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MMWR News Synopsis for October 27, 2016


Outbreak of Influenza A (H3N2) Variant Virus Infections Among Persons Attending Agricultural Fairs Housing Influenza A (H3N2) Virus–Infected Swine — Michigan and Ohio, July — August 2016

CDC Media Relations

Swine may be infected with influenza viruses that are different from human influenza viruses; transmission is possible between swine and people. Fair attendees should know how to protect themselves from infection and fair organizers should implement measures to minimize influenza transmission between animals and people. During August 2016, 18 laboratory-confirmed infections with an influenza A(H3N2) variant virus were reported among people who had attended agricultural fairs in Michigan and Ohio. Most infections (16/18) were in children younger than 18 years. The majority of people were infected with a variant virus that had not previously been detected in people. All 18 patients reported exposure to swine before their illness; there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission. One person was hospitalized; all infected people fully recovered. Agricultural fair organizers should implement measures to minimize exposure to swine among people at high risk for influenza complications along with measures to reduce the risk of transmission of influenza between swine and people. These include shortening the time swine are on the fair grounds, strategically placing handwashing stations, and discouraging eating and drinking in animal barns.

Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years — United States, 2015

CDC Media Relations

More than 3 million U.S. adults are estimated to have received a diagnosis of IBD, a disease that is associated with poor quality of life, substantial morbidity, and complications requiring hospitalization and surgical procedures. Using nationally representative data sources, such as the National Health Interview Survey, to monitor the prevalence of IBD among U.S. adults can enhance our understanding of the health and financial burden IBD places on the U.S. healthcare system and help to identify subgroups who might be most in need of resources to manage and treat this sometimes fatal chronic disease. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have been associated with poor quality of life and extensive morbidity, yet there are few national prevalence estimates of IBD among U.S. adults based on large, nationally representative data sources. Data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed to examine the prevalence of IBD among the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. Overall, approximately 3.1 million (1.3%) American adults have received a diagnosis of IBD. Within population subgroups, a higher prevalence of IBD was observed among adults ages 45 and older, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults, adults with less than a high school education, adults not currently employed, U.S.-born adults, adults in poverty, and adults living in suburban areas.

Gastrointestinal Illness Associated with Rancid Tortilla Chips at a Correctional Facility — Wyoming, 2015

Tiffany Lupcho, MPH

Rancid food is a possible source of gastrointestinal illness in outbreaks in which illness onset is rapid and no foodborne pathogen is identified. In October 2015, residents and staff members at a Wyoming correctional facility developed gastrointestinal illness, many within 1–3 hours after eating a lunch served at the facility cafeteria. No infectious source or added chemical agents were identified. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence implicated rancid tortilla chips as the most likely source of illness. Rancidity results from the degradation of oils and fats and can affect the taste and quality of food. Few outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness associated with consumption of rancid food have been documented. Investigators should consider alternative food testing methods during outbreaks of unusual gastrointestinal illness when typical foodborne pathogens are not identified. For this testing, samples of food items not suspected to be contaminated are needed to serve as controls.

Preparedness for Zika Virus Disease — New York City, 2016

New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The state of New York has reported the highest number of Zika virus disease cases in the continental United States. The 715 cases reported as of September 21, 2016, underscores the importance of health care systems to being prepared to care for patients with possible Zika virus disease. NYC Health and Hospitals created a Zika Preparedness and Response Action Plan by building upon the framework established in 2014 to screen patients for possible exposure to Ebola virus disease. The Zika plan includes universal screening for travel-associated Zika virus exposure, signage and maps depicting areas with active Zika virus transmission, laboratory services, and timely linking of infected patients to appropriate care. A robust emergency preparedness and response program can help health care systems limit the effects of Zika virus and ensure appropriate screening, diagnosis, and care. Potentially effective strategies include modification of established and tested protocols, offering ongoing health care provider education, and close collaboration with state and local health departments for Zika guidance and support.

Notes from the Field:

  • Evaluation of a Commercially Available Rapid Syphilis Test — Escambia County, Florida, 2016


  • Percentage of Adult Current E-cigarette Users, by Cigarette Smoking Status and Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2015