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 29-32 of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series.

July 24, 2020 / No. 29 Featured Article: 

Estimated County-Level Prevalence of Selected Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

After determining the most at-risk population markers for COVID-19 hospitalization, experts posit that the data can be used to target certain physical areas (such as the Southeastern U.S. and Appalachia regions) for advanced precautionary measures, and also for allocation of resources such as hospital beds, ventilators, and extra staffing.

July 31, 2020 / No. 30 Featured Article: 

Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19 in a Multistate Health Care Systems Network

Very little is known about the actual duration of virus symptoms and long-term effects of COVID, even among “healthy” populations. Experts in this study claim that 35% of overall confirmed cases are not able to return to normal health and activity three weeks after being diagnosed. While lower than average, one-fifth of relatively healthy individuals between 18 and 34 with no underlying medical issues have not been able to their regular health and activities, warning the generally healthy sections of the population that they need to take recommended precaution against the virus.

August 7, 2020 / No. 31 Featured Article: 

Characteristics and Outcomes of Contacts of COVID-19 Patients Monitored Using an Automated Symptom Monitoring Tool — Maine, May–June 2020

This Maine study finds that automated symptom contact tracing was a successful tool for monitoring the effects of COVID-19 as well as transmission data in a sample of people diagnosed with the virus. Automating the process by email, text, or phone also requires less personnel and encourages more people to participate on their own time.

August 14, 2020/ No. 32 Featured Articles: 

Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1–July 25, 2020

This study reveals that, while pediatric hospitalization is lower than adult hospitalization with SARS-CoV-2, it is not less severe. The experts say that 1 in 3 children hospitalized with COVID-19 are admitted to the intensive care unit. The authors suggest utilizing all prevention measures available for children attending school and church, and continual monitoring of the hospitalization rates.

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020

While the pandemic is wreaking havoc physically and economically, it is also affecting a large percentage of Americans mentally and emotionally. This study shows that in June alone, 40% of surveyed American adults reported struggling with substance abuse, suicidal ideation, anxiety/depression, and trauma-related disorder symptoms, with unpaid caregivers of adults being the most disproportionately affected.


For more information, visit the HSDL Featured Topics or our In Focus topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Additionally, you can find more information in our new In Focus: 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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