MMWR News Synopsis for March 19, 2015
Tuberculosis Trends – United States, 2014
CDC Media Relations
New national TB surveillance data reaffirm that TB control is working in the United States. Together, CDC and its public health partners are steadily navigating the nation towards the elimination of TB. Preliminary data from CDC’s National TB Surveillance System reveal a continued drop in tuberculosis cases and rates with a total of 9,412 cases reported in 2014 and a 2.2 percent decline in the rate from 2013 (to 3.0 cases per 100,000 population). Yet, data suggest progress is slowing, with 2013-14 experiencing the smallest decline in TB rates in over a decade. TB also continues to strike a heavier blow in certain communities and vulnerable populations. The TB rate among foreign-born individuals is 13 times higher than among those born in the U.S. Compared to whites, the TB rate for Asians is 29 times higher, and is eight times higher among both blacks and Hispanics. Despite these disparities, anyone can get TB – exposure to the disease can occur anywhere people are in close contact with one another and the consequences can be devastating for those affected. Individuals with multidrug (MDR) or extensively-drug resistant (XDR) TB face the greatest difficulties, including years of difficult and costly treatments that can have severe side effects. In 2013, MDR TB accounted for 1.3 percent of U.S. cases, or 96 total cases. One case of XDR TB was reported in 2014. TB elimination in the U.S. will require increased focus on affected populations and improved awareness, testing and treatment of TB infection and disease.
HIV Infection and HIV-Associated Behaviors Among Persons Who Inject Drugs — 20 Cities, United States, 2012
CDC Media Relations
While HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among persons who inject drugs (PWID) have remained stable in recent years, and positive increases have occurred in behavioral intervention participation and hepatitis C (HCV) testing, risk remains high among this population. The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system analyzes trends in HIV testing, risk behavior, and use of prevention services among PWID; in 2012, 10,002 PWID in 20 large U.S. cities participated. In comparison to 2009, data showed no significant changes in HIV prevalence, awareness of infection, reported risk behavior, or HIV testing. Eleven percent were infected with HIV, and 63 percent of those were aware of their infection. Among those reporting male-to-male sex in the past year, 27 percent were infected. Among PWID with a negative or unknown HIV status, 30 percent reported sharing syringes and 70 percent reported vaginal sex without a condom. Half had an HIV test in the previous 12 months. Younger PWID (18-29 year olds) were more likely to have shared syringes or had multiple opposite-sex partners than were older PWID. More PWID participated in HIV behavioral interventions in 2012 compared to 2009 (25% vs. 19%), and more had been tested for HCV (78% vs. 72%). To prevent HIV among PWID, a comprehensive strategy involving substance abuse and mental health treatment; access to sterile equipment; opioid substitution therapy; counseling, testing, and treatment for HIV; and risk-reduction education is critical.
Healthful Food Availability in Stores and Restaurants – American Samoa, 2014
CDC Media Relations
Rapid assessment of the retail food environment can generate data to support strategies to improve availability, affordability, and promotion of healthful foods. American Samoa (AS) has the highest recorded prevalence of adults with obesity (75%) worldwide. It is suspected that the nutritionally poor food and beverage options of food retail venues in AS communities are a contributing factor. A rapid assessment of the retail food environment was conducted using Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys in 9 grocery, 61 convenience stores, and 20 restaurants. In convenience stores, healthful items were not as available as less healthful counterparts, and some healthful items were more expensive than their less healthful counterparts. For restaurants, 70% offered at least one healthful entrée, while only 30% had healthful side dishes such as vegetables. Actions to promote healthier eating, such as providing calorie information, were rare among restaurants. These data can support strategies to improve availability, affordability, and promotion of healthful foods and beverages in AS stores and restaurants to encourage residents to make healthier choices.
Notes from the Field:
Fatal Yellow Fever Vaccine-Associated Viscerotropic Disease — Oregon, September 2014
Listeriosis Associated with Stone Fruit — United States, 2014