Tafesse, Belete; Tekle, Ephrem; Wondwossen, Liya; Bogale, Mengistu; Fiona, Braka; Nsubuga, Peter; Tomas, Karengera; Kassahun, Aron; Kathleen, Gallagher; Teka, Aschalew
Introduction Ethiopia experienced several WPV importations with a total of 10 WPV1 cases confirmed during the 2013 outbreak alone before it is closed in 2015. We evaluated supplemental immunization activities (SIAs), including lessons learned for their effect on the routine immunization program during the 2013 polio outbreak in Somali regional state. Methods We used descriptive study to review documents and analyse routine health information system reports from the polio outbreak affected Som...
Belda, Ketema; Tegegne, Ayesheshem Ademe; Mersha, Amare Mengistu; Bayenessagne, Mekonnen Getahun; Hussein, Ibrahim; Bezabeh, Belay
Despite the increase of immunization coverage (administrative) of measles in the country, there are widespread outbreaks of measles. In this respect, we investigated one of the outbreaks that occurred in hard to reach kebeles of Guji Zone, Oromia region, to identify the contributing factors that lead to the protracted outbreak of measles. We used a cross-sectional study design to investigate a measles outbreak in Guji zone, Oromia region. Data entry and analysis was performed using EPI-Info version 126.96.36.199 and MS-Microsoft Excel. In three months' time a total of 1059 suspected cases and two deaths were reported from 9 woredas affected by a measles outbreak in Guji zone. The cumulative attack rate of 81/100,000 population and case fatality ratio of 0.2% was recorded. Of these, 821 (77.5%) cases were measles vaccine. Although, all age groups were affected under five years old were more affected 495 (48%) than any other age groups. In response to the outbreak, an outbreak response immunization was organized at the 11th week of the epidemic, when the epidemic curve started to decline. 6 months to14 years old were targeted for outbreak response immunization and the overall coverage was 97 % (range: 90-103%). Case management with vitamin A supplementation, active case search, and health education was some of the activities carried out to curb the outbreak. We conclude that low routine immunization coverage in conjunction with low access to routine immunization in hard to reach areas, low community awareness in utilization of immunization service, inadequate cold chain management and delivery of a potent vaccine in hard to reach woredas/kebeles were likely contributed to the outbreak that's triggered a broad spread epidemic affecting mostly children without any vaccination. We also figured that the case-based surveillance lacks sensitivity and timely confirmation of the outbreak, which as a result outbreak response immunization were delayed. We recommend establishing
preventable deaths in Africa; especially in unvaccinated populations. We reviewed the medical reports of the measles outbreak that occurred in Misaje, in the North west region of Cameroon from 11/03/2015 to 14/05/2015. Six measles cases ...
Full Text Available In Vologda region the foci of tularemia are manifested most actively in the meadow-field and floodplain wetland habitats. From 1958 to 2012, 434 cultures of tularemia have been revealed, and 379 human cases have been registered. Foci of tularemia appear irregularly, but in different species of small mammals epizootics proceed constantly. The sharp increase of the number of small mammals and the spread of tularemia bacteria by the watercourses contribute to the development of intense epizootics and to the increase of tularemia cultures isolated from environmental objects. The most active natural foci of tularemia are reported in Prisuhonskaya lowland, in the Uhtomka river valley and in the floodplain of the Little Northern Dvina river. In Vologda region the maximum risk of infecting with tularemia is associated with the landscapes of limnetic-glacial type.
Hyun Jeong Do
Full Text Available Purpose : Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS is a relatively uncommon superficial blistering skin disease that is due to Staphylococcus aureus. We had experienced a regional outbreak of SSSS over 3 years in healthy children. Methods : We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of those patients diagnosed as SSSS. Most of neonatal cases were nosocomial infections and excluded from the analysis. The clinical features, laboratory findings, the isolation and antibiotic resistance of S. aureus, the antibiotic management and other supportive treatments were analyzed. Results : Fifty-five patients with SSSS were admitted to our hospital from October 2001 to September 2004. The median age of patients was 3.0 years. Of the 55 patients, 9 were the generalized type, 13 were the intermediate type and 33 were the scarletiniform rash. All the patients were living in neighborhood of the Jinju area. S. aureus were isolated from 9 of the patients and all of the isolated S. aureus were methicillin resistant. All the patients except two were treated with intravenous flocloxacillin or nafcillin and/or cefotaxime. All the patients recovered during the follow-up period of 2 to 3 weeks. Conclusion : We experienced a regional outbreak of SSSS in previous healthy children. Further study for finding the carriers of S. aureus caused SSSS and preventing the spread of this disease is needed. Additionally, guidelines for treating SSSS due to methicillin resistant S. aureus should be established.
Kebede, Senait; Duales, Sambe; Yokouide, Allarangar; Alemu, Wondimagegnehu
Communicable disease outbreaks cause millions of deaths throughout Sub-Saharan Africa each year. Most of the diseases causing epidemics in the region have been nearly eradicated or brought under control in other parts of the world. In recent years, considerable effort has been directed toward public health initiatives and strategies with a potential for significant impact in the fight against infectious diseases. In 1998, the World Health Organization African Regional Office (WHO/AFRO) launched the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy aimed at mitigating the impact of communicable diseases, including epidemic-prone diseases, through improving surveillance, laboratory confirmation and appropriate and timely public health interventions. Over the past decade, WHO and its partners have been providing technical and financial resources to African countries to strengthen epidemic preparedness and response (EPR) activities. This review examined the major epidemics reported to WHO/AFRO from 2003 to 2007. we conduct a review of documents and reports obtained from WHO/AFRO, WHO inter-country team, and partners and held meeting and discussions with key stakeholders to elicit the experiences of local, regional and international efforts against these epidemics to evaluate the lessons learned and to stimulate discussion on the future course for enhancing EPR. The most commonly reported epidemic outbreaks in Africa include: cholera, dysentery, malaria and hemorrhagic fevers (e.g. Ebola, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo fever and yellow fever). The cyclic meningococcal meningitis outbreak that affects countries along the "meningitis belt" (spanning Sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and The Gambia to Kenya and Ethiopia) accounts for other major epidemics in the region. The reporting of disease outbreaks to WHO/AFRO has improved since the launch of the IDSR strategy in 1998. Although the epidemic trends for cholera showed a decline in case fatality rate (CFR
Pazdiora, P; Skálová, J; Kubátová, A; Ježová, I; Morávková, I; Podlesná, I; Průchová, J; Spáčilová, M; Švecová, M
The mumps outbreak in the Plzeň Region in 2011 was analysed retrospectively using the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data. Vaccine efficacy analysis was also conducted in various population groups. The routine procedure and standard form were used by the epidemiologists to collect data on the age, sex, place of residence, presence in collectivities, date of disease onset, type of complications and date of their onset, hospital admission, vaccination, and results of laboratory analyses. Based on the records of general practitioners for children and adolescents, data on the vaccination of children born in the previous three years have been provided to the epidemic control departments every year by 30 June since 1989. To estimate the vaccination coverage rate, the numbers of single-dose or two-dose recipients are related to the number of children registered in a given year. The first year of vaccine recipients were children born in 1986 who were aged 25 in 2011. The data collected on the population of the Plzeň Region were used for the primary analyses. To estimate the efficacy of the mumps vaccine, age and vaccine coverage cohort analysis was performed using the screening method. To analyse categories, the chi-square test with Yates correction was applied at a significance level of p = 0.05 % (EPIINFO version 6.04d). In 2011, 721 mumps cases were reported in the Plzeň Region (incidence: 126.1 cases per 100 000 population). The average patient age was 19.4 years, with a median of 18 years (age range 1-77 years). Four hundred and seventeen (57.8%) patients were males. Biological specimens from 375 (52.0%) patients were investigated serologically in the virology laboratory and mumps were laboratory confirmed in 316 (43.8%) of them - in 222 patients, one blood specimen was analysed. The most afflicted area was the Klatovy district with the incidence of 449.3/100 000 population. The most affected age group were 15-19 year-olds with the incidence of 1008
John M Drake
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rapid response to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases is impeded by uncertain diagnoses and delayed communication. Understanding the effect of inefficient response is a potentially important contribution of epidemic theory. To develop this understanding we studied societal learning during emerging outbreaks wherein patient removal accelerates as information is gathered and disseminated. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We developed an extension of a standard outbreak model, the simple stochastic epidemic, which accounts for societal learning. We obtained expressions for the expected outbreak size and the distribution of epidemic duration. We found that rapid learning noticeably affects the final outbreak size even when learning exhibits diminishing returns (relaxation. As an example, we estimated the learning rate for the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS in Singapore. Evidence for relaxation during the first eight weeks of the outbreak was inconclusive. We estimated that if societal learning had occurred at half the actual rate, the expected final size of the outbreak would have reached nearly 800 cases, more than three times the observed number of infections. By contrast, the expected outbreak size for societal learning twice as effective was 116 cases. CONCLUSION: These results show that the rate of societal learning can greatly affect the final size of disease outbreaks, justifying investment in early warning systems and attentiveness to disease outbreak by both government authorities and the public. We submit that the burden of emerging infections, including the risk of a global pandemic, could be efficiently reduced by improving procedures for rapid detection of outbreaks, alerting public health officials, and aggressively educating the public at the start of an outbreak.
Kouadio, Koffi; Okeibunor, Joseph; Nsubuga, Peter; Mihigo, Richard; Mkanda, Pascal
The continuous deployments of polio resources, infrastructures and systems for responding to other disease outbreaks in many African countries has led to a number of lessons considered as best practice that need to be documented for strengthening preparedness and response activities in future outbreaks. We reviewed and documented the influence of polio best practices in outbreak preparedness and response in Angola, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Data from relevant programmes of the WHO African Region were also analyzed to demonstrate clearly the relative contributions of PEI resources and infrastructure to effective disease outbreak preparedness and response. Polio resources including, human, financial, and logistic, tool and strategies have tremendously contributed to responding to diseases outbreaks across the African region. In Angola, Nigeria and Ethiopia, many disease epidemics including Marburg Hemorrhagic fever, Dengue fever, Ebola Virus Diseases (EVD), Measles, Anthrax and Shigella have been controlled using existing polio Eradication Initiatives resources. Polio staffs are usually deployed in occasions to supports outbreak response activities (coordination, surveillance, contact tracing, case investigation, finance, data management, etc.). Polio logistics such vehicles, laboratories were also used in the response activities to other infectious diseases. Many polio tools including micro planning, dashboard, guidelines, SOPs on preparedness and response have also benefited to other epidemic-prone diseases. The Countries' preparedness and response plan to WPV importation as well as the Polio Emergency Operation Center models were successfully used to develop, strengthen and respond to many other diseases outbreak with the implication of partners and the strong leadership and ownership of governments. This review has important implications for WHO/AFRO initiative to strengthening and improving disease outbreak preparedness and responses in the African Region in respect
Tafesse, Belete; Tekle, Ephrem; Wondwossen, Liya; Bogale, Mengistu; Fiona, Braka; Nsubuga, Peter; Tomas, Karengera; Kassahun, Aron; Kathleen, Gallagher; Teka, Aschalew
Ethiopia experienced several WPV importations with a total of 10 WPV1 cases confirmed during the 2013 outbreak alone before it is closed in 2015. We evaluated supplemental immunization activities (SIAs), including lessons learned for their effect on the routine immunization program during the 2013 polio outbreak in Somali regional state. We used descriptive study to review documents and analyse routine health information system reports from the polio outbreak affected Somali regional state. All data and technical reports of the 15 rounds of polio SIAs from June 2013 through June 2015 and routine immunization coverages for DPT-Hib-HepB 3 and measles were observed. More than 93% of the SIAs were having administrative coverage above 95%. The trend of routine immunization for the two antigens, over the five years (2011 through 2015) did not show a consistent pattern against the number of SIAs. Documentations showed qualitative positive impacts of the SIAs strengthening the routine immunization during all courses of the campaigns. The quantitative impact of polio SIAs on routine immunization remained not so impressive in this study. Clear planning, data consistencies and completeness issues need to be cleared for the impact assessment in quantitative terms, in polio legacy planning as well as for the introduction of injectable polio vaccine through the routine immunization.
Nekorchuk, D.; Gebrehiwot, T.; Mihretie, A.; Awoke, W.; Wimberly, M. C.
Traditional epidemiological approaches to early detection of disease outbreaks are based on relatively straightforward thresholds (e.g. 75th percentile, standard deviations) estimated from historical case data. For diseases with strong seasonality, these can be modified to create separate thresholds for each seasonal time step. However, for disease processes that are non-stationary, more sophisticated techniques are needed to more accurately estimate outbreak threshold values. Early detection for geohealth-related diseases that also have environmental drivers, such as vector-borne diseases, may also benefit from the integration of time-lagged environmental data and disease ecology models into the threshold calculations. The Epidemic Prognosis Incorporating Disease and Environmental Monitoring for Integrated Assessment (EPIDEMIA) project has been integrating malaria case surveillance with remotely-sensed environmental data for early detection, warning, and forecasting of malaria epidemics in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, and has five years of weekly time series data from 47 woredas (districts). Efforts to reduce the burden of malaria in Ethiopia has been met with some notable success in the past two decades with major reduction in cases and deaths. However, malaria remains a significant public health threat as 60% of the population live in malarious areas, and due to the seasonal and unstable transmission patterns with cyclic outbreaks, protective immunity is generally low which could cause high morbidity and mortality during the epidemics. This study compared several approaches for defining outbreak thresholds and for identifying a potential outbreak based on deviations from these thresholds. We found that model-based approaches that accounted for climate-driven seasonality in malaria transmission were most effective, and that incorporating a trend component improved outbreak detection in areas with active malaria elimination efforts. An advantage of these early
Ohene-Adjei, Kennedy; Kenu, Ernest; Bandoh, Delia Akosua; Addo, Prince Nii Ossah; Noora, Charles Lwanga; Nortey, Priscillia; Afari, Edwin Andrew
Cholera remains an important public health challenge globally. Several pandemics have occurred in different parts of the world and have been epidemiologically linked by different researchers to illustrate how the cases were spread and how they were related to index cases. Even though the risk factors associated with the 2014 cholera outbreak were investigated extensively, the link between index cases and the source of infection was not investigated to help break the transmission process. This study sought to show how the index cases from various districts of the Greater Accra Region may have been linked. We carried out a descriptive cross sectional study to investigate the epidemiological link of the 2014 cholera outbreak in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. An extensive review of all district records on cholera cases in the Greater Accra region was carried out. Index cases were identified with the help of line lists. Univariate analyses were expressed as frequency distributions, percentages, mean ± Standard Deviation, and rates (attack rates, case-fatality rates etc.) as appropriate. Maps were drawn using Arc GIS and Epi info software to describe the pattern of transmission. Up to 20,199 cholera cases were recorded. Sixty percent of the cases were between 20 and 40 years and about 58% (11,694) of the total cases were males. Almost 50% of the cases occurred in the Accra Metro district. Two-thirds of the index cases ate food prepared outside their home and had visited the Accra Metropolis. The 2014 cholera outbreak can be described as a propagated source outbreak linked to the Accra Metropolis. The link between index cases and the source of infection, if investigated earlier could have helped break the transmission process. Such investigations also inform decision-making about the appropriate interventions to be instituted to prevent subsequent outbreaks.
Pires, L. B. M.; Romao, M.; Freitas, A. C. V.
The combination of alterations in land use cover and severe droughts may dramatically increase fire outbreaks. Tropical convection in the Amazon Basin is regulated mainly by large-scale atmospheric systems such as the Walker circulation. Many of the documented drought episodes in the Amazon occurred during intense El Niño events such as those recorded in 1926, 1983, 1997-1998, and 2010. However, not all El Niño events are related to drought in the Amazon. Recent studies have also pointed out the importance of the tropical Atlantic Ocean in the modulation of the Amazonian climate, as observed during the drought episodes in 2005 and 2010. This work investigates the fire outbreak tendency in the Amazon region, and the influence of large-scale circulation on these events. Data from the Fire Program of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies (CPTEC/INPE) show a substantial increase in the number of fire outbreaks in the last few years, especially during 2016. However, in the 2017 year a sharp drop in fire outbreaks reaching levels similar to the years prior to 2016 is being noted, already showing a reduction of 54% in relation to the preceding 2016 year. The 2015-2016 period was marked by one of the strongest El Niño in history. This was reflected in the increase of the number of fire outbreaks due to the increase of the drought and temperature elevation period. On the other hand, the 2017 year is being characterized by a condition of neutrality in relation to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena, and have overall presented positive sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Atlantic. Variations of these systems and their relation to fire outbreaks is demonstrated.
Malik, Mamunur Rahman; Mnzava, Abraham; Mohareb, Emad; Zayed, Alia; Al Kohlani, Abdulhakeem; Thabet, Ahmed A K; El Bushra, Hassan
Little is known about the occurrence of chikungunya fever in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization (WHO). In January 2011, the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPH&P) of Yemen reported to WHO an increasing number of "dengue-like" acute febrile illnesses of unknown origin from one of its coastal governorates. An epidemiological investigation was conducted in Al-Hudaydah governorate between 23 and 26 January 2011 by a joint team of WHO, the MoPH&P of Yemen and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, Egypt. The investigation led to the detection of an outbreak of chikungunya in Yemen which was the first time ever from any of the 22 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WHO. Appropriate public health control measures were strengthened following the investigation, and the outbreak was contained. This paper provides a short description of the outbreak and its epidemiological characteristics and highlights the important lessons that were learned for early detection and control of chikungunya in countries where competent vectors for transmission of the virus exist. Copyright © 2014 Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Desvars-Larrive, A; Liu, X; Hjertqvist, M; Sjöstedt, A; Johansson, A; Rydén, P
Sweden reports large and variable numbers of human tularemia cases, but the high-risk regions are anecdotally defined and factors explaining annual variations are poorly understood. Here, high-risk regions were identified by spatial cluster analysis on disease surveillance data for 1984-2012. Negative binomial regression with five previously validated predictors (including predicted mosquito abundance and predictors based on local weather data) was used to model the annual number of tularemia cases within the high-risk regions. Seven high-risk regions were identified with annual incidences of 3·8-44 cases/100 000 inhabitants, accounting for 56·4% of the tularemia cases but only 9·3% of Sweden's population. For all high-risk regions, most cases occurred between July and September. The regression models explained the annual variation of tularemia cases within most high-risk regions and discriminated between years with and without outbreaks. In conclusion, tularemia in Sweden is concentrated in a few high-risk regions and shows high annual and seasonal variations. We present reproducible methods for identifying tularemia high-risk regions and modelling tularemia cases within these regions. The results may help health authorities to target populations at risk and lay the foundation for developing an early warning system for outbreaks.
