Publications by authors named "Romeo R Galang"

30 Publications

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Economic evaluation of Zika Contraception Access Network in Puerto Rico during the 2016-17 Zika virus outbreak.

Contraception 2021 Nov 5. Epub 2021 Nov 5.

Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Objective: During the 2016-2017 Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak, the prevention of unintended pregnancies was identified as a primary strategy to prevent birth defects. This study estimated the cost-effectiveness of the Zika Contraception Access Network (Z-CAN), an emergency response intervention that provided women in Puerto Rico with access to the full range of reversible contraception at no cost and compared results with a pre-implementation hypothetical cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA).

Study Design: We evaluated costs and outcomes of Z-CAN from a health sector perspective compared to no intervention using a decision tree model. Number of people served, contraception methods mix, and costs under Z-CAN were from actual program data and other input parameters were from the literature. Health outcome measures included the number of Zika-associated microcephaly (ZAM) cases and unintended pregnancies. The economic benefits of the Z-CAN intervention were ZIKV-associated direct costs avoided, including lifetime medical and supportive costs associated with ZAM cases, costs of monitoring ZIKV-exposed pregnancies and infants born from Zika-virus infected mothers, and the costs of unintended pregnancies prevented during the outbreak as a result of increased contraception use through the Z-CAN intervention.

Results: The Z-CAN intervention cost a total of $26.1 million, including costs for the full range of reversible contraceptive methods, contraception related services, and programmatic activities. The program is estimated to have prevented 85% of cases of estimated ZAM cases and unintended pregnancies in the absence of Z-CAN. The intervention cost was projected to have been more than offset by $79.9 million in ZIKV-associated costs avoided, 96% of which were lifetime ZAM-associated costs, as well as $137.0 million from avoided unintended pregnancies, with total net savings in one year of $216.9 million. The results were consistent with the previous CEA study.

Conclusion: Z-CAN was likely cost-saving in the context of a public health emergency response setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2021.10.009DOI Listing
November 2021

Pregnancy, Birth, Infant, and Early Childhood Neurodevelopmental Outcomes among a Cohort of Women with Symptoms of Zika Virus Disease during Pregnancy in Three Surveillance Sites, Project (VEZ), Colombia, 2016-2018.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2021 Oct 12;6(4). Epub 2021 Oct 12.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.

Project (VEZ), an intensified surveillance of pregnant women with symptoms of the Zika virus disease (ZVD) in Colombia, aimed to evaluate the relationship between symptoms of ZVD during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy, birth, and infant outcomes and early childhood neurodevelopmental outcomes. During May-November 2016, pregnant women in three Colombian cities who were reported with symptoms of ZVD to the national surveillance system, or with symptoms of ZVD visiting participating clinics, were enrolled in Project VEZ. Data from maternal and pediatric (up to two years of age) medical records were abstracted. Available maternal specimens were tested for the presence of the Zika virus ribonucleic acid and/or anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin antibodies. Of 1213 enrolled pregnant women with symptoms of ZVD, 1180 had a known pregnancy outcome. Results of the Zika virus laboratory testing were available for 569 (48.2%) pregnancies with a known pregnancy outcome though testing timing varied and was often distal to the timing of symptoms; 254 (21.5% of the whole cohort; 44.6% of those with testing results) were confirmed or presumptive positive for the Zika virus infection. Of pregnancies with a known outcome, 50 (4.2%) fetuses/infants had Zika-associated brain or eye defects, which included microcephaly at birth. Early childhood adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes were more common among those with Zika-associated birth defects than among those without and more common among those with laboratory evidence of a Zika virus infection compared with the full cohort. The proportion of fetuses/infants with any Zika-associated brain or eye defect was consistent with the proportion seen in other studies. Enhancements to Colombia's existing national surveillance enabled the assessment of adverse outcomes associated with ZVD in pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6040183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8544689PMC
October 2021

Attitudes Toward COVID-19 Illness and COVID-19 Vaccination among Pregnant Women: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study during August-December 2020.

Am J Perinatol 2021 Oct 1. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Objective:  The aim of the study was to evaluate pregnant women's attitudes toward COVID-19 illness and vaccination and identify factors associated with vaccine acceptability.

Study Design:  This was a cross-sectional survey among pregnant women enrolled in a prospective COVID-19 cohort study in Salt Lake City, UT, Birmingham, AL, and New York, NY, from August 9 to December 10, 2020. Women were eligible if they were 18 to 50 years old and <28 weeks of gestation. Upon enrollment, women completed surveys regarding concerns about COVID-19 illness and likelihood of getting COVID-19 vaccine if one were available during pregnancy. Vaccine acceptability was defined as a response of "very likely" or "somewhat likely" on a 4-point Likert scale. Factors associated with vaccine acceptability were assessed with multivariable logistic regression.

Results:  Of 939 pregnant women eligible for the main cohort study, 915 (97%) consented to participate. Among these 915 women, 39% self-identified as White, 23% Black, 33% Hispanic, and 4% Other. Sixty-two percent received an influenza vaccine last season. Seventy-two percent worried about getting sick with COVID-19. If they were to get sick, 92% worried about harm to their pregnancy and 80% about harm to themselves. Only 41% reported they would get a vaccine. Of women who were unlikely to get vaccinated, the most frequently cited concern was vaccine safety for their pregnancy (82%). Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women had lower odds of accepting a vaccine compared with non-Hispanic White women (adjusted odds ratios [aOR] 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.6 for both). Receipt of influenza vaccine during the previous season was associated with higher odds of vaccine acceptability (aOR 2.1, 95% CI 1.5-3.0).

