MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, July 31, 2020

Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost from Excessive Alcohol Use – United States, 2011 – 2015

CDC Media Relations

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 93,000 deaths in the United States each year, shortening the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 93,000 deaths in the United States each year (or 255 deaths per day) and 2.7 million years of potential life lost (29 years of life lost per death, on average). More than half of all alcohol-attributable deaths were due to drinking too much over time, such as cancer, liver disease, and heart disease. Of all alcohol-attributable deaths, 56% involved adults 35–64 years old. Implementing effective strategies to prevent excessive drinking, including those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes, regulating the number and concentration of alcohol outlets), could reduce alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost.

Progress Toward Hepatitis B Control — South-East Asia Region, 2016–2019

CDC Media Relations

Countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR) can make further progress toward hepatitis B control by using proven strategies to increase vaccination coverage rates for three recommended doses of the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) including the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose (HepB-BD). During 2016–2019, the WHO SEAR made significant progress toward hepatitis B control. HepB has been introduced in all 11 countries in the region and HepB-BD has been introduced in eight countries in the region. By 2019, HepB3 coverage exceeded 90% in all countries except Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and HepB-BD coverage had reached 54%. By 2019, four countries in the region were verified to have achieved the WHO hepatitis B control target.  In 2015, the SEAR reported an estimated 40 million people living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 285,000 deaths from complications of chronic infection, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. To prevent hepatitis B virus infection, WHO recommends that all infants receive at least three doses of HepB, including HepB-BD.

Rebound in Routine Childhood Vaccine Administration Following Decline During the COVID-19 Pandemic — New York City, March 1 – June 27, 2020

Patrick Gallahue
Press Secretary

This report highlights the need for ongoing vigilance to ensure children of all ages get the vaccines they need to protect against serious diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) monitored the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood vaccination using the city’s immunization registry. Beginning in early March, data from the immunization registry showed a decrease in the number of doses given to children 18 and under. DOHMH used the city’s immunization registry and worked with healthcare providers so they could identify unvaccinated children and ensure they received vaccines they missed. Vaccine administration increased among children under 2 starting in mid-April and had returned to levels similar to those during 2019 by mid-May. Vaccine administration among children aged 2–18 years increased starting in late April and early May and continued to rise. However, during the most recent week for which data were available (June 21-27), the number of vaccines given to children aged 2–18 years was still 35% lower than the same time period in 2019. The rebound of vaccination among children under age 2 years demonstrates the critical role of public health departments and partnerships with numerous stakeholders, specifically healthcare providers, in childhood vaccination.

Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19 in a Multistate Health Care Systems Network — United States, March–June 2020 (Early release July 24, 2020)

CDC Media Relations

Notes from the Field

Amphetamines are stimulants that can raise body temperature. Workers who use amphetamines, whether as legal prescription medications or as illicit drugs, may be more prone to heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses, including hyperthermia and fatal heat stroke, affect many U.S. workers each summer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reviewed 34 cases of workers who developed extremely elevated body temperatures while on the job. Nine (26.5%) of these workers tested positive for an amphetamine. Two of the workers used prescription amphetamines, while seven others used illicit drugs such as methamphetamine. Workers, supervisors, and physicians should be aware of the possibility of amphetamine-induced hyperthermia. Workers should not use illicit amphetamines to maintain alertness or increase job performance under any circumstances; risk related to their use are especially high in hot conditions.

These findings provide preliminary evidence that CDC’s interim guidance for ensuring a wide variety of voting options, encouraging personal prevention practices, and environmental cleaning and disinfection lower SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk during elections. Wisconsin was the first state to hold an election with in-person voting after stay-at-home orders were issued to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cause COVID-19. Routinely collected epidemiologic data on cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were used to characterize virus transmission during the weeks immediately before and after the election. No clear increase in cases, hospitalizations, or deaths was observed following the election, suggesting possible benefit of the mitigation strategies, which limited in-person voting and aimed to ensure safety of the polling sites open on election day.

Recommendations and Reports

As the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States has evolved, the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis and the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association have updated 1995 recommendations on the essential TB program elements needed in U.S. public health jurisdictions to maintain progress toward national and international objectives. From 1993-2019, tuberculosis (TB) incidence rates in the U.S. decreased substantially and have recently begun to plateau. A workgroup from the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association, and CDC offer updated recommendations regarding essential TB program elements to maintain progress toward TB elimination. The recommendations, updated from a 1995 guidance document, reemphasize the importance of three priority strategies for TB prevention and control. These recommendations include identifying and treating active TB disease; finding and screening people who have had contact with TB patients and providing appropriate treatment for TB infection or disease; and screening, testing, and treating populations at high risk for latent TB infection. This report also includes descriptions of CDC-funded resources, available tests, and treatment regimens.



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Page last reviewed: July 30, 2020