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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(21): 703-708, 2022 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865662


Seizures, transient signs or symptoms caused by abnormal surges of electrical activity in the brain, can result from epilepsy, a neurologic disorder characterized by abnormal electrical brain activity causing recurrent, unprovoked seizures, or from other inciting causes, such as high fever or substance abuse (1). Seizures generally account for approximately 1% of all emergency department (ED) visits (2,3). Persons of any age can experience seizures, and outcomes might range from no complications for those with a single seizure to increased risk for injury, comorbidity, impaired quality of life, and early mortality for those with epilepsy (4). To examine trends in weekly seizure- or epilepsy-related (seizure-related) ED visits† in the United States before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC analyzed data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP).§ Seizure-related ED visits decreased abruptly during the early pandemic period. By the end of 2020, seizure-related ED visits returned almost to prepandemic levels for persons of all ages, except children aged 0-9 years. By mid-2021, however, this age group gradually returned to baseline as well. Reasons for the decrease in seizure-related ED visits in 2020 among all age groups and the slow return to baseline among children aged 0-9 years compared with other age groups are unclear. The decrease might have been associated with fear of exposure to COVID-19 infection in EDs deterring parents or guardians of children from seeking care, adherence to mitigation measures including avoiding public settings such as EDs, or increased access to telehealth services decreasing the need for ED visits (5). These findings reinforce the importance of understanding factors associated with ED avoidance among persons with epilepsy or seizure, the importance that all eligible persons be up to date¶ with COVID-19 vaccination, and the need to encourage persons to seek appropriate care for seizure-related emergencies** to prevent adverse outcomes.

COVID-19 , Epilepsy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Child, Preschool , Emergency Service, Hospital , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Seizures/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 907-916, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177867


Objectives. To assess SARS-CoV-2 transmission within a correctional facility and recommend mitigation strategies.Methods. From April 29 to May 15, 2020, we established the point prevalence of COVID-19 among incarcerated persons and staff within a correctional facility in Arkansas. Participants provided respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing and completed questionnaires on symptoms and factors associated with transmission.Results. Of 1647 incarcerated persons and 128 staff tested, 30.5% of incarcerated persons (range by housing unit = 0.0%-58.2%) and 2.3% of staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among those who tested positive and responded to symptom questions (431 incarcerated persons, 3 staff), 81.2% and 33.3% were asymptomatic, respectively. Most incarcerated persons (58.0%) reported wearing cloth face coverings 8 hours or less per day, and 63.3% reported close contact with someone other than their bunkmate.Conclusions. If testing remained limited to symptomatic individuals, fewer cases would have been detected or detection would have been delayed, allowing transmission to continue. Rapid implementation of mass testing and strict enforcement of infection prevention and control measures may be needed to mitigate spread of SARS-CoV-2 in this setting.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Correctional Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arkansas/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires