MMWR News Synopsis for March 5, 2015
Suicide Trends Among Persons Aged 10–24 Years — United States, 1994–2012
CDC Media Relations
Suicide among young people is a serious but preventable public health problem in the United States. Practitioners should be aware of the increased use and high lethality of suffocation as a suicide method so they can accurately assess risk and educate families about reducing access to highly lethal means and the importance of not leaving those at risk for suicide alone. Early prevention of suicidal thoughts and behavior is critical. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10-24 years in the United States. Firearm, suffocation (includes hanging), and poisoning are the three most common mechanisms. Between 1994 and 2012, suicide rates by suffocation increased, on average, 6.7 percent and 2.2 percent annually for females and males, respectively. Increases occurred across age, race/ethnicity, and geographic subgroups during this time period. Those who work with young people should be aware of trends in suffocation suicides so they can accurately assess risk and educate families about the importance of reducing access to highly lethal methods where possible, not leaving those at risk alone, and seeking help. Media coverage of suicide trends should follow established guidelinespdf iconexternal icon to avoid increasing risk for contagion, also known as copycat suicide, among vulnerable young people. Early prevention strategies are needed to reduce the likelihood of young people developing suicidal thoughts and behavior. We all have a role to play in providing support and reducing stigma associated with seeking help. If you are concerned about someone you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.
Update: Influenza Activity — United States, September 28, 2014–February 21, 2015
CDC Media Relations
The 2014–15 influenza season began early and has been predominated by circulation of influenza A (H3N2) viruses – the majority of which are different from the influenza A(H3N2) component of the 2014-15 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. The predominance of drifted viruses this season underscores the important role of antiviral medications as an adjunct to vaccination in the prevention and treatment of influenza. The 2014-15 influenza season began early and is likely to continue for several more weeks. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the predominant circulating strain this season, though detections of influenza B have been increasing. The vast majority of circulating influenza A (H3N2) viruses are different from the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2014-15 Northern Hemisphere vaccine. This season has been particularly severe for adults 65 years and older, with the highest rate of hospitalization recorded since this type of surveillance began in 2005. Antiviral medications are more important than usual as an adjunct to vaccination in the prevention and treatment of influenza.
Infant and Maternal Characteristics in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — Selected Hospitals, Florida, 2010–2011
CDC Media Relations
Infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome have prolonged hospital stays, experience serious medical complications, and are very costly to treat. Improvements are needed in drug addiction counseling/rehabilitation, referral, and documentation policies. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a group of signs exhibited by newborns exposed to addictive drugs taken by a mother during pregnancy. During a two-year period (2010–2011), 242 infants with NAS were identified in three Florida hospitals. Nearly all of the infants with NAS were exposed to opioids during pregnancy (99.6%) and experienced serious medical complications, with more than 97% being admitted to an intensive care unit where the average length of stay was 26 days. Despite a high prevalence of positive urine toxicology tests during the birth hospitalization, only a small proportion of mothers had documentation of referrals for drug counseling or rehabilitation. Improvements are needed in drug addiction counseling/rehabilitation, referral, and documentation policies. Effective June 2014, NAS became a mandatory reportable condition in Florida.
Notes from the Field:
Adverse Events Associated with Administration of Simulation Intravenous Fluids to Patients — United States, 2014
Increase in Reported Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Cases — Country of Georgia, 2014