MMWR News Synopsis for December 31, 2015

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
December 31, 2015

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Tuberculosis Contact Investigations – United States, 2003 – 2012

CDC Media Relations

Anyone, anywhere in the world, could be exposed to tuberculosis (TB). Every patient with TB disease started out as a contact to another TB patient. The cycle of TB transmission can be ended by isolating and treating patients with TB disease, examining their contacts, and treating patients with latent TB infection to prevent the progression to TB disease. CDC collected and analyzed United States contact investigation data from 2003 to 2012 to estimate the number of TB cases prevented through treatment of latent TB infection among contacts. In 2012, 128 cases of TB disease were prevented by treating contacts for latent TB infection. However, contact investigations are not achieving their full potential for preventing TB in the United States. In 2012, an additional 248 TB cases could have been prevented by increasing the number of TB patients with contacts listed, ensuring contacts received a medical examination, and treating all contacts with latent TB infection. Secondly, one-third of contacts found to have latent TB infection did not start treatment. Of those patients who began treatment, one-third did not complete it. Contact investigation activities are productive, but they are also time-intensive and costly for TB control programs. Improvements in contact investigations, especially increasing the treatment of contacts recently infected with tuberculosis bacteria and ensuring completion of treatment, are essential for achieving TB elimination in the United States.

Fatal Bacterial Meningitis Possibly Associated with Substandard Ceftriaxone — Uganda, 2013

CDC Media Relations

Poor quality medicines are a global problem that disproportionately affects developing countries, which frequently lack the capacity to identify substandard products or the legal tools to prosecute those who knowingly or negligently deal in bad-quality medicines. These medicines abound in developing countries and are a very real threat to individual and global public health. They deny patients the health treatments they need and contribute to antibiotic resistance through inadequate treatment. The treatment of bacterial meningitis in developing countries may be threatened by poor-quality antibiotics, according to a report from the Bruyère Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, and the University of British Columbia. The authors of the report found that a vial of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, obtained in Uganda following the death of a teenager who received a similar product in that country, contained only a fraction of the quantity of the medicine stated on the label. Had the analyzed medicine been administered to a patient, it may have resulted in treatment failure, contributing to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

Notes from the Field:

  • Hepatitis C Outbreak in a Dialysis Clinic — Tennessee, 2014


  • Birth Rates for Females Aged 15–19 Years, by Race/Ethnicity — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1991 and 2014



Page last reviewed: December 31, 2015