In Case You Missed It: MMWR

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) maintains a collection of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which collects and analyzes data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on epidemiology and public health. Each issue of the MMWR is packed with raw and analyzed public health data and scientific studies from some of the top minds in the United States. Below we highlight some of the most current and informative studies included in their weekly reports. 

Here are some important articles you may have missed from Volume 72, Issues 19-16 of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series

May 12, 2023 / No.19 Featured Articles: 

“COVID-19 Surveillance After Expiration of the Public Health Emergency Declaration ― United States, May 11, 2023”

“Correlations and Timeliness of COVID-19 Surveillance Data Sources and Indicators ― United States, October 1, 2020–March 22, 2023”

The two articles above are closely related and discuss the implications of the expiration of the U.S. public health emergency declaration on COVID-19 data collection. Although certain reporting requirements expired on May 11, 2023, these articles note that surveillance will continue with other reliable hospital data sources and will be suitable “indicators of trends in COVID-19 activity and severity.” Review each article to for the in-depth analyses that led to this conclusion.

May 5, 2023 / No.18 Featured Articles: 

“Provisional Mortality Data — United States, 2022”

“COVID-19 Mortality Update — United States, 2022”

Both articles above give in-depth reviews of mortality data in the U.S. from 2022, the first one providing all leading causes of death, and the second focusing on deaths related to COVID-19 (underlying and contributing combined). In 2022, COVID-19 was the fourth leading underlying cause of death, with heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury (“largely driven by a high number of drug overdose deaths”) being the first, second, and third leading causes of death, respectively.

April 28, 2023 / No.17 Featured Article: 

“Rapid Analysis of Drugs: A Pilot Surveillance System To Detect Changes in the Illicit Drug Supply To Guide Timely Harm Reduction Responses — Eight Syringe Services Programs, Maryland, November 2021–August 2022”

With drug overdoses contributing to a large amount of unintentional deaths, surveillance programs are underway to try to find trends in illegal substances that can guide harm reduction responses. The pilot program noted above in Maryland discovered that of samples collected, most of the test results unsurprisingly involved fentanyl, but “80% also contained xylazine (an animal sedative).” Rarely was heroin involved. Read the report to find more important detailed discussion on this topic.

April 21, 2023 / No.16 Featured Article: 

“Cancer Distribution Among Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Subgroups — United States, 2015–2019”

Health data on Asian Americans is often aggregated in analyses. This study revealed that certain types of cancer are more prevalent amongst different subgroups of Non-Hispanic Asian and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) persons, denoting the importance of genetics in helping to guide “development and implementation of culturally and linguistically relevant programs addressing health disparities and social determinants of health.”

For more information on COVID, visit HSDL’s COVID-19 Resource Archive. You can also find pandemic-related resources in HSDL’s In Focus on Pandemics and Epidemics, and search our statistical resources related to public health.

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