MMWR News Synopsis for April 19, 2018

Active Epilepsy and Seizure Control in Adults – United States, 2013 and 2015

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Only 44 percent of adults with active epilepsy who took epilepsy medication had their seizure controlled in the past year. Health and social-service providers should ensure that people with uncontrolled seizures have access to specialty care and evidence-based self-management programs that can help to promote seizure control and improve quality of life. In a new CDC study, only 44 percent of adults with active epilepsy (doctor–diagnosed seizure disorder or epilepsy and either taking medication or having recent seizures) who took epilepsy medication had their seizure controlled in the past year. Only two-thirds of adults with active epilepsy had seen a neurologist or epilepsy specialist in the past year. Uncontrolled seizures were more likely among people with lower household income, who were unemployed, and who were divorced, separated, or widowed.

Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Ground Beef: Possible Role of Dairy Cows – 21 States, 2016-2017″ name=”B2″>

Protracted Outbreak of Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Ground Beef: Possible Role of Dairy Cows — 21 States, 2016–2017

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This investigation identifies the need for improvements in traceability of foodborne pathogens from the consumer to the farm. It highlights the importance of continued evaluation of farm practices to help reduce persistent Salmonella contamination on farms, contamination of ground beef, and ultimately human illness. Contaminated ground beef was the likely source of a Salmonella Newport outbreak investigated by CDC, state and local health departments, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in 2017. Dairy cows carrying the outbreak strain of Salmonella are thought to have been the original source of the contaminated ground beef that made people sick. The investigation did not identify a single, common source of contaminated ground beef. There were 106 ill people reported from 21 states between October 4, 2016 and July 19, 2017. This investigation highlights the importance of a “One Health” approach when looking at how to prevent illness. This approach recognizes the connection between the health of people, the health of animals, and the health of the environment.

Assessment of Community Awareness and Practices Concerning Indoor Air Pollutants — Madison County, Alabama, June 2017

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Although many residents in Madison County are aware of possible indoor air pollutants, more needs to be done to help prevent potential exposures, such as by increasing lead and radon testing and reducing indoor smoking., especially indoors. Seven neighborhoods in Madison County, Alabama, were assessed to determine whether residents were aware of and taking steps to prevent potential exposures to indoor air pollutants. The majority of households reported being aware of the risk of lead exposure in older homes, but only a small percentage of respondents in houses built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned for residential use, reported that their homes had been tested. Similarly, the majority reported awareness of radon, but few knew that it could cause lung cancer and few houses had been tested for elevated indoor radon levels. In addition, nearly half of the households assessed reported that at least one resident in the home smoked, and in almost half of these houses, smoking indoors was reported.

Suicidal Ideation and Attempts Among Students in Grades 8, 10, and 12 — Utah, 2015

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On a 2015 survey, approximately 20 percent of Utah 8th-12th grade students reported suicidal thoughts and 8 percent reported a suicide attempt in the previous year. Many factors can increase or decrease risk for suicide. The Utah Department of Health invited CDC to help with an epidemiological investigation of suicides among youth ages 10–17 during 2011–2015. Using information collected from a 2015 school-based survey of 8th-12th graders, this investigation identified risk and protective factors for suicidal thoughts and behavior. Being bullied at school or online, recent substance or tobacco use, and psychological distress were risk factors for suicidal thoughts and attempts. A supportive family environment was protective for suicidal thoughts and attempts. The Utah Department of Health and other state organizations are using the findings to develop comprehensive suicide prevention strategies to improve the health and safety of youth.

Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of a Hepatitis B Vaccine with a Novel Adjuvant

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On February 21, 2018, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of HEPLISAV-B (HepB-CpG) vaccine, a 2-dose series hepatitis B vaccine for use in people 18 years of age or over. Hepatitis B vaccination is the primary means of preventing infections and complications caused by hepatitis B virus. Prior to making this recommendation, the ACIP Hepatitis Vaccines Work Group conducted a systematic review of the existing evidence to determine that the benefits of protection with two doses administered over one month make the HEPLISAV-B (HepB-CpG) vaccine an important option for prevention of hepatitis B in at-risk persons.

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Page last reviewed: April 19, 2018