Conclusion:  Although most pregnant women worried about COVID-19 illness, <50% were willing to get vaccinated during pregnancy. Racial and ethnic disparities in plans to accept COVID-19 vaccine highlight the need to prioritize strategies to address perceived barriers among groups at high risk for COVID-19.

Key Points: · Less than half of pregnant patients stated they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.. · Protecting their baby was the most common reason for acceptance and refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine.. · Patients of minority race/ethnicity and those without prior influenza vaccination were less likely to accept the COVID-19 vaccine..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1735878DOI Listing
October 2021

Incidence, Clinical Characteristics, and Risk Factors of SARS-CoV-2 Infection among Pregnant Individuals in the United States.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Aug 19. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Data about the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant individuals are needed to inform infection prevention guidance and counseling for this population.

Methods: We prospectively followed a cohort of pregnant individuals during August 2020-March 2021 at three U.S. sites. The three primary outcomes were incidence rates of any SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptomatic infection, and asymptomatic infection, during pregnancy during periods of SARS-CoV-2 circulation. Participants self-collected weekly mid-turbinate nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing, completed weekly illness symptom questionnaires, and submitted additional swabs with COVID-19-like symptoms. An overall SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence rate weighted by population counts of women of reproductive age in each state was calculated.

Results: Among 1098 pregnant individuals followed for a mean of 10 weeks, nine percent (99/1098) had SARS-CoV-2 infections during the study. Population weighted incidence rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection were 10.0 per 1,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.7-14.3) person-weeks for any infection, 5.7 per 1,000 (95% CI 1.7-9.7) for symptomatic infections, and 3.5 per 1,000 (95% CI 0-7.1) for asymptomatic infections. Among 96 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptom data, the most common symptoms were nasal congestion (72%), cough (64%), headache (59%), and change in taste or smell (54%); 28% had measured or subjective fever. The median symptom duration was 10 days (IQR6-16 days).

Conclusion: Pregnant individuals had a 1% risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection per week. Study findings provide information about SARS-CoV-2 infection risk during pregnancy to inform counseling for pregnant individuals about infection prevention practices, including COVID-19 vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8513407PMC
August 2021

Risk Factors for Illness Severity Among Pregnant Women With Confirmed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection-Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network, 22 State, Local, and Territorial Health Departments, 29 March 2020-5 March 2021.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 07;73(Suppl 1):S17-S23

COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: Pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at increased risk for severe illness compared with nonpregnant women. Data to assess risk factors for illness severity among pregnant women with COVID-19 are limited. This study aimed to determine risk factors associated with COVID-19 illness severity among pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Methods: Pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by molecular testing were reported during 29 March 2020-5 March 2021 through the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET). Criteria for illness severity (asymptomatic, mild, moderate-to-severe, or critical) were adapted from National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization criteria. Crude and adjusted risk ratios for moderate-to-severe or critical COVID-19 illness were calculated for selected demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: Among 7950 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, moderate-to-severe or critical COVID-19 illness was associated with age 25 years and older, healthcare occupation, prepregnancy obesity, chronic lung disease, chronic hypertension, and pregestational diabetes mellitus. Risk of moderate-to-severe or critical illness increased with the number of underlying medical or pregnancy-related conditions.

Conclusions: Older age and having underlying medical conditions were associated with increased risk of moderate-to-severe or critical COVID-19 illness among pregnant women. This information might help pregnant women understand their risk for moderate-to-severe or critical COVID-19 illness and can inform targeted public health messaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab432DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8194562PMC
July 2021

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes, Maternal Complications, and Severe Illness Among US Delivery Hospitalizations With and Without a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Diagnosis.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 07;73(Suppl 1):S24-S31

CDC COVID-19 Response Team, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: Evidence on risk for adverse outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among pregnant women is still emerging. We examined the association between COVID-19 at delivery and adverse pregnancy outcomes, maternal complications, and severe illness, and whether these associations differ by race/ethnicity, and describe discharge status by COVID-19 diagnosis and maternal complications.

Methods: Data from 703 hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database during March-September 2020 were included. Adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) overall and stratified by race/ethnicity were estimated using Poisson regression with robust standard errors. Proportion not discharged home was calculated by maternal complications, stratified by COVID-19 diagnosis.

Results: Among 489 471 delivery hospitalizations, 6550 (1.3%) had a COVID-19 diagnosis. In adjusted models, COVID-19 was associated with increased risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (aRR, 34.4), death (aRR, 17.0), sepsis (aRR, 13.6), mechanical ventilation (aRR, 12.7), shock (aRR, 5.1), intensive care unit admission (aRR, 3.6), acute renal failure (aRR, 3.5), thromboembolic disease (aRR, 2.7), adverse cardiac event/outcome (aRR, 2.2), and preterm labor with preterm delivery (aRR, 1.2). Risk for any maternal complications or for any severe illness did not significantly differ by race/ethnicity. Discharge status did not differ by COVID-19; however, among women with concurrent maternal complications, a greater proportion of those with (vs without) COVID-19 were not discharged home.

Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of implementing recommended prevention strategies to reduce risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and further inform counseling and clinical care for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8136045PMC
July 2021

Evaluating Differences in Whole Blood, Serum, and Urine Screening Tests for Zika Virus, Puerto Rico, USA, 2016.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 05;27(5):1505-1508

We evaluated nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) for Zika virus on whole-blood specimens compared with NAAT on serum and urine specimens among asymptomatic pregnant women during the 2015-2016 Puerto Rico Zika outbreak. Using NAAT, more infections were detected in serum and urine than in whole blood specimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2705.203960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084515PMC
May 2021

Clinical and Laboratory Findings in Patients with Potential SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection, May-July 2020.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Feb 18. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Health Systems Worker Safety Task Force, COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.

Background: We investigated patients with potential SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in the United States during May-July 2020.

Methods: We conducted case finding for patients with potential SARS-CoV-2 reinfection through the Emerging Infections Network. Cases reported were screened for laboratory and clinical findings of potential reinfection followed by requests for medical records and laboratory specimens. Available medical records were abstracted to characterize patient demographics, comorbidities, clinical course, and laboratory test results. Submitted specimens underwent further testing, including RT-PCR, viral culture, whole genome sequencing, subgenomic RNA PCR, and testing for anti-SARS-CoV-2 total antibody.

Results: Among 73 potential reinfection patients with available records, 30 patients had recurrent COVID-19 symptoms explained by alternative diagnoses with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive RT-PCR, 24 patients remained asymptomatic after recovery but had recurrent or persistent RT-PCR, and 19 patients had recurrent COVID-19 symptoms with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive RT-PCR but no alternative diagnoses. These 19 patients had symptom recurrence a median of 57 days after initial symptom onset (interquartile range: 47 - 76). Six of these patients had paired specimens available for further testing, but none had laboratory findings confirming reinfections. Testing of an additional three patients with recurrent symptoms and alternative diagnoses also did not confirm reinfection.

Conclusions: We did not confirm SARS-CoV-2 reinfection within 90 days of the initial infection based on the clinical and laboratory characteristics of cases in this investigation. Our findings support current CDC guidance around quarantine and testing for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7929000PMC
February 2021

2018 Zika Health Brigade: Delivering Critical Health Screening in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2020 Nov 9;5(4). Epub 2020 Nov 9.

U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health, Christiansted, VI 00820, USA.

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused significant damage to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), heightening the challenges many residents faced in accessing adequate healthcare and receiving recommended Zika virus screening services. To address this challenge, the USVI Department of Health (DOH) requested technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to organize a health brigade to bring needed medical care to an underserved population. It also established the development of important partnerships between federal and private partners as well as between clinical providers and public health entities such as the Epidemiology & Disease Reporting, Maternal Child Health (MCH), and Infant and Toddlers Programs within the DOH, and local clinicians. This health brigade model could be replicated to ensure recommended evaluations are delivered to populations that may have unmet medical needs due to the complexity of the conditions and/or rural location.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5040168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709647PMC
November 2020

Update: Characteristics of Symptomatic Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status - United States, January 22-October 3, 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 Nov 6;69(44):1641-1647. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

CDC COVID-19 Response Team.

Studies suggest that pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe illness associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1,2). This report provides updated information about symptomatic women of reproductive age (15-44 years) with laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. During January 22-October 3, CDC received reports through national COVID-19 case surveillance or through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) of 1,300,938 women aged 15-44 years with laboratory results indicative of acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Data on pregnancy status were available for 461,825 (35.5%) women with laboratory-confirmed infection, 409,462 (88.7%) of whom were symptomatic. Among symptomatic women, 23,434 (5.7%) were reported to be pregnant. After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions, pregnant women were significantly more likely than were nonpregnant women to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) (10.5 versus 3.9 per 1,000 cases; adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.6-3.4), receive invasive ventilation (2.9 versus 1.1 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.9; 95% CI = 2.2-3.8), receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (0.7 versus 0.3 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.5-4.0), and die (1.5 versus 1.2 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.2-2.4). Stratifying these analyses by age and race/ethnicity highlighted disparities in risk by subgroup. Although the absolute risks for severe outcomes for women were low, pregnant women were at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness. To reduce the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they have symptoms and measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection should be strongly emphasized for pregnant women and their families during all medical encounters, including prenatal care visits. Understanding COVID-19-associated risks among pregnant women is important for prevention counseling and clinical care and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6944e3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643892PMC
November 2020

Birth and Infant Outcomes Following Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pregnancy - SET-NET, 16 Jurisdictions, March 29-October 14, 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 Nov 6;69(44):1635-1640. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Pregnant women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at increased risk for severe illness and might be at risk for preterm birth (1-3). The full impact of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in pregnancy is unknown. Public health jurisdictions report information, including pregnancy status, on confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases to CDC through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.* Through the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET), 16 jurisdictions collected supplementary information on pregnancy and infant outcomes among 5,252 women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection reported during March 29-October 14, 2020. Among 3,912 live births with known gestational age, 12.9% were preterm (<37 weeks), higher than the reported 10.2% among the general U.S. population in 2019 (4). Among 610 infants (21.3%) with reported SARS-CoV-2 test results, perinatal infection was infrequent (2.6%) and occurred primarily among infants whose mother had SARS-CoV-2 infection identified within 1 week of delivery. Because the majority of pregnant women with COVID-19 reported thus far experienced infection in the third trimester, ongoing surveillance is needed to assess effects of infections in early pregnancy, as well the longer-term outcomes of exposed infants. These findings can inform neonatal testing recommendations, clinical practice, and public health action and can be used by health care providers to counsel pregnant women on the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including preterm births. Pregnant women and their household members should follow recommended infection prevention measures, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent handwashing when going out or interacting with others or if there is a person within the household who has had exposure to COVID-19..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6944e2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643898PMC
November 2020

