MMWR News Synopsis for March 1, 2018

Suicides Among American Indians/Alaska Natives — National Violent Death Reporting System, 18 states, 2003–2014

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) face disparities in the burden of suicide and the circumstances surrounding suicide deaths. The suicide rate among AI/AN has been increasing since 2003, and in 2015 AI/AN suicide rates in the National Violent Death Reporting System (18 states) were more than 3.5 times higher than those among racial/ethnic groups with the lowest rates. More than one third (35.7%) of AI/AN decedents were ages 10–24 years (compared with 11% of non-Hispanic whites). Compared with non-Hispanic whites, AI/AN decedents were 6.5 times likely to live in a non-metropolitan area, 2.1 times more likely to have a positive alcohol toxicology result, and 2.4 times likely to have had a friend or family member commit suicide.. Evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention strategies that are culturally relevant and address multiple risk factors are important.

CDC Grand Rounds: Promoting Hearing Health Across the Lifespan

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

Increasing awareness and reducing needless exposures to loud noise can help people take appropriate steps to protect their hearing. Hearing loss in the United States is a significant public health concern that affects people of all ages. Children engaged in noisy activities are unaware of the risks to hearing. Adolescents and adults experience increasing risks to their hearing health due to recreational and occupational noise exposures as well as exposure to ototoxic chemicals or to drugs that can cause hearing loss. Hearing-health programs such as Dangerous Decibels® prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus by changing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.  Three strategies for hearing loss prevention include: 1) turn it down, 2) walk away, and 3) protect your ears. CDC has developed tools and communication products to promote best practices for hearing loss prevention.

Trichinellosis Outbreak Linked to Consumption of Privately Raised Raw Boar Meat — California, 2017

Sherri Willis
Public Information Officer
510-267-8001 (office)
510-332-1715 (cell)
sherri.willis@acgov.org

Trichinellosis is rare in the United States, but remains a public health threat, especially among groups that eat raw or undercooked wild game meat or pork that does not come from commercial pig farms. Private farmers, hunters and communities that eat privately raised or wild raw meat as part of their cultural traditions can reduce their risk of getting trichinellosis by freezing raw meat for at least 30 days and cooking meat to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. In January 2017, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) investigated an outbreak of trichinellosis, a disease spread by eating undercooked or raw meat contaminated with Trichinella roundworm larvae. Twelve people had Trichinella infection and symptoms of trichinellosis, including fever, muscle aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Nine of the 12 people with trichinellosis were hospitalized. All reported attending a party on December 28, 2016, at which meat from a privately raised wild boar was served. Some of the pork meat was served raw in larb, a traditional Laotian dish. Leftover raw meat samples were tested and found to contain Trichinella spiralis larvae. Consumption of raw and/or undercooked pork was the cause of this outbreak.

Rabies Vaccine Hesitancy and Deaths Among Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women — Vietnam, 2015–2016

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

As more countries expand access to rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in an effort to reach zero canine-associated human rabies deaths by 2030, special attention should focus on improving community and village health workers’ education about safety and effectiveness of rabies PEP, particularly among pregnant and breastfeeding women. Despite the availability of the life-saving PEP in Vietnam, six women — four pregnant and two breastfeeding — died of rabies during 2015-2016. Human rabies deaths are preventable through prompt administration of PEP after exposure to rabid animals. Rabies PEP consists of rabies immune globulin and a series of rabies vaccines and is safe for use among pregnant and breastfeeding women. None of the women sought PEP after being bitten by dogs. As reported by their families, the primary barrier to their receiving PEP was fear of risk to the fetus or child, highlighting the importance of education about PEP being safe and critical to preventing death following a rabies exposure.

Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Nigeria, January–December 2017

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

While no wild poliovirus (WPV) cases have been reported in Nigeria since 2016, eradication activities in the northern part of the country continue to be constrained by insecurity and geography. Despite these difficulties, efforts continue to provide vaccination and surveillance to children in hard-to-reach regions. In August and September 2016, after more than two years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus (WPV), Nigeria detected four WPV cases associated with insurgency-held areas in Borno state. Since September 2016 there have been no new reported cases of WPV in Nigeria. However, polio eradication efforts, including surveillance and vaccination, have not reached many northern communities affected by the insurgency. The Nigerian government and its partners continue efforts to reach children living in inaccessible regions, but an estimated 30 percent of settlements in Borno State, with an estimated 160,000 to 210,000 children under the age of five, remain beyond reach. Commitment to strengthening vaccination coverage and surveillance in insurgent-controlled regions is needed to ensure polio eradication in Nigeria and protect every last child.

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Page last reviewed: March 1, 2018