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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(19): 656-663, 2022 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847855

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The majority of homicides (79%) and suicides (53%) in the United States involved a firearm in 2020. High firearm homicide and suicide rates and corresponding inequities by race and ethnicity and poverty level represent important public health concerns. This study examined changes in firearm homicide and firearm suicide rates coinciding with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. METHODS: National vital statistics and population data were integrated with urbanization and poverty measures at the county level. Population-based firearm homicide and suicide rates were examined by age, sex, race and ethnicity, geographic area, level of urbanization, and level of poverty. RESULTS: From 2019 to 2020, the overall firearm homicide rate increased 34.6%, from 4.6 to 6.1 per 100,000 persons. The largest increases occurred among non-Hispanic Black or African American males aged 10-44 years and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) males aged 25-44 years. Rates of firearm homicide were lowest and increased least at the lowest poverty level and were higher and showed larger increases at higher poverty levels. The overall firearm suicide rate remained relatively unchanged from 2019 to 2020 (7.9 to 8.1); however, in some populations, including AI/AN males aged 10-44 years, rates did increase. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the firearm homicide rate in the United States reached its highest level since 1994, with substantial increases among several population subgroups. These increases have widened disparities in rates by race and ethnicity and poverty level. Several increases in firearm suicide rates were also observed. Implementation of comprehensive strategies employing proven approaches that address underlying economic, physical, and social conditions contributing to the risks for violence and suicide is urgently needed to reduce these rates and disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Suicide , Cause of Death , Homicide , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , United States/epidemiology , Vital Signs
2.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(8): 313-318, 2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702098

ABSTRACT

Emergency departments (EDs) in the United States remain a frontline resource for pediatric health care emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, patterns of health-seeking behavior have changed during the pandemic (1,2). CDC examined changes in U.S. ED visit trends to assess the continued impact of the pandemic on visits among children and adolescents aged 0-17 years (pediatric ED visits). Compared with 2019, pediatric ED visits declined by 51% during 2020, 22% during 2021, and 23% during January 2022. Although visits for non-COVID-19 respiratory illnesses mostly declined, the proportion of visits for some respiratory conditions increased during January 2022 compared with 2019. Weekly number and proportion of ED visits increased for certain types of injuries (e.g., drug poisonings, self-harm, and firearm injuries) and some chronic diseases, with variation by pandemic year and age group. Visits related to behavioral concerns increased across pandemic years, particularly among older children and adolescents. Health care providers and families should remain vigilant for potential indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health conditions resulting from delayed care, and increasing emotional distress and behavioral health concerns among children and adolescents.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Treatment/classification , Facilities and Services Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization/trends , Adolescent , Age Distribution , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance , United States
3.
JAMA Psychiatry ; 78(4): 372-379, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060999

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, associated mitigation measures, and social and economic impacts may affect mental health, suicidal behavior, substance use, and violence. Objective: To examine changes in US emergency department (ED) visits for mental health conditions (MHCs), suicide attempts (SAs), overdose (OD), and violence outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Syndromic Surveillance Program to examine national changes in ED visits for MHCs, SAs, ODs, and violence from December 30, 2018, to October 10, 2020 (before and during the COVID-19 pandemic). The National Syndromic Surveillance Program captures approximately 70% of US ED visits from more than 3500 EDs that cover 48 states and Washington, DC. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome measures were MHCs, SAs, all drug ODs, opioid ODs, intimate partner violence (IPV), and suspected child abuse and neglect (SCAN) ED visit counts and rates. Weekly ED visit counts and rates were computed overall and stratified by sex. Results: From December 30, 2018, to October 10, 2020, a total of 187 508 065 total ED visits (53.6% female and 46.1% male) were captured; 6 018 318 included at least 1 study outcome (visits not mutually exclusive). Total ED visit volume decreased after COVID-19 mitigation measures were implemented in the US beginning on March 16, 2020. Weekly ED visit counts for all 6 outcomes decreased between March 8 and 28, 2020 (March 8: MHCs = 42 903, SAs = 5212, all ODs = 14 543, opioid ODs = 4752, IPV = 444, and SCAN = 1090; March 28: MHCs = 17 574, SAs = 4241, all ODs = 12 399, opioid ODs = 4306, IPV = 347, and SCAN = 487). Conversely, ED visit rates increased beginning the week of March 22 to 28, 2020. When the median ED visit counts between March 15 and October 10, 2020, were compared with the same period in 2019, the 2020 counts were significantly higher for SAs (n = 4940 vs 4656, P = .02), all ODs (n = 15 604 vs 13 371, P < .001), and opioid ODs (n = 5502 vs 4168, P < .001); counts were significantly lower for IPV ED visits (n = 442 vs 484, P < .001) and SCAN ED visits (n = 884 vs 1038, P < .001). Median rates during the same period were significantly higher in 2020 compared with 2019 for all outcomes except IPV. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that ED care seeking shifts during a pandemic, underscoring the need to integrate mental health, substance use, and violence screening and prevention services into response activities during public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose , Emergency Service, Hospital , Mental Disorders , Suicide, Attempted , Violence , Adult , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/trends , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide, Attempted/psychology , Suicide, Attempted/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Violence/psychology , Violence/statistics & numerical data
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(14): 419-421, 2020 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-31687

ABSTRACT

On February 27, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) identified its first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated with probable community transmission (i.e., infection among persons without a known exposure by travel or close contact with a patient with confirmed COVID-19). At the time the investigation began, testing guidance recommended focusing on persons with clinical findings of lower respiratory illness and travel to an affected area or an epidemiologic link to a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case, or on persons hospitalized for severe respiratory disease and no alternative diagnosis (1). To rapidly understand the extent of COVID-19 in the community, SCCPHD, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and CDC began sentinel surveillance in Santa Clara County. During March 5-14, 2020, four urgent care centers in Santa Clara County participated as sentinel sites. For this investigation, county residents evaluated for respiratory symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) who had no known risk for COVID-19 were identified at participating urgent care centers. A convenience sample of specimens that tested negative for influenza virus was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Among 226 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 23% had positive test results for influenza. Among patients who had negative test results for influenza, 79 specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and 11% had evidence of infection. This sentinel surveillance system helped confirm community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara County. As a result of these data and an increasing number of cases with no known source of transmission, the county initiated a series of community mitigation strategies. Detection of community transmission is critical for informing response activities, including testing criteria, quarantine guidance, investigation protocols, and community mitigation measures (2). Sentinel surveillance in outpatient settings and emergency departments, implemented together with hospital-based surveillance, mortality surveillance, and serologic surveys, can provide a robust approach to monitor the epidemiology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Community-Acquired Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Sentinel Surveillance , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , California/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Young Adult
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