interim Estimates of 2013–14 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, February 2014
- Update: Influenza Activity — United States, September 29, 2013–February 8, 2014
- Declines in Student Obesity Prevalence Associated with a Prevention Initiative — King County, Washington, 2012
Interim Estimates of 2013–14 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, February 2014
CDC Media Relations
This season’s influenza vaccine reduced the risk for influenza-associated medical visits by approximately 60 percent across all age groups. Children at least 6 months old and older who have not yet received the 2013–14 influenza vaccine should be vaccinated. CDC recommends yearly flu vaccination for children 6 months old or older and adults. Because flu viruses change from season to season, CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the flu vaccine works against the specific flu viruses that are circulating. This mid-season report presents data on 2,319 children and adults enrolled in the U.S. Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Network from December 2, 2013 to January 23, 2014. The study found that getting flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of flu-related doctor’s visits by 61 percent for all age groups. Influenza vaccination offered substantial protection against the flu virus circulating this season, pH1N1, and the same virus that emerged in 2009 and spread in a worldwide pandemic.
Update: Influenza Activity — United States, September 29, 2013–February 8, 2014
CDC Media Relations
This influenza season, characterized as a pH1N1 season, has been more severe for young and middle-aged adults than in the most recent seasons. This is a reminder that influenza can cause severe illness in people of any age and that everyone aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated. When people do get the flu, antiviral treatment can reduce severe outcomes, especially when administered early. Influenza activity in the United States began increasing in mid-November and remained elevated as of February 8; elevated activity will likely continue for several more weeks. Surveillance data provide a reminder that while some age groups are at increased risk of influenza complications every year, influenza can cause severe illness in persons of any age, even in adults 18–64 years.CDC recommends that health-care providers continue to offer vaccine to all unvaccinated persons ≥6 months now and throughout the season.
Declines in Student Obesity Prevalence Associated with a Prevention Initiative — King County, Washington, 2012
Sharon Bogan, Program Manager II, Communications
Public Health – Seattle & King County
New report highlights 17 percent decrease in youth obesity in King County school districts that participated in large-scale public health initiative. A report released today by CDC shows that encouraging physical activity and providing healthy foods and beverages in the places where people live, learn, work and play can have a positive impact on the health of the community. After a Communities Putting Prevention to Work project was implemented in the King County’s (WA) low-income school districts during 2010–2012, the county’s self-reported youth obesity rate decreased for the first time, significantly, from 9.5 percent in 2004 to 7.9 percent in 2012. . School-based policy, systems, and environment changes such as those implemented by King County might be important elements of a comprehensive obesity prevention strategy.
Follow-Up of Infants Diagnosed with HIV — Early Infant Diagnosis Program, Francistown, Botswana, 2005–2012
CDC Media Relations
The results of the Botswana Early Infant Diagnosis Program show that 41 percent of HIV-infected infants diagnosed from 2005 – 2012 were known to be alive, highlighting the need for further efforts to promote early diagnosis of HIV-infected infants, prompt initiation of antiretroviral treatment, and retention in care. In Botswana, 30 percent of pregnant women are infected with HIV. Although Botswana has reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV from 40 percent to less than 4 percent, hundreds of infants are born infected with HIV each year. The Early Infant Diagnosis Program was started to quickly diagnose these infants and start them on antiretroviral treatment. To evaluate the program, Ms. Catherine Motswere of the CDC went through hospital records to track down all 202 HIV-infected infants that were diagnosed from 2005 through 2012 around Francistown, Botswana. Only 75 percent of mothers ever received their infant’s HIV test results and 60 percent ever received antiretroviral treatment. By late 2013, 41 percent of these infants were known to be alive. There remains a need for improvement in early diagnosis of HIV-infected infants, prompt treatment, and continued medical care.
Influenza-Associated Intensive-Care Unit Admissions and Deaths — California, September 29, 2013–January 18, 2014
CDC Media Relations
Vaccination and early antiviral treatment remain the best methods for prevention and treatment during a severe influenza season, particularly for individuals with underlying medical conditions that predispose them to complications from influenza virus infection. To learn more about severe cases of influenza, the California Department of Public Health has observed cases in people who either died or were admitted to ICU since the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic. Among people younger than 65 with influenza-associated death or ICU admission, 93 percent had underlying medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza infection. People between the ages of 41 and 64 years were more likely to die from influenza or be admitted to ICU. There have been few reported fatal or ICU cases in the pediatric population. Overall, influenza vaccination in the state has been underutilized, and, in most cases, antiviral treatment was not given as soon as recommended. Early recognition of influenza illness and initiation of antiviral treatment is needed for high-risk individuals and should not be delayed for results of confirmatory testing. Vaccination is the most effect approach for preventing severe illness and death from influenza.
Notes from the Field
- Varicella-Associated Death of a Vaccinated Child with Leukemia — California, 2012