MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, June 12, 2020

Trends in Pneumoconiosis Deaths — United States, 1999–2018

CDC Media Relations

Despite the decline in mortality and updated regulatory actions addressing occupational exposures to hazardous dusts, pneumoconiosis-associated deaths continue to occur, underscoring the need for maintaining exposure prevention measures and continued surveillance. During 1999–2018, pneumoconiosis deaths decreased by 40.4%, with the exception of pneumoconiosis attributed to other inorganic dusts (e.g., aluminum, bauxite,  beryllium, iron, and tin oxide), which increased significantly. The largest observed decreases in pneumoconiosis deaths were for those associated with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (69.6%) and silicosis (53.0%). Asbestosis was the most frequently reported pneumoconiosis and was associated with working in the construction industry. The ongoing occurrence of deaths associated with pneumoconiosis underscores the importance of occupational dust exposure reduction, early case detection, and continued surveillance to monitor trends.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Emergency Department Visits — United States, January 1, 2019–May 30, 2020 (Early release June 3, 2020)

Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Household Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention — United States, May 2020 (Early release June 5, 2020)

First Reported Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Companion Animals — New York, March–April 2020 (Early release June 8, 2020)

SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Serologic Responses from a Sample of U.S. Navy Service Members — USS Theodore Roosevelt, April 2020 (Early release June 9, 2020)


Notes from the Field

Measles remains a threat to public health, particularly to vulnerable populations. Messaging, collaboration among key stakeholders, and maintenance of high MMR vaccination rates are important to mitigate spread. In early July 2019, the El Paso Department of Public Health (EPDPH) and Army Public Health (APH) at Fort Bliss reported two suspected cases of measles. Officials aimed to determine how the two persons had been infected while searching for those who may have been exposed. With support from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the EPDPH and APH shipped a total of 91 specimens of persons with suspected measles to TDSHS to be tested, from July 3 to September 3, 2019. High MMR vaccination rates and clear communication from public health officials and other key stakeholders is important to prevent measles outbreaks.

Hospital testing for illicit drug use does not typically include fentanyl, however, a new University of Maryland study found after expanding testing that fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid linked to most fatal overdoses in Maryland, tops the list of drugs detected in overdose patients at two Baltimore hospital emergency departments. The researchers suggest the addition of fentanyl to routine drug testing panels. A new University of Maryland study found fentanyl tops the list of drugs detected in overdose patients at two Baltimore hospital emergency departments. This was discovered after recent Maryland Emergency Department Drug Surveillance (EDDS) system analyses of drug test results from several Baltimore-area hospitals showed declines in overdose patients testing positive for opiates, despite increased overdose deaths. Adding tests for fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid linked to most fatal overdoses in Maryland, has enabled more targeted care for overdose patients. The researchers, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, College Park, analyzed urine samples and other data collected through EDDS and suggest the addition of fentanyl in routine drug testing panels.



CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: June 11, 2020