Bangor-Jones, Revle D; Dowse, Gary K; Giele, Carolien M; van Buynder, Paul G; Hodge, Meredith M; Whitty, Mary M
To describe a prolonged outbreak of mumps in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in 2007-2008. Descriptive analysis of all mumps cases notified to the WA Notifiable Infectious Diseases Database for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. Notified cases of mumps by patients' place of residence, age, Indigenous or non-Indigenous ethnicity, vaccination status and method of diagnosis. 84% (153/183) of mumps notifications in WA over the study period occurred in the Kimberley region or were directly linked to Kimberley cases. Median age of patients was 18 years (range, 2-63 years), and 54% of patients were aged less than 20 years. Almost all (92%) were Australian Aboriginal people; 67% (102/153) had received at least one dose of mumps vaccine, and 52% had received two doses. The highest notification rate (1816 cases per 100,000 population) was in the Aboriginal 15-19-years age group, and 92% of these patients had received at least one dose of mumps vaccine. Almost all outbreak cases (94%) were laboratory confirmed. Genotyping was performed on 20 mumps virus isolates: all were genotype J. A prolonged outbreak of mumps occurred in a well defined, highly vaccinated, predominantly young Aboriginal population in the remote Kimberley region of WA. This outbreak raises questions about the effectiveness and scheduling of the current vaccine (which is genotype A-derived), especially for Aboriginal people. Surveillance of circulating mumps virus genotypes and neutralisation studies will help in evaluating the protection provided by the current vaccine against genotypically different strains.
Full Text Available Research has found that contagion-minimizing behavioral tendencies are amplified in pathogen-prevalent regions. We investigated whether reactions to the “swine flu” outbreak of 2009 were stronger among East Asians than Westerners, populations residing in regions that now enjoy comparable advances in healthcare but that are characterized by relatively high and low historical pathogen prevalence, respectively. In a survey, East Asians reported greater concerns about infection, especially from foreigners. Analyses of international air travel data around the time of the outbreak provided corroborating evidence: Immediately following the outbreak, airports in the Asia-Pacific region lost more international traffic relative to their Western counterparts, and East Asian airlines reported greater declines in international traffic compared to Western airlines. These differences are unlikely to reflect objective threat posed by swine flu (whose casualties were concentrated in the Americas; rather, they appear to reflect culturally adapted behavioral patterns forged and sustained by regionally variable levels of pathogen prevalence.
Cowan, James B; Davis, Theodore S
In December 2010, an outbreak of varicella was reported among student recruits enrolled at the Afghan National Civil Order Police Herat Regional Military Training Center. The outbreak had an overall attack rate of 9.8% (31 of 316 recruits) with primary, secondary, and tertiary attack rates of 6.3% (20 of 316), 3.4% (10 of 296), and 0.35% (1 of 286). Fortunately, the outbreak did not lead to any deaths or serious complications. However, it significantly interfered with Afghan National Civil Order Police training by causing a loss of 378 person-days of training. Medical personnel from the Afghan National Police, DynCorp International, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health, and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan Herat Joint Medical Operation Cell joined together to control and characterize the outbreak and prepare and disseminate recommendations for preventing future outbreaks. Control measures were quickly implemented, but less than ideal. Varicella vaccine was not available in Afghanistan to immunize exposed recruits. The outbreak was reported to medical authorities through a slow and convoluted process. And the majority of varicella cases did not self-report for care. Rather, medical personnel diagnosed most cases only after recruits were directed to report for a physical examination.
Full Text Available Scrub typhus is an acute febrile illness that is known to be endemic in the South East Asian countries and the Western Pacific region. We here report an outbreak in the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim. Patients with pyrexia of unknown origin were evaluated. They were screened by Weil-Felix test and the rapid immunochromatographic method. Samples that were positive by either Weil-Felix agglutination test or by rapid immunochromatography were confirmed by IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. A total 204 samples were screened. Sixty-three patients were confirmed positive among which 42 were male and 21 were female. Effective management and early administration of antibiotics will help prevent the complications and mortality associated with scrub typhus.
Formal learning is, as the name implies familiar and hence easy to conduct. Informal learning on the other hand begs the question - how will it be managed? Further research is therefore necessary in the field of formulating a consistent theory, understanding what the potential for R&D could be and considering the interplay between formal and informal learning.
Chuang, Ting-Wu; Ng, Ka-Chon; Nguyen, Thi Luong; Chaves, Luis Fernando
The metropolitan region of Tainan City in southern Taiwan experienced a dengue outbreak in 2015. This manuscript describes basic epidemiological features of this outbreak and uses spatial and temporal analysis tools to understand the spread of dengue during the outbreak. The analysis found that, independently of gender, dengue incidence rate increased with age, and proportionally affected more males below the age of 40 years but females above the age of 40 years. A spatial scan statistic was applied to detect clusters of disease transmission. The scan statistic found that dengue spread in a north-south diffusion direction, which is across the North, West-Central and South districts of Tainan City. Spatial regression models were used to quantify factors associated with transmission. This analysis indicated that neighborhoods with high proportions of residential area (or low wetland cover) were associated with dengue transmission. However, these association patterns were non-linear. The findings presented here can help Taiwanese public health agencies to understand the fundamental epidemiological characteristics and diffusion patterns of the 2015 dengue outbreak in Tainan City. This type of information is fundamental for policy making to prevent future uncontrolled dengue outbreaks, given that results from this study suggest that control interventions should be emphasized in the North and West-Central districts of Tainan city, in areas with a moderate percentage of residential land cover.
Martínez, M C; Retamal, P; Rojas-Aedo, J F; Fernández, J; Fernández, A; Lapierre, L
Salmonella enterica (S. enterica) is the main cause of foodborne diseases in the Chilean population. With the aim of characterizing the presence of S. enterica in bodies of water, samples from 40 sources were obtained, including rivers and irrigation canals used by agricultural farms in the most populated regions of Chile. As result, 35 S. enterica isolates belonging to several serotypes were detected, with the highest frequency represented by Typhimurium and Enteritidis. All strains showed phenotypic antimicrobial resistance, and most of them were multiresistant to critically important antimicrobials. In addition, the pulse-field gel electrophoresis analysis using XbaI and BlnI endonucleases showed that seven Salmonella isolates belonging to serotypes Typhimurium, Enteritidis and Infantis had identical pulsotypes to outbreak-associated clinical isolates detected in the Chilean population, suggesting a public health risk of water pollution in this region. Among sampling sites, the higher detection rates were observed in rural than urban and peri-urban areas, suggesting that the animal husbandry might contribute for environmental dispersion of this pathogen. Future efforts should address the characterization of cause-and-effect relationship between water contamination and foodborne disease, including the implementation of surveillance programmes to tackle potential risks for both human and animal populations. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Full Text Available During the 2002-2003 the SARS outbreak resulted in 8,450 illnesses and 812 deaths. Out of these documented cases 1706 were among healthcare workers (HCWsThe purpose of this paper is to focus on and examine the details of infection control (IC measures and which of these measures appear to be the most effective in stopping disease spread. Historically, HCWs have had poor compliance with the use of IC measures prior to the SARS outbreak. A number of lessons were learned from the SARS epidemic that should be incorporated into healthcare institutions policies and procedures. They include the following: an emphasis on the correct and immediate use of IC measures; an increased focus on HCWs recognizing early perceived threats; healthcare institutions should mandate routine in-house education with periodic updates on IC measures; administrators need to acknowledge and encourage role models among staff; engineeringcontrols should be put in place to protect staff from pathogens; and finally, there should be clear and constant communication between administration and staff.
Hubbard, Laura E.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Fields, Chad L.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2) outbreak in the Midwestern United States (US) in 2015 was historic due to the number of birds and poultry operations impacted and the corresponding economic loss to the poultry industry and was the largest animal health emergency in US history. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with the assistance of several state and federal agencies, aided the response to the outbreak by developing a study to determine the extent of virus transport in the environment. The study goals were to: develop the appropriate sampling methods and protocols for measuring avian influenza virus (AIV) in groundwater, provide the first baseline data on AIV and outbreak- and poultry-related contaminant occurrence and movement into groundwater, and document climatological factors that may have affected both survival and transport of AIV to groundwater during the months of the 2015 outbreak. While site selection was expedient, there were often delays in sample response times due to both relationship building between agencies, groups, and producers and logistical time constraints. This study's design and sampling process highlights the unpredictable nature of disease outbreaks and the corresponding difficulty in environmental sampling of such events. The lessons learned, including field protocols and approaches, can be used to improve future research on AIV in the environment.
Hubbard, Laura E; Kolpin, Dana W; Fields, Chad L; Hladik, Michelle L; Iwanowicz, Luke R
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2) outbreak in the Midwestern United States (US) in 2015 was historic due to the number of birds and poultry operations impacted and the corresponding economic loss to the poultry industry and was the largest animal health emergency in US history. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with the assistance of several state and federal agencies, aided the response to the outbreak by developing a study to determine the extent of virus transport in the environment. The study goals were to: develop the appropriate sampling methods and protocols for measuring avian influenza virus (AIV) in groundwater, provide the first baseline data on AIV and outbreak- and poultry-related contaminant occurrence and movement into groundwater, and document climatological factors that may have affected both survival and transport of AIV to groundwater during the months of the 2015 outbreak. While site selection was expedient, there were often delays in sample response times due to both relationship building between agencies, groups, and producers and logistical time constraints. This study's design and sampling process highlights the unpredictable nature of disease outbreaks and the corresponding difficulty in environmental sampling of such events. The lessons learned, including field protocols and approaches, can be used to improve future research on AIV in the environment. Published by Elsevier Inc.
De Kraker, Joop; Cörvers, Ron; Ruelle, Christine; Valkering, Pieter
Sustainable regional development is a participatory, multi-actor process, involving a diversity of societal stakeholders, administrators, policy makers, practitioners and scientific experts. In this process, mutual and collective learning plays a major role as participants have to exchange and
Nakano, Ryuichi; Nakano, Akiyo; Abe, Michiko; Inoue, Matsuhisa; Okamoto, Ryoichi
Proteus mirabilis is a common cause of urinary tract infection. Wild-type P. mirabilis strains are usually susceptible to penicillins and cephalosporins, but occurrences of P. mirabilis producing extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) have been recently reported. Here, we surveyed the prevalence of cefotaxime resistance among P. mirabilis strains at seven different hospitals in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, and investigated their molecular epidemiology to explain the mechanism of their spread. The prevalence of cefotaxime resistance among P. mirabilis increased annually, from 10.1 % in 1998 to 23.1 % in 2003, and increased drastically in 2004, exceeding 40 %. We collected 105 consecutive and non-duplicate cefotaxime-resistant P. mirabilis isolates (MIC 16 to >256 µg ml(-1)) from these hospitals from June 2004 to May 2005 and characterized their profile. PCR and sequence analysis revealed that all resistant strains produced exclusively CTX-M-2 β-lactamase. PFGE analysis identified 47 banding patterns with 83 % or greater similarity. These results indicated that a regional outbreak of P. mirabilis producing CTX-M-2 β-lactamase has occurred in Japan and suggest that the epidemic spread occurred within and across hospitals and communities by extended clonal strains. Plasmid analysis revealed that 44.8 % of plasmids harboured by bla(CTX-M-2) isolates had common profiles, encoding ISEcp1, IS26 and Int1, and belonged to incompatibility group T. Spread of the resistant isolates in Japan resulted from dissemination of narrow-host-range plasmids of the IncT group encoding bla(CTX-M-2). These findings indicate the rapidly developing problem of treating the species to prevent dissemination of ESBL producers.
Full Text Available Some differences in territorial organization between Serbian and EU countries are obvious. The level of centralization and tradition in systems for implementation of ideas are differently back- grounded. However, these are the most important facts for the opportunity to realize Learning Region as a concept of the European future. There is no part of space that should be considered as unchangeable and the way to a better position and Learning Region concept implementation of each region in Serbia in practice should lead towards few necessary steps and further. The starting point is awareness of the facts on the creation of Subotica region as it is at present. The healthy future of each region is provided by looking back in the past and learning from the history. The other important thing is bench marking- learning on the positive and successful experiences of other regions, and finally, making its own concept of Learning Region adapted to local surrounding and true need of local people. Some experiences, suggestions and comparisons will be made in this case study, in relation to one of the Serbian municipalities nearest t to EU neighboring countries in a territorial way. .
Vestenskov, David; Johnsen, Anton Asklund
, as none of the countries is able to deal with the intrastate and interstate conflicts on its own. The conference Regional Stability & Lessons Learned in Regional Peace Building was the result of comprehensive cooperation between Pakistan’s National Defence University and the Royal Danish Defence College......The NATO-led intervention in Afghanistan is coming to an end, and the necessity of regional peace building solutions for the region’s security issues seems more exigent than ever before. Regional states have to come to terms with each other in some ways if violent extremists are to be countered...
Fariz-Safhan, M N; Tee, H P; Abu Dzarr, G A; Sapari, S; Lee, Y Y
During a dengue outbreak in 2005 in the East-coast region of Peninsular Malaysia, one of the worst hit areas in the country at that time, we undertook a prospective study. We aimed to describe the bleeding outcome and changes in the liver and hematologic profiles that were associated with major bleeding outcome during the outbreak. All suspected cases of dengue admitted into the only referral hospital in the region during the outbreak were screened for WHO 2002 criteria and serology. Liver function, hematologic profile and severity of bleeding outcome were carefully documented. The association between symptoms, liver and hematologic impairments with the type of dengue infection (classical vs. hemorrhagic) and bleeding outcome (major vs. non-major) was tested. Dengue fever was confirmed in 183 cases (12.5/100,000 population) and 144 cases were analysed. 59.7% were dengue hemorrhagic fever, 3.5% were dengue shock syndrome and there were 3 in-hospital deaths. Major bleeding outcome (gastrointestinal bleeding, intracranial bleeding or haemoptysis) was present in 14.6%. Elevated AST, ALT and bilirubin were associated with increasing severity of bleeding outcome (all P profiles was seen in major bleeding outcome.
Zhao, Ji; Wang, Liantao; Cabral, Ricardo; De la Torre, Fernando
Visual learning problems, such as object classification and action recognition, are typically approached using extensions of the popular bag-of-words (BoWs) model. Despite its great success, it is unclear what visual features the BoW model is learning. Which regions in the image or video are used to discriminate among classes? Which are the most discriminative visual words? Answering these questions is fundamental for understanding existing BoW models and inspiring better models for visual recognition. To answer these questions, this paper presents a method for feature selection and region selection in the visual BoW model. This allows for an intermediate visualization of the features and regions that are important for visual learning. The main idea is to assign latent weights to the features or regions, and jointly optimize these latent variables with the parameters of a classifier (e.g., support vector machine). There are four main benefits of our approach: 1) our approach accommodates non-linear additive kernels, such as the popular χ(2) and intersection kernel; 2) our approach is able to handle both regions in images and spatio-temporal regions in videos in a unified way; 3) the feature selection problem is convex, and both problems can be solved using a scalable reduced gradient method; and 4) we point out strong connections with multiple kernel learning and multiple instance learning approaches. Experimental results in the PASCAL VOC 2007, MSR Action Dataset II and YouTube illustrate the benefits of our approach.
Cárdenas, Micha; Greci, Laura S.; Hurst, Samantha; Garman, Karen; Hoffman, Helene; Huang, Ricky; Gates, Michael; Kho, Kristen; Mehrmand, Elle; Porteous, Todd; Calvitti, Alan; Higginbotham, Erin; Agha, Zia
Users of immersive virtual reality environments have reported a wide variety of side and after effects including the confusion of characteristics of the real and virtual worlds. Perhaps this side effect of confusing the virtual and real can be turned around to explore the possibilities for immersion with minimal technological support in virtual world group training simulations. This paper will describe observations from my time working as an artist/researcher with the UCSD School of Medicine (SoM) and Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) to develop trainings for nurses, doctors and Hospital Incident Command staff that simulate pandemic virus outbreaks. By examining moments of slippage between realities, both into and out of the virtual environment, moments of the confusion of boundaries between real and virtual, we can better understand methods for creating immersion. I will use the mixing of realities as a transversal line of inquiry, borrowing from virtual reality studies, game studies, and anthropological studies to better understand the mechanisms of immersion in virtual worlds. Focusing on drills conducted in Second Life, I will examine moments of training to learn the software interface, moments within the drill and interviews after the drill.
Full Text Available Ebola virus disease (EVD distinguishes its feature as high infectivity and mortality. Thus, it is urgent for governments to draw up emergency plans against Ebola. However, it is hard to predict the possible epidemic situations in practice. Luckily, in recent years, computational experiments based on artificial society appeared, providing a new approach to study the propagation of EVD and analyze the corresponding interventions. Therefore, the rationality of artificial society is the key to the accuracy and reliability of experiment results. Individuals’ behaviors along with travel mode directly affect the propagation among individuals. Firstly, artificial Beijing is reconstructed based on geodemographics and machine learning is involved to optimize individuals’ behaviors. Meanwhile, Ebola course model and propagation model are built, according to the parameters in West Africa. Subsequently, propagation mechanism of EVD is analyzed, epidemic scenario is predicted, and corresponding interventions are presented. Finally, by simulating the emergency responses of Chinese government, the conclusion is finally drawn that Ebola is impossible to outbreak in large scale in the city of Beijing.
Prasad, Lakshman [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yang, Xingwei [TEMPLE UNIV.; Latecki, Longin J [TEMPLE UNIV.
We utilize the context information of other regions in hierarchical image segmentation to learn new regions affinities. It is well known that a single choice of quantization of an image space is highly unlikely to be a common optimal quantization level for all categories. Each level of quantization has its own benefits. Therefore, we utilize the hierarchical information among different quantizations as well as spatial proximity of their regions. The proposed affinity learning takes into account higher order relations among image regions, both local and long range relations, making it robust to instabilities and errors of the original, pairwise region affinities. Once the learnt affinities are obtained, we use a standard image segmentation algorithm to get the final segmentation. Moreover, the learnt affinities can be naturally unutilized in interactive segmentation. Experimental results on Berkeley Segmentation Dataset and MSRC Object Recognition Dataset are comparable and in some aspects better than the state-of-art methods.
