MMWR News Synopsis for November 12, 2015

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
November 12, 2015

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Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2014

CDC Media Relations

There is a need to fully implement proven population-based interventions to successfully reduce smoking. A combination of tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high impact media campaigns, and easy access to quitting assistance are critical to reducing cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death. Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2014, including a full-percentage-point decline during 2013–2014 alone. This indicates marked progress toward achieving the Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing cigarette smoking prevalence to 12 percent or less. However, in 2014, 40.0 million U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers, and cigarette smoking remains higher among males, adults aged 25–44 years, multiracial persons and American Indian/Alaska Natives. Cigarette smoking rates also remain higher among persons who have less education; live below the federal poverty level; live in the Midwest; are insured through Medicaid or are uninsured; have a disability or limitation; or are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Among daily smokers during 2005–2014, the proportion who smoked 20–29 cigarettes per day (CPD) declined from 34.9 percent to 27.4 percent, and the proportion who smoked ≥30 CPD declined from 12.7 percent to 6.9 percent.

Increase in incidence of congenital syphilis – United States, 2008-2014

CDC Media Relations

New surveillance data on recent trends in congenital syphilis (CS) show sharp increases in reported cases between 2012 and 2014. After a period of decline from 2008 to 2012, when the overall rate of reported CS decreased from 10.5 to 8.4 cases per 100,000 live births, rates increased by 38 percent from 2012 to 2014 (total cases increased from 334 to 458 cases). This increase parallels a national increase in primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis among women during the same time period (22 percent increase during 2012-2014). The resurgence of CS points to numerous missed opportunities to prevent mother-to-infant transmission. Of 458 CS cases in 2014, 22 percent of mothers received no prenatal care. Of women with at least one prenatal visit, 43 percent received no treatment for syphilis – although nearly half of these women were positively diagnosed – and 15 percent of mothers were never tested for syphilis during their pregnancy. A child born with syphilis may face major health problems, or even death. In 2014, 25 infants were stillborn and eight infants died within 30 days of delivery as a result of CS. Protecting newborns from CS requires addressing barriers to obtaining quality prenatal care, including STD screening. Additionally, timely reporting of CS and syphilis cases among women of reproductive age, instituting more thorough prenatal screening practices when warranted, and ensuring timely and appropriate treatment of identified cases are vital measures needed to prevent CS.

Progress toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2014

CDC Media Relations

To resume progress toward measles elimination, a review of current strategies and challenges to improving program performance is needed. Countries and their partners need to raise the visibility of measles elimination, address barriers to measles vaccination, and make substantial and sustained additional investments in strengthening health systems. During 2000–2014, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 17.1 million deaths. During this period, annual reported measles incidence declined 73 percent worldwide, from 146 to 40 cases per million population, and annual estimated measles deaths declined 79 percent from 546,800 to 114,900. However, progress toward the elimination goals has slowed markedly since 2010. In countries with a high measles burden and low vaccine coverage, long-standing policy and practice gaps need to be addressed to increase routine immunization coverage. High-quality supplementary immunization activities  should be used to improve routine services. As coverage improves, establishing a second-year-of-life visit integrating measles vaccination and other child-health interventions should further reduce measles cases and deaths.

Global Routine Vaccination Coverage, 2014

CDC Media Relations

Improved vaccine stock management and the provision of vaccines during the second year of life are opportunities for countries to improve their vaccination coverage and ensure all children are fully protected from vaccine preventable diseases. The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expanded Program on Immunization, which was established to ensure equitable access to routine immunization services. Since 1974, global coverage with the four core vaccines (Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine [BCG; for protection against tuberculosis], diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis [DTP] vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, and measles vaccine) has increased from <5 percent to ≥85 percent, and additional vaccines have been added to the recommended schedule. However, global DTP3 coverage has remained unchanged at 86 percent since 2013, with 65 (34 percent) countries having not yet met the GVAP target of 90 percent national coverage. To reach and sustain global goals of vaccination coverage >90 percent in every country, adequate vaccine stock management and additional opportunities for immunization, such as through routine visits in the second year of life, are integral components to strengthening immunization programs and reducing morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable diseases.

Notes from the Field:

  • Meningococcal Disease Among Men Who Have Sex with Men — United States, January 2012–June 2015


  • Percentage of Adults Aged 18–64 Years Who Did Not Get or Delayed Medical Care in the Past Year Because of Cost, by Type of Locality — National Health Interview Survey, 2012–2014



Page last reviewed: November 12, 2015