Urgent Updates | February 2

Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drug Use in the US Before and During the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic
In this cross-sectional study of 19 631 youths, young adults, and adults, substance use substantially decreased across nearly all substance categories in 2018 to 2019 vs 2020 among youths and young adults, whereas consistent changes were not seen in older persons.
Full Access: JAMA

Update: Multistate Cluster of VIM- and GES-producing Carbapenem- resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa associated with Artificial Tears
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a multistate cluster of Verona Integron‐mediated Metallo‐β‐lactamase (VIM)‐ and Guiana‐Extended Spectrum‐β‐Lactamase (GES)‐ producing carbapenem‐resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM‐GES‐CRPA) associated with multiple different infection types, including eye infections. Recent epidemiology and laboratory evidence link these infections to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears.

Full Access: CDC

What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access
On Jan. 30, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its intent to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations on May 11, 2023, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Congress also enacted legislation—including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act , the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA)—that provided additional flexibilities tied to one or more of these emergency declarations, and as such they too are scheduled to expire when (or at a specified time after) the emergency period(s) expires.
Full Access: KFF

Evaluation of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality by Race and Ethnicity Among Pregnant and Recently Pregnant Women in the US, 2019 to 2020
In this cross-sectional study, mortality rates among recently pregnant women increased across all causes of death except suicide from 2019 to 2020. Pregnancy-associated causes were the leading cause of death, followed by drug poisoning. Of 4535 total deaths from 2019 to 2020, 2904 (64%) were women aged 34 years or younger. With regard to race and ethnicity, 107 women (2.4%) were American Indian or Alaska Native, 127 (2.8%) were Asian or Pacific Islander, 671 (14.8%) were Hispanic, 1276 (28.1%) were non-Hispanic Black, 2291 (50.5%) were non-Hispanic White, and 63 (1.4%) were multiple races or ethnicities.
Full Access: JAMA