Potter, Clive; Harwood, Tom; Knight, Jon; Tomlinson, Isobel
Expanding international trade and increased transportation are heavily implicated in the growing threat posed by invasive pathogens to biodiversity and landscapes. With trees and woodland in the UK now facing threats from a number of disease systems, this paper looks to historical experience with the Dutch elm disease (DED) epidemic of the 1970s to see what can be learned about an outbreak and attempts to prevent, manage and control it. The paper draws on an interdisciplinary investigation into the history, biology and policy of the epidemic. It presents a reconstruction based on a spatial modelling exercise underpinned by archival research and interviews with individuals involved in the attempted management of the epidemic at the time. The paper explores what, if anything, might have been done to contain the outbreak and discusses the wider lessons for plant protection. Reading across to present-day biosecurity concerns, the paper looks at the current outbreak of ramorum blight in the UK and presents an analysis of the unfolding epidemiology and policy of this more recent, and potentially very serious, disease outbreak. The paper concludes by reflecting on the continuing contemporary relevance of the DED experience at an important juncture in the evolution of plant protection policy. PMID:21624917
Cordeiro, Eugénio; Ferreira, Muriel; Rodrigues, Fernanda; Palminha, Paula; Vinagre, Elsa; Pimentel, João Pedro
Mumps vaccine was introduced in the National Immunization Program in Portugal in 1987, rapidly reaching a national coverage > 92%, with important reduction in the annual incidence of the disease. We report a mumps outbreak in the Central Region of Portugal, occurred in the winter 2012-13. Cases of salivary-gland swelling and other symptoms compatible with mumps were investigated. Geodemographics, clinical, laboratory and vaccination data were analyzed. Over six months, 148 outbreak-related cases were reported: 87.8% occurred in three of the 16 affected counties and 78.4% had a known epidemiological link. Median age was 14.5 years (2-62) and 70.3% were 11-20 years old; 61.5% were male. The mean duration of disease was seven days (2-20). The disease was generally mild; 80.4% had fever and in 55.4% there was unilateral involvement of the parotid gland. Seven cases had orchitis, one oophoritis and one had nephritis. Two cases were hospitalized. School transmission predominated and class attack rates were < 30%. Most of the cases occurred in vaccinated individuals (92%) of whom 86.8% had received 2 doses; 17.7% had received one dose of the vaccine containing the Rubini strain. Mumps virus genotype G was identified in 4 cases. This mumps outbreak among a highly vaccinated population, occurring mostly in teenagers at school, could be due to the partial effectiveness of the vaccine against the disease (particularly in the group vaccinated with Rubini strain), waning immunity overtime and genotype mismatch. This outbreak report shows the importance of discussion about the need of more booster dose of the actual vaccine or new vaccine including more genotypes to improve immunogenicity.
Sousa, C A; Clairouin, M; Seixas, G; Viveiros, B; Novo, M T; Silva, A C; Escoval, M T; Economopoulou, A
Following the identification of two autochthonous cases of dengue type 1 on 3 October 2012, an outbreak of dengue fever has been reported in Madeira, Portugal. As of 25 November, 1,891 cases have been detected on the island where the vector Aedes aegypti had been established in some areas since 2005. This event represents the first epidemic of dengue fever in Europe since 1928 and concerted control measures have been initiated by local health authorities.
Full Text Available Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of childhood diarrhea in low-resource settings, and has been repeatedly associated with impaired physical and cognitive development. In May 2013, an outbreak of diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium hominis was identified in the Arctic region of Nunavik, Quebec. Human cryptosporidiosis transmission was previously unknown in this region, and very few previous studies have reported it elsewhere in the Arctic. We report clinical, molecular, and epidemiologic details of a multi-village Cryptosporidium outbreak in the Canadian Arctic.We investigated the occurrence of cryptosporidiosis using a descriptive study of cases with onset between April 2013 and April 2014. Cases were defined as Nunavik inhabitants of any age presenting with diarrhea of any duration, in whom Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected by stool microscopy in a specialised reference laboratory. Cryptosporidium was identified in stool from 51 of 283 individuals. The overall annual incidence rate (IR was 420 / 100,000 inhabitants. The IR was highest among children aged less than 5 years (1290 /100,000 persons. Genetic subtyping for stool specimens from 14/51 cases was determined by DNA sequence analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60 gene. Sequences aligned with C. hominis subtype Id in all cases. No common food or water source of infection was identified.In this first observed outbreak of human cryptosporidiosis in this Arctic region, the high IR seen is cause for concern about the possible long-term effects on growth and development of children in Inuit communities, who face myriad other challenges such as overcrowding and food-insecurity. The temporal and geographic distribution of cases, as well as the identification of C. hominis subtype Id, suggest anthroponotic rather than zoonotic transmission. Barriers to timely diagnosis delayed the recognition of human cryptosporidiosis in this remote setting.
Robin, M; Page, P; Archer, D; Baylis, M
African horse sickness (AHS) is an arboviral disease of equids transmitted by Culicoides biting midges. The virus is endemic in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and official AHS disease-free status can be obtained from the World Organization for Animal Health on fulfilment of a number of criteria. AHS is associated with case fatality rates of up to 95%, making an outbreak among naïve horses both a welfare and economic disaster. The worldwide distributions of similar vector-borne diseases (particularly bluetongue disease of ruminants) are changing rapidly, probably due to a combination of globalisation and climate change. There is extensive evidence that the requisite conditions for an AHS epizootic currently exist in disease-free countries. In particular, although the stringent regulations enforced upon competition horses make them extremely unlikely to redistribute the virus, there are great concerns over the effects of illegal equid movement. An outbreak of AHS in a disease free region would have catastrophic effects on equine welfare and industry, particularly for international events such as the Olympic Games. While many regions have contingency plans in place to manage an outbreak of AHS, further research is urgently required if the equine industry is to avoid or effectively contain an AHS epizootic in disease-free regions. This review describes the key aspects of AHS as a global issue and discusses the evidence supporting concerns that an epizootic may occur in AHS free countries, the planned government responses, and the roles and responsibilities of equine veterinarians. © 2016 EVJ Ltd.
Choi, Sungwoon; Lee, Jangho; Kang, Min-Gyu; Min, Hyeyoung; Chang, Yoon-Seok; Yoon, Sungroh
From May to July 2015, there was a nation-wide outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in Korea. MERS is caused by MERS-CoV, an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family Coronaviridae. Despite expert opinions that the danger of MERS might be exaggerated, there was an overreaction by the public according to the Korean mass media, which led to a noticeable reduction in social and economic activities during the outbreak. To explain this phenomenon, we presumed that machine learning-based analysis of media outlets would be helpful and collected a number of Korean mass media articles and short-text comments produced during the 10-week outbreak. To process and analyze the collected data (over 86 million words in total) effectively, we created a methodology composed of machine-learning and information-theoretic approaches. Our proposal included techniques for extracting emotions from emoticons and Internet slang, which allowed us to significantly (approximately 73%) increase the number of emotion-bearing texts needed for robust sentiment analysis of social media. As a result, we discovered a plausible explanation for the public overreaction to MERS in terms of the interplay between the disease, mass media, and public emotions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Holzhauer, M; van Schaik, G; Saatkamp, H W; Ploeger, H W
Two lungworm outbreaks in dairy herds were investigated in order to estimate the resulting economic costs. On the two farms, with 110 and 95 cows, total costs were estimated at €159 and €167 per cow, respectively. Overall, milk production reduced by 15 to 20 per cent during the outbreaks. Five cows died on one farm, while on the other farm seven cows died as a result of the lungworm outbreak. On one farm, 51.7 per cent of the total costs was due to reduced milk production and 33.1 per cent was due to disposal of dead animals. On the other farm, it was 36.3 and 50.9 per cent, respectively. The remaining 13 to 15 per cent of the total costs were due to extra inseminations, laboratory diagnosis and treatments. The history and development of the outbreaks are described. One lesson from these outbreaks is that recognising that potentially lungworm-naïve animals are to be introduced into the adult herd allows for timely measures (for example, vaccination) to prevent a lungworm outbreak.
Longworth, Norman; Osborne, Michael
Learning Cities and Learning Regions are terms now in common use as a result of the growing importance of lifelong learning concepts to the economic, social and environmental future of people and places. Why "learning" regions? Why not intelligent, creative, clever, smart or knowledge regions? In truth, all of these can, and some do,…
Kural Ünüvar, Esra; Akgün Karapınar, Deniz Bahar; Dizen Namdar, Nazlı
Anthrax is a zoonotic infection caused by Bacillus anthracis. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate cutaneous anthrax cases that occurred during an outbreak in eastern Turkey (Hakkari-Yüksekova), where people mostly earn their living from animal husbandry. Forty-six cutaneous anthrax patients that were admitted to the hospital during a very short duration of 3 months (June-August 2011) were evaluated. Out of 46 patients, 27 (52%) were women and 19 (48%) were men. The mean age was 37 ± 13 years. The distribution of occupations was 1 butcher, 1 cook, 5 farmers, 27 housewives, 11 shepherds, and 1 teacher. Multiple lesions were seen in 7 patients (15%) and the rest of the patients had only 1 lesion. We observed significant clinical differences among the cases and noted which particular symptoms were associated with the various skin lesions. We treated our patients with intramuscular procaine penicillin or oral ciprofloxacin/doxycycline. Anthrax is an important health problem that can cause lethal outbreaks. Therefore, one should think about anthrax when faced with a patient with history of animal contact that has a painless ulcer with edema and/or vesicles, especially in endemic countries like Turkey.
Tebbutt, Grahame M.; Wilson, Deborah; Holtby, Ian
All outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease reported to the authorities were entered on a computer database with outbreak control teams being established to investigate larger or more significant incidents. The outbreak database and, when set up, the notes of outbreak team meetings were examined for the 279 outbreaks reported in a three-year period (2003–2005). Faeces specimens submitted as part of an outbreak were examined for microbial pathogens and the results cross-matched to the outbreak number. Almost half of the general outbreaks reported (137) occurred in long-term care facilities for the elderly, 51 outbreaks were recorded in hospitals and 31 occurred in the wider community. In 76 outbreaks no specimen was logged. A microbial cause was confirmed in about one-third of outbreaks, with noroviruses being the most common (19%). Salmonellas accounted for 12 of the 21 community outbreaks linked to social events and all were foodborne. Suggestions for improving notification and surveillance are discussed. PMID:19440398
Chapuis, Marie-Pierre; Loiseau, Anne; Michalakis, Yannis; Lecoq, Michel; Franc, Alex; Estoup, Arnaud
The potential effect of population outbreaks on within and between genetic variation of populations in pest species has rarely been assessed. In this study, we compare patterns of genetic variation in different sets of historically frequently outbreaking and rarely outbreaking populations of an agricultural pest of major importance, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. We analyse genetic variation within and between 24 populations at 14 microsatellites in Western Europe, where only ancient and low-intensity outbreaks have been reported (non-outbreaking populations), and in Madagascar and Northern China, where frequent and intense outbreak events have been recorded over the last century (outbreaking populations). Our comparative survey shows that (i) the long-term effective population size is similar in outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations, as evidenced by similar estimates of genetic diversity, and (ii) gene flow is substantially larger among outbreaking populations than among non-outbreaking populations, as evidenced by a fourfold to 30-fold difference in FST values. We discuss the implications for population dynamics and the consequences for management strategies of the observed patterns of genetic variation in L. migratoria populations with contrasting historical outbreak frequency and extent.
Rydén, Patrik; Björk, Rafael; Schäfer, Martina L.; Lundström, Jan O.; Petersén, Bodil; Lindblom, Anders; Forsman, Mats; Sjöstedt, Anders
Background. We aimed to evaluate the potential association of mosquito prevalence in a boreal forest area with transmission of the bacterial disease tularemia to humans, and model the annual variation of disease using local weather data. Methods. A prediction model for mosquito abundance was built using weather and mosquito catch data. Then a negative binomial regression model based on the predicted mosquito abundance and local weather data was built to predict annual numbers of humans contracting tularemia in Dalarna County, Sweden. Results. Three hundred seventy humans were diagnosed with tularemia between 1981 and 2007, 94% of them during 7 summer outbreaks. Disease transmission was concentrated along rivers in the area. The predicted mosquito abundance was correlated (0.41, P tularemia (temporal correlation, 0.76; P tularemia in a tularemia-endemic boreal forest area of Sweden and that environmental variables can be used as risk indicators. PMID:22124130
Sinyange, Nyambe; Kumar, Ramya; Inambao, Akatama; Moonde, Loveness; Chama, Jonathan; Banda, Mapopa; Tembo, Elliot; Nsonga, Beron; Mwaba, John; Fwoloshi, Sombo; Musokotwane, Kebby; Chizema, Elizabeth; Kapin'a, Muzala; Hang'ombe, Benard Mudenda; Baggett, Henry C; Hachaambwa, Lottie
Outbreaks of plague have been recognized in Zambia since 1917 (1). On April 10, 2015, Zambia's Ministry of Health was notified by the Eastern Provincial Medical Office of possible bubonic plague cases in Nyimba District. Eleven patients with acute fever and cervical lymphadenopathy had been evaluated at two rural health centers during March 28-April 9, 2015; three patients died. To confirm the outbreak and develop control measures, the Zambia Ministry of Health's Field Epidemiology Training Program (ZFETP) conducted epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in partnership with the University of Zambia's schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the provincial and district medical offices. Twenty-one patients with clinically compatible plague were identified, with symptom onset during March 26-May 5, 2015. The median age was 8 years, and all patients were from the same village. Blood specimens or lymph node aspirates from six (29%) patients tested positive for Yersinia pestis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is an urgent need to improve early identification and treatment of plague cases. PCR is a potential complementary tool for identifying plague, especially in areas with limited microbiologic capacity. Twelve (57%) patients, including all six with PCR-positive plague and all three who died, also tested positive for malaria by rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Plague patients coinfected with malaria might be misdiagnosed as solely having malaria, and appropriate antibacterial treatment to combat plague might not be given, increasing risk for mortality. Because patients with malaria might be coinfected with other pathogens, broad spectrum antibiotic treatment to cover other pathogens is recommended for all children with severe malaria, until a bacterial infection is excluded.
Chen, Yongxue; Wen, Yongxian
In 2013 in China a new type of avian influenza virus, H7N9, began to infect humans and had aroused severe fatality in the infected humans. We know that the spread is from poultry to humans, and the H7N9 avian influenza is low pathogenic in the poultry world but highly pathogenic in the human world, but the transmission mechanism is unclear. Since it has no signs of human-to-human transmission and outbreaks are isolated in some cities in China, in order to investigate the transmission mechanism of human infection with H7N9 avian influenza, an eco-epidemiological model in an outbreak region is proposed and analyzed dynamically. Researches and reports show that gene mutation makes the new virus be capable of infecting humans, therefore the mutation factor is taken into account in the model. The global dynamic analysis is conducted, different thresholds are identified, persistence and global qualitative behaviors are obtained. The impact of H7N9 avian influenza on the people population is concerned. Finally, the numerical simulations are carried out to support the theoretical analysis and to investigate the disease control measures. It seems that we may take people׳s hygiene and prevention awareness factor as a significant policy to achieve the aim of both the disease control and the economic returns. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rissland, J; Kielstein, J T; Stark, K; Wichmann-Schauer, H; Stümpel, F; Pulz, M
The EHEC O104:H4 outbreak 2011 in Germany provided numerous insights into the recognition and control of such epidemic situations. Food-borne outbreaks and their related dynamics may lead to a critical burden of disease and an eventual capacity overload of the medical care system. Possible difficulties in the microbiological diagnostics of new or significantly altered infectious agents may result in a delayed detection of the outbreak as well as the launching of interventional measures. Besides an early notification of the local public health office by the affected institutions, in which a complete electronic procedure and additional sentinel or surveillance instruments (e. g., in emergency departments of hospitals) may be of great help, an interdisciplinary cooperation of the local public health and food safety agencies is the key to an effective outbreak control. Corresponding organizations on the state and federal level should support the investigation process by microbiological diagnostics and advanced epidemiological analysis as well as examination of the food chains. Finally, successful crisis communication relies on "speaking with one voice" (not necessarily one person). Immediate, transparent, appropriate and honest information of the general public concerning the reasons, consequences and (counter-) measures of a crisis are the best means to keep the trust of the population and to counteract the otherwise inevitable speculations. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Calonge, David Santandreu; Grando, Danilla
Objective: To develop a totally online reality-based course that engages students and enables the development of enhanced teamwork and report-writing skills. Setting: Outbreaks of infectious diseases impacts upon commerce, trade and tourism as well as placing strains on healthcare systems. A general course introducing university students to…
There is broad agreement that innovation, knowledge and learning have become the main source of wealth, employment and economic development of cities, regions and nations. Over the past two decades, the number of European cities and regions which label themselves as "learning city" or "learning region" has constantly grown.…
Luo, Zhao-Fan; Hu, Bo; Zhang, Feng-Yi; Lin, Xiang-Hua; Xie, Xiao-Ying; Pan, Kun-Yi; Li, Hong-Yu; Ren, Rui-Wen; Zhao, Wen-Zhong
Non-specific symptoms and low viremia levels make early diagnosis of dengue virus (DENV) infection challenging. This study aimed to i) identify laboratory markers that can be used to predict a DENV-positive diagnosis and ii) perform a molecular characterization of DENVs from the 2014 Guangdong epidemic. This retrospective study analyzed 1,044 patients from the Guangdong epidemic who were clinically suspected cases of dengue. Viral RNA was detected by real-time RT-PCR, and viral-specific NS1 antigen was detected using enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed for the with the DENV C-prM gene junction. Patients with dengue infection had leukopenia (2.8 × 10 9 /L), thrombocytopenia (109.0 × 10 9 /L), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (56.0 IU/L) and alanine aminotransferase (43.5 IU/L), and prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT, 33.5 s) (all P ＜ 0.001) compared to patients without dengue. The positive predictive value of leukopenia and thrombocytopenia for DENV infection were 96.9% and 93.0%, respectively. Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, elevated aminotransferases, and prolonged APTT were useful predictive markers for an early diagnosis of DENV infection. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the DENVs from the 2014 epidemic were closely related to a 2010 New Delhi strain and a 2013 Guangzhou strain. The 2014 epidemic consisted of co-circulating DENV-1 genotypes I and V from multiple origins. Efficient dengue surveillance can facilitate rapid response to future outbreaks.
Pascapurnama, Dyshelly Nurkartika; Murakami, Aya; Chagan-Yasutan, Haorile; Hattori, Toshio; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Egawa, Shinichi
In Indonesia, the Aceh earthquake and tsunami in 2004 killed 127,000 people and caused half a million injuries, while the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 caused 5,700 deaths and 37,000 injuries. Because disaster-affected areas are vulnerable to epidemic-prone diseases and tetanus is one such disease that is preventable, we systematically reviewed the literature related to tetanus outbreaks following previous two natural disasters in Indonesia. Based on our findings, recommendations for proper vaccination and education can be made for future countermeasures. Using specified keywords related to tetanus and disasters, relevant documents were screened from PubMed, the WHO website, and books. Reports offering limited data and those released before 2004 were excluded. In all, 16 publications were reviewed systematically. Results show that 106 cases of tetanus occurred in Aceh, with a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 18.9%; 71 cases occurred in Yogyakarta, with CFR of 36.6%. For both outbreaks, most patients had been wounded during scavenging or evacuation after the disaster occurred. Poor access to health care because of limited transportation or hospital facilities, and low vaccination coverage and lack of awareness of tetanus risk contributed to delayed treatment and case severity. Tetanus outbreaks after disasters are preventable by increasing vaccination coverage, improving wound care treatment, and establishing a regular surveillance system, in addition to good practices of disaster management and supportive care following national guidelines. Furthermore, health education for communities should be provided to raise awareness of tetanus risk reduction.
Full Text Available Recently, droughts have become widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, including in Mongolia. The ground surface condition, particularly vegetation coverage, affects the occurrence of dust storms. The main sources of dust storms in the Asian region are the Taklimakan and Mongolian Gobi desert regions. In these regions, precipitation is one of the most important factors for growth of plants especially in arid and semi-arid land. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between precipitation and vegetation cover dynamics over 29 years in the Gobi region. We compared the patterns between precipitation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI for a period of 29 years. The precipitation and vegetation datasets were examined to investigate the trends during 1985–2013. Cross correlation analysis between the precipitation and the NDVI anomalies was performed. Data analysis showed that the variations of NDVI anomalies in the east region correspond well with the precipitation anomalies during this period. However, in the southwest region of the Gobi region, the NDVI had decreased regardless of the precipitation amount, especially since 2010. This result showed that vegetation in this region was more degraded than in the other areas.
