MMWR News Synopsis for January 5, 2017


Quitting Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2000–2015

CDC Media Relations

To further increase smoking cessation, health care providers can consistently identify smokers and advise and help them to quit, health insurers can cover and promote cessation treatments and remove barriers to treatment access, and states can implement proven population level interventions such as comprehensive state tobacco control programs that include state quitlines. CDC assessed national estimates of cessation behaviors among adults aged ≥18 years using data from the 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). During 2015, 68.0% of adult smokers wanted to stop smoking, 55.4% made a past-year quit attempt, 7.4% recently quit smoking, 57.2% had been advised by a health professional to quit, and 31.2% used cessation counseling and/or medication when trying to quit. During 2000–2015, increases occurred in the proportion of smokers who reported a past-year quit attempt, recently quit smoking, were advised to quit by a health professional, and used cessation counseling and/or medication when trying to quit. As of 2015, among adults who had ever smoked, 59.1% (52.8 million) had quit.

Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Fatalities Related to High School and College Football — United States, 2005–2014

Thania Benios, M.S., M.A.
Health and Science Editor
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Office: 919-962-8596

These findings support the need for continued surveillance and safety efforts to ensure proper tackling techniques, emergency planning for severe injuries, availability of medical care onsite during competitions, and professional medical assessment that it is safe to return to play following a concussion. During 2005–2014, a total of 24 high school and four college football–related traumatic brain and spinal cord injury fatalities were identified, for a combined average of 2.8 fatalities per year. All four of the college deaths and 14 (58%) of the 24 high school deaths occurred during the last 5 years (2010–2014) of the 10-year study period. Most brain and spinal cord injury deaths occurred during competition, among players at running back and linebacker positions, and as a result of tackling or being tackled. Head first/head down contact was a contributing in eight of the 28 deaths. Four of the 22 high school players who died from brain injuries sustained a concussion within the 4 weeks prior to the event.

Adverse Health Effects Associated with Living in a Former Methamphetamine Drug Laboratory — Australia, 2016

CDC Media Relations

Living in homes formerly used for the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine can result in unwitting drug exposures and adverse health effects. Hence it is important to identify and properly remediate properties contaminated from the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine prior to any further habitation. A family of five, including three children aged 7–11 years, unknowingly lived in a home in rural Victoria, Australia, that was previously a clandestine methamphetamine drug laboratory with documented environmental contamination. The family members developed adverse health effects and there was evidence of systemic absorption of methamphetamine from the environment, based on hair samples collected one week after they had vacated the premises. Health effects were most pronounced in the youngest child and included asthma-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and behavior changes. The youngest child also had the highest methamphetamine levels in hair, possibly related to a combination of repeated contact with surfaces during play activities and less frequent handwashing.

Human Rabies — Puerto Rico, 2015

CDC Media Relations

Mongooses are the primary reservoir for rabies in Puerto Rico. The public and healthcare providers should be aware that mongooses can infect humans with rabies, just as they transmit the disease to dogs and skunks. Increased awareness of rabies prevention, transmission, and signs of disease is needed to prevent rabies after exposures and reduce the number of exposures. The first human rabies death related to a mongoose bite has been reported in Puerto Rico. It is only the third documented human rabies death on the island in the past 100 years. This is also the first reported case of human rabies linked to a mongoose bite in North America. Mongooses are the primary vector of rabies in Puerto Rico. In fact, 40 percent of the mongoose population in Puerto Rico has evidence of exposure to rabies virus. Rabies is preventable if adequate treatment is administered following exposure. However, limited awareness of rabies prevention by the general public likely contributed to the patient’s death and exposure of community members, who later required post-exposure prophylaxis. Health care workers initially didn’t consider rabies as a diagnosis, which led to unnecessary exposures of health care workers which could have been prevented through use of standard precautions such as gloves. This case also highlights the need for environmental control solutions to reduce mongoose rabies in Puerto Rico.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Associated with Contaminated Pork Products — Alberta, Canada, July–October 2014

CDC Media Relations

Pork should be considered a potential source in public health E. coli O157:H7 investigations and prevention messaging, and pork handling and cooking practices should be carefully assessed during regulatory food facility inspections. During July–October 2014, an outbreak of 119 Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections in Alberta, Canada was identified and investigated by local, provincial, and federal public health and food regulatory agencies. This outbreak represents the second largest foodborne and third largest overall E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canadian history. Strong epidemiologic evidence exists indicating that the cause of this outbreak was exposure to contaminated pork products produced and distributed in Alberta. On the basis of the findings of this investigation, pork should be considered a potential source in public health E. coli O157:H7 investigations and prevention messaging, and pork handling and cooking practices should be carefully assessed during regulatory food facility inspections.

Notes from the Field: 

Botulism Outbreak from Drinking Prison-Made Illicit Alcohol in a Federal Correctional Facility — Mississippi, June 2016

Compliance with Post exposure Prophylaxis for Exposure to Bacillus anthracis Among United States Military Personnel — South Korea, May 2015

Detection of Sabin-Like Type 2 Poliovirus from Sewage After Global Cessation of Trivalent Oral Poliovirus Vaccine — Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, India, August–September 2016



Page last reviewed: January 5, 2017