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MMWR News Synopsis for June 4, 2015

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
June 4, 2015

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Full MMWR articles



Prevalence of Sexual Violence Against Children and Use of Social Services — Seven Countries, 2007–2013

CDC Media Relations

Experiencing sexual violence erodes the strong foundation that children require for leading healthy and productive lives; however, the burden of sexual violence against children in many countries is unknown. CDC, as a part of a global public-private partnership known as Together for Girls, has collaborated with seven countries to conduct Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) to measure the burden of violence against children. The findings show that global rates of sexual violence against children are high, while the proportion of respondents who receive supportive services is low. Both prevention and response strategies for sexual violence are needed.


Impact of Arthritis and Multiple Chronic Conditions on Selected Life Domains — United States, 2013

CDC Media Relations

Having an increased number of chronic conditions is linked to negative outcomes in important lifestyle domains. This impact is exacerbated by having arthritis as one of the chronic conditions. Those with arthritis and/or other chronic conditions can reduce these deleterious effects by taking part in physical activity and self-management education programs proven to reduce the adverse effects of arthritis (e.g., pain, depression) and its comorbidities (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity). About one in seven adults has arthritis and at least one other chronic condition. Having an increased number of chronic conditions was linked to work disability, serious psychological distress, and limitations in social activities — and if arthritis was one of those conditions these negative outcomes were more prevalent. For example, among adults with one chronic condition, more of those with arthritis reported work disability (15.6 percent vs. 8.6 percent), and social participation restrictions (3.7 percent vs. 2.1 percent). Among adults with two or more chronic conditions, more of those with arthritis reported work disability (30.7 percent vs. 22.5 percent), social participation restrictions (10.4 percent vs. 6.3percent), and serious psychological distress (9.9 percent vs.6.8percent) than those without arthritis. Inexpensive, proven, but underused strategies can help adults with arthritis and/or other chronic conditions have better outcomes. These strategies include increasing physical activity and participating in self-management programs that have been shown to reduce pain and disability, improve function, and address arthritis barriers to physical activity such as joint pain.


Influenza Activity — United States, 2014–15 Season and Composition of the 2015–16 Influenza Vaccine

CDC Media Relations

While the influenza vaccine varies in how well it works, vaccination remains the best way to prevent influenza illness and its associated complications. Ongoing, timely influenza surveillance is needed to inform the selection of influenza vaccine viruses used for vaccine production. Although vaccine effectiveness was reduced this season against most H3N2 viruses, vaccination was still protective against vaccine-like influenza A (H3N2) viruses, influenza A (H1N1) viruses and influenza B viruses. The 2014-15 influenza season was an H3N2 predominant, moderately severe season overall, and especially severe for people 65 and older. Adults 65 and older had the highest hospitalization rates. Antigenic and genetic characterization showed that most of the circulating influenza A (H3N2) viruses were different from the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2014–15 Northern Hemisphere vaccines, resulting in reduced vaccine effectiveness against circulating H3N2 viruses.


Hepatitis B Screening and Prevalence Among Resettled Refugees — United States, 2006‒2011

Kevin Scott
Thomas Jefferson University
617-233-4269 (cell – preferred)

Refugees are a heterogeneous population and hepatitis B prevalence is associated with country of origin and individual lived experience. Ongoing health surveillance activities focused on refugees are essential to ensuring appropriate assessment and treatment following resettlement. Hepatitis B is a viral disease that can be acute or chronic and is a significant public health concern both globally and in the United States. Refugees frequently emigrate from countries with high prevalence of active hepatitis B infection (≥2 percent), and/or are at higher risk of hepatitis B infection due to their lived experiences as refugees. However, refugees are a heterogeneous group and recent data are not available regarding prevalence of hepatitis B in recently resettled refugee communities. States, local health departments, healthcare providers, resettlement agencies, refugees, and other stakeholders may better target education and screening programs based on the prevalence of hepatitis B among the three refugee groups to have resettled in the greatest numbers over the last several years: Iraqis, Bhutanese, and Burmese.


Rapid Large-Scale Deployment of Tuberculosis Testing in a High School — Riverside County, California, 2013–2014

Cameron Kaiser, MD
Public Health Officer, County of Riverside, CA
Office: 951 358 7036

The spread of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis can be a major risk in congregant settings like dormitories and schools. This article demonstrates that techniques regularly employed for mass response to emergencies can also be used for mass testing for infectious diseases like tuberculosis. In 2013, a local health department was able to test 1,800 individuals in 24 hours for tuberculosis (TB) at a local high school, based on concerns TB may have been actively spreading. Using the Incident Command System (ICS), the same system used nationally for emergency response, the department rapidly responded with sufficient personnel and equipment to evaluate students and staff and refer those who tested positive to treatment. It provides a framework for other public health agencies when presented with an urgent public health situation, and, specifically for tuberculosis, more evidence about when to initiate such a response. This article demonstrates that techniques regularly employed for mass emergency response can also be used for mass testing for infectious diseases like tuberculosis.


Notes from the Field: 

Outbreaks of Shigella sonnei Infection with Decreased Susceptibility to Azithromycin Among Men Who Have Sex with Men — Chicago and Metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul, 2014