Mlinaric-Galinovic, Gordana; Tabain, Irena; Kukovec, Tamara; Vojnovic, Gordana; Bozikov, Jadranka; Bogovic-Cepin, Jasna; Ivkovic-Jurekovic, Irena; Knezovic, Ivica; Tesovic, Goran; Welliver, Robert C
The epidemic pattern of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Croatia is biennial. In order to determine if the circulation of different RSV subtypes affects the outbreak cycle, the aim of the present study was to analyze the epidemic pattern of RSV in children in Croatia (Zagreb region) over a period of 3 consecutive years. The study group consisted of 696 inpatients, aged 0-5 years, who were hospitalized with acute respiratory tract infections caused by RSV, in Zagreb, in the period 1 January 2006-31 December 2008. The virus was identified in nasopharyngeal secretions using direct immunofluorescence. The virus subtype was determined on real-time polymerase chain reaction. Of 696 RSV infections identified in children, subtype A virus caused 374 infections, and subtype B, 318. Four patients had a dual RSV infection (subtypes A and B). The period of study was characterized by four epidemic waves of RSV infections: the first, smaller, in the spring of 2006; the second, larger, in December 2006/January 2007; the third in spring 2008, followed by a fourth outbreak beginning in November of 2008. The biennial virus cycles were persistent although the predominant RSV subtype in the first two epidemic waves was subtype B, and in the second two it was subtype A. Over a 3 year period of observation, the biennial RSV cycle in Croatia cannot be explained by a difference in the predominant circulating subtype of RSV. Other unknown factors account for the biennial cycle of RSV epidemics in Croatia. © 2011 The Authors. Pediatrics International © 2011 Japan Pediatric Society.
E. S. Gasilina
Full Text Available Objective. To study the peculiarities of trichinosis on the material of the group flashes.Materials and methods. Described and analyzed outbreak of trichinosis in 14 adolescents aged 13 to 18 years, were hospitalized in pediatric infectious ward of the city of Samara.Results. The source of infection – infected meat badger. The severity of illness depend on the amount of meat eaten, that is, the infectious dose of the pathogen. In severe cases, the incubation period of trichinosis was minimal (7 days, and if less severe – the maximum (from 19,5 to 21 days. Mild course also contributed to the early administration of antiparasitic therapy. Most of the children the disease begins with fever and dyspepsia, half recorded rash.At the height of the disease is predominant myalgias, half of cases – swelling. The peculiarity of the current severe trichinosis were pronounced toxic-allergic syndrome, generalized edema, myalgia and myasthenia gravis, up to a full adinamii, organ destruction: infectious-toxic kidney, cardiomyopathy, fulminant hepatitis, polyserositis with ascites, hydrothorax 3 weekdisease. The temperature in most of the patients wore a doublewavelength character with rises in the disease onset and disease for 2–3 weeks. It noted the duration of the clinical symptoms. The longest was myalgic, half of the patients remained at the time of discharge from the hospital. The features of laboratory parameters (leukocytosis, eosinophilia, ALT, AST, CRP in various forms of the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed by serology (IgM, Ig G to Trichinella spiralis in different phases of the disease. All patients received a specific antiparasitic therapy albendazolom secondary therapeutic dosage for 10 days, as well as detoxication, allergen and symptomatic therapy is indicated.Conclusion. Thus, health education among the population and will be a true prevention of trichinosis.
Wimberly, Michael C; Midekisa, Alemayehu; Semuniguse, Paulos; Teka, Hiwot; Henebry, Geoffrey M; Chuang, Ting-Wu; Senay, Gabriel B
To understand the drivers and consequences of malaria in epidemic-prone regions, it is important to know whether epidemics emerge independently in different areas as a consequence of local contingencies, or whether they are synchronised across larger regions as a result of climatic fluctuations and other broad-scale drivers. To address this question, we collected historical malaria surveillance data for the Amhara region of Ethiopia and analysed them to assess the consistency of various indicators of malaria risk and determine the dominant spatial and temporal patterns of malaria within the region. We collected data from a total of 49 districts from 1999-2010. Data availability was better for more recent years and more data were available for clinically diagnosed outpatient malaria cases than confirmed malaria cases. Temporal patterns of outpatient malaria case counts were correlated with the proportion of outpatients diagnosed with malaria and confirmed malaria case counts. The proportion of outpatients diagnosed with malaria was spatially clustered, and these cluster locations were generally consistent from year to year. Outpatient malaria cases exhibited spatial synchrony at distances up to 300 km, supporting the hypothesis that regional climatic variability is an important driver of epidemics. Our results suggest that decomposing malaria risk into separate spatial and temporal components may be an effective strategy for modelling and forecasting malaria risk across large areas. They also emphasise both the value and limitations of working with historical surveillance datasets and highlight the importance of enhancing existing surveillance efforts. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Hoa, T T T; Zwart, M P; Phuong, N T; de Jong, M C M; Vlak, J M
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is the most important pathogen in shrimp farming systems worldwide including the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. The genome of WSSV is characterized by the presence of two major 'indel regions' found at ORF14/15 and ORF23/24 (WSSV-Thailand) and three regions with variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) located in ORF75, ORF94 and ORF125. In the current study, we investigated whether or not the number of repeat units in the VNTRs correlates with virus outbreak status and/or shrimp farming practice. We analysed 662 WSSV samples from individual WSSV-infected Penaeus monodon shrimp from 104 ponds collected from two important shrimp farming regions of the Mekong Delta: Ca Mau and Bac Lieu. Using this large data set and statistical analysis, we found that for ORF94 and ORF125, the mean number of repeat units (RUs) in VNTRs was significantly lower in disease outbreak ponds than in non-outbreak ponds. Although a higher mean RU number was observed in the improved-extensive system than in the rice-shrimp or semi-intensive systems, these differences were not significant. VNTR sequences are thus not only useful markers for studying WSSV genotypes and populations, but specific VNTR variants also correlate with disease outbreaks in shrimp farming systems. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Upendra Thapa Shrestha
Full Text Available Water borne infections in Nepal, especially in Kathmandu valley is one the major public health problems, causing thousands of deaths every year. Among three cities in the valley, the water borne infection including cholera is most predominant in Bhaktapur district. So the study was carried out to know the microbial drinking water quality in the city and to determine the prevalence of water borne infections in the specified region of the district in 2012. Altogether eighty (two samples from a single site at different interval-2/3 days water samples were collected from Bhaktapur Municipality, one of the most vulnerable regions for water borne diseases, following standard methods as described by APHA, 2010. All samples were transferred to Microbiology laboratory of Khwopa College, Dekocha, Bhaktapur and preceded immediately for Microbial analysis. The coliform density in the water samples were determined by Most Probable Number (MPN method followed by microscopy, colonial morphology and biochemical characterization. Subsequently, the presence of Vibrio cholerae, a causative agent of Cholera was analyzed in the same samples by enrichment in alkaline peptone water followed by culture on Thiosulphate citrate bile-salt sucrose (TCBS agar, a selective media for Vibrio spp. The biochemical tests were then performed to identify V. cholerae. Among eighty water samples, 87.5 percent water samples contained coliforms and half of which (45% contained feacal coliforms, Escherichia coli and remaining 12.5 percent water samples contained no coliforms. Vibrio cholerae were isolated from four water samples (5%. The drinking water quality in the region was found to be very poor. Therefore, the people in the region were suggested to treat the drinking water by using any of physical or chemical disinfection methods prior to drinking. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ije.v3i3.11073 International Journal of Environment Vol.3(3 2014: 139-145
Defilippo, Francesco; Luppi, Andrea; Maioli, Giulia; Marzi, Dario; Fontana, Maria Cristina; Paoli, Federica; Bonilauri, Paolo; Dottori, Michele; Merialdi, Giuseppe
Over a 7-day period beginning 8 August 2011, a large number of wild birds of several species were found dead or with neurologic clinical signs along the shore of Crostolo stream, in the Emilia Romagna region, Italy. Twenty-eight Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), two Hooded Crows (Corvus corone cornix), and three coypus (Myocastor coypus) were found moribund on the Crostolo stream bank, collected, and sent to Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Reggio Emilia Section. The cause of mortality was determined to be Clostridium botulinum type C toxin. The toxin was identified by a mouse bioassay for botulinum toxins and confirmed in bird sera and blowfly larvae (Lucilia caesar) collected from the stomachs of birds.
Full Text Available The ability to effectively modify behaviours is increasingly relevant to attain and maintain a good health status. Current behaviour-change models and theories present two main approaches for (healthier decision-making: one analytical/logical, and one experiential/emotional/intuitive. Therefore, to achieve an integral and dynamic understanding of the public perceptions both approaches should be considered: community surveys should measure cognitive understanding of health-risk contexts, and also explore how past experiences affect this understanding. In 2011, community perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed in Madeira Island͘. After Madeira's first dengue outbreak (2012 a unique opportunity to compare perceptions before and after the outbreak-experience occurred. This was the aim of this study, which constituted the first report on the effect of an outbreak experience on community perceptions regarding a specific vector-borne disease. A cross-sectional survey was performed within female residents at the most aegypti-infested areas. Perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed according to the Essential Perception (EP-analysis tool. A matching process paired individuals from studies performed before and after the outbreak, ensuring homogeneity in six determinant variables. After the outbreak, there were more female residents who assimilated the concepts considered to be essential to understand the proposed behaviour. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed in the number of female residents who achieved the defined 'minimal understanding''. Moreover, most of the population (95.5% still believed at least in one of the identified myths. After the outbreak some myths disappeared and others appeared. The present study quantified and explored how the experience of an outbreak influenced the perception regarding a dengue-preventive behaviour. The outbreak experience surprisingly led to the appearance
Nazareth, Teresa; Sousa, Carla Alexandra; Porto, Graça; Gonçalves, Luzia; Seixas, Gonçalo; Antunes, Luís; Silva, Ana Clara; Teodósio, Rosa
The ability to effectively modify behaviours is increasingly relevant to attain and maintain a good health status. Current behaviour-change models and theories present two main approaches for (healthier) decision-making: one analytical/logical, and one experiential/emotional/intuitive. Therefore, to achieve an integral and dynamic understanding of the public perceptions both approaches should be considered: community surveys should measure cognitive understanding of health-risk contexts, and also explore how past experiences affect this understanding. In 2011, community perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed in Madeira Island. After Madeira’s first dengue outbreak (2012) a unique opportunity to compare perceptions before and after the outbreak-experience occurred. This was the aim of this study, which constituted the first report on the effect of an outbreak experience on community perceptions regarding a specific vector-borne disease. A cross-sectional survey was performed within female residents at the most aegypti-infested areas. Perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed according to the Essential Perception (EP)-analysis tool. A matching process paired individuals from studies performed before and after the outbreak, ensuring homogeneity in six determinant variables. After the outbreak, there were more female residents who assimilated the concepts considered to be essential to understand the proposed behaviour. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed in the number of female residents who achieved the defined ‘minimal understanding’’. Moreover, most of the population (95.5%) still believed at least in one of the identified myths. After the outbreak some myths disappeared and others appeared. The present study quantified and explored how the experience of an outbreak influenced the perception regarding a dengue-preventive behaviour. The outbreak experience surprisingly led to the appearance of new
Nazareth, Teresa; Sousa, Carla Alexandra; Porto, Graça; Gonçalves, Luzia; Seixas, Gonçalo; Antunes, Luís; Silva, Ana Clara; Teodósio, Rosa
The ability to effectively modify behaviours is increasingly relevant to attain and maintain a good health status. Current behaviour-change models and theories present two main approaches for (healthier) decision-making: one analytical/logical, and one experiential/emotional/intuitive. Therefore, to achieve an integral and dynamic understanding of the public perceptions both approaches should be considered: community surveys should measure cognitive understanding of health-risk contexts, and also explore how past experiences affect this understanding. In 2011, community perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed in Madeira Island͘. After Madeira's first dengue outbreak (2012) a unique opportunity to compare perceptions before and after the outbreak-experience occurred. This was the aim of this study, which constituted the first report on the effect of an outbreak experience on community perceptions regarding a specific vector-borne disease. A cross-sectional survey was performed within female residents at the most aegypti-infested areas. Perceptions regarding domestic source reduction were assessed according to the Essential Perception (EP)-analysis tool. A matching process paired individuals from studies performed before and after the outbreak, ensuring homogeneity in six determinant variables. After the outbreak, there were more female residents who assimilated the concepts considered to be essential to understand the proposed behaviour. Nevertheless, no significant difference was observed in the number of female residents who achieved the defined 'minimal understanding''. Moreover, most of the population (95.5%) still believed at least in one of the identified myths. After the outbreak some myths disappeared and others appeared. The present study quantified and explored how the experience of an outbreak influenced the perception regarding a dengue-preventive behaviour. The outbreak experience surprisingly led to the appearance of new myths
Augustina Angelina Annan
Full Text Available Abstract Background The recent Ebola Virus Disease (EVD epidemic that hit some countries in West Africa underscores the need to train front line high-risk health workers on disease prevention skills. Although Ghana did not record (and is yet to any case, and several health workers have received numerous training schemes, there is no record of any study that assessed preparedness of healthcare workers (HCWS regarding EVD and any emergency prone disease in Ghana. We therefore conducted a hospital based cross sectional study involving 101 HCWs from two facilities in Kumasi, Ghana to assess the level of preparedness of HCWs to respond to any possible EVD. Methods We administered a face-to-face questionnaire using an adapted WHO (2015 and CDC (2014 Checklist for Ebola Preparedness and assessed overall knowledge gaps, and preparedness of the Ghanaian HCWs in selected health facilities of the Ashanti Region of Ghana from October to December 2015. Results A total 92 (91.09% HCWs indicated they were not adequately trained to handle an EVD suspected case. Only 25.74% (n = 26 considered their facilities sufficiently equipped to handle and manage EVD patients. When asked which disinfectant to use after attending to and caring for a suspected patient with EVD, only 8.91% (n = 9 could correctly identify the right disinfectant (χ2 = 28.52, p = 0.001. Conclusion Our study demonstrates poor knowledge and ill preparedness and unwillingness of many HCWs to attend to EVD. Beyond knowledge acquisition, there is the need for more training from time to time to fully prepare HCWs to handle any possible EVD case.
Wang, Ching-Hsun; Li, Jin-Feng; Huang, Li-Yueh; Lin, Fu-Mei; Yang, Ya-Sung; Siu, L Kristopher; Chang, Feng-Yee; Lin, Jung-Chung
This study describes an outbreak caused by imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (IRAB) involving 2 general wards at the Penghu branch of Tri-Service General Hospital. Clinical data obtained from the patients with IRAB during an outbreak from May 2014-October 2014 were reviewed. Microbiologic sampling from the environment and the hands of health care workers (HCWs) was performed. Clinical isolates from case patients were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). During the outbreak period, 12 patients were colonized or infected with IRAB. The hospital room environments of the case patients were contaminated with IRAB. Hands of nurses and physicians were not colonized with IRAB, but the hands of 2 bedside caregivers of case patients were colonized with IRAB. The PFGE analysis revealed that at least 2 major genetically distinct strains disseminated between 2 different wards. After implementation of infection control measures with a cohort of nursing patients, hand hygiene education for caregivers who had not received instructions before the outbreak, and a critical value alert system to notify case patients, the outbreak was controlled successfully. This outbreak study highlights the importance of adherence to hand hygiene by all HCWs to prevent the dissemination of multidrug-resistant organisms. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The aim of our work is to analyse the impact of cholera outbreaks that took place in Alto Minho, a region in the North of Portugal, in a century in which, due to several developments, distances became shorter and people from different parts of the globe became closer, and thus explaining the spreading of a disease that manifests itself quickly and evolves rapidly. We also intend to evaluate the effect of the measures undertaken by administrative and sanitary authorities and to verify the alterations in the daily life of the affected communities as far as economic activities, organization, cleanness and hygiene in the public venue are concerned, emphasizing on the temporary suspension of the relations with the neighbouring region of Galiza equally affected by numerous cholera outbreaks.
Snitkin, Evan S; Won, Sarah; Pirani, Ali; Lapp, Zena; Weinstein, Robert A; Lolans, Karen; Hayden, Mary K
Development of effective strategies to limit the proliferation of multidrug-resistant organisms requires a thorough understanding of how such organisms spread among health care facilities. We sought to uncover the chains of transmission underlying a 2008 U.S. regional outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae by performing an integrated analysis of genomic and interfacility patient-transfer data. Genomic analysis yielded a high-resolution transmission network that assigned directionality to regional transmission events and discriminated between intra- and interfacility transmission when epidemiologic data were ambiguous or misleading. Examining the genomic transmission network in the context of interfacility patient transfers (patient-sharing networks) supported the role of patient transfers in driving the outbreak, with genomic analysis revealing that a small subset of patient-transfer events was sufficient to explain regional spread. Further integration of the genomic and patient-sharing networks identified one nursing home as an important bridge facility early in the outbreak-a role that was not apparent from analysis of genomic or patient-transfer data alone. Last, we found that when simulating a real-time regional outbreak, our methodology was able to accurately infer the facility at which patients acquired their infections. This approach has the potential to identify facilities with high rates of intra- or interfacility transmission, data that will be useful for triggering targeted interventions to prevent further spread of multidrug-resistant organisms. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Full Text Available The tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum is a native fish species that is farmed most frequently and in the largest quantities throughout Brazil. The high production of this species from fish farms has contributed to the occurrence of emerging parasites, which may compromise fish health and productivity. In a batch of 2500 tambaqui fry acquired for experimental farming procedures in Brazil, a mortality rate of 80% was observed, with the fish swimming erratically and gasping for air at the water surface. From among the specimens that were still alive, 60 individuals were selected at random. Organs or fragments of organs containing lesions and/or cysts were examined under an optical microscope to investigate for the presence of parasitic spores. Of the 60 specimens of tambaqui analyzed, 83.3% were found to be infected in different organs, such as the gills, liver, and gallbladder with myxosporidian species belonging to four genera, namely, Myxobolus, Ellipsomyxa, Henneguya and Thelohanellus. The parasite with the greatest prevalence was Myxobolus sp., located in the gills (70%, followed by Henneguya sp. in the gills region (68.3%, Myxobolus sp. in the liver (63.3%, Thelohanellus sp. in the liver (58.3%, and Ellipsomyxa in the gallbladder (50%. This is the first report of parasitic infection caused by the genera Ellipsomyxa and Thelohanellus in C. macropomum. The present study reported the second incidence of the occurrence of the genus Thelohanellus in South America. This study suggested that the mortality among C. macropomum specimens was caused by the outbreak of myxosporidians. Keywords: Amazon, Tambaqui, Parasite, Myxozoa, Myxosporidians
Ayub, Gohar; Waheed, Yasir
The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest that have occurred; it started in Guinea and spread to Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of the current virus species indicated that this outbreak is the result of a divergent lineage of the Zaire ebolavirus. The L protein of Ebola virus (EBOV) is the catalytic subunit of the RNA‑dependent RNA polymerase complex, which, with VP35, is key for the replication and transcription of viral RNA. Earlier sequence analysis demonstrated that the L protein of all non‑segmented negative‑sense (NNS) RNA viruses consists of six domains containing conserved functional motifs. The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence of these motifs in 2014 EBOV isolates, highlight their function and how they may contribute to the overall pathogenicity of the isolates. For this purpose, 81 2014 EBOV L protein sequences were aligned with 475 other NNS RNA viruses, including Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of all EBOV outbreak L protein sequences was also performed. Analysis of the amino acid substitutions in the 2014 EBOV outbreak was conducted using sequence analysis. The alignment demonstrated the presence of previously conserved motifs in the 2014 EBOV isolates and novel residues. Notably, all the mutations identified in the 2014 EBOV isolates were tolerant, they were pathogenic with certain examples occurring within previously determined functional conserved motifs, possibly altering viral pathogenicity, replication and virulence. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all sequences with the exception of the 2014 EBOV sequences were clustered together. The 2014 EBOV outbreak has acquired a great number of mutations, which may explain the reasons behind this unprecedented outbreak. Certain residues critical to the function of the polymerase remain conserved and may be targets for the development of antiviral therapeutic agents.
