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MMWR News Synopsis for June 8, 2017

Hospitalizations for Endocarditis and Associated Health Care Costs Among Persons with Diagnosed Drug Dependence — North Carolina, 2010–2015

Cobey Culton
Office of Communications
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Office: 919-855-4840

Endocarditis is one of many serious and expensive outcomes of the ongoing opioid epidemic. Harm reduction strategies such as syringe service programs, safe injection education, and treatment programs will be critical to reducing these outcomes and their costs. The incidence of endocarditis is increasing rapidly, particularly among injection drug users who are younger, white, non-Hispanic, and from rural areas. Among patients hospitalized for endocarditis, 42 percent were uninsured or had Medicaid coverage, suggesting that the health care system and public payers are sharing a large proportion of the costs. In the context of the opioid epidemic, these findings suggest a need to focus efforts on harm reduction strategies such as syringe service programs, safe injection education, and treatment programs offering opioid agonist and antagonist therapies.

Measures Taken to Prevent Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy — Puerto Rico, 2016

CDC Media Relations

While health care providers are following recommendations to counsel pregnant women about Zika virus infection in Puerto Rico, there is still a need for efforts that reinforce the importance of using prevention strategies during pregnancy. Since less than 50 percent of women reported daily use of insect repellent and protective clothing during pregnancy and less than 40 percent reported consistent use of measures to prevent sexual transmission, an understanding of how to bridge the gap between awareness and use of Zika prevention measures during pregnancy is needed. Scientists at CDC and the Puerto Rico Department of Health describe behaviors and experiences related to Zika virus prevention among women in Puerto Rico who were pregnant during the Zika virus outbreak in 2016. Ninety-eight percent of women reported using at least one measure to avoid mosquitoes in their homes during pregnancy. However, personal protective measures were used less frequently: 46 percent reported using insect repellent daily, and 12 percent reported wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants daily. Slightly more than 33 percent of respondents reported either abstaining from sex or consistently using condoms to prevent sexual transmission of Zika during pregnancy. More than 90 percent of the women reported that their health care provider counseled them about Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and 77 percent of women reported being tested for Zika virus infection by their health care provider during the first or second trimester of pregnancy.

Japanese Encephalitis Surveillance and Immunization — Asia and Western Pacific Regions, 2016

CDC Media Relations

There has been substantial progress in prevention and control of Japanese encephalitis (JE), the most important vaccine-preventable cause of encephalitis in Asia. Continued progress will require strengthening JE surveillance, sustaining national commitment to JE prevention and control, and ensuring adequate resources for JE vaccination. JE virus is the most important vaccine-preventable cause of encephalitis in Asia. The World Health Organization recommends integration of JE vaccination into national immunization schedules in all areas where the disease is a public health priority. A review of surveillance and immunization program data in the 24 countries with JE virus transmission risk showed that in 2016, 22 countries conducted at least some surveillance for JE, and 12 had implemented a JE immunization program. This represents substantial progress in JE prevention and control efforts, but challenges remain.

Notes from the Field:

  • Two Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in Newborns After Water Births — Arizona, 2016

Quick Stats:

  • Average Number of Deaths by Day of the Week from Motor Vehicle Injuries, Suicide, and Homicide —National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2015