In Case You Missed It: MMWR and COVID

Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ReportThe 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. In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic, we are highlighting some of the most current and informative COVID-related studies included in their weekly reports.

Here are some articles you may have missed from Volume 69, Issues 37-40 of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series.

October 9, 2020 / No. 40 Featured Article: 

Trends in COVID-19 Incidence After Implementation of Mitigation Measures — Arizona

Based on a case study in Arizona, researchers found that after a steep increase in cases in June, increased community mitigation measures (mask mandates for service employees and the general public, social distancing, halting non-essential business, working from home, and cancelling large events) resulted in declining numbers of COVID-19 cases and allowed hospitals to remain at or below capacity.

October 2, 2020 / No. 39 Featured Article: 

Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States

Early in the pandemic, older people seemed to be at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, but the demographic with the highest case numbers shifted to 20-29 year olds in June, and continued through August. Following this reversal (by 4-8 days), more cases were confirmed in older age groups, which implies that younger people, ignoring preventative precautions, were not only getting infected at a higher rate, but were also responsible for transmitting the virus to other age groups when they were pre- or asymptomatic. This data agrees with another study in this issue, “Multiple COVID-19 Clusters on a University Campus — North Carolina,” which draws parallels between  university re-openings and elevated numbers of COVID-19 cases.

September 25, 2020 / No. 38 Featured Article: 

Disparities in COVID-19 Incidence, Hospitalizations, and Testing, by Area-Level Deprivation — Utah

This study, conducted in Utah, compares COVID-19 cases in “low-deprivation” areas (urban and suburban Utah) and “high-deprivation” areas (primarily characterized by larger populations of Hispanic and non-white residents, people working in front-line or essential positions, below average household income levels, and a larger proportion of residents who experience food or health care insecurity). Researchers found that people in socially disadvantaged groups, or high-deprivation areas, experience COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at three times the rates of those in low-deprivation areas, and that racial and ethnic inequality could exacerbate morbidity and mortality rates in these areas.

September 18, 2020 / No. 37 Featured Article: 

Decreased Influenza Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, Australia, Chile, and South Africa, 2020

Research in the U.S. and Southern Hemisphere finds that the interventions in place for COVID-19 are also responsible for historically low rates of influenza infections (2.3%). Initially thought to be the result of decreased testing (in favor of COVID-19 testing), a renewed testing initiative reveals that the significant drop in influenza virus cases may be attributed to the use of face masks and other community mitigation practices in place for COVID-19.

For more information, visit our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Special Collection or our In Focus: 2019 Novel Coronavirus collection. You can also find pandemic-related resources in our HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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