Christiansen, Lasse Engbo; Dickey, Bradley F; Carpenter, Tim E
In case of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) or other exotic disease outbreak, surveillance zones and infected areas are conventionally created as circles with their centroids at the known infected premises. Given the availability of geographic information systems (GIS), it is no longer difficult...... model originally applied to a 3-county area in California and the available information about the state’s livestock demographics to compare these two control strategies. The comparisons included the simulated duration of outbreaks, number of herds and animals affected, and manpower issues...
Full Text Available In emergency situations, domestic animals and wildlife are, like people, exposed to infectious diseases and environmental contaminants in the air, soil, water and food. They can suffer from acute and/or chronic diseases from such exposure. Often animals serve as disease reservoirs or early warning systems for the community in regard to the spread of zoonotic diseases. Over 100 years of experience have shown that animal and human health are closely related. During the past few years, emergent disease episodes have increased; nearly all have involved zoonotic agents. As there is no way to predict when or where the next important new zoonotic pathogen will emerge or what its ultimate importance might be, investigation at the first sign of emergence of a new zoonotic disease is particularly important. Today, in many emerging situations, different activities involving zoonotic disease control are at risk because of failed investigative infrastructures or financial constraints. Considering that zoonotic diseases have their own characteristics, their prevention and control require unique strategies, based more on fundamental and applied research than on traditional approaches. Such strategies require cooperation and coordination between animal and public health sectors and the involvement of other disciplines and experts such as epidemiologists, entomologists, environmentalists and climatologists. Lessons learned from the avian influenza pandemic threat, the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and rabies outbreaks are presented and the gaps and weakness of current control programmes are discussed.
Sirio, Carl A; Keyser, Donna J; Norman, Heidi; Weber, Robert J; Muto, Carlene A
Based on lessons learned through implementation of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative's region-wide shared learning model, we have identified the environmental, cultural, and infrastructure...
J.R. Withrow; E.L. Smith; F.H. Koch; D. Yemshanov
In pest risk assessment it is frequently necessary to make time-critical decisions regarding management of expanding pest populations. When an invasive pest outbreak is expanding rapidly, preemptive quarantine of areas that are under imminent threat of infestation is one of only a few available management tools that can be implemented quickly to help control the...
Costantino, Angela; Coppola, Nicola; Spada, Enea; Bruni, Roberto; Taffon, Stefania; Equestre, Michele; Marcantonio, Cinzia; Sagnelli, Caterina; Dell'Isola, Chiara; Tosone, Grazia; Mascolo, Silvia; Sagnelli, Evangelista; Ciccaglione, Anna Rita
In Italy, the incidence of hepatitis A has progressively declined over the last 30 years, though not homogeneously throughout the country. In Campania, Southern Italy, high annual incidence rates have been reported and several periodic outbreaks have occurred. To investigate the phylogenetic and epidemiologic relationships among HAV strains circulating in Campania over the period 1997-2015, 87 hepatitis A cases were investigated. The most frequent risk factor was the consumption of raw/undercooked shellfish (75/87, 86.2%). During 1997-2002 most viral strains were subtype IA (16/23, 70%); the phylogenetic pattern suggests that the incidence peaks observed in 2000-2001 had likely been caused by multiple strains. During a large 2004 outbreak, almost all viral variants were subtype IB (38/41, 93%); most of them (22/38, 58%) were recognized to be one of two main strains (differing for just a single nucleotide), the remaining sequences were strictly related variants. In 2014/2015, only IA strains were observed; two phylogenetically related but distinct strains were responsible, respectively, for a small cluster in 2014 and an outbreak in 2015. In each outbreak, several strains unrelated to those responsible for most cases were detected in a minority of patients, documenting a background of sporadic cases occurring even in the course of outbreaks; some of them proved to be identical to strains detected 11-14 years previously. Overall, the data suggest that several related and unrelated HAV strains have endemically circulated over the last 15 years in Campania, with some strains gaining epidemic transmission likely because of a local combination of multiple factors, including inadequate waste water purification and dietary habits. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
There is broad agreement that innovation, knowledge and learning have become the main source of wealth, employment and economic development of cities, regions and nations. Over the past two decades, the number of European cities and regions which label themselves as "learning city" or "learning region" has constantly grown. However, there are also pitfalls and constraints which not only hinder them in unlocking their full potential, but also significantly narrow their effects and their wider impact on society. Most prominently, learning cities and regions manifest serious difficulties in rendering transparent the surplus value they generate, which is vital for attracting investment into lifelong learning. While evaluation and quality management are still perceived as being a bureaucratic necessity rather than a lesson one could learn from or an investment in the future, it is also true that without evaluation and quality assurance local networks do not have the means to examine their strengths and weaknesses. In order to design strategies to maximise the strengths and effectively address the weaknesses it is necessary to understand the factors that contribute to success and those that pose challenges. This article proposes an analytical quality framework which is generic and can be used to promote a culture of quality in learning cities and regions. The proposed framework builds on the findings and results of the R3L+ project, part-funded by the European Commission under the Grundtvig (adult education) strand of the Lifelong Learning programme 2007-2013.
Liu, Hui; Xu, Jian-Wei; Yang, Heng-Lin; Li, Mei; Sun, Cheng-De; Yin, Yi-Jie; Zheng, Zhi-Liang; Zhang, Guang-Yun; Yu, Ai-Shui; Yang, Yong-Hui; Li, Chun-Hui; Ai, Shui
From 2007 to 2013, intensive control measures reduced malaria burden by 90 % along the China-Myanmar border. However, despite these measures a P. falciparum malaria outbreak was reported in the Shan Special Region II of Myanmar in June of 2014. Epidemiological, parasitological and entomological investigations were performed. Dihydroartemisinin piperaquine (DAPQ) was immediately administered to treat parasite positive individuals. Long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN), indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides and behavior change communication (BCC) were also provided for outbreak control. An embedded efficacy study was conducted evaluating DP. Molecular genotyping via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on the Kelch gene on chromosome 13. All infections were identified as Plasmodium falciparum by RDT and microscopy. Two fatalities resulted from the outbreak. The attack rate was 72.8 % (67/92) and the incidence density rate was 14.2 per 100 person-weeks. The positive rate of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was 72.2 % (65/90) and microscopically-determine parasite rate 42.2 % (38/90). Adjusted odds ratio (OR) of multivariate logistic regression analysis for aged Myanmar border, especially among special populations, needs further collaboration between China, Myanmar and international societies.
Hospers, Gerrit J.; Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd
This paper deals with an intriguing paradox that can be observed in today’s regional economic policy making: whereas unique local factors are increasingly seen as the determinants of regional economic success, simultaneously more and more governments try to copy policy experiences that proved to be
Full Text Available In 2010 and 2011, Haiti was heavily affected by a large cholera outbreak that spread throughout the country. Although national health structure-based cholera surveillance was rapidly initiated, a substantial number of community cases might have been missed, particularly in remote areas. We conducted a community-based survey in a large rural, mountainous area across four districts of the Nord department including areas with good versus poor accessibility by road, and rapid versus delayed response to the outbreak to document the true cholera burden and assess geographic distribution and risk factors for cholera mortality.A two-stage, household-based cluster survey was conducted in 138 clusters of 23 households in four districts of the Nord Department from April 22nd to May 13th 2011. A total of 3,187 households and 16,900 individuals were included in the survey, of whom 2,034 (12.0% reported at least one episode of watery diarrhea since the beginning of the outbreak. The two more remote districts, Borgne and Pilate were most affected with attack rates up to 16.2%, and case fatality rates up to 15.2% as compared to the two more accessible districts. Care seeking was also less frequent in the more remote areas with as low as 61.6% of reported patients seeking care. Living in remote areas was found as a risk factor for mortality together with older age, greater severity of illness and not seeking care.These results highlight important geographical disparities and demonstrate that the epidemic caused the highest burden both in terms of cases and deaths in the most remote areas, where up to 5% of the population may have died during the first months of the epidemic. Adapted strategies are needed to rapidly provide treatment as well as prevention measures in remote communities.
Miu-ling, Wong; Kwok-ming, Poon; Yuen-kong, Wan; Shuk-Kwan, Chuang; Lai-key, Kwok; Sik-on, Pak
In November 2012, an outbreak of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) skin and soft tissue infections affecting students at a boarding school in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China) was detected. A case was defined as any student or staff notified with MRSA infection from 25 October 2012 to 5 July 2013 with the clinical isolate being of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV or V and positive for Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene. We conducted field investigations, advised on control measures and enhanced surveillance for skin and soft tissue infections at the school. Decolonization therapies were offered to all cases and contacts, and carrier screening was conducted. There were five cases; two (40%) were hospitalized and three (60%) required surgical treatments. Initial screening comprised 240 students and 81 staff members. Overall, four cases (80%) plus eight other students (3.3%) were carriers, with eight of 12 (66.7%) from the same dormitory. All staff members screened negative. After intensified control measures, the number of students screened positive for CA-MRSA decreased from nine to one with no more cases identified in the school. Identification of carriers, decolonization therapy, monitoring of cases and contacts and strengthening of environmental and personal hygiene were control measures that helped contain this CA-MRSA outbreak in a boarding school in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China).
Full Text Available In this paper we propose to construct a Regional Integrated Virtual Learning Environment (RIVLE for the Arab Open University (AOU. AOU is a new nonprofit learning institution with branches in six Arab countries and more branches scheduled to open in the near future. The university adopts an open learning methodology. We describe the major elements of the RIVLE and their interaction. We present a generic interface between the RIVLE and the Student Information System (SIS. We focus on the characteristics of the pedagogical model in the Arab Open University context and explain why RIVLE would be a perfect fit for this model. We argue that the potential benefits of a RIVLE are realized in such a setting. We also study the possibility of extending the RIVLE to existing learning institutions in the region.
Altmann, Mathias; Suarez-Bustamante, Miguel; Soulier, Celine; Lesavre, Celine; Antoine, Caroline
Although cases were reported only in 2010 and 2011, cholera is probably endemic in Yemen. In the context of a civil war, a cholera outbreak was declared in different parts of the country October 6th, 2016. This paper describes the ACF outbreak response in Hodeidah city from October 28th, 2016 to February 28th, 2017 in order to add knowledge to this large outbreak. The ACF outbreak response in Hodeidah city included a case management component and prevention measures in the community. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen (MoPHP), the case management component included a Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) implemented in the Al Thoraw hospital, 11 Oral Rehydration Therapy Corners (ORTCs) and an active case finding system. In partnership with other stakeholders, prevention measures in the community, including access to safe water and hygiene promotion, were implemented in the most affected communities of the city. From October 28th, 2016 until February 28th, 2017, ACF provided care to 8,270 Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) cases, of which 5,210 (63%) were suspected cholera cases, in the CTC and the 11 ORTCs implemented in Hodeidah city. The attack rate was higher among people living in Al Hali district, with a peak in November 2016. At the CTC, 8% of children under 5 years-old also presented with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). The Case-Fatality Rate (CFR) was low (0.07%) but 15% of admitted cases defaulted for cultural and security reasons. Environmental management lacked the information to appropriately target affected areas. Financial resources did not allow complete coverage of the city. Response to the first wave of a large cholera outbreak in Hodeidah city was successful in maintaining a CFR Yemen and its water infrastructure, much more efforts are needed to control the current outbreak resurgence.
Díaz-Quiñonez, Alberto; Hernández-Monroy, Irma; Montes-Colima, Norma; Moreno-Pérez, Asunción; Galicia-Nicolás, Adriana; Martínez-Rojano, Hugo; Carmona-Ramos, Concepción; Sánchez-Mendoza, Miroslava; Rodríguez-Martínez, José Cruz; Suárez-Idueta, Lorena; Jiménez-Corona, María Eugenia; Ruiz-Matus, Cuitláhuac; Kuri-Morales, Pablo
On September 2 and 6, 2013, Mexico's National System of Epidemiological Surveillance identified two cases of cholera in Mexico City. Rectal swab cultures from both patients were confirmed as toxigenic Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1, serotype Ogawa, biotype El Tor. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and virulence gene amplification (ctxA, ctxB, zot, and ace) demonstrated that the strains were identical to one another but different from strains circulating in Mexico previously. The strains were indistinguishable from the strain that has caused outbreaks in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. The strain was susceptible to doxycycline, had intermediate susceptibility to ampicillin and chloramphenicol, was less than fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin, and was resistant to furazolidone and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. An investigation failed to identify a common source of infection, additional cases, or any epidemiologic link between the cases. Both patients were treated with a single, 300-mg dose of doxycycline, and their symptoms resolved.
Puro, V; Fusco, F M; Castilletti, C; Carletti, F; Colavita, F; Agrati, C; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Ippolito, G
Orthopoxviruses spill over from animal reservoirs to accidental hosts, sometimes causing human infections. We describe the surveillance and infection control measures undertaken during an outbreak due to an Orthopoxvirus occurred in January 2015 in a colony of Macaca tonkeana in the province of Rieti, Latio, Italy, which caused a human asymptomatic infection. According to the epidemiological investigation, the human transmission occurred after an unprotected exposure. The contacts among wild, captive and domestic animals and humans, together with decreased immunity against Orthopoxviruses in the community, may put animal handlers at risk of infection, especially after the cessation of smallpox vaccination. To reduce these threats, standard precautions including respiratory hygiene and transmission-based precautions should be carefully applied also in veterinary medicine. © 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Taleb, Ziyad Ben; Bahelah, Raed
We address the controversies surrounding a 2013 outbreak of methanol poisoning in Tripoli, Libya. We critically examine and systematically analyze the outbreak to highlight the lessons learned from this disaster and how to act properly to prevent similar outbreaks in future. Many health problems have been directly attributed to drinking alcohol; the type and quality of alcohol determines the detrimental effects. An unregulated and flourishing black market in alcohol is among the factors behind the Libyan tragedy, where approximately 90 deaths and about 1000 hospital admissions were reported. We reviewed gaps in local and regional alcohol policy, and highlighted the issue of illegally produced and home-made alcohol. Collaboration between countries in the region plus critical health and policy reforms in Libya, with emphasis on public health preparedness, can dramatically decrease morbidity and mortality associated with such outbreaks.
Bertrand, Sophie; Dierick, Katelijne; Heylen, Kim; De Baere, Thierry; Pochet, Brigitte; Robesyn, Emmanuel; Lokietek, Sophie; Van Meervenne, Eva; Imberechts, Hein; De Zutter, Lieven; Collard, Jean-Marc
During the summer of 2005, an increase in reports of human cases of Salmonella enterica serovar Ohio infection was observed in Belgium. During 11 weeks, between 1 July and 13 September, 60 cases of laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Ohio infection were reported to the National Reference Centre for Salmonella, with a peak onset of symptoms in the third week of July. All clinical isolates caused self-limiting gastroenteritis; both genders (32 males and 28 females) and all age groups (three children 65 years of age) were affected. The isolates were distributed throughout Belgium but a cluster of several cases was observed around Brussels. At the same time, an increase in the incidence of this serovar was observed in the Salmonella isolates originating from the official surveillance campaign conducted by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, which identified pork as a likely source of the outbreak strain. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing confirmed the clonal relationship between the human isolates, the isolates from samples collected in the cutting plants, and the isolates from pork meat in distribution. Further epidemiological investigations indicated that one particular slaughterhouse was involved. In that slaughterhouse, the carcasses were contaminated during the evisceration process because of contaminated equipment and uncontrolled environmental conditions. This study highlights the importance of a centralized surveillance laboratory in the management of outbreaks and the need of strict implementation of hygienic rules to avoid this type of outbreak.
Russo, Gianluca; Miglietta, Alessandro; Pezzotti, Patrizio; Biguioh, Rodrigue Mabvouna; Bouting Mayaka, Georges; Sobze, Martin Sanou; Stefanelli, Paola; Vullo, Vincenzo; Rezza, Giovanni
Inadequate immunization coverage with increased risk of vaccine preventable diseases outbreaks remains a problem in Africa. Moreover, different factors contribute to incomplete vaccination status. This study was performed in Dschang (West Region, Cameroon), during the polio outbreak occurred in October 2013, in order to estimate the immunization coverage among children aged 12-23 months, to identify determinants for incomplete vaccination status and to assess the risk of poliovirus spread in the study population. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in November-December 2013, using the WHO two-stage sampling design. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from consenting parents of children aged 12-23 months. Vaccination coverage was assessed by vaccination card and parents' recall. Chi-square test and multilevel logistic regression model were used to identify the determinants of incomplete immunization status. Statistical significance was set at p children were enrolled. Complete immunization coverage was 85.9% and 84.5%, according to card plus parents' recall and card only, respectively. All children had received at least one routine vaccination, the OPV-3 (Oral Polio Vaccine) coverage was >90%, and 73.4% children completed the recommended vaccinations before 1-year of age. In the final multilevel logistic regression model, factors significantly associated with incomplete immunization status were: retention of immunization card (AOR: 7.89; 95% CI: 1.08-57.37), lower mothers' utilization of antenatal care (ANC) services (AOR:1.25; 95% CI: 1.07-63.75), being the ≥ 3(rd) born child in the family (AOR: 425.4; 95% CI: 9.6-18,808), younger mothers' age (AOR: 49.55; 95% CI: 1.59-1544), parents' negative attitude towards immunization (AOR: 20.2; 95% CI: 1.46-278.9), and poorer parents' exposure to information on vaccination (AOR: 28.07; 95 % CI: 2.26-348.1). Longer distance from the vaccination centers was marginally
Kouadio, Koffi Isidore; Clement, Peter; Bolongei, Josephus; Tamba, Alpha; Gasasira, Alex Ntale; Warsame, Abdihamid; Okeibunor, Joseph Chukwudi; Ota, Martin Okechukwu; Tamba, Boima; Gumede, Nicksy; Shaba, Keith; Poy, Alain; Salla, Mbaye; Mihigo, Richard; Nshimirimana, Deo
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak was confirmed in Liberia on March 31st 2014. A response comprising of diverse expertise was mobilized and deployed to the country to contain transmission of Ebola and give relief to a people already impoverished from protracted civil war. This paper describes the epidemiological and surveillance response to the EVD outbreak in Lofa County in Liberia from March to September 2014. Five of the 6 districts of Lofa were affected. The most affected districts were Voinjama/Guardu Gbondi and Foya. By 26th September, 2014, a total of 619 cases, including 19.4% probable cases, 20.3% suspected cases and 44.2% confirmed cases were recorded by the Ebola Emergency Response Team (EERT) of Lofa County. Adults (20-50 years) were the most affected. Overall fatality rate was 53.3%. Twenty two (22) cases were reported among the Health Care Workers with a fatality rate of 81.8%. Seventy eight percent (78%) of the contacts successfully completed 21 days follow-up while 134 (6.15%) that developed signs and symptoms of EVD were referred to the ETU in Foya. The contributions of the weak health systems as well as socio-cultural factors in fueling the epidemic are highlighted. Importantly, the lessons learnt including the positive impact of multi-sectorial and multidisciplinary and coordinated response led by the government and community. Again, given that the spread of infectious disease can be considered a security threat every effort has to put in place to strengthen the health systems in developing countries including the International Health Regulation (IHR)'s core capacities. Key words: Ebola virus disease, outbreak, epidemiology and surveillance, socio-cultural factors, health system, West Africa.
