MMWR News Synopsis

Friday, October 2, 2020

Infant Homicides Within the Context of Safe Haven Laws — United States, 2008-2017

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Programs and policies that strengthen economic supports for families; provide quality and affordable childcare; enhance parenting skills; increase the public’s awareness of Safe Haven Laws; and assure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all infants may be helpful for preventing infant homicides.

Homicide is the 13th leading cause of death among infants in the first year of life in the U.S. Though the infant homicide rate on the day of birth decreased by 66.7% from 1989-1998 to 2008-2017, it remains more than five times greater than the rate at any other time in life. Safe Haven laws allow parents to legally surrender a baby who may be at risk of being abandoned or endangered.

Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women — United States, April 2020

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New data published by CDC show that nearly 40% of pregnant women remain unvaccinated against influenza and pertussis (whooping cough), leaving them and their infants more vulnerable to these infections with potentially serious complications. In addition, disparities in vaccination by race and ethnicity persist, and missed opportunities to vaccinate are common. Doctors should strongly recommend vaccines that their pregnant patients need, and either administer needed vaccines or refer patients to a vaccination provider.

CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend two vaccines for pregnant women: 1) a flu vaccine for women who are or might be pregnant during the flu season and 2) a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine during every pregnancy, between 27 and 36 weeks gestation (preferably earlier in this period). To assess influenza and Tdap vaccination coverage among pregnant women during the 2019-2020 influenza season, CDC analyzed data from an Internet panel survey. Approximately 61% of women reported receiving influenza vaccine before or during their pregnancy, an increase over the previous season. Additionally, a little over half (56.6%) reported receiving Tdap vaccine during their pregnancy, and 40% received both vaccines. Flu vaccination coverage increased for both black and Hispanic women, while Tdap vaccination decreased for Hispanic women compared with last season. Flu vaccination coverage was higher among those who received a provider offer or referral. Overall, disparities remain and maternal vaccination coverage continues to be suboptimal. Routine vaccination is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect pregnant women and their babies from flu, and to prevent potentially deadly diseases like whooping cough.

CDC Deployments to State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Health Departments for COVID-19 Emergency Public Health Response — United States, January 21–July 25, 2020

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An analysis of CDC data from January 21–July 25, 2020 provides a snapshot of CDC deployments to support state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) health agencies in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. These collaborations have helped to better understand the virus and inform guidance to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

During the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 208 CDC teams were invited and then deployed to work with 55 state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) health agencies to respond to urgent needs and gather information to inform critical COVID-19 guidance. The report provides information on the settings and work CDC teams performed. Among the 208 CDC deployment teams deployed in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 42% assisted with the investigation of transmission in high-risk congregate settings, including long-term care facilities, food processing facilities, correctional facilities, and settings that provide services to people experiencing homelessness. Some CDC deployment teams also helped to address health equity issues impacting disproportionately affected populations. These collaborations between deployed CDC teams and STLT health agencies have played a critical role in helping to inform guidance to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, May–August 2020

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COVID-19 Trends Among School-Aged Children — United States, March 1–September 19, 2020

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Multiple COVID-19 Clusters on a University Campus — North Carolina, August 2020

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Recent Increase in COVID-19 Cases Reported Among Adults Aged 18–22 Years — United States, May 31–September 5, 2020

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

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Notes from the Field

People who inject methamphetamine are at risk for wound botulism, a rare but serious illness that can be deadly.

Wound botulism is most often associated with injecting black tar heroin. It occurs when Clostridium botulinum bacteria get into a wound, creating a toxin that causes muscle weakness and makes it hard to breathe. This illness can be fatal. In May 2020, a 41-year-old man who reported recently injecting methamphetamine was admitted to a New Jersey hospital with blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. He tested positive for botulinum neurotoxin type B. Because wound botulism is not typically linked to methamphetamine use, this case illustrates the need for awareness of the signs and symptoms of wound botulism among all persons who inject illicit drugs. Early recognition and treatment of botulism is critical to prevent severe or fatal outcomes.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

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: September 30, 2020