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MMWR News Synopsis for December 11, 2014

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
December 11, 2014

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Full MMWR articles


State Laws and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems — United States, September 2014

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, should not be used by youth and adult non-tobacco users because of the adverse effects of nicotine and other risk exposures, as well as the risk for progression to other forms of tobacco use. As of November 30, 2014, 40 states have enacted laws prohibiting ENDS sales to minors, but only three of the 26 states and the District of Columbia that have comprehensive smoke-free air laws have incorporated ENDS. More than 16 million minors can legally purchase ENDS, and over 300 million Americans, including 70 million children, live in states where they could be exposed to either secondhand smoke or e-cigarette aerosol in worksites, restaurants, and bars. When addressing potential public health harms associated with ENDS, it is critical to simultaneously uphold and accelerate strategies proven to prevent and reduce use of conventional tobacco products, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free air laws, hard-hitting media campaigns, barrier-free cessation treatment and services, and comprehensive statewide tobacco control programs.

Estimated Influenza Illnesses and Hospitalizations Averted by Vaccination — United States, 2013–14 Influenza Season

Influenza vaccination can prevent a substantial number of flu cases and hospitalizations each year and should continue to be offered to all persons 6 months of age and older throughout the flu season. CDC recommends yearly influenza vaccination for all people 6 months of age and older in the United States as the best way to prevent flu and its complications. For the 2013-14 flu season, CDC used estimates of vaccination coverage, vaccine effectiveness, and influenza hospitalizations to estimate that influenza vaccination prevented 7.2 million influenza-associated illnesses, 3.1 million medical visits, and 90,000 hospitalizations that season. Fewer than half of Americans were estimated to have been vaccinated against flu during the 2013-14 season. Increased vaccination rates would have further reduced the burden of influenza. Although it’s too early to predict the 2014–15 season, influenza seasons can last as late as May. Therefore, vaccination should be offered as long as influenza viruses continue to circulate.

Incidence of Sickle Cell Trait — United States, 2010

People who have sickle cell trait should be properly informed of their status and educated about possible health implications and reproductive decisions. We estimate that over 60,000 babies were born with sickle cell trait in 2010. Although the occurrence of sickle cell trait (SCT) varies greatly from state-to-state and among different races and ethnicities, every state and racial/ethnic population includes persons living with the condition. In 2010, the incidence of SCT in participating states was 15.5 per 1,000 overall; 73.1 per 1,000 among black newborns and 6.9 per 1,000 among Hispanic newborns. Incidence by state ranged from 0.8 cases per 1,000 screened newborns in Montana to 34.1 per 1,000 in Mississippi.

Global Invasive Bacterial Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance, 2008–2014

Consistent and high-quality sentinel hospital surveillance provides critical public health data to inform decisions made by countries regarding new vaccine introduction and use. Meningitis and pneumonia are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children globally. Since 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended using pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in childhood immunization programs. The WHO Invasive Bacterial and Vaccine Preventable Disease (IB-VPD) surveillance network includes sentinel hospitals and laboratories that report clinical and laboratory data on cases of suspected meningitis, pneumonia or sepsis among children <5 years old to the national ministries of health and WHO. IB-VPD syndromic surveillance with case-based data and laboratory case confirmation provides important data to guide decisions to introduce PCV. As more countries introduce PCV, it is important for this network to continue to improve to be able to assess the impact of this vaccine globally and act as a platform for surveillance of other diseases.