Boisen, M L; Hartnett, J N; Goba, A; Vandi, M A; Grant, D S; Schieffelin, J S; Garry, R F; Branco, L M
The 2013-16 West African Ebola outbreak is the largest, most geographically dispersed, and deadliest on record, with 28,616 suspected cases and 11,310 deaths recorded to date in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We provide a review of the epidemiology and management of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa aimed at stimulating reflection on lessons learned that may improve the response to the next international health crisis caused by a pathogen that emerges in a region of the world with a severely limited health care infrastructure. Surveillance efforts employing rapid and effective point-of-care diagnostics designed for environments that lack advanced laboratory infrastructure will greatly aid in early detection and containment efforts during future outbreaks. Introduction of effective therapeutics and vaccines against Ebola into the public health system and the biodefense armamentarium is of the highest priority if future outbreaks are to be adequately managed and contained in a timely manner.
... MERS-CoV) Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Influenza at the Human-Animal Interface (HAI) Related documents WHO outbreak communication guide 2008 WHO outbreak communications guidelines Outbreak communication: ...
Bjerke, Jarle W; Jepsen, Jane U; Lovibond, Sarah; Tømmervik, Hans; Rune Karlsen, Stein; Arild Høgda, Kjell; Malnes, Eirik; Vikhamar-Schuler, Dagrun
The release of cold temperature constraints on photosynthesis has led to increased productivity (greening) in significant parts (32–39%) of the Arctic, but much of the Arctic shows stable (57–64%) or reduced productivity (browning, <4%). Summer drought and wildfires are the best-documented drivers causing browning of continental areas, but factors dampening the greening effect of more maritime regions have remained elusive. Here we show how multiple anomalous weather events severely affected the terrestrial productivity during one water year (October 2011–September 2012) in a maritime region north of the Arctic Circle, the Nordic Arctic Region, and contributed to the lowest mean vegetation greenness (normalized difference vegetation index) recorded this century. Procedures for field data sampling were designed during or shortly after the events in order to assess both the variability in effects and the maximum effects of the stressors. Outbreaks of insect and fungal pests also contributed to low greenness. Vegetation greenness in 2012 was 6.8% lower than the 2000–11 average and 58% lower in the worst affected areas that were under multiple stressors. These results indicate the importance of events (some being mostly neglected in climate change effect studies and monitoring) for primary productivity in a high-latitude maritime region, and highlight the importance of monitoring plant damage in the field and including frequencies of stress events in models of carbon economy and ecosystem change in the Arctic. Fourteen weather events and anomalies and 32 hypothesized impacts on plant productivity are summarized as an aid for directing future research. (letter)
Cholera is endemic in Malawi with seasonal outbreaks during the wet season. People living around Lake Chilwa rely on the lake for their water supply. From May 2009 to May 2010, a cholera outbreak occurred in fishing communities around Lake Chilwa. This paper describes the outbreak response and lessons learned for ...
Usha, K; Kumar, E; Kalawat, Usha; Kumar, B Siddhartha; Chaudhury, A; Gopal, D V R Sai
Scrub typhus is a vector-borne zoonotic infection caused by Orientiatsutsugamushi. Local epidemiology of the circulating serotypes of scrub typhus is not available from most parts of India. We conducted this study for the diagnosis of scrub typhus using IgM ELISA and to detect O. tsutsugamushi serotypes circulating in southern Andhra Pradesh, India. Samples were collected from patients clinically suspected to have scrub typhus and were subjected to IgM ELISA to measure IgM antibodies against O. tsutsugamushi. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed targeting strain-specific regions in ELISA-positive samples. Of a total of 663 samples, 258 (38.91%) were found to be positive by IgM ELISA. Serotypes could be detected in 230 (34.69%) samples only. Only two serotypes, Karp and Kawasaki, were found in the serum samples, with the former being predominant. The dual infection of Karp and Kawasaki serotypes was found in seven patients. Other serotypes such as Gilliam, Kuroki and Kato were not detected in the samples. The nested PCR products proved useful in presumptively identifying the endemic O. tsutsugamushi serotypes. The present study could be significant in understanding scrub typhus epidemiology in this region.
The emergence of new, transmissible infections poses a significant threat to human populations. As the 2009 novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic and the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic demonstrate, we have observed the effects of rapid spread of illness in non-immune populations and experienced disturbing uncertainty about future potential for human suffering and societal disruption. Clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of a newly emerged infectious organism are usually gathered in retrospect as the outbreak evolves and affects populations. Knowledge of potential effects of outbreaks and epidemics and most importantly, mitigation at community, regional, national and global levels is needed to inform policy that will prepare and protect people. Study of possible outcomes of evolving epidemics and application of mitigation strategies is not possible in observational or experimental research designs, but computational modeling allows conduct of `virtual' experiments. Results of well-designed computer simulations can aid in the selection and implementation of strategies that limit illness and death, and maintain systems of healthcare and other critical resources that are vital to public protection. Mitigating Infectious Disease Outbreaks.
Farrell, Margaret; Sebeny, Peter; Klena, John D; Demattos, Cecilia; Pimentel, Guillermo; Turner, Mark; Joseph, Antony; Espiritu, Jennifer; Zumwalt, John; Dueger, Erica
At the onset of an influenza pandemic, when the severity of a novel strain is still undetermined and there is a threat of introduction into a new environment, e.g., via the deployment of military troops, sensitive screening criteria and conservative isolation practices are generally recommended. In response to elevated rates of influenza-like illness among U.S. military base camps in Kuwait, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 partnered with local U.S. Army medical units to conduct an A(H1N1) pdm09 outbreak investigation. Initial clinical data and nasal specimens were collected via the existent passive surveillance system and active surveillance was conducted using a modified version of the World Health Organization/U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza-like illness case definition [fever (T > 100.5˚F/38˚C) in addition to cough and/or sore throat in the previous 72 hours] as the screening criteria. Samples were tested via real-time reverse-transcription PCR and sequenced for comparison to global A(H1N1) pdm09 viruses from the same time period. The screening criteria used in Kuwait proved insensitive, capturing only 16% of A(H1N1) pdm09-positive individuals. While still not ideal, using cough as the sole screening criteria would have increased sensitivity to 73%. The results of and lessons learned from this outbreak investigation suggest that pandemic influenza risk management should be a dynamic process (as information becomes available regarding true attack rates and associated mortality, screening and isolation criteria should be re-evaluated and revised as appropriate), and that military operational environments present unique challenges to influenza surveillance.
This media information sheet analyzes print and online coverage of the 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak. The frameworks that the media used to report on the outbreak presented vaccination as the only viable option from preventing the spread of measles. Reporting also failed to mention that the 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak was smaller than U.S. measles outbreaks in 2013 and 2014.
Linnakoski, Riikka; Mahilainen, Saila; Harrington, Alison; Vanhanen, Henri; Eriksson, Miikka; Mehtätalo, Lauri; Pappinen, Ari; Wingfield, Michael J
The ophiostomatoid fungi (Microascales and Ophiostomatales, Ascomycota) are common associates of Ips typographus, and include tree pathogens and species responsible for blue-stain of timber. Fungal assemblages associated with I. typographus have varied considerably between studies but few investigations have attempted to explain this variation. For this reason, we assessed the overall cultivable fungal diversity associated with I. typographus in a storm-felled spruce forest in south-eastern Finland. Fungi were isolated from the individually collected beetles as well as their phoretic mites in spring, summer and autumn, including different life stages of the beetle (hibernation, dispersal flight and first generation). The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene region was used to identify the fungi. A total of 32 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found and these resided in four fungal phyla/subphyla (24 Ascomycota, 2 Basidiomycota, 5 Mucoromycotina, 1 Mortierellomycotina) in association with adult bark beetles. Ophiostomatoid species were the most commonly detected fungal associates. A generalized linear model analysis showed a clear association between fungal communities and season, indicating seasonal succession among I. typographus-associated fungi. The season of sampling appears to be an important factor that has resulted in inconsistencies between results in previous studies. Many of these fungi were also found on phoretic mites and their presence or absence could have influenced variation in patterns of association.
Kuehne, Anna; Tiffany, Amanda; Lasry, Estrella; Janssens, Michel; Besse, Clement; Okonta, Chibuzo; Larbi, Kwabena; Pah, Alfred C; Danis, Kostas; Porten, Klaudia
In October 2014, during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia healthcare services were limited while malaria transmission continued. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) implemented a mass drug administration (MDA) of malaria chemoprevention (CP) in Monrovia to reduce malaria-associated morbidity. In order to inform future interventions, we described the scale of the MDA, evaluated its acceptance and estimated the effectiveness. MSF carried out two rounds of MDA with artesunate/amodiaquine (ASAQ) targeting four neighbourhoods of Monrovia (October to December 2014). We systematically selected households in the distribution area and administered standardized questionnaires. We calculated incidence ratios (IR) of side effects using poisson regression and compared self-reported fever risk differences (RD) pre- and post-MDA using a z-test. In total, 1,259,699 courses of ASAQ-CP were distributed. All households surveyed (n = 222; 1233 household members) attended the MDA in round 1 (r1) and 96% in round 2 (r2) (212/222 households; 1,154 household members). 52% (643/1233) initiated ASAQ-CP in r1 and 22% (256/1154) in r2. Of those not initiating ASAQ-CP, 29% (172/590) saved it for later in r1, 47% (423/898) in r2. Experiencing side effects in r1 was not associated with ASAQ-CP initiation in r2 (IR 1.0, 95%CI 0.49-2.1). The incidence of self-reported fever decreased from 4.2% (52/1229) in the month prior to r1 to 1.5% (18/1229) after r1 (p<0.001) and decrease was larger among household members completing ASAQ-CP (RD = 4.9%) compared to those not initiating ASAQ-CP (RD = 0.6%) in r1 (p<0.001). The reduction in self-reported fever cases following the intervention suggests that MDAs may be effective in reducing cases of fever during Ebola outbreaks. Despite high coverage, initiation of ASAQ-CP was low. Combining MDAs with longer term interventions to prevent malaria and to improve access to healthcare may reduce both the incidence of malaria and the proportion of respondents saving their
Full Text Available In October 2014, during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia healthcare services were limited while malaria transmission continued. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF implemented a mass drug administration (MDA of malaria chemoprevention (CP in Monrovia to reduce malaria-associated morbidity. In order to inform future interventions, we described the scale of the MDA, evaluated its acceptance and estimated the effectiveness.MSF carried out two rounds of MDA with artesunate/amodiaquine (ASAQ targeting four neighbourhoods of Monrovia (October to December 2014. We systematically selected households in the distribution area and administered standardized questionnaires. We calculated incidence ratios (IR of side effects using poisson regression and compared self-reported fever risk differences (RD pre- and post-MDA using a z-test.In total, 1,259,699 courses of ASAQ-CP were distributed. All households surveyed (n = 222; 1233 household members attended the MDA in round 1 (r1 and 96% in round 2 (r2 (212/222 households; 1,154 household members. 52% (643/1233 initiated ASAQ-CP in r1 and 22% (256/1154 in r2. Of those not initiating ASAQ-CP, 29% (172/590 saved it for later in r1, 47% (423/898 in r2. Experiencing side effects in r1 was not associated with ASAQ-CP initiation in r2 (IR 1.0, 95%CI 0.49-2.1. The incidence of self-reported fever decreased from 4.2% (52/1229 in the month prior to r1 to 1.5% (18/1229 after r1 (p<0.001 and decrease was larger among household members completing ASAQ-CP (RD = 4.9% compared to those not initiating ASAQ-CP (RD = 0.6% in r1 (p<0.001.The reduction in self-reported fever cases following the intervention suggests that MDAs may be effective in reducing cases of fever during Ebola outbreaks. Despite high coverage, initiation of ASAQ-CP was low. Combining MDAs with longer term interventions to prevent malaria and to improve access to healthcare may reduce both the incidence of malaria and the proportion of respondents saving their
Full Text Available BACKGROUND The endoscopic endonasal approach for the sellar region lesions is a novel technique and an effective surgical option. The evidence thus far has been conflicting with reports in favour and against a learning curve. We attempt to determine the learning curve associated with this approach. METHODS Retrospective and prospective data of the patients who were surgically treated for sellar region lesions between the year 2013 and 2016 was collected, 32 patients were operated by the endoscopic endonasal approach at Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bangalore. Age, sex, presenting symptoms, length of hospital stay, surgical approach, type of dissection, duration of surgery, sellar floor repair, intraoperative and postoperative complications were noted. All the procedures were performed by a single neurosurgeon. RESULTS A total of 32 patients were operated amongst which 21 patients were non-functioning pituitary adenomas, 2 were growth hormone secreting functional adenomas, 1 was an invasive pituitary adenoma, 4 were craniopharyngiomas, 2 were meningiomas, 1 was Rathke’s cleft cyst and 1 was a clival chordoma. Headache was the mode of presentation in 12 patients, 12 patients had visual deficits, 6 patients presented with hormonal disturbances amongst which 4 patients presented with features of panhypopituitarism and 2 with acromegaly. Amongst the 4 patients with panhypopituitarism, 2 also had DI, two patients presented with CSF rhinorrhoea. There was a 100% improvement in the patients who presented with visual symptoms. Gross total resection was achieved in all 4 cases of craniopharyngiomas and 13 cases of pituitary adenomas. Postoperative CSF leak was seen in 4 patients who underwent re-exploration and sellar floor repair, 9 patients had postoperative Diabetes Insipidus (DI which was transient, the incidence of DI reduced towards the end of the study. There was a 25% decrease in the operating time towards the end of
Full Text Available On the background of the results of a still running German project the role of universities toimprove lifelong learning and innovation will be discussed not only from the perspective of a qualificationsupplier but as an enabler for a far-reaching and continuous social innovation process, including all therelevant stakeholders, institutions and policy makers. New education and training opportunities have to beconstructed overcoming existing borders between the different education and training systems, based onalready existing successful structures and institutions. Modulation and certification of education and training,non-formal and informal learning, transmission management etc. have to be coordinated where people areliving and using these: at the regional level. Within a social innovation process universities can successfullytake the role as a central actor in a regional field of qualification and innovation. They could act as acompetent partner matching qualification and innovation demands. In order to competently fulfil their role inthis matching process, universities will face both an internal development process and external challenges. Insummary, they will face and have to master a multi-faceted social innovation process.
Tamnes, Christian K; Walhovd, Kristine B; Engvig, Andreas; Grydeland, Håkon; Krogsrud, Stine K; Østby, Ylva; Holland, Dominic; Dale, Anders M; Fjell, Anders M
The hippocampus is an anatomically and functionally heterogeneous structure, but longitudinal studies of its regional development are scarce and it is not known whether protracted maturation of the hippocampus in adolescence is related to memory development. First, we investigated hippocampal subfield development using 170 longitudinally acquired brain magnetic resonance imaging scans from 85 participants aged 8-21 years. Hippocampal subfield volumes were estimated by the use of automated segmentation of 7 subfields, including the cornu ammonis (CA) sectors and the dentate gyrus (DG), while longitudinal subfield volumetric change was quantified using a nonlinear registration procedure. Second, associations between subfield volumes and change and verbal learning/memory across multiple retention intervals (5 min, 30 min and 1 week) were tested. It was hypothesized that short and intermediate memory would be more closely related to CA2-3/CA4-DG and extended, remote memory to CA1. Change rates were significantly different across hippocampal subfields, but nearly all subfields showed significant volume decreases over time throughout adolescence. Several subfield volumes were larger in the right hemisphere and in males, while for change rates there were no hemisphere or sex differences. Partly in support of the hypotheses, greater volume of CA1 and CA2-3 was related to recall and retention after an extended delay, while longitudinal reduction of CA2-3 and CA4-DG was related to learning. This suggests continued regional development of the hippocampus across adolescence and that volume and volume change in specific subfields differentially predict verbal learning and memory over different retention intervals, but future high-resolution studies are called for. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
CFR of this outbreak is higher than the national CFR. Vaccine efficacy of 50% points towards the need for investigation of vaccine logistics and cold chain system. Moreover, this laboratory test confirmed an outbreak showing that the measles virus could be imported from an endemic region and rapidly spread through a susceptible population who were previously not immunized.
