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Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2012

  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).
  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight.
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CDC — New state physical activity indicator report now available online

July 17, 2014 Comments off

New state physical activity indicator report now available online
Source: CDC

More than half of youth in the United States have access to parks or playground areas, recreation centers, boys’ and girls’ clubs, and walking paths or sidewalks in their neighborhoods, according to a new report, State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014.
The report also finds that 27 states have adopted policies that formalize their intent to plan, design and maintain streets so they are safe for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders, and those in wheelchairs.
The report includes physical activity behavior, environment and policy information for each state and is available at www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/pa_state_indicator_report_2014.pdf

Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013 (PDF)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Objective—
To provide national estimates for indicators of health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access by sexual orientation using data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Methods—
NHIS is an annual multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year. Analyses were based on data collected in 2013 from 34,557 adults aged 18 and over. Sampling weights were used to produce national estimates that are representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. Differences in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access by sexual orientation were examined for adults aged 18–64, and separately for men and women.

Results—
Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to provide an answer. Significant differences were found in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access among U.S. adults aged 18–64 who identified as straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual.

Conclusion—
NHIS sexual orientation data can be used to track progress toward meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives related to the health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. In addition, the data can be used to examine a wide range of health disparities among adults identifying as straight, gay or lesbian, or bisexual.

Restaurant Menu Labeling Use Among Adults — 17 States, 2012

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Restaurant Menu Labeling Use Among Adults — 17 States, 2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Week Report (CDC)

Many persons underestimate the calories in restaurant foods (1). Increased attention has been given to menu labeling (ML) as a way to provide consumers with point-of-purchase information that can help them reduce calorie intake and make healthier dietary choices (1–3). In 2010, a federal law was passed requiring restaurants with 20 or more establishments to display calorie information on menus and menu boards.* The regulations to implement this federal law have not been finalized, but some states and local jurisdictions have implemented their own ML policies, and many restaurants have already begun providing ML. To assess fast food and chain restaurant ML use by state and by demographic subgroup, CDC examined self-reported ML use by adults in 17 states that used the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Menu Labeling optional module in the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Based on approximately 97% of adult BRFSS respondents who noticed ML information at restaurants, the estimated overall proportion of ML users in the 17 states was 57.3% (range = 48.7% in Montana to 61.3% in New York). The prevalence of ML use was higher among women than men for all states; the patterns varied by age group and race/ethnicity across states. States and public health professionals can use these findings to track the use of ML and to develop targeted interventions to increase awareness and use of ML among nonusers.

Decline in Drug Overdose Deaths After State Policy Changes — Florida, 2010–2012

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Decline in Drug Overdose Deaths After State Policy Changes — Florida, 2010–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

During 2003–2009, the number of deaths caused by drug overdose in Florida increased 61.0%, from 1,804 to 2,905, with especially large increases in deaths caused by the opioid pain reliever oxycodone and the benzodiazepine alprazolam (1). In response, Florida implemented various laws and enforcement actions as part of a comprehensive effort to reverse the trend. This report describes changes in overdose deaths for prescription and illicit drugs and changes in the prescribing of drugs frequently associated with these deaths in Florida after these policy changes. During 2010–2012, the number of drug overdose deaths decreased 16.7%, from 3,201 to 2,666, and the deaths per 100,000 persons decreased 17.7%, from 17.0 to 14.0. Death rates for prescription drugs overall decreased 23.2%, from 14.5 to 11.1 per 100,000 persons. The decline in the overdose deaths from oxycodone (52.1%) exceeded the decline for other opioid pain relievers, and the decline in deaths for alprazolam (35.6%) exceeded the decline for other benzodiazepines. Similar declines occurred in prescribing rates for these drugs during this period. The temporal association between the legislative and enforcement actions and the substantial declines in prescribing and overdose deaths, especially for drugs favored by pain clinics, suggests that the initiatives in Florida reduced prescription drug overdose fatalities.

