MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, July 24, 2020

Estimated County-Level Prevalence of Select Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with Increased Risk of Severe COVID-19 Illness: United States 2018

CDC Media Relations

This report provides U.S. county-level prevalence estimates of select underlying medical conditions that are associated with higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Among over 3,000 U.S. counties, the median percent of adults over 18 who had one of five selected underlying conditions (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity) associated with higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 was 47% and ranged as high as 66%. Obesity was the most common underlying condition reported at the local level with an estimated median county prevalence of 35%, followed by diabetes (12.8%), COPD (8.9%), heart disease (8.6%), and chronic kidney disease (3.4%). This information can be used by state and local decision-makers to help identify populations at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions and guide mitigation efforts, resource allocation, and implementation of public health response strategies.

Identification of Substance-Exposed Newborns and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Using ICD-10-CM, 15 Hospitals, Massachusetts, 2017

CDC Media Relations

These data validate the use of ICD-10-CM codes for identification of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and demonstrate opportunities for improvement of the identification of substance-exposed newborns. This report evaluates how well International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes can be used for estimating the prevalence of substance-exposed newborns and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in Massachusetts. ICD-10-CM codes correctly identified a higher proportion of infants that truly had NAS than the ICD-10-CM codes used to identify substance exposed newborns. Surveillance for substance-exposed newborns might be improved by increasing the use of validated substance-use screening tools and standardized facility protocols, and improving communication between patients, maternal health and infant health providers.

Evaluation of an Online Risk Assessment To Identify Rabies Exposures Among Health Care Workers — Utah, 2019

CDC Media Relations

Online risk assessment tools may be a quick way for healthcare workers to determine whether they might have been exposed to rabies virus and require shots to prevent infection from occurring (i.e., postexposure prophylaxis). These types of risk assessments could be improved by providing additional information about rabies exposures, because the majority of respondents were unfamiliar with human to human transmission. In November 2018, Utah’s Department of Health (UDOH) had its first confirmed human case of rabies in more than 70 years. Healthcare workers who had contact with the rabies patient filled out an online assessment tool to determine whether they needed postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) after a potential exposure to the rabies virus. UDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluated healthcare workers’ feedback on the online assessment tool. Results showed: 1) Healthcare workers were unfamiliar with rabies and many misunderstood their chance of contracting rabies. 2) Healthcare workers appreciated an online tool to quickly assess their need for PEP but needed clear messaging on exposure and risk to understand how to complete the tool.

Population Point Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Based on a Statewide Random Sample — Indiana, April 25–29, 2020 (Early release July 21, 2020)

CDC Media Relations

Estimated Community Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies — Two Georgia Counties, April 28–May 3, 2020 (Early release, July 21, 2020)

CDC Media Relations

Notes from the Field

It is important for TB programs to maintain essential TB prevention and control services as the response to COVID-19 continues.. As personnel from state, local, and territorial tuberculosis (TB) programs were deployed to support their jurisdictions’ coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response, most TB programs (60-72%) experienced partial or high impact on staff capacity and TB control services.

Melaney Arnold
Office Phone: (217) 558-0500
Cell Phone: (217) 836-6438

The large number of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, brands reported by a convenience sample of Illinois adults highlights the diversity of the THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, product market. Most consumers of these products reported using prefilled, oil-containing cartridges; however, use of multiple product forms and device types was reported. The recent e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak highlighted the limited availability of data on THC-containing product use. To address this gap, the Illinois Department of Public Health developed an online survey targeting Illinois adults who use e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Among respondents who reported use of THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products in the past three months, 220 different brand names were reported. Only 58 brand names (26%) were reported by more than one respondent. The most common product form used were pre-filled, oil-containing cartridges (79%). Use of dabs or waxes was reported by 19% of respondents with 14% of respondents reporting use of more than one product form. Thirty-five percent of respondents reported using more than one type of e-cigarette, or vaping, device to consume THC-containing products. Although these data are from a convenience sample, these findings highlight the diversity of available THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products.

Recommendations and Reports

CDC Media Relations6

CDC has updated guidance for laboratory testing and follow-up of healthcare personnel (HCP) who have been potentially exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) to include testing for antibodies to HCV four to six months after exposure. The updates also reflect guidance from professional organizations that recommend treatment of acute HCV infection. Exposure to HCV has long been recognized as an occupational risk for HCP. While recently there have been overall decreases in exposures, they continue to occur in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, emergency departments, and during provision of in-home services. Thus, CDC continues to review and update guidance for postexposure testing and clinical management of HCP potentially exposed to HCV. This new guidance includes three important changes: 1) This report updates the post-exposure laboratory testing algorithm for the exposed HCP with testing for antibodies to HCV four to six months after exposure – which was not included in the 2016 algorithm; 2) reflects updated guidance from professional organizations that recommend treatment of acute HCV infection; and 3) guidance for laboratory testing of the patient is also updated in consideration of the increasing incidence of acute HCV infection among people who inject drugs.



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Page last reviewed: July 22, 2020