Evans, W K; Ashbury, F D; Hogue, G L; Smith, A; Pun, J
Paper-based medical record systems are known to have major problems of inaccuracy, incomplete data, poor accessibility, and challenges to patient confidentiality. They are also an inefficient mechanism of record-sharing for interdisciplinary patient assessment and management, and represent a major problem for keeping current and monitoring quality control to facilitate improvement. To address those concerns, national, regional, and local health care authorities have increased the pressure on oncology practices to upgrade from paper-based systems to electronic health records. Here, we describe and discuss the challenges to implementing a region-wide oncology information system across four independent health care organizations, and we describe the lessons learned from the initial phases that are now being applied in subsequent activities of this complex project. The need for change must be shared across centres to increase buy-in, adoption, and implementation. It is essential to establish physician leadership, commitment, and engagement in the process. Work processes had to be revised to optimize use of the new system. Culture change must be included in the change management strategy. Furthermore, training and resource requirements must be thoroughly planned, implemented, monitored, and modified as required for effective adoption of new work processes and technology. Interfaces must be established with multiple existing electronic systems across the region to ensure appropriate patient flow. Periodic assessment of the existing project structure is necessary, and adjustments are often required to ensure that the project meets its objectives. The implementation of region-wide oncology information systems across different health practice locations has many challenges. Leadership is essential. A strong, collaborative information-sharing strategy across the region and with the supplier is essential to identify, discuss, and resolve implementation problems. A structure
Marta I. C. MEDEIROS
Full Text Available In the study of conjunctivitis outbreaks occurring from September 1994 to September 1996 in the region of Ribeirão Preto, conjunctival exudates of 92 patients were cultivated in Instituto Adolfo Lutz Laboratory I, Ribeirão Preto. Most cases occurred in the age range 2-7 years. The etiological agents which were most frequently isolated from the analyzed cases were: Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, in 40.22% and 21.74%, respectively. 51.35% of the S. pneumoniae isolated strains were not typable. The oxacillin-resistant S. pneumoniae strains were submitted to the minimum inhibitory concentration test (MIC and three of them presented intermediate resistance, whereas only one was highly resistant to penicillin.No estudo de surtos de conjuntivite ocorridos no período de setembro de 1994 a setembro de 1996, na região de Ribeirão Preto, foram semeadas no Instituto Adolfo Lutz Laboratório I, Ribeirão Preto, exsudatos conjuntivais de 92 pacientes, sendo que a maioria dos casos estava na faixa etária de 2-7 anos. Os agentes etiológicos mais freqüentemente isolados dos casos analisados foram: Streptococcus pneumoniae e Haemophilus influenzae em 40,22% e 21,74% respectivamente. 51,35% das cepas de S. pneumoniae isoladas foram não tipáveis. As cepas de S. pneumoniae oxacilina resistente foram submetidas ao teste de concentração inibitória mínima (CIM, sendo que três apresentaram resistência intermediária e apenas uma foi altamente resistente à penicilina.
Hoenen, Thomas; Groseth, Allison; Rosenke, Kyle; Fischer, Robert J; Hoenen, Andreas; Judson, Seth D; Martellaro, Cynthia; Falzarano, Darryl; Marzi, Andrea; Squires, R Burke; Wollenberg, Kurt R; de Wit, Emmie; Prescott, Joseph; Safronetz, David; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Bushmaker, Trenton; Feldmann, Friederike; McNally, Kristin; Bolay, Fatorma K; Fields, Barry; Sealy, Tara; Rayfield, Mark; Nichol, Stuart T; Zoon, Kathryn C; Massaquoi, Moses; Munster, Vincent J; Feldmann, Heinz
Rapid sequencing of RNA/DNA from pathogen samples obtained during disease outbreaks provides critical scientific and public health information. However, challenges exist for exporting samples to laboratories or establishing conventional sequencers in remote outbreak regions. We successfully used a novel, pocket-sized nanopore sequencer at a field diagnostic laboratory in Liberia during the current Ebola virus outbreak.
Feeney, Kynan T.; Whittle, Amanda J.; Altman, Shelley A.; Speers, David J.
A cluster of sporotrichosis cases occurred in the Busselton-Margaret River region of Western Australia from 2000 to 2003. Epidemiologic investigation and mycologic culture for Sporothrix schenckii implicated hay initially distributed through a commercial hay supplier as the source of the outbreak. Declining infection rates have occurred after various community measures were instigated. PMID:17953099
Glenn, S. M.
The Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) has accumulated a decade of experience designing, building and operating a Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System for the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). MARACOOS serves societal goals and supports scientific discovery at the scale of a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME). Societal themes include maritime safety, ecosystem decision support, coastal inundation, water quality and offshore energy. Scientific results that feed back on societal goals with better products include improved understanding of seasonal transport pathways and their impact on phytoplankton blooms and hypoxia, seasonal evolution of the subsurface Mid Atlantic Cold Pool and its impact on fisheries, biogeochemical transformations in coastal plumes, coastal ocean evolution and impact on hurricane intensities, and storm sediment transport pathways. As the global ocean observing requirements grow to support additional societal needs for information on fisheries and aquaculture, ocean acidification and deoxygenation, water quality and offshore development, global observing will necessarily evolve to include more coastal observations and forecast models at the scale of the world's many LMEs. Here we describe our efforts to share lessons learned between the observatory operators at the regional-scale of the LMEs. Current collaborators are spread across Europe, and also include Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. Specific examples include the development of a world standard QA/QC approach for HF Radar data that will foster the sharing of data between countries, basin-scale underwater glider missions between internationally-distributed glider ports to developed a shared understanding of operations and an ongoing evaluation of the global ocean models in which the regional models for the LME will be nested, and joint training programs to develop the distributed teams of scientists and technicians
Jones-Konneh, Tracey Elizabeth Claire; Murakami, Aya; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Egawa, Shinichi
The rare and deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by Ebola virus (EBOV) infection. The 2014-2015 EVD outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented. Person-to-person transmission of EBOV by direct contact with the body or bodily fluids of an infected person through broken skin or unprotected mucous membrane caused rapid outbreak in communities. Nosocomial infection was the cause of death of many health care workers (HCWs). This paper aims to reveal the importance and effect of intensive education of HCWs when combating an outbreak such as EVD. We compared the curricula of two educational programs and analyzed their effects by the trend of weekly new patients. In September 2014, a three-day training program on infection, prevention and control (IPC) was organized for nurses, but it was not sufficient to achieve good outcome. In December 2014, a newly established National Ebola Training Academy was set up to offer a platform of clinical training modules for frontline Ebola response workers. This academy addressed the training needs of clinicians and hygienists who were working or will work at Ebola treatment centers that were established after the onset of the 2014 outbreak. Increased intensive contents and simulated training at the academy improved HCWs' understanding of EVD, IPC and patient care, which subsequently contributed to the survival of patients. The rapid settlement of the outbreak after introducing the Academy indicates that appropriate intensive education of HCWs is the key activity carried out to control the outbreak of EVD in Sierra Leone.
Bamberry, Goff; Sabri-Matanagh, Saeed; Duncan, Glen
This paper explores the impact of a learning culture on organisational change in small to medium-sized regional manufacturing enterprises following a review of the related literature, and a qualitative study of 10 manufacturing SMEs in the Riverina region of New South Wales. The research confirmed that key learning culture factors as identified in…
Finding solutions for complex societal problems requires cross-boundary collaboration between multiple stakeholders who represent various practices, disciplines and perspectives. The authentic, multi-stakeholder Regional Learning Environment (RLE) is expected to develop higher education students’
Fitzpatrick, Maeve; O'Connell, Janice; Murphy, Eamonn
The role of work-based learning is a pivotal part of developing the learning region. With rates of employment at their highest for many years across Europe, the need for up-skilling the workforce in many areas will be essential to retain competitiveness and employability. This paper will focus on quality management up-skilling in small to…
N Raabe Vanessa
Full Text Available Breaking the human-to-human transmission cycle remains the cornerstone of infection control during filoviral (Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreaks. This requires effective identification and isolation of cases, timely contact tracing and monitoring, proper usage of barrier personal protection gear by health workers, and safely conducted burials. Solely implementing these measures is insufficient for infection control; control efforts must be culturally sensitive and conducted in a transparent manner to promote the necessary trust between the community and infection control team in order to succeed. This article provides a review of the literature on infection control during filoviral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks focusing on outbreaks in a developing setting and lessons learned from previous outbreaks. The primary search database used to review the literature was PUBMED, the National Library of Medicine website.
Meeus, M.T.H.; Oerlemans, L.A.G.; Hage, J.
This paper aims at developing a theoretical framework that explains levels of interactive learning. Interactive learning is defined as the exchange and sharing of knowledge resources conducive to innovation between an innovator firm, its suppliers, and/or its customers. Our research question is: Why
Social epidemiology of a large outbreak of chickenpox in the Colombian sugar cane producer region: a set theory-based analysis Epidemiología social de una gran epidemia de varicela en la región colombiana productora de caña de azúcar: un análisis basado en teoría de conjuntos
Alvaro J. Idrovo; Cidronio Albavera-Hernández; Jorge Martín Rodríguez-Hernández
There are few social epidemiologic studies on chickenpox outbreaks, although previous findings suggested the important role of social determinants. This study describes the context of a large outbreak of chickenpox in the Cauca Valley region, Colombia (2003 to 2007), with an emphasis on macro-determinants. We explored the temporal trends in chickenpox incidence in 42 municipalities to identify the places with higher occurrences. We analyzed municipal characteristics (education quality, vaccin...
Yaari, Rami; Kaliner, Ehud; Grotto, Itamar; Katriel, Guy; Moran-Gilad, Jacob; Sofer, Danit; Mendelson, Ella; Miller, Elizabeth; Huppert, Amit; Anis, E; Kopel, E; Manor, Y; Mor, O; Shulman, L; Singer, R; Weil, M
Polio eradication is an extraordinary globally coordinated health program in terms of its magnitude and reach, leading to the elimination of wild poliovirus (WPV) in most parts of the world. In 2013, a silent outbreak of WPV was detected in Israel, a country using an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) exclusively since 2005. The outbreak was detected using environmental surveillance (ES) of sewage reservoirs. Stool surveys indicated the outbreak to be restricted mainly to children under the age of 10 in the Bedouin population of southern Israel. In order to curtail the outbreak, a nationwide vaccination campaign using oral polio vaccine (OPV) was conducted, targeting all children under 10. A transmission model, fitted to the results of the stool surveys, with additional conditions set by the ES measurements, was used to evaluate the prevalence of WPV in Bedouin children and the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign. Employing the parameter estimates of the model fitting, the model was used to investigate the effect of alternative timings, coverages and dosages of the OPV campaign on the outcome of the outbreak. The mean estimate for the mean reproductive number was 1.77 (95 % credible interval, 1.46-2.30). With seasonal variation, the reproductive number maximum range was between zero and six. The mean estimate for the mean infectious periods was 16.8 (8.6-24.9) days. The modeling indicates the OPV campaign was effective in curtailing the outbreak. The mean estimate for the attack rate in Bedouin children under 10 at the end of 2014 was 42 % (22-65 %), whereas without the campaign the mean projected attack rate was 57 % (35-74 %). The campaign also likely shortened the duration of the outbreak by a mean estimate of 309 (2-846) days. A faster initiation of the OPV campaign could have reduced the incidence of WPV even if a lower coverage was reached, at the risk of prolonging the outbreak. OPV campaigns are essential for interrupting WPV transmission, even in a
Fischer, Thomas B.; Kidd, Sue; Jha-Thakur, Urmila; Gazzola, Paola; Peel, Deborah
This paper presents results of an international comparative research project, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) on the 'learning potential of appraisal (strategic environmental assessment - SEA) in spatial planning'. In this context, aspects of 'single-loop' and 'double-loop' learning, as well as of individual, organisational and social learning are discussed for emerging post-EC Directive German practice in the planning region (Zweckverband) of Brunswick (Braunschweig), focusing on four spatial plan SEAs from various administrative levels in the region. It is found that whilst SEA is able to lead to plan SEA specific knowledge acquisition, comprehension, application and analysis ('single-loop learning'), it is currently resulting only occasionally in wider synthesis and evaluation ('double-loop learning'). Furthermore, whilst there is evidence that individual and occasionally organisational learning may be enhanced through SEA, most notably in small municipalities, social learning appears to be happening only sporadically.
water Identify potential cases; Isolation of suspected cases; Contact tracing (critical to containment) Isolation of cases; Isolation/ euthanasia ...department to help enforce either isolation or quarantine, although enforcement of quarantine is usually voluntary . Implementation of Isolation and... voluntary basis in Wisconsin during the SARS outbreak. In New York, one county health department reported having worked proactively to coordinate
Elbers, A.R.W.; Fabri, T.; Vries, T.S.; Wit, de J.J.; Pijpers, A.; Koch, G.
Clinical signs and gross lesions observed in poultry submitted for postmortem examination (PME) from the first five infected poultry flocks preceding the detection of the primary outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of subtype H7N7 during the 2003 epidemic in the Netherlands are
Olalla Peralta P, et al.. Pandemic Influenza (H 1 N 1) 2009 Outbreak in a Military Academy: start of community circulation in Spain. Rev Esp Salud ... Publica 84(5):597-607 5. Kapp L, Jansen DJ (2009) The role of the Department of Defense during a flu pandemic. Washington (DC): CRS Report for Congress
Conclusion: Laparoscopic colectomy for colorectal cancer in a new regional hospital is feasible and safe. It does not need additional time for learning. Laparoscopic sigmoidectomy can be considered as the initial surgery for a trainee.
Ellis, Bronwyn J.
This article explores older students' perceptions of formal, non-formal and informal learning in regional South Australia. Drawing on earlier studies as well as a continuing one, it compares: the study motivations of students aged 55 and older enrolled formally in university undergraduate programs; the learning motivations of University of the…
Loima, Jyrki; Vibulphol, Jutarat
This qualitative research studied regional motivation and learning of the basic education 9th graders in Thailand. Second topic was the school size and its possible effect on motivation. Furthermore, the data gave an opportunity to discuss, whether international research on motivation and learning was valid in Thai classrooms. The informants were…
Carrión Martín, A I; Derrough, T; Honomou, P; Kolie, N; Diallo, B; Koné, M; Rodier, G; Kpoghomou, C; Jansà, J M
During the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, community resistance obstructed case investigation and response. We investigated a cluster of Ebola cases that were hiding in the forest, refusing external help, to identify sociocultural determinants related to community resistance. Participant observation, interviews and focus group discussions were carried out. Most villagers feared the Ebola treatment centre (ETC) as there was the belief that people were killed in ETCs for organ trade. Four survivors accompanied back to the village from the ETC shared their experiences and reassured their neighbours. Subsequently, community compliance with contact tracing improved, leading to the timely detection of cases. Engaging Ebola virus disease survivors improved community compliance. Understanding the sociocultural context and community perceptions may improve community engagement and prevent Ebola virus transmission. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field and experimental symptomless infections support wandering donkeys as healthy carriers of Trypanosoma vivax in the Brazilian Semiarid, a region of outbreaks of high mortality in cattle and sheep.
Rodrigues, Carla M F; Batista, Jael S; Lima, Joseney M; Freitas, Francisco J C; Barros, Isabella O; Garcia, Herakles A; Rodrigues, Adriana C; Camargo, Erney P; Teixeira, Marta M G
The Brazilian Semiarid is the home of the largest herd of donkeys in South America and of outbreaks of Trypanosoma vivax infection of high mortality in dairy cattle and sheep. For a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these outbreaks and epidemiological role of donkeys, we surveyed for T. vivax in wandering donkeys and follow the experimental infection of donkeys and sheep with a highly virulent isolate from the Semiarid. Blood samples from 180 randomly selected wandering donkeys from the Brazilian Semiarid region were employed for PCV and parasitemia assessments and tested using the T. vivax-specific TviCATL-PCR assay. PCR-amplifed Cathepsin L (CATL) sequences were employed for genotyping and phylogenetic analysis. Four wandering donkeys were experimentally infected with a T. vivax isolate obtained during an outbreak of high mortality in the Semiarid; the control group consisted of two non-inoculated donkeys. We detected T. vivax in 30 of 180 wandering donkeys (16.6 %) using TviCATL-PCR. The prevalence was higher during the dry (15.5 %) than the wet season (1.1 %) and more females (23.1 %) than males (8.9 %) were infected. All the PCR-positive donkeys lacked patent parasitemia and showed normal values of body condition score (BCS) and packed cell volume (PCV). To evaluate the probable tolerance of donkeys to T. vivax, we inoculated five donkeys with a highly virulent isolate (TviBrRp) from the Semiarid. All inoculated donkeys became PCR-positive, but their parasitemia was always subpatent. A control goat inoculated with TviBrRp showed increasing parasitemia concurrently with fever, declining PCV, tachycardia, mucous membrane pallor, enlarged lymph nodes and anorexia. None of these signs were observed in donkeys. However, T. vivax from wandering donkeys shared identical or highly similar genotypes (identified by Cathepsin L sequences) with isolates from cattle and sheep outbreaks of acute disease in the Semiarid. This is the first
Karamurzov, B. S.
The regional universities in Russia are an important resource for the development of Russian society, but more needs to be done to increase their effectiveness, including tackling corruption and leveraging local competitive advantages.
Elman, Jeremy A; Cohn-Sheehy, Brendan I; Shimamura, Arthur P
In fMRI analyses, the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is particularly active during the successful retrieval of episodic memory. To delineate the neural correlates of episodic retrieval more succinctly, we compared retrieval of recently learned spatial locations (photographs of buildings) with retrieval of previously familiar locations (photographs of familiar campus buildings). Episodic retrieval of recently learned locations activated a circumscribed region within the ventral PPC (anterior angular gyrus and adjacent regions in the supramarginal gyrus) as well as medial PPC regions (posterior cingulated gyrus and posterior precuneus). Retrieval of familiar locations activated more posterior regions in the ventral PPC (posterior angular gyrus, LOC) and more anterior regions in the medial PPC (anterior precuneus and retrosplenial cortex). These dissociable effects define more precisely PPC regions involved in the retrieval of recent, contextually bound information as opposed to regions involved in other processes, such as visual imagery, scene reconstruction, and self-referential processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Júnia Mariana Rodrigues dos Santos
Full Text Available Introdução: A ocorrência de Doenças de Transmissão Hídrica e Alimentar é uma preocupação mundial na Saúde Pública. Objetivo: O objetivo deste trabalho foi caracterizar a ocorrência dos surtos alimentares em uma região do Vale do Jequitinhonha em Minas Gerais, entre os anos de 2008 a 2014, antes e após a intervenção do PET-Saúde/Vigilância em Saúde. Método: Os dados foram retirados de relatórios impressos e de fichas de notificações disponíveis nos sistemas de informação. Resultados: Foram investigados 76 surtos, destes, apenas 34,1% notificados oportunamente. As ações realizadas pela equipe PET-Saúde/Vigilância em Saúde entre 2010 e 2012 impactaram, positivamente, no aumento do número de notificações de surtos alimentares. A maioria destes surtos ocorreu em residências (47,4%, atingiu indivíduos adultos (30,4% e apresentou como manifestações clínicas: diarreia (29,5%, vômitos (23,5% e dores abdominais (16,3%. Na análise das notificações, 81,6% não apresentavam o fator causal e apenas 31,0% informaram o agente etiológico. Conclusões: A intervenção do PET-Saúde/Vigilância em Saúde representou um fator importante no fortalecimento da vigilância de surtos alimentares na região do Vale do Jequitinhonha estudada, contudo persistem dificuldades relacionadas a notificação tardia, a presença de falhas e de lacunas no registro dos dados e o baixo número de coletas clínicas e bromatológicas. ======================================== Introduction: The occurrence of water and food transmission diseases is a worldwide concern in Public Health. Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize the occurrence of food outbreaks in a region of the Jequitinhonha Valley in the State of Minas Gerais between 2008 and 2014, before and after the intervention of the PET-Health/Surveillance in Health. Method: Data were taken from printed reports and information sheets available in information systems
Keïta, Mory; Conté, Fatoumata; Diallo, Boubacar; Lufwa, Dieudonné; Katomba, Jacques; Snacken, René; Pallawo, Raymond; Tolno, Aminata; Diallo, Amadou Bailo; Djingarey, Mamadou Harouna; Subissi, Lorenzo
By the end of the 2013–2016 West African Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks, a total of 3814 cases (probable and confirmed) and 2544 deaths were reported in Guinea. Clearly, surveillance activities aiming at stopping human-to-human transmission have been the breakthrough of EVD outbreak management, but their application has been at times easier said than done. This article presents five confirmed or probable EVD cases that arose in Conakry towards the end of the Guinea epidemic, which demonstrate flaws in surveillance and follow-up. For case 1, safe burial requirements were not followed. For cases 1 and 2, negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) results were interpreted as no infection. For the first case, the sample may have not been taken properly while for the second the disease was possibly at its early stage. Case 3 was stopped at a border health checkpoint and despite her high temperature she was allowed to continue the bus journey. For case 4, an oral swab sample was supposedly taken after death but could not be found for retrospective testing. Despite characteristic symptomatology, case 5 was not identified as a suspect case for as long as 3 weeks. In epidemic contexts, health systems must be able to track all samples of suspect cases and deaths, regardless of their laboratory results. Social mobilization in communities and training in health care facilities must be strengthened at the tail of an outbreak, to avoid the natural slackening of disease surveillance, in particular for long-lasting and deadly epidemics.