Characteristics and Maternal and Birth Outcomes of Hospitalized Pregnant Women with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 13 States, March 1-August 22, 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1347-1354. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1,2). The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) (3) collects data on hospitalized pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19; to date, such data have been limited. During March 1-August 22, 2020, approximately one in four hospitalized women aged 15-49 years with COVID-19 was pregnant. Among 598 hospitalized pregnant women with COVID-19, 54.5% were asymptomatic at admission. Among 272 pregnant women with COVID-19 who were symptomatic at hospital admission, 16.2% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 8.5% required invasive mechanical ventilation. During COVID-19-associated hospitalizations, 448 of 458 (97.8%) completed pregnancies resulted in a live birth and 10 (2.2%) resulted in a pregnancy loss. Testing policies based on the presence of symptoms might miss COVID-19 infections during pregnancy. Surveillance of pregnant women with COVID-19, including those with asymptomatic infections, is important to understand the short- and long-term consequences of COVID-19 for mothers and newborns. Identifying COVID-19 in women during birth hospitalizations is important to guide preventive measures to protect pregnant women, parents, newborns, other patients, and hospital personnel. Pregnant women and health care providers should be made aware of the potential risks for severe COVID-19 illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and ways to prevent infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6938e1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727497PMC
September 2020

Exploratory analysis of machine learning approaches for surveillance of Zika-associated birth defects.

Birth Defects Res 2020 11 19;112(18):1450-1460. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

In 2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established surveillance of pregnant women with Zika virus infection and their infants in the U.S. states, territories, and freely associated states. To identify cases of Zika-associated birth defects, subject matter experts review data reported from medical records of completed pregnancies to identify findings that meet surveillance case criteria (manual review). The volume of reported data increased over the course of the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas, challenging the resources of the surveillance system to conduct manual review. Machine learning was explored as a possible method for predicting case status. Ensemble models (using machine learning algorithms including support vector machines, logistic regression, random forests, k-nearest neighbors, gradient boosted trees, and decision trees) were developed and trained using data collected from January 2016-October 2017. Models were developed separately, on data from the U.S. states, non-Puerto Rico territories, and freely associated states (referred to as the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry [USZPIR]) and data from Puerto Rico (referred to as the Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System [ZAPSS]) due to differences in data collection and storage methods. The machine learning models demonstrated high sensitivity for identifying cases while potentially reducing volume of data for manual review (USZPIR: 96% sensitivity, 25% reduction in review volume; ZAPSS: 97% sensitivity, 50% reduction in review volume). Machine learning models show potential for identifying cases of Zika-associated birth defects and for reducing volume of data for manual review, a potential benefit in other public health emergency response settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054247PMC
November 2020

Characteristics of Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status - United States, January 22-June 7, 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 Jun 26;69(25):769-775. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response.

As of June 16, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in 2,104,346 cases and 116,140 deaths in the United States.* During pregnancy, women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that could increase their risk for more severe illness from respiratory infections (1,2). To date, data to assess the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among pregnant U.S. women and determine whether signs and symptoms differ among pregnant and nonpregnant women are limited. During January 22-June 7, as part of COVID-19 surveillance, CDC received reports of 326,335 women of reproductive age (15-44 years) who had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Data on pregnancy status were available for 91,412 (28.0%) women with laboratory-confirmed infections; among these, 8,207 (9.0%) were pregnant. Symptomatic pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19 reported similar frequencies of cough (>50%) and shortness of breath (30%), but pregnant women less frequently reported headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea. Chronic lung disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease were more commonly reported among pregnant women than among nonpregnant women. Among women with COVID-19, approximately one third (31.5%) of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized compared with 5.8% of nonpregnant women. After adjusting for age, presence of underlying medical conditions, and race/ethnicity, pregnant women were significantly more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (aRR = 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-1.8) and receive mechanical ventilation (aRR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.4). Sixteen (0.2%) COVID-19-related deaths were reported among pregnant women aged 15-44 years, and 208 (0.2%) such deaths were reported among nonpregnant women (aRR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.5-1.5). These findings suggest that among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and at increased risk for ICU admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation compared with nonpregnant women, but their risk for death is similar. To reduce occurrence of severe illness from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the potential risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and measures to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 should be emphasized for pregnant women and their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6925a1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316319PMC
June 2020

Severe Coronavirus Infections in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review.

Obstet Gynecol 2020 08;136(2):262-272

Division of Reproductive Health and the Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Objective: To inform the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, we conducted a systematic literature review of case reports of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, during pregnancy and summarized clinical presentation, course of illness, and pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.

Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE and ClinicalTrials.gov from inception to April 23, 2020.

Methods Of Study Selection: We included articles reporting case-level data on MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women. Course of illness, indicators of severe illness, maternal health outcomes, and pregnancy outcomes were abstracted from included articles.

Tabulation, Integration, And Results: We identified 1,328 unique articles, and 1,253 articles were excluded by title and abstract review. We completed full-text review on 75, and 29 articles were excluded by full-text review. Among 46 publications reporting case-level data, eight described 12 cases of MERS-CoV infection, seven described 17 cases of SARS-CoV infection, and 31 described 98 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Clinical presentation and course of illness ranged from asymptomatic to severe fatal disease, similar to the general population of patients. Severe morbidity and mortality among women with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, or SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, and laboratory evidence of vertical transmission, were reported.