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012

July 15, 2014 Comments off

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey, 2012

  • Nearly all (98.5%) youth aged 12–15 reported watching TV daily.
  • More than 9 in 10 (91.1%) youth aged 12–15 reported using the computer daily outside of school.
  • In 2012, 27.0% of youth aged 12–15 had 2 hours or less of TV plus computer use daily.
  • Among youth aged 12–15, girls (80.4%) were more likely to use the computer 2 hours or less daily when compared with boys (69.4%).
  • Fewer non-Hispanic black youth aged 12–15 (53.4%) reported watching 2 hours or less of TV daily than non-Hispanic white (65.8%) and Hispanic (68.7%) youth.

Excessive screen-time behaviors, such as using a computer and watching TV, for more than 2 hours daily have been linked with elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and being overweight or obese among youth (1–3). Additionally, screen-time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood (4). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported Expert Panel and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children limit leisure screen time to 2 hours or less daily (5,6). This report presents national estimates of TV watching and computer use outside of the school day.

Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans

July 9, 2014 Comments off

Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans (PDF)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Objective
This report presents national estimates of incontinence prevalence in the United States using data source-specific definitions of incontinence among persons aged 65 and over by sociodemographic characteristics during 2007–2010.

Methods
Data are from the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF), the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS), and the 2009 Long Term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS). Findings are based on in-home interviews with 2,625 noninstitutionalized respondents (NHANES) and reports provided by designated facility or agency staff members for 6,856 residential care facility (RCF) residents (NSRCF), 3,226 current home health care patients (NHHCS), 3,918 hospice discharges (NHHCS), and 2,416,705 nursing home residents (MDS). Response rates for incontinence questions were 84% among noninstitutionalized persons (NHANES), 98% among RCF residents and home health and hospice care patients (NSRCF and NHHCS), and 99% for nursing home residents (MDS).

Results
This is the first report presenting national estimates on incontinence for subpopulations of older persons sampled in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics surveys and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Long Term Care Minimum Data Set. Because a different definition of incontinence is used by each data collection system, it is not possible to make data comparisons between them or to summarize results across all surveys. Accordingly, only survey-specific results are presented. Including recent data from all of these data collection systems facilitates a multidimensional picture of incontinence, while underscoring the need for a standardized definition.

Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors — 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011–2012

July 8, 2014 Comments off

Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors — 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Findings in published reports have suggested that drowsy driving is a factor each year in as many as 7,500 fatal motor vehicle crashes (approximately 25%) in the United States (1,2). CDC previously reported that, in 2009–2010, 4.2% of adult respondents in 19 states and the District of Columbia reported having fallen asleep while driving at least once during the previous 30 days (3). Adults who reported usually sleeping ≤6 hours per day, snoring, or unintentionally falling asleep during the day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving compared with adults who did not report these sleep patterns (3). However, limited information has been published on the association between drowsy driving and other risk behaviors that might contribute to crash injuries or fatalities. Therefore, CDC analyzed responses to survey questions regarding drowsy driving among 92,102 respondents in 10 states and Puerto Rico to the 2011–2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. The results showed that 4.0% reported falling asleep while driving during the previous 30 days. In addition to known risk factors, drowsy driving was more prevalent among binge drinkers than non-binge drinkers or abstainers and also more prevalent among drivers who sometimes, seldom, or never wear seatbelts while driving or riding in a car, compared with those who always or almost always wear seatbelts. Drowsy driving did not vary significantly by self-reported smoking status. Interventions designed to reduce binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving, to increase enforcement of seatbelt use, and to encourage adequate sleep and seeking treatment for sleep disorders might contribute to reductions in drowsy driving crashes and related injuries.

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2013

July 8, 2014 Comments off

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2013 (PDF)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Preliminary results from the July–December 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow. Two in every five American homes (41.0%) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the second half of 2013—an increase of 1.6 percentage points since the first half of 2013 and 2.8 percentage points since the second half of 2012. However, these increases are smaller than those observed in previous years. This report presents the most up-to-date estimates available from the federal government concerning the size and characteristics of these populations.

Vital Signs: Variation Among States in Prescribing of Opioid Pain Relievers and Benzodiazepines — United States, 2012

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Vital Signs: Variation Among States in Prescribing of Opioid Pain Relievers and Benzodiazepines — United States, 2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Background:
Overprescribing of opioid pain relievers (OPR) can result in multiple adverse health outcomes, including fatal overdoses. Interstate variation in rates of prescribing OPR and other prescription drugs prone to abuse, such as benzodiazepines, might indicate areas where prescribing patterns need further evaluation.

