MMWR News Synopsis for May 17, 2018

Community-Based Services to Improve Testing and Linkage to Care Among Non-U.S.-Born Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection – Three U.S. Programs, October 2014-September 2017

CDC Media Relations
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Strategic partnerships with public health departments, medical clinics, and community organizations are successful in developing hepatitis B programs that offer community-based testing services and linkage to care in hard to reach, non-U.S.-born populations. In the United States, 70 percent of people living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are non-U.S. born. To mitigate morbidity and mortality associated with HBV among this heavily impacted population, CDC funded a cooperative agreement to develop hepatitis B testing and linkage to care programs serving non-U.S.-born people from October 2014 to September 2017. This report summarizes the efforts of these programs and their partnerships with primary care centers, community-based services, and public health departments. Among the findings: 7.5 percent of program participants tested positive for HBV; 85 percent of those who tested positive attended at least one medical visit; and 78 percent received recommended care.

Outbreaks Associated with Treated Recreational Water – United States, 2000-2014

CDC Media Relations
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CDC encourages swimmers to protect themselves, family, and friends from waterborne germs. CDC encourages the aquatics sector to follow recommendations for the design, construction, operation, and management of recreational water facilities. This report describes mixed progress in preventing outbreaks caused by germs spread through treated recreational water. The 493 outbreaks reported during this period resulted in at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths. A third of waterborne disease outbreaks linked to pools and hot tubs during 2000–2014 occurred in hotel pools or hot tubs. To prevent diarrheal disease outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium (also known as Crypto), swimmers and parents of young swimmers should not swim or let kids swim if sick with diarrhea. If a pool, hot tub, or water playground is not cleaned properly, bacteria like Legionella and Pseudomonas can grow and cause outbreaks of respiratory disease and skin infections, respectively. Pool operators need to maintain proper cleaning practices and disinfectant levels to prevent bacteria from growing and causing illnesses in swimmers.

Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Eligibility and Coverage Among HIV-Infected Children Aged <15 Years – 20 PEPFAR-Supported Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2012-2016

CDC Media Relations
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A CDC analysis of 20 African countries shows that more children living with HIV were on treatment in 2016 than in 2012, but 56 percent remain without treatment. More work is needed to control the HIV epidemic among children by diagnosing those living with HIV, and starting and maintaining them on treatment. A CDC analysis of 20 African countries, supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), shows more children living with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can help them live longer, healthier lives. The study revealed the percentage of HIV-positive children on ART in these countries increased from 24 percent in 2012 to 44 percent in 2016. However, 56 percent of children living with HIV were not receiving treatment in 2016. The study also showed that 13 of the 20 countries adopted the 2016 World Health Organization guidelines, which expanded treatment eligibility to all children by 2016. The research suggests that more work is needed to control the HIV epidemic by increasing diagnosis of HIV-positive children, as well as starting and maintaining them on treatment.

Cholera Epidemic – Lusaka, Zambia, 2017-2018

CDC Media Relations
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Cholera will remain a global health risk until underlying and widespread water, sanitation and hygiene gaps are addressed. Under a new strategy called “Ending Cholera,” the Global Task Force for Cholera Control, chaired by WHO, recently proposed investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene; emergency preparedness; and cholera vaccination in cholera hotspots to reduce cholera deaths by 90 percent and eliminate local cholera transmission in 20 countries by 2030. A recent cholera outbreak in Lusaka, Zambia demonstrates the need for rapid and robust responses during initial stages of outbreaks, enhanced surveillance, and access to chlorinated drinking water. The outbreak began in October 2017 and resulted in almost 5,000 cases and 93 deaths in the capital city of Lusaka. Of the local water sources tested, 73 percent had insufficient chlorine levels and one third had fecal contamination. During January–February 2018, the Zambian government and partners collaborated to improve water supplies, provide education, and administer oral cholera vaccine. However, heavy flooding and widespread water shortages led to a resurgence of cholera in March. Cholera remains a significant global public health problem with about 3 million cases each year and over a billion people at risk for infection, primarily due to contaminated drinking water.

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Page last reviewed: May 17, 2018