Conclusion: Understanding whether pregnant women may be at risk for adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes from severe coronavirus infections is imperative. Data from case reports of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SAR-CoV-2 infections during pregnancy are limited, but they may guide early public health actions and clinical decision-making for COVID-19 until more rigorous and systematically collected data are available. The capture of critical data is needed to better define how this infection affects pregnant women and neonates. This review was not registered with PROSPERO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000004011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7942856PMC
August 2020

Etiology of Microcephaly and Central Nervous System Defects during the Zika Epidemic in Colombia.

J Pediatr 2020 07 13;222:112-119.e3. Epub 2020 May 13.

Dirección General, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of microcephaly and central nervous system (CNS) defects during the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Colombia and proportion attributable to congenital ZIKV infection.

Study Design: Clinical and laboratory data for cases of microcephaly and/or CNS defects reported to national surveillance between 2015 and 2017 were reviewed and classified by a panel of clinical subject matter experts. Maternal and fetal/infant biologic specimens were tested for congenital infection and chromosomal abnormalities. Infants/fetuses with microcephaly and/or CNS defects (cases) were classified into broad etiologic categories (teratogenic, genetic, multifactorial, and unknown). Cases classified as potentially attributable to congenital ZIKV infection were stratified by strength of evidence for ZIKV etiology (strong, moderate, or limited) using a novel strategy considering birth defects unique or specific to ZIKV or other infections and laboratory evidence.

Results: Among 858 reported cases with sufficient information supporting a diagnosis of microcephaly or CNS defects, 503 were classified as potentially attributable to congenital ZIKV infection. Of these, the strength of evidence was considered strong in 124 (24.7%) cases; moderate in 232 (46.1%) cases; and limited in 147 (29.2%). Of the remaining, 355 (41.4%) were attributed to etiologies other than ZIKV infection (syphilis, toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes 1 and herpes 2 viruses only, n = 32 [3.7%]; genetic, n = 16 [1.9%]; multifactorial, n = 42 [4.9%]; unknown, n = 265 [30.9%]).

Conclusions: Fifty-eight percent of cases of microcephaly and/or CNS defects were potentially attributable to congenital ZIKV infection; however, the strength of evidence varied considerably. This surveillance protocol might serve as a model approach for investigation and etiologic classification of complex congenital conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.02.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7321917PMC
July 2020

Zika virus detection in amniotic fluid and Zika-associated birth defects.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2020 06 15;222(6):610.e1-610.e13. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia.

Background: Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, which include brain and eye abnormalities. The clinical importance of detection of Zika virus RNA in amniotic fluid is unknown.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe patterns of Zika virus RNA testing of amniotic fluid relative to other clinical specimens and to examine the association between Zika virus detection in amniotic fluid and Zika-associated birth defects. Our null hypothesis was that Zika virus detection in amniotic fluid was not associated with Zika-associated birth defects.

Study Design: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of women with amniotic fluid specimens submitted to Colombia's National Institute of Health as part of national Zika virus surveillance from January 2016 to January 2017. Specimens (maternal serum, amniotic fluid, cord blood, umbilical cord tissue, and placental tissue) were tested for the presence of Zika virus RNA with the use of a singleplex or multiplex real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay. Birth defect information was abstracted from maternal prenatal and infant birth records and reviewed by expert clinicians. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the frequency of Zika-associated birth defects (defined as brain abnormalities [with or without microcephaly, but excluding neural tube defects and their associated findings] or eye abnormalities) by frequency of detection of Zika virus RNA in amniotic fluid.

Results: Our analysis included 128 women with amniotic fluid specimens. Seventy-five women (58%) had prenatally collected amniotic fluid; 42 women (33%) had amniotic fluid collected at delivery, and 11 women (9%) had missing collection dates. Ninety-one women had both amniotic fluid and other clinical specimens submitted for testing, which allowed for comparison across specimen types. Of those 91 women, 68 had evidence of Zika virus infection based on detection of Zika virus RNA in ≥1 specimen. Testing of amniotic fluid that was collected prenatally or at delivery identified 39 of these Zika virus infections (57%; 15 [22%] infections were identified only in amniotic fluid), and 29 infections (43%) were identified in other specimen types and not amniotic fluid. Among women who were included in the analysis, 89 had pregnancy outcome information available, which allowed for the assessment of the presence of Zika-associated birth defects. Zika-associated birth defects were significantly (P<.05) more common among pregnancies with Zika virus RNA detected in amniotic fluid specimens collected prenatally (19/32 specimens; 59%) than for those with no laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in any specimen (6/23 specimens; 26%), but the proportion was similar in pregnancies with only Zika virus RNA detected in specimens other than amniotic fluid (10/23 specimens; 43%). Although Zika-associated birth defects were more common among women with any Zika virus RNA detected in amniotic fluid specimens (ie, collected prenatally or at delivery; 21/43 specimens; 49%) than those with no laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection (6/23 specimens; 26%), this comparison did not reach statistical significance (P=.07).

Conclusion: Testing of amniotic fluid provided additional evidence for maternal diagnosis of Zika virus infection. Zika-associated birth defects were more common among women with Zika virus RNA that was detected in prenatal amniotic fluid specimens than women with no laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection, but similar to women with Zika virus RNA detected in other, nonamniotic fluid specimen types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2020.01.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477618PMC
June 2020

Vital Signs: Zika-Associated Birth Defects and Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities Possibly Associated with Congenital Zika Virus Infection - U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, 2018.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 Aug 10;67(31):858-867. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Introduction: Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes serious birth defects and might be associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities in children. Early identification of and intervention for neurodevelopmental problems can improve cognitive, social, and behavioral functioning.