Methods:
CDC analyzed a commercial database (IMS Health) to assess the potential for improved prescribing of OPR and other drugs. CDC calculated state rates and measures of variation for OPR, long-acting/extended-release (LA/ER) OPR, high-dose OPR, and benzodiazepines.
Results: In 2012, prescribers wrote 82.5 OPR and 37.6 benzodiazepine prescriptions per 100 persons in the United States. State rates varied 2.7-fold for OPR and 3.7-fold for benzodiazepines. For both OPR and benzodiazepines, rates were higher in the South census region, and three Southern states were two or more standard deviations above the mean. Rates for LA/ER and high-dose OPR were highest in the Northeast. Rates varied 22-fold for one type of OPR, oxymorphone.

Conclusions:
Factors accounting for the regional variation are unknown. Such wide variations are unlikely to be attributable to underlying differences in the health status of the population. High rates indicate the need to identify prescribing practices that might not appropriately balance pain relief and patient safety.

Implications for Public Health:
State policy makers might reduce the harms associated with abuse of prescription drugs by implementing changes that will make the prescribing of these drugs more cautious and more consistent with clinical recommendations.

Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2012–2013

June 30, 2014 Comments off

Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2012–2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Despite significant declines in cigarette smoking among U.S. adults over the past five decades, progress has slowed in recent years, and the prevalence of use of other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco has not changed (1,2). Additionally, the prevalence of use of emerging products, including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), has rapidly increased (3). This report provides the most recent national estimates of tobacco use among adults aged ≥18 years, using data from the 2012–2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS). The findings indicate that 21.3% of U.S. adults used a tobacco product every day or some days, and 25.2% used a tobacco product every day, some days, or rarely. Population-level interventions focused on the diversity of tobacco product use, including tobacco price increases, high-impact antitobacco mass media campaigns, comprehensive smoke-free laws, and enhanced access to help quitting, in conjunction with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco products, are critical to reducing tobacco-related diseases and deaths in the United States (4).

Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of Persons Receiving Medical Care for HIV Infection — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2009

June 21, 2014 Comments off

Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of Persons Receiving Medical Care for HIV Infection — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2009
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Problem:
As of December 31, 2009, an estimated 864,748 persons were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S.-dependent areas. Whereas HIV surveillance programs in the United States collect information about persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection, supplemental surveillance systems collect in-depth information about the behavioral and clinical characteristics of persons receiving outpatient medical care for HIV infection. These data are needed to reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality and HIV transmission.

Reporting Period Covered:
Data were collected during June 2009–May 2010 for patients receiving medical care at least once during January–April 2009.

Description of the System:
The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is an ongoing surveillance system that assesses behaviors and clinical characteristics of HIV-infected persons who have received outpatient medical care. For the 2009 data collection cycle, participants must have been aged ≥18 years and have received medical care during January–April 2009 at sampled facilities that provide HIV medical care within participating MMP project areas. Behavioral and selected clinical data were collected using an in-person interview, and most clinical data were collected using medical record abstraction. A total of 23 project areas in 16 states and Puerto Rico were funded to collect data during the 2009 data collection cycle. The data were weighted for probability of selection and nonresponse to be representative of adults receiving outpatient medical care for HIV infection in the United States and Puerto Rico. Prevalence estimates are presented as weighted percentages. The period of reference is the 12 months before the patient interview unless otherwise noted.

Results:
The patients in MMP represent 421,186 adults who received outpatient medical care for HIV infection in the United States and Puerto Rico during January–April 2009. Of adults who received medical care for HIV infection, an estimated 71.2% were male, 27.2% were female, and 1.6% were transgender. An estimated 41.4% were black or African American, 34.6% were white, and 19.1% were Hispanic or Latino. The largest proportion (23.1%) were aged 45–49 years. Most patients (81.1%) had medical coverage; 40.3% had Medicaid, 30.6% had private health insurance, and 25.7% had Medicare.

An estimated 69.6% of patients had three or more documented CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell (CD4+) or HIV viral load tests. Most patients (88.7%) were prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 71.6% had a documented viral load that was undetectable or ≤200 copies/mL at their most recent test. Among sexually active patients, 55.0% had documentation in the medical record of being tested for syphilis, 23.2% for gonorrhea, and 23.9% for chlamydia.

