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 38-41 of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series.
“Use of the Pfizer Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine During Pregnancy for the Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus–Associated Lower Respiratory Tract Disease in Infants: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2023“
Due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) being the leading cause of hospitalization among U.S. infants, vaccination has been sought to help prevent more cases of severe disease. In August 2023, nirsevimab was recommended for use in infants, and in September 2023, RSVpreF vaccine was approved for pregnant women with a gestation period between 32 and 36 weeks. At this time, either one or the other is recommended, not both.
The first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for adults 60 years of age and older was recommended by the CDC in June of 2023. This article notes that RSV hospitalization cases for adults ≥ 60 years between February 2022-May 2023 tended to be more severe than cases of either COVID-19 or influenza. Note that several articles published in this weekly issue are focused on similar issues for adults over 59 and are all worth review for a more complete picture of the situation.
Despite recommendations for influenza, Tdap, and COVID-19 vaccinations, “coverage during pregnancy with all three vaccines is low.” Only 42% of women surveyed for this study had received an influenza vaccination before or during pregnancy, only 55% with recent live births had received Tdap during pregnancy, and only 27.3% had received a COVID-19 bivalent booster. Please note that the full weekly release provides three other detailed reports on COVID-19 vaccines and the usage of them during pregnancy.
While elemental mercury poisoning is rare, this article highlights a recent severe case to promote awareness of the symptoms and avoid treatment delay. Two siblings developed symptoms such as “petechial rash, oral ulcers, sore throat, chills, subjective fever, nose bleeds, and malaise.” While tests revealed several issues of concern, it took a further six days for the hospital staff to determine the cause was due to mercury toxicity. Read the full article to learn more about how this event occurred and to help prevent this from happening in your home.
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.