MMWR News Synopsis for August 30, 2018

Opportunities To Prevent Overdose Deaths Involving Prescription and Illicit Opioids — 11 States, July 2016–June 2017

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Overdose prevention efforts should include consideration of the types of opioids contributing to deaths, linking people to treatment during and upon release from a treatment facility or after a nonfatal overdose, and expansion of naloxone distribution and training for bystanders. CDC examined opioid overdose deaths from prescription opioids (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone), illicit opioids (e.g., heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, fentanyl analogs) or a combination of both prescription and illicit opioids, in 11 states within the CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program. Illicit opioids were a major driver of opioid overdose deaths (and predominated in all states except for one) and were detected in approximately 3 of 4 deaths overall. Prescription opioids were detected in nearly 4 in 10 deaths. Using information from medical examiner and coroner reports, CDC also examined circumstances around the opioid overdose deaths including previous overdoses, treatment history, and the presence of bystanders when the person overdosed. These circumstances highlight potential missed opportunities to intervene and prevent fatal drug overdoses – for example, linking people to care during or after recent institutional release or after a nonfatal overdose, and training bystanders to use naloxone.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2014–2017

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Efforts to ensure that strategies proven to reduce youth tobacco use reach all population groups could reduce tobacco-related disparities among U.S. youth. CDC analyzed data from the 2014–2017 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to assess the use of seven tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, and bidis) among U.S. middle and high school students from seven racial/ethnic groups — whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders, and multi-race. Current use of any tobacco product was highest among Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders and American Indian/Alaska Natives. Ever-use was highest for cigars among black students, highest for cigarettes among AI/AN, and highest for e-cigarettes among all other racial/ethnic groups. Among black middle and high school students, cigars were the most common product currently used; e-cigarettes were the most commonly used product for all other racial/ethnic groups.
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Cholera Outbreak in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya — November 2015–June 2016

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Cholera can spread rapidly in densely populated settings such as refugee camps. Without prompt treatment, people with severe disease can die within hours. Cholera continues to be a public health problem in Kenya. Refugee camps are at particularly high risk of cholera outbreaks because of high population density. Cholera is preventable by proper water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices like routine hand washing and treatment of water used for drinking, cooking, and washing. In this study, we investigated a cholera outbreak in the largest refugee camp in Kenya that hosts a population of nearly 340,000 refugees. Improvement to WASH practices controlled the outbreak and prevented further illness and deaths. CDC encourages affected communities and departments of health, water, and environment to improve WASH practices to prevent cholera outbreaks in future.

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Page last reviewed: August 30, 2018