Noninjection drugs were used for nonmedical purposes by an estimated 27.1% of patients, whereas injection drugs were used for nonmedical purposes by 2.1% of patients. Overall, 12.9% of patients engaged in unprotected sex with a partner of negative or unknown HIV status.

Unmet supportive service needs were prevalent, with an estimated 22.8% in need of dental care and 12.0% in need of public benefits, including Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. Fewer than half of patients (44.8%) reported receiving HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention counseling from a health-care provider.

Interpretation:
The findings in this report indicate that most adults living with HIV who received medical care in 2009 were taking ART, had CD4+ and HIV viral load testing at regular intervals, and had health insurance or other coverage. However, some patients did not receive clinical services and treatment in accordance with guidelines. Some patients engaged in behaviors, such as unprotected sex, that increase the risk for transmitting HIV to sex partners, and some used noninjection or injection drugs or both.

Public Health Actions:
Local and state health departments and federal agencies can use MMP data for program planning to determine allocation of services and resources, guide prevention planning, assess unmet medical and supportive service needs, inform health-care providers, and help focus intervention programs and health policies at the local, state, and national levels.

Medical Costs and Productivity Losses of Cancer Survivors — United States, 2008–2011

June 18, 2014 Comments off

Medical Costs and Productivity Losses of Cancer Survivors — United States, 2008–2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The number of persons in the United States with a history of cancer has increased from 3 million in 1971 to approximately 13.4 million in 2012, representing 4.6% of the population (1,2). Given the advances in early detection and treatment of cancer and the aging of the U.S. population, the number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by >30% during the next decade, to approximately 18 million (2,3). Cancer survivors face many challenges with medical care follow-up, managing the long-term and late effects of treatments (4), monitoring for recurrence, and an increased risk for additional cancers (4,5). These survivors also face economic challenges, including limitations in work and daily activities, obtaining health insurance coverage and accessing health care, and increasing medical care costs. To estimate annual medical costs and productivity losses among male and female cancer survivors and persons without a cancer history, CDC, along with other organizations, analyzed data from the 2008–2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The results indicate that the economic burden of cancer survivorship is substantial among all survivors. For male cancer survivors, during 2008–2011, average annual medical costs and productivity losses resulting from health problems per person and adjusted to 2011 dollars were significantly higher among cancer survivors than among persons without a cancer history, by $4,187 and $1,459, respectively; for females, the estimated annual costs per person were $3,293 and $1,330 higher among cancer survivors than among persons without a cancer history, respectively. These findings suggest the need to develop and evaluate health and employment intervention programs aimed at improving outcomes for cancer survivors and their families.

Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Working Adults — United States, 2005 and 2010

June 16, 2014 Comments off

Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Working Adults — United States, 2005 and 2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Smokeless tobacco causes cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, and pancreas (1). CDC analyzed National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data to estimate the proportion of U.S. working adults who used smokeless tobacco in 2005 and 2010, by industry and occupation. This report describes the results of that analysis, which showed no statistically significant change in the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among workers from 2005 (2.7%) to 2010 (3.0%). In 2010, smokeless tobacco use was highest among adults aged 25–44 years (3.9%), males (5.6%), non-Hispanic whites (4.0%), those with no more than a high school education (3.9%), and those living in the South (3.9%). By industry, the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use ranged from 1.5% in education services to 18.8% in mining industries, and by occupation from 1.3% in office and administrative support to 10.8% in construction and extraction. These findings highlight opportunities for reducing the health and economic burdens of tobacco use among U.S. workers, especially those in certain industries (e.g., mining) and occupations (e.g., construction and extraction) where use of smokeless tobacco is especially common. CDC recommends best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs, including effective employer interventions, such as providing employee health insurance coverage for proven cessation treatments, offering easily accessible help for those who want to quit, and establishing and enforcing tobacco-free workplace policies.

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 doesn’t know

June 13, 2014 Comments off

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 doesn’t know
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it.

Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have prediabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2013

June 13, 2014 Comments off

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2013 (PDF)
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
From press release:

Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped to the lowest levels since the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) began in 1991, according to the 2013 results released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By achieving a teen smoking rate of 15.7 percent, the United States has met its national Healthy People 2020External Web Site Icon objective of reducing adolescent cigarette use to 16 percent or less.