Methods: Pregnancies with laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection and infants resulting from these pregnancies are included in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry (USZPIR) and followed through active surveillance methods. This report includes data on children aged ≥1 year born in U.S. territories and freely associated states. Receipt of reported follow-up care was assessed, and data were reviewed to identify Zika-associated birth defects and neurodevelopmental abnormalities possibly associated with congenital Zika virus infection.

Results: Among 1,450 children of mothers with laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy and with reported follow-up care, 76% had developmental screening or evaluation, 60% had postnatal neuroimaging, 48% had automated auditory brainstem response-based hearing screen or evaluation, and 36% had an ophthalmologic evaluation. Among evaluated children, 6% had at least one Zika-associated birth defect identified, 9% had at least one neurodevelopmental abnormality possibly associated with congenital Zika virus infection identified, and 1% had both.

Conclusion: One in seven evaluated children had a Zika-associated birth defect, a neurodevelopmental abnormality possibly associated with congenital Zika virus infection, or both reported to the USZPIR. Given that most children did not have evidence of all recommended evaluations, additional anomalies might not have been identified. Careful monitoring and evaluation of children born to mothers with evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy is essential for ensuring early detection of possible disabilities and early referral to intervention services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6731e1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089332PMC
August 2018

Public Health Approach to Addressing the Needs of Children Affected by Congenital Zika Syndrome.

Pediatrics 2018 02;141(Suppl 2):S146-S153

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

We have learned much about the short-term sequelae of congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) infection since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its ZIKV emergency response in January 2016. Nevertheless, gaps remain in our understanding of the full spectrum of adverse health outcomes related to congenital ZIKV infection and how to optimize health in those who are affected. To address the remaining knowledge gaps, support affected children so they can reach their full potential, and make the best use of available resources, a carefully planned public health approach in partnership with pediatric health care providers is needed. An essential step is to use population-based data captured through surveillance systems to describe congenital Zika syndrome. Another key step is using collected data to investigate why some children exhibit certain sequelae during infancy and beyond, whereas others do not, and to describe the clustering of anomalies and the timing of when these anomalies occur, among other research questions. The final critical step in the public health framework for congenital Zika syndrome is an intervention strategy with evidence-based best practices for longer-term monitoring and care. Adherence to recommended evaluation and management procedures for infants with possible congenital ZIKV infection, including for those with less obvious developmental and medical needs at birth, is essential. It will take many years to fully understand the effects of ZIKV on those who are congenitally infected; however, the lifetime medical and educational costs as well as the emotional impact on affected children and families are likely to be substantial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-2038CDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5841754PMC
February 2018

Detailed Transmission Network Analysis of a Large Opiate-Driven Outbreak of HIV Infection in the United States.

J Infect Dis 2017 11;216(9):1053-1062

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

In January 2015, an outbreak of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among persons who inject drugs (PWID) was recognized in rural Indiana. By September 2016, 205 persons in this community of approximately 4400 had received a diagnosis of HIV infection. We report results of new approaches to analyzing epidemiologic and laboratory data to understand transmission during this outbreak. HIV genetic distances were calculated using the polymerase region. Networks were generated using data about reported high-risk contacts, viral genetic similarity, and their most parsimonious combinations. Sample collection dates and recency assay results were used to infer dates of infection. Epidemiologic and laboratory data each generated large and dense networks. Integration of these data revealed subgroups with epidemiologic and genetic commonalities, one of which appeared to contain the earliest infections. Predicted infection dates suggest that transmission began in 2011, underwent explosive growth in mid-2014, and slowed after the declaration of a public health emergency. Results from this phylodynamic analysis suggest that the majority of infections had likely already occurred when the investigation began and that early transmission may have been associated with sexual activity and injection drug use. Early and sustained efforts are needed to detect infections and prevent or interrupt rapid transmission within networks of uninfected PWID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5853229PMC
November 2017

Pregnancy Outcomes After Maternal Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy - U.S. Territories, January 1, 2016-April 25, 2017.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017 Jun 16;66(23):615-621. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Pregnant women living in or traveling to areas with local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission are at risk for Zika virus infection, which can lead to severe fetal and infant brain abnormalities and microcephaly (1). In February 2016, CDC recommended 1) routine testing for Zika virus infection of asymptomatic pregnant women living in areas with ongoing local Zika virus transmission at the first prenatal care visit, 2) retesting during the second trimester for women who initially test negative, and 3) testing of pregnant women with signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease (e.g., fever, rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis) at any time during pregnancy (2). To collect information about pregnant women with laboratory evidence of recent possible Zika virus infection* and outcomes in their fetuses and infants, CDC established pregnancy and infant registries (3). During January 1, 2016-April 25, 2017, U.S. territories with local transmission of Zika virus reported 2,549 completed pregnancies (live births and pregnancy losses at any gestational age) with laboratory evidence of recent possible Zika virus infection; 5% of fetuses or infants resulting from these pregnancies had birth defects potentially associated with Zika virus infection (4,5). Among completed pregnancies with positive nucleic acid tests confirming Zika infection identified in the first, second, and third trimesters, the percentage of fetuses or infants with possible Zika-associated birth defects was 8%, 5%, and 4%, respectively. Among liveborn infants, 59% had Zika laboratory testing results reported to the pregnancy and infant registries. Identification and follow-up of infants born to women with laboratory evidence of recent possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy permits timely and appropriate clinical intervention services (6).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6623e1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5657842PMC
June 2017

A tale of 2 HIV outbreaks caused by unsafe injections in Cambodia and the United States, 2014-2015.

