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Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014

March 23, 2015 Comments off

Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In 2014, a total of 9,412 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, with an incidence rate of 3.0* cases per 100,000 persons, a decrease of 2.2% from 2013 (1). Although overall numbers of TB cases and rates continue to decline, the percentage decrease in rate is the smallest decrease in over a decade (1). This report summarizes provisional TB surveillance data reported to CDC’s National Tuberculosis Surveillance System for 2014. TB cases and rates decreased among U.S.-born persons, and although the case rate also decreased among foreign-born persons,† there was an increase in total number of cases among foreign-born persons. The rate among foreign-born persons in the United States in 2014 was 13.4 times higher than among U.S.-born persons. Racial/ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by TB within the United States. Asians continue to be the racial/ethnic group with the largest number of TB cases. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, the TB rate among Asians was 28.5 times higher, whereas rates among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were each eight times higher. Four states (California, Texas, New York, and Florida), representing approximately one third of the U.S. population, accounted for half of all TB cases reported in 2014. Continued progress toward TB elimination in the United States will require focused TB control efforts among populations and in geographic areas with disproportionate burdens of TB.

County-Level Variation in Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries, 2012

March 23, 2015 Comments off

County-Level Variation in Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries, 2012
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

In 2012, 15% of aged Medicare beneficiaries had 6 or more chronic conditions. Prevalence varied geographically by county; counties in the lowest quintile had prevalence estimates of 10.3% or lower, and those in the highest quintile had prevalence estimates of 17.3% or higher. Counties in the highest quintile had prevalence estimates that were 1.2 times higher than the national average of 15%. Eighty-seven counties had estimates at least 1.5 times higher than the national average; 3 counties had prevalence estimates at least twice the national average. Counties in the Northeast and Southeast generally had a higher prevalence of aged beneficiaries with 6 or more chronic conditions than the national average, whereas counties with prevalence estimates below the national average were predominantly in the western states of Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming.

Invasive Cancer Incidence and Survival — United States, 2011

March 18, 2015 Comments off

Invasive Cancer Incidence and Survival — United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Because of improvements in early detection and treatment of cancer, the proportion of persons with cancer who survive ≥5 years after diagnosis has increased (1). To assess progress toward achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives (2),* CDC analyzed data from U.S. Cancer Statistics (USCS) for 2011, the most recent data available. USCS includes incidence and survival data from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (3). In 2011, a total of 1,532,066 invasive cancers were reported to cancer registries in the United States (excluding Nevada), for an annual incidence rate of 451 cases per 100,000 persons. Cancer incidence rates were higher among males (508) than females (410), highest among black persons (458), and ranged by state, from 374 to 509 per 100,000 persons (339 in Puerto Rico). The proportion of persons with cancer who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis was 65% and was similar among males (65%) and females (65%) but lower among black persons (60%) compared with white persons (65%). Surveillance of cancer incidence and survival are essential for identifying population groups with high cancer incidence rates and low cancer survival rates as well as for estimating the number of cancer survivors, which was 13.7 million in 2012 (1). These data are being used by states to effectively develop comprehensive cancer control programs, including supporting the needs of cancer survivors.

The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income

March 18, 2015 Comments off

The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households With Different Amounts of Income
Source: Congressional Budget Office

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) provides benefits to low-income households to help them buy food. Total federal expenditures on SNAP amounted to $76 billion in fiscal year 2014. In an average month that year, 47 million people (or one in seven U.S. residents) received SNAP benefits.

Some policymakers have expressed a desire to scale back the program significantly to reduce federal spending. In this report, CBO examines several options for doing so and their effects on the benefits that would be received by households with different amounts of income.

Systems for Rapidly Detecting and Treating Persons with Ebola Virus Disease — United States

March 17, 2015 Comments off

Systems for Rapidly Detecting and Treating Persons with Ebola Virus Disease — United States
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC, other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and international partners are taking multiple steps to respond to the current Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa to reduce its toll there and to reduce the chances of international spread. At the same time, CDC and HHS are working to ensure that persons who have a risk factor for exposure to Ebola and who develop symptoms while in the United States are rapidly identified and isolated, and safely receive treatment. HHS and CDC have actively worked with state and local public health authorities and other partners to accelerate health care preparedness to care for persons under investigation (PUI) for Ebola or with confirmed Ebola. This report describes some of these efforts and their impact.

Transmission of Ebola Viruses: What We Know and What We Do Not Know

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Transmission of Ebola Viruses: What We Know and What We Do Not Know
Source: mBio

Available evidence demonstrates that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, but this is based on a limited number of studies. Key areas requiring further study include (i) the role of aerosol transmission (either via large droplets or small particles in the vicinity of source patients), (ii) the role of environmental contamination and fomite transmission, (iii) the degree to which minimally or mildly ill persons transmit infection, (iv) how long clinically relevant infectiousness persists, (v) the role that “superspreading events” may play in driving transmission dynamics, (vi) whether strain differences or repeated serial passage in outbreak settings can impact virus transmission, and (vii) what role sylvatic or domestic animals could play in outbreak propagation, particularly during major epidemics such as the 2013–2015 West Africa situation. In this review, we address what we know and what we do not know about Ebola virus transmission. We also hypothesize that Ebola viruses have the potential to be respiratory pathogens with primary respiratory spread.

Categories: ebola, mBio, science

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

February 28, 2015 Comments off

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Explains social distancing, quarantine, and isolation in the event of an infectious disease outbreak, such as Ebola. Discusses feelings and thoughts that may arise during this time and suggests ways to cope and support oneself during such an experience.

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