Despite this progress, reducing overall tobacco use remains a significant challenge. For example, other national surveys show increases in hookah and e-cigarette use. In the YRBS, no change in smokeless tobacco use was observed among adolescents since 1999, and the decline in cigar use has slowed in recent years, with cigar use now at 23 percent among male high school seniors.

Using Online Reviews by Restaurant Patrons to Identify Unreported Cases of Foodborne Illness — New York City, 2012–2013

June 11, 2014 Comments off

Using Online Reviews by Restaurant Patrons to Identify Unreported Cases of Foodborne Illness — New York City, 2012–2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

While investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal disease associated with a restaurant, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) noted that patrons had reported illnesses on the business review website Yelp (http://www.yelp.com) that had not been reported to DOHMH. To explore the potential of using Yelp to identify unreported outbreaks, DOHMH worked with Columbia University and Yelp on a pilot project to prospectively identify restaurant reviews on Yelp that referred to foodborne illness. During July 1, 2012–March 31, 2013, approximately 294,000 Yelp restaurant reviews were analyzed by a software program developed for the project. The program identified 893 reviews that required further evaluation by a foodborne disease epidemiologist. Of the 893 reviews, 499 (56%) described an event consistent with foodborne illness (e.g., patrons reported diarrhea or vomiting after their meal), and 468 of those described an illness within 4 weeks of the review or did not provide a period. Only 3% of the illnesses referred to in the 468 reviews had also been reported directly to DOHMH via telephone and online systems during the same period. Closer examination determined that 129 of the 468 reviews required further investigation, resulting in telephone interviews with 27 reviewers. From those 27 interviews, three previously unreported restaurant-related outbreaks linked to 16 illnesses met DOHMH outbreak investigation criteria; environmental investigation of the three restaurants identified multiple food-handling violations. The results suggest that online restaurant reviews might help to identify unreported outbreaks of foodborne illness and restaurants with deficiencies in food handling. However, investigating reports of illness in this manner might require considerable time and resources.

Influenza Activity — United States, 2013–14 Season and Composition of the 2014–15 Influenza Vaccines

June 9, 2014 Comments off

Influenza Activity — United States, 2013–14 Season and Composition of the 2014–15 Influenza Vaccines
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

During the 2013–14 influenza season in the United States, influenza activity increased through November and December before peaking in late December. Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 (pH1N1) viruses predominated overall, but influenza B viruses and, to a lesser extent, influenza A (H3N2) viruses also were reported in the United States. This influenza season was the first since the 2009 pH1N1 pandemic in which pH1N1 viruses predominated and was characterized overall by lower levels of outpatient illness and mortality than influenza A (H3N2)–predominant seasons, but higher rates of hospitalization among adults aged 50–64 years compared with recent years. This report summarizes influenza activity in the United States for the 2013–14 influenza season (September 29, 2013–May 17, 2014) and reports recommendations for the components of the 2014–15 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccines.

Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks; Food service has a key role

June 5, 2014 Comments off

Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks; Food service has a key role
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Norovirus often gets attention for outbreaks on cruise ships, but those account for only about 1% of all reported norovirus outbreaks. Norovirus is very contagious, and outbreaks can occur anywhere people gather or food is served. People with norovirus usually vomit and have diarrhea. Some may need to be hospitalized and can even die. Infected people can spread norovirus to others through close contact or by contaminating food and surfaces. Food service workers who have norovirus can contaminate food and make many people sick. In norovirus outbreaks for which investigators reported the source of contamination, 70% are caused by infected food workers.

CDC Travel Notice — MERS in the Arabian Peninsula

May 30, 2014 Comments off

MERS in the Arabian Peninsula
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cases of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) have been identified in multiple countries in the Arabian Peninsula. There have also been cases in several other countries in travelers who have been to the Arabian Peninsula and, in some instances, their close contacts. Two cases have been confirmed in two health care workers living in Saudi Arabia who were visiting the United States.

CDC does not recommend that travelers change their plans because of MERS. Most instances of person-to-person spread have occurred in health care workers and other close contacts (such as family members and caregivers) of people sick with MERS. If you are concerned about MERS, you should discuss your travel plans with your doctor.

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