Am J Infect Control 2017 02 23;45(2):106-107. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.10.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5547736PMC
February 2017

HIV Infection Linked to Injection Use of Oxymorphone in Indiana, 2014-2015.

N Engl J Med 2016 Jul;375(3):229-39

From the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (P.J.P., K.W.H., M.R.P., R.R.G., M.W.S., W.M.S., Y.K., S.M.O., V.M., P.J.W., D.B., T.S., J.M., J.T.B.); and the Indiana State Department of Health (P.P., S.J.B., C.C., J.G., E.C., J.C.R., J.W., J.M.D.), Indiana University School of Medicine (J.W.), and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (J.M.D.), Indianapolis, Clark County Health Department, Jeffersonville (J.S., D.W.), and Scott County Health Department, Scottsburg (B.C.) - all in Indiana.

Background: In January 2015, a total of 11 new diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection were reported in a small community in Indiana. We investigated the extent and cause of the outbreak and implemented control measures.

Methods: We identified an outbreak-related case as laboratory-confirmed HIV infection newly diagnosed after October 1, 2014, in a person who either resided in Scott County, Indiana, or was named by another case patient as a syringe-sharing or sexual partner. HIV polymerase (pol) sequences from case patients were phylogenetically analyzed, and potential risk factors associated with HIV infection were ascertained.

Results: From November 18, 2014, to November 1, 2015, HIV infection was diagnosed in 181 case patients. Most of these patients (87.8%) reported having injected the extended-release formulation of the prescription opioid oxymorphone, and 92.3% were coinfected with hepatitis C virus. Among 159 case patients who had an HIV type 1 pol gene sequence, 157 (98.7%) had sequences that were highly related, as determined by phylogenetic analyses. Contact tracing investigations led to the identification of 536 persons who were named as contacts of case patients; 468 of these contacts (87.3%) were located, assessed for risk, tested for HIV, and, if infected, linked to care. The number of times a contact was named as a syringe-sharing partner by a case patient was significantly associated with the risk of HIV infection (adjusted risk ratio for each time named, 1.9; P<0.001). In response to this outbreak, a public health emergency was declared on March 26, 2015, and a syringe-service program in Indiana was established for the first time.

Conclusions: Injection-drug use of extended-release oxymorphone within a network of persons who inject drugs in Indiana led to the introduction and rapid transmission of HIV. (Funded by the state government of Indiana and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1515195DOI Listing
July 2016

Possible Zika Virus Infection Among Pregnant Women - United States and Territories, May 2016.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 May 27;65(20):514-9. Epub 2016 May 27.

Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and brain abnormalities (1), and it is the first known mosquito-borne infection to cause congenital anomalies in humans. The establishment of a comprehensive surveillance system to monitor pregnant women with Zika virus infection will provide data to further elucidate the full range of potential outcomes for fetuses and infants of mothers with asymptomatic and symptomatic Zika virus infection during pregnancy. In February 2016, Zika virus disease and congenital Zika virus infections became nationally notifiable conditions in the United States (2). Cases in pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection who have either 1) symptomatic infection or 2) asymptomatic infection with diagnosed complications of pregnancy can be reported as cases of Zika virus disease to ArboNET* (2), CDC's national arboviral diseases surveillance system. Under existing interim guidelines from the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), asymptomatic Zika virus infections in pregnant women who do not have known pregnancy complications are not reportable. ArboNET does not currently include pregnancy surveillance information (e.g., gestational age or pregnancy exposures) or pregnancy outcomes. To understand the full impact of infection on the fetus and neonate, other systems are needed for reporting and active monitoring of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Thus, in collaboration with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments, CDC established two surveillance systems to monitor pregnancies and congenital outcomes among women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection(†) in the United States and territories: 1) the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR),(§) which monitors pregnant women residing in U.S. states and all U.S. territories except Puerto Rico, and 2) the Zika Active Pregnancy Surveillance System (ZAPSS), which monitors pregnant women residing in Puerto Rico. As of May 12, 2016, the surveillance systems were monitoring 157 and 122 pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection from participating U.S. states and territories, respectively. Tracking and monitoring clinical presentation of Zika virus infection, all prenatal testing, and adverse consequences of Zika virus infection during pregnancy are critical to better characterize the risk for congenital infection, the performance of prenatal diagnostic testing, and the spectrum of adverse congenital outcomes. These data will improve clinical guidance, inform counseling messages for pregnant women, and facilitate planning for clinical and public health services for affected families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6520e1DOI Listing
May 2016

Estimating Contraceptive Needs and Increasing Access to Contraception in Response to the Zika Virus Disease Outbreak--Puerto Rico, 2016.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 Apr 1;65(12):311-4. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes species mosquitoes. Increasing evidence links Zika virus infection during pregnancy to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, including pregnancy loss, intrauterine growth restriction, eye defects, congenital brain abnormalities, and other fetal abnormalities. The virus has also been determined to be sexually transmitted. Because of the potential risks associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy, CDC has recommended that health care providers discuss prevention of unintended pregnancy with women and couples who reside in areas of active Zika virus transmission and do not want to become pregnant. However, limitations in access to contraception in some of these areas might affect the ability to prevent an unintended pregnancy. As of March 16, 2016, the highest number of Zika virus disease cases in the United States and U.S. territories were reported from Puerto Rico. The number of cases will likely rise with increasing mosquito activity in affected areas, resulting in increased risk for transmission to pregnant women. High rates of unintended and adolescent pregnancies in Puerto Rico suggest that, in the context of this outbreak, access to contraception might need to be improved. CDC estimates that 138,000 women of reproductive age (aged 15-44 years) in Puerto Rico do not desire pregnancy and are not using one of the most effective or moderately effective contraceptive methods, and therefore might experience an unintended pregnancy. CDC and other federal and local partners are seeking to expand access to contraception for these persons. Such efforts have the potential to increase contraceptive access and use, reduce unintended pregnancies, and lead to fewer adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy. The assessment of challenges and resources related to contraceptive access in Puerto Rico might be a useful model for other areas with active transmission of Zika virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6512e1DOI Listing
April 2016

