MMWR News Synopsis for September 14, 2017

Use of Unannounced Mystery Patient Drills to Assess Hospital Emergency Department Preparedness for Communicable Diseases of Public Health Concern — New York City, 2016

Stephanie Buhle
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Mobile: (646) 946-5249
Press Office: (347) 396-4177

Unannounced screening and isolation drills using standard scenarios and evaluation strategies are useful for strengthening hospital capability to identify and safely respond to severe, highly infectious diseases. Rapid recognition and isolation of patients with severe, highly infectious diseases in healthcare settings is a critical step in limiting the spread of communicable diseases. New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted 95 unannounced ”mystery patient drills” in 49 Emergency Departments (EDs) to evaluate communicable disease response capabilities in the acute care setting. In each drill, an actor entered the ED reporting symptoms of an infectious disease. Exercise evaluators documented the implementation of screening, isolation, and infection control protocols. Overall, the ”patient” was masked and isolated in 78 percent of drills. Each hospital identified ways to strengthen their infectious disease response plans. NYC developed a toolkit to help hospitals conduct their own drills using standard scenarios, evaluation guides, and reporting templates.

Rates and Trends of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia — United States, 2001–2014

CDC Media Relations

Overall, leukemia in children and adolescents is very rare. However, the federal government, along with local and state partners, monitors for increases or decreases in childhood cancer and works with a variety of organizations to improve the treatment and long-term care for these children and adolescents with cancer. Further research is needed to better understand the cause(s) of leukemia and how to improve survival. The most prevalent type of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), affects children, adolescents, and their families across the United States. In a new study, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that ALL among children and adolescents increased during 2001–2008 and specifically among Hispanics, although ALL did not increase during 2008–2014. ALL was most common in Hispanics, children aged 1–4 years, and in the West and Northeast regions of the country. While the cause of most cases of leukemia is unknown, this study may help researchers learn why leukemia is more common in these specific groups. Knowing who is most commonly affected by leukemia helps health care professionals better address the needs of children and adolescents needing treatment and long-term care after treatment.

Occupational Animal Exposure Among Persons with Campylobacteriosis and Cryptosporidiosis — Nebraska, 2005–2015

CDC Media Relations

Workers with occupational animal exposure should be educated about symptoms of enteric diseases and preventive measures, which include using dedicated clothing at work and proper hand washing after touching animals. Campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis are two common causes of diarrheal illness that can be acquired through contact with live animals or animal products, including through occupational exposure. This exposure route is of particular interest in Nebraska, where agriculture plays an important role in the state’s economy. This study identified occupational animal exposure in 17 percent of campylobacteriosis and 9 percent of cryptosporidiosis case patients during 2005–2015 in Nebraska. Animal production (e.g., farming, ranching) was the most common type of industry among case patients with occupational animal exposure, and cattle were the most common animal mentioned. This study, along with another recent study that found an increased risk of campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis among workers in agriculture, health care, food, and personal care occupations in four states, illustrates the importance of considering occupational exposures among workers with diarrheal illness.

Updated Dosing Instructions for Immune Globulin (Human) GamaSTAN S/D for Hepatitis A Virus Prophylaxis

CDC Media Relations

In July 2017, updated prescribing dosages were issued for GamaSTAN S/D, the only immune globulin product approved for hepatitis A virus prophylaxis by the Food and Drug Administration. New recommended dosage of GamaSTAN S/D for preexposure prophylaxis varies according to the length of planned travel: travelling up to one month, 0.1 mL/kg; up to two months, 0.2 mL/kg; and two months or longer, repeat dose of 0.2 mL/kg every two months. For postexposure prophylaxis, the recommended dosage of GamaSTAN S/D is 0.1 mL/kg. Apart from prescribing dosages, all other hepatitis A prophylaxis guidance remains the same.

Notes from the Field:

  • Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1, Serotype Inaba — Minnesota, August 2016

Quick Stats:

  • Percentage of Women Who Missed Taking Oral Contraceptive Pills Among Women Aged 15–44 Years Who Used Oral Contraceptive Pills and Had Sexual Intercourse, Overall and by Age — National Survey of Family Growth, 2013–2015



CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety, and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, stem from human error or deliberate attack, CDC is committed to respond to America’s most pressing health challenges.

Page last reviewed: September 14, 2017