While generating the codes was a pretty straightforward matter of
=left(), I discovered only after exporting from Excel 2010 to a tab-separated text format that Excel or Word had converted my ASCII dash (-) and ellipses (…) into special dash (–) and ellipses (…) characters somewhere along the way.
I was using Notepad++ to review the file generated and I decided to determine just what characters existed in the CDC-provided data. I built up the following PCRE regex one piece at a time until I had the exact list (case insensitive):
Of course, upon reflection, I just realized that J has a great way to find the characters:
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