MMWR News Synopsis for February 1, 2018

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Sustained Viral Suppression and Transmission Risk Potential Among Persons Receiving HIV Care – United States, 2014

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Fewer than half (48 percent) of HIV infections diagnosed through 2013 in 37 states and Washington D.C. were consistently under control through treatment (sustained viral suppression) in 2014. The proportion was lower among African Americans (41 percent) compared to Latinos (50 percent) and whites (56 percent). CDC analyzed data from the National HIV Surveillance System to describe the percentage of people with diagnosed HIV in those jurisdictions who had the virus consistently under control through treatment, as determined by two or more laboratory tests. The analysis found a lower proportion of African Americans (41 percent) had the virus consistently under control compared with Latinos (50 percent) and whites (56 percent). These findings underscore the importance of provider and public health efforts to reach all Americans living with HIV with effective treatment and care, including strategies to assist with adherence as needed. Addressing barriers to HIV care and treatment is critical to reducing health disparities.

Cigarette Brand Preference and Pro-Tobacco Advertising Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2012–2016

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Reducing youth-oriented tobacco marketing, as part of a comprehensive approach in concert with other evidence-based strategies –such as comprehensive smoke-free policies, increasing the price of tobacco products, and raising the minimum age of purchase for tobacco products to 21 years – could help reduce the acceptability, affordability, and use of tobacco products among youth. To identify usual cigarette brands smoked among U.S. middle- and high-school students who were current (past 30 days) cigarette smokers, CDC analyzed data from the 2012–2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Marlboro, Newport, and Camel were the most commonly reported usual brands smoked by current smokers in middle-school (73.1 percent) and high-school students (78.7 percent) in 2016. Advertisements for these three brands were also the three most commonly identified as being a “favorite cigarette ad” in 2012. The proportion of current smokers reporting a usual brand was lowest among students exposed to neither cigarette nor e-cigarette ads, and highest among those exposed to both ads during 2015. Efforts to reduce youth exposure to pro-tobacco advertising could help reduce youth smoking.

Acute Illnesses and Injuries Related to Total-Release Foggers — 10 States, 2007–2015

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More comprehensive strategies are needed to reduce acute illnesses related to total-release foggers (TRFs), including promoting integrated pest management, identifying better approaches for motivating users to read and follow label instructions, and redesigning TRFs to prevent sudden, unexpected activation. During 2007–2015, 3,222 acute TRF-related cases were identified from 10 participating states. Total release foggers (TRFs), or “bug bombs”, are pesticide products often used indoors to kill insects. A previous study identified 466 acute TRF-related illnesses in 8 states during 2001–2006. To reduce the risk of acute illness posed by TRFs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required improved labels on TRFs manufactured after September 2012. This study analyzed acute TRF-related illness in 10 states for 2007–2015 and examined the early impact of relabeling required by EPA. Failure to vacate treated homes during application and early reentry of treated homes were the two most commonly reported causes of these illnesses. No statistically significant reduction in overall incidence of TRF-related illnesses was observed in the first three years after the label revisions took effect.

Outbreak of Seoul Virus Among Rats and Rat Owners – United States and Canada, 2017

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Pet rat owners should practice safe rodent handling and good hand hygiene to prevent Seoul virus infection. In 2017, the first outbreak of Seoul virus infections occurred among pet rats and their owners in the U.S. and Canada. Seoul virus, a type of hantavirus found naturally in wild rats, can cause influenza-like illness in people and, rarely, kidney failure or death. In this outbreak, 18 people in the U.S. and Canada who had contact with pet rats developed acute Seoul virus infections. Eight became ill, and three were hospitalized but recovered. Healthcare providers should consider Seoul virus infection in patients with compatible symptoms and rat contact. If Seoul virus infection is suspected, providers should contact their state or local health department. Pet rat owners should be aware of Seoul virus, and should practice good hand hygiene and safe rodent handling to prevent infection.

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Page last reviewed: February 1, 2018