Zika Virus Infection Among U.S. Pregnant Travelers - August 2015-February 2016.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 Mar 4;65(8):211-4. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

After reports of microcephaly and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in infants of mothers infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, CDC issued a travel alert on January 15, 2016, advising pregnant women to consider postponing travel to areas with active transmission of Zika virus. On January 19, CDC released interim guidelines for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with travel to an affected area, and an update was released on February 5. As of February 17, CDC had received reports of nine pregnant travelers with laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease; 10 additional reports of Zika virus disease among pregnant women are currently under investigation. No Zika virus-related hospitalizations or deaths among pregnant women were reported. Pregnancy outcomes among the nine confirmed cases included two early pregnancy losses, two elective terminations, and three live births (two apparently healthy infants and one infant with severe microcephaly); two pregnancies (approximately 18 weeks' and 34 weeks' gestation) are continuing without known complications. Confirmed cases of Zika virus infection were reported among women who had traveled to one or more of the following nine areas with ongoing local transmission of Zika virus: American Samoa, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Samoa. This report summarizes findings from the nine women with confirmed Zika virus infection during pregnancy, including case reports for four women with various clinical outcomes. U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure during pregnancy should follow CDC guidelines for patient evaluation and management. Zika virus disease is a nationally notifiable condition. CDC has developed a voluntary registry to collect information about U.S. pregnant women with confirmed Zika virus infection and their infants. Information about the registry is in preparation and will be available on the CDC website.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6508e1DOI Listing
March 2016

Cluster of HIV Infections Attributed to Unsafe Injection Practices--Cambodia, December 1, 2014-February 28, 2015.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 Feb 19;65(6):142-5. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

In December 2014, local health authorities in Battambang province in northwest Cambodia reported 30 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in a rural commune (district subdivision) where only four cases had been reported during the preceding year. The majority of cases occurred in residents of Roka commune. The Cambodian National Center for HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (NCHADS) investigated the outbreak in collaboration with the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh and members of the Roka Cluster Investigation Team. By February 28, 2015, NCHADS had confirmed 242 cases of HIV infection among the 8,893 commune residents, an infection rate of 2.7%. Molecular investigation of the HIV strains present in this outbreak indicated that the majority of cases were linked to a single HIV strain that spread quickly within this community. An NCHADS case-control study identified medical injections and infusions as the most likely modes of transmission. In response to this outbreak, the Government of Cambodia has taken measures to encourage safe injection practices by licensed medical professionals, ban unlicensed medical practitioners, increase local capacity for HIV testing and counseling, and expand access to HIV treatment in Battambang province. Measures to reduce the demand for unnecessary medical injections and the provision of unsafe injections are needed. Estimates of national HIV incidence and prevalence might need to be adjusted to account for unsafe injection as a risk exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6506a2DOI Listing
February 2016

Update: Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women and Women of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure - United States, 2016.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016 Feb 12;65(5):122-7. Epub 2016 Feb 12.

CDC has updated its interim guidelines for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women during a Zika virus outbreak (1). Updated guidelines include a new recommendation to offer serologic testing to asymptomatic pregnant women (women who do not report clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease) who have traveled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. Testing can be offered 2-12 weeks after pregnant women return from travel. This update also expands guidance to women who reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, and includes recommendations for screening, testing, and management of pregnant women and recommendations for counseling women of reproductive age (15-44 years). Pregnant women who reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission have an ongoing risk for infection throughout their pregnancy. For pregnant women with clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease,* testing is recommended during the first week of illness. For asymptomatic pregnant women residing in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, testing is recommended at the initiation of prenatal care with follow-up testing mid-second trimester. Local health officials should determine when to implement testing of asymptomatic pregnant women based on information about levels of Zika virus transmission and laboratory capacity. Health care providers should discuss reproductive life plans, including pregnancy intention and timing, with women of reproductive age in the context of the potential risks associated with Zika virus infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6505e2DOI Listing
February 2016

Community Outbreak of HIV Infection Linked to Injection Drug Use of Oxymorphone--Indiana, 2015.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015 May;64(16):443-4

On January 23, 2015, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) began an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, after Indiana disease intervention specialists reported 11 confirmed HIV cases traced to a rural county in southeastern Indiana. Historically, fewer than five cases of HIV infection have been reported annually in this county. The majority of cases were in residents of the same community and were linked to syringe-sharing partners injecting the prescription opioid oxymorphone (a powerful oral semi-synthetic opioid analgesic). As of April 21, ISDH had diagnosed HIV infection in 135 persons (129 with confirmed HIV infection and six with preliminarily positive results from rapid HIV testing that were pending confirmatory testing) in a community of 4,200 persons.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4584812PMC
May 2015
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