Spring, Kristian J.; Graham, Charles R.
The field of international blended learning (BL) is primed to benefit from stronger communication and collaboration. Collaboration is currently limited, and regions vary greatly in terms of citations. However, BL is growing worldwide and each region is an important part of the community. The goal of this research is to explore where the most…
The Information Communication Technology – ICT, an useful strategy for the education system improvement, is a means enabling the students develop their fundamental knowledge and the necessary competences in various fields in a knowledge-based economy. Computer skills become a “must”. We need to understand the way to improve the education system of an institution by implementing these technologies, in general, and the e-Learning systems, in particular. In this context, the information systems are the driver of a global education.
... Who Gets Fungal Infections? People living with HIV/AIDS Organ Transplant Patients Cancer Patients Hospitalized Patients Stem Cell Transplant Patients Medications that Weaken Your Immune System Outbreaks Rhizopus Investigation CDC at Work Global Fungal Diseases Cryptococcal Meningitis ...
Dr. Emily Cartwright, Infectious Disease fellow at Emory University and former EIS Officer with CDCâs Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases discusses foodborne Listeria outbreaks.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) is a web-based platform designed to support reporting to CDC by local, state, and territorial health departments in the...
Azman, Norzaini; Sirat, Morshidi; Ahmad, Abdul Razak
The process of globalisation has undoubtedly impacted countries, bringing about different challenges for each country, region and locality. Many countries have responded positively to the demands and challenges through a societal transformation process with an emphasis on developing tertiary education, research and innovative capacities. Drawing…
Tatiana Yuryevna Bystrova
Full Text Available The article analyses the economic and socio-cultural premises for introducing the open e-learning in the Ural region, as well as the potential economic effect of this type of educational activity. The article strives to prove a regular pattern of the universities’ transition to e-learning, also in connection with the changes of the educational paradigm and the nature of the educational system management. The hypothesis of the paper is connected with bringing the economic dimension to a humanitarian concept of e-learning, which becomes more and more widespread. The methodology of the article is based on the recognition of the fact that the macroeconomic processes in the information society and the processes occurring in a particular industry — higher education — are of isomorphic nature. On the basis of the analysis of global experience and basic theoretical approaches to e-learning, including the Lifelong Learning concept, the authors make a conclusion of the progressive growth of interest in different countries and regions. The e-learning is treated primarily as a tool to improve quality and efficiency of the educational process. The accuracy of understanding functions and peculiarities of e-learning allows one to determine a positive economic effect of its application for the university, the region, and the employers. The article shows organisational mechanisms and financial model of implementing e-learning in the Ural Federal University. The description is made of the cost options for open-type e-learning course development, investment parameters for their establishment, as well as costs of implementing educational programmes with the application of e-learning. The analysis of the activities of Ural Federal University on implementing e-learning gives the opportunity to further imagine the effect from the introduction of e-learning in other universities in the region. The results of the research may be applied in the institutions of
Braeye, Toon; Denayer, Sarah; De Rauw, Klara; Forier, Anmarie; Verluyten, Jurgen; Fourie, Ludo; Dierick, Katelijne; Botteldoorn, Nadine; Quoilin, Sophie; Cosse, Pascale; Noyen, Jeannine; Pierard, Denis
On 5 June 2012 several enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, EHEC, O157:H7 infections were reported to the public health authorities of Limburg. We performed a case-control study, a trace back/forward investigation and compared strains isolated from human cases and food samples. A case was defined as anyone with a laboratory-confirmed E. coli O157:H7-infection in North-East Limburg from May 30 2012 till July 15 2012. Family members with bloody diarrhea were also included as cases. E. coli O157 was isolated by culture and the presence of the virulence genes was verified using (q)PCR. Isolates were genotyped and compared by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and insertion sequence 629-printing (IS629-printing). The outbreak involved 24 cases, of which 17 were laboratory-confirmed. Five cases developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and fifteen were hospitalized. Cases reported a significantly higher consumption of "steak tartare", a raw meat product (OR 48.12; 95% CI; 5.62- 416.01). Cases were also more likely to buy meat-products at certain butcheries (OR 11.67; 95% CI; 1.41 - 96.49). PFGE and IS629-printing demonstrated that the vtx1a vtx2a eae ehxA positive EHEC O157:H7 strains isolated from three meat products and all seventeen human stool samples were identical. In a slaughterhouse, identified by the trace-back investigation, a carcass infected with a different EHEC strain was found and confiscated. We present a well described and effectively investigated foodborne outbreak associated with meat products. Our main recommendations are the facilitation and acceleration of the outbreak detection and the development of a communication plan to reaches all persons at risk. Foodborne diseases, Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli, Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Meat products, Case control studies, Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field.
Tran Thi Tuyet, H.; Zwart, M.P.; Phuong, N.T.; Jong, de M.C.M.; Vlak, J.M.
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is the most important pathogen in shrimp farming systems worldwide including the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. The genome of WSSV is characterized by the presence of two major 'indel regions' found at ORF14/15 and ORF23/24 (WSSV-Thailand) and three regions with variable
Oonk, C.; Gulikers, J.T.M.; Mulder, M.
Recent changes in planning context, object, subject and approaches characterised by the key words wickedness, collaborative processes and boundary crossing, require a reconsideration of competencies needed for professional planners and evidence for the effectiveness of learning environments in which
Shahram Mirzaie Daryani; Azadeh Zirak
This main purpose of this study was to survey the implementation of learning organization characteristics based on Marquardt systematic model in Ardabil Regional Water Company. Two hundred and four staff (164 employees and 40 authorities) participated in the study. For data collection Marquardt questionnaire was used which its validity and reliability had been confirmed. The results of the data analysis showed that learning organization characteristics were used more than average level in som...
Tatiana Yuryevna Bystrova; Viola Anatoylevna Larionova; Michael Osborne; Anatoly Mikhaylovich Platonov
The article analyses the economic and socio-cultural premises for introducing the open e-learning in the universities of the Ural region, as well as the potential economic effect of this type of educational activity. The article strives to prove a regular pattern of the universities’ transition to e-learning, also in connection with the changes of the educational paradigm and the nature of the educational system management. The hypothesis of the paper is connected with bringing the economic d...
Shin, Yoon Ah; Yeo, Jungwon; Jung, Kyujin
International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) have played critical roles in improving the quality of primary health care in ordinary time and, indeed, responding to epidemic crises in developing countries. Due to a lack of empirical research for effectiveness of their responding activities, the legitimacy and accountability of nonprofits' engagement in the health crisis as a critical responder is doubted. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of INGOs in a context of managing a fatal epidemic outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone during May-November, 2014; building healthcare infrastructures, providing medical supplies, educating local residents, and training response staffs. The analysis results show that development of healthcare infrastructures and provision of medical supplies have been significantly effective in terms of decreasing the severity of the crisis in chiefdoms. The findings imply that policy tools, which allow INGOs to enter to the field in a timely manner, can improve the effectiveness of INGOs' responses in current and future epidemic outbreaks in developing countries where people suffer from a lack of health infrastructures.
Shin, Yoon Ah; Yeo, Jungwon
International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) have played critical roles in improving the quality of primary health care in ordinary time and, indeed, responding to epidemic crises in developing countries. Due to a lack of empirical research for effectiveness of their responding activities, the legitimacy and accountability of nonprofits’ engagement in the health crisis as a critical responder is doubted. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of INGOs in a context of managing a fatal epidemic outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone during May–November, 2014; building healthcare infrastructures, providing medical supplies, educating local residents, and training response staffs. The analysis results show that development of healthcare infrastructures and provision of medical supplies have been significantly effective in terms of decreasing the severity of the crisis in chiefdoms. The findings imply that policy tools, which allow INGOs to enter to the field in a timely manner, can improve the effectiveness of INGOs’ responses in current and future epidemic outbreaks in developing countries where people suffer from a lack of health infrastructures. PMID:29614756
Clark, Sherri; Smith, Geoffrey Battle
Outbreak! is an online, interactive educational game that helps students and teachers learn and evaluate clinical microbiology skills. When the game was used in introductory microbiology laboratories, qualitative evaluation by students showed very positive responses and increased learning. Outbreak! allows students to design diagnostic tests and…
Haque, Md Muksitul; Holder, Lawrence B; Skinner, Michael K; Cook, Diane J
Active learning is a supervised learning technique that reduces the number of examples required for building a successful classifier, because it can choose the data it learns from. This technique holds promise for many biological domains in which classified examples are expensive and time-consuming to obtain. Most traditional active learning methods ask very specific queries to the Oracle (e.g., a human expert) to label an unlabeled example. The example may consist of numerous features, many of which are irrelevant. Removing such features will create a shorter query with only relevant features, and it will be easier for the Oracle to answer. We propose a generalized query-based active learning (GQAL) approach that constructs generalized queries based on multiple instances. By constructing appropriately generalized queries, we can achieve higher accuracy compared to traditional active learning methods. We apply our active learning method to find differentially DNA methylated regions (DMRs). DMRs are DNA locations in the genome that are known to be involved in tissue differentiation, epigenetic regulation, and disease. We also apply our method on 13 other data sets and show that our method is better than another popular active learning technique.
Li, Yifeng; Shi, Wenqiang; Wasserman, Wyeth W
In the human genome, 98% of DNA sequences are non-protein-coding regions that were previously disregarded as junk DNA. In fact, non-coding regions host a variety of cis-regulatory regions which precisely control the expression of genes. Thus, Identifying active cis-regulatory regions in the human genome is critical for understanding gene regulation and assessing the impact of genetic variation on phenotype. The developments of high-throughput sequencing and machine learning technologies make it possible to predict cis-regulatory regions genome wide. Based on rich data resources such as the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) and the Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM) projects, we introduce DECRES based on supervised deep learning approaches for the identification of enhancer and promoter regions in the human genome. Due to their ability to discover patterns in large and complex data, the introduction of deep learning methods enables a significant advance in our knowledge of the genomic locations of cis-regulatory regions. Using models for well-characterized cell lines, we identify key experimental features that contribute to the predictive performance. Applying DECRES, we delineate locations of 300,000 candidate enhancers genome wide (6.8% of the genome, of which 40,000 are supported by bidirectional transcription data), and 26,000 candidate promoters (0.6% of the genome). The predicted annotations of cis-regulatory regions will provide broad utility for genome interpretation from functional genomics to clinical applications. The DECRES model demonstrates potentials of deep learning technologies when combined with high-throughput sequencing data, and inspires the development of other advanced neural network models for further improvement of genome annotations.
Ferguson, Neil M.; Keeling, Matt J.; John Edmunds, W.; Gani, Raymond; Grenfell, Bryan T.; Anderson, Roy M.; Leach, Steve
Mathematical models of viral transmission and control are important tools for assessing the threat posed by deliberate release of the smallpox virus and the best means of containing an outbreak. Models must balance biological realism against limitations of knowledge, and uncertainties need to be accurately communicated to policy-makers. Smallpox poses the particular challenge that key biological, social and spatial factors affecting disease spread in contemporary populations must be elucidated largely from historical studies undertaken before disease eradication in 1979. We review the use of models in smallpox planning within the broader epidemiological context set by recent outbreaks of both novel and re-emerging pathogens.
Lebea, Phiyani J
Full Text Available , should a contagious outbreak be suspected. Such a policy would be adopted by regional member states since diseases such as Ebola respect no national boundaries. Secondly, research infrastructure including BSL 4 laboratories that address research on animal...
Tegegne, Ayesheshem Ademe; Braka, Fiona; Shebeshi, Meseret Eshetu; Aregay, Aron Kassahun; Beyene, Berhane; Mersha, Amare Mengistu; Ademe, Mohammed; Muhyadin, Abdulahi; Jima, Dadi; Wyessa, Abyot Bekele
Ethiopia joined the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1996, and by the end of December 2001 circulation of indigenous Wild Polio Virus (WPV) had been interrupted. Nonetheless, the country experienced multiple importations during 2004-2008, and in 2013. We characterize the 2013 outbreak investigations and response activities, and document lessons learned. The data were pulled from different field investigation reports and from the national surveillance database for Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP). In 2013, a WPV1 outbreak was confirmed following importation in Dollo zone of the Somali region, which affected three Woredas (Warder, Geladi and Bokh). Between July 10, 2013, and January 5, 2014, there were 10 children paralyzed due to WPV1 infection. The majorities (7 of 10) were male and below 5 years of age, and 7 of 10 cases was not vaccinated, and 72% (92/129) of < 5 years of old children living in close proximity with WPV cases had zero doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV). The travel history of the cases showed that seven of the 10 cases had contact with someone who had traveled or had a travel history prior to the onset of paralysis. Underserved and inaccessibility of routine immunization service, suboptimal surveillance sensitivity, poor quality and inadequate supplemental immunization were the most crucial gaps identified during the outbreak investigations. Prior to the 2013 outbreak, Ethiopia experienced multiple imported polio outbreaks following the interruption of indigenous WPV in December 2001. The 2013 outbreak erupted due to massive population movement and was fueled by low population immunity as a result of low routine immunization and supplemental Immunization coverage and quality. In order to avert future outbreaks, it is critical that surveillance sensitivity be improved by establishing community-based surveillance systems and by assigning surveillance focal points at all level particularly in border areas. In addition, it is vital to set
Tran Thi Tuyet, H.; Zwart, M.P.; Phuong, N.T.; Oanh, D.T.H.; Jong, de M.C.M.; Vlak, J.M.
Sequence comparisons of the genomes of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) strains have identified regions containing variable-length insertions/deletions (i.e. indels). Indel-I and Indel-II, positioned between open reading frames (ORFs) 14/15 and 23/24, respectively, are the largest and the most
Mohammed A. Soghaier
Full Text Available Summary: Introduction: Sudan is subject to repeated outbreaks, including Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF, which is considered to be a very serious illness. Yellow Fever (YF outbreaks in Sudan have been reported from the 1940s through 2005. In 2012, a new outbreak of YF occurred in the Darfur region. Objective: To identify the potential for an outbreak, to diagnose the disease and to be able to recognize its cause among the initial reported cases. Methodology: >This is a descriptive and investigative field study that applies standard communicable disease outbreak investigation steps. The study involved clinical, serological, entomological and environmental surveys. Results: The field investigation confirmed the outbreak and identified its cause to be YF. Conclusion: National surveillance systems should be strong enough to detect VHFs in a timely manner. Local health facilities should be prepared to promptly treat the initial cases because the case fatality ratios (CFRs are usually very high among the index cases. Keywords: Yellow Fever, Sudan, Darfur, VHFs, Soghaier
Soghaier, Mohammed A; Hagar, Ahmed; Abbas, Mohammed A; Elmangory, Mutasim M; Eltahir, Khalid M; Sall, Amadou A
Sudan is subject to repeated outbreaks, including Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF), which is considered to be a very serious illness. Yellow Fever (YF) outbreaks in Sudan have been reported from the 1940s through 2005. In 2012, a new outbreak of YF occurred in the Darfur region. To identify the potential for an outbreak, to diagnose the disease and to be able to recognize its cause among the initial reported cases. >This is a descriptive and investigative field study that applies standard communicable disease outbreak investigation steps. The study involved clinical, serological, entomological and environmental surveys. The field investigation confirmed the outbreak and identified its cause to be YF. National surveillance systems should be strong enough to detect VHFs in a timely manner. Local health facilities should be prepared to promptly treat the initial cases because the case fatality ratios (CFRs) are usually very high among the index cases. Copyright © 2013 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wang, Jun; Zhang, Weiguang; Qin, Lihua; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shuyong; Gu, Jin; Zhou, Changman
Problem-based learning (PBL) has been introduced to medical schools around the world and has increasingly become a popular pedagogical technique in Asian countries since 1990. Gross anatomy is a fundamental basic science course in virtually all medical training programs, and the methods used to teach it are under frequent scrutiny and revision. Students often struggle with the vast collection of new terms and complex relationships between structures that they must learn. To help students with this process, our department teaches separate systemic and regional anatomy courses, the latter in a PBL format. After three years of using PBL in our regional anatomy course, we have worked out a set of effective instructions that we would like to share with other medical schools. We report here evidence that our clinical PBL approach stimulates students' interest in learning and enhances anatomy education in a way that can foster better practices in our future medical work force. (c) 2010 American Association of Anatomists.
Caitlin M Wolfe
Full Text Available Contact tracing is one of the key response activities necessary for halting Ebola Virus Disease (EVD transmission. Key elements of contact tracing include identification of persons who have been in contact with confirmed EVD cases and careful monitoring for EVD symptoms, but the details of implementation likely influence their effectiveness. In November 2015, several months after a major Ebola outbreak was controlled in Liberia, three members of a family were confirmed positive for EVD in the Duport Road area of Monrovia. The cluster provided an opportunity to implement and evaluate modified approaches to contact tracing.The approaches employed for improved contact tracing included classification and risk-based management of identified contacts (including facility based isolation of some high risk contacts, provision of support to persons being monitored, and school-based surveillance for some persons with potential exposure but not listed as contacts, use of phone records to help locate missing contacts, and modifications to data management tools. We recorded details about the implementation of these approaches, report the overall outcomes of the contact tracing efforts and the challenges encountered, and provide recommendations for management of future outbreaks.165 contacts were identified (with over 150 identified within 48 hours of confirmation of the EVD cases and all initially missing contacts were located. Contacts were closely monitored and promptly tested if symptomatic; no contacts developed disease. Encountered challenges related to knowledge gaps among contact tracing staff, data management, and coordination of contact tracing activities with efforts to offer Ebola vaccine.The Duport Road EVD cluster was promptly controlled. Missing contacts were effectively identified, and identified contacts were effectively monitored and rapidly tested. There is a persistent risk of EVD reemergence in Liberia; the experience controlling each
Wolfe, Caitlin M; Hamblion, Esther L; Schulte, Jacqueline; Williams, Parker; Koryon, Augustine; Enders, Jonathan; Sanor, Varlee; Wapoe, Yatta; Kwayon, Dash; Blackley, David J; Laney, Anthony S; Weston, Emily J; Dokubo, Emily K; Davies-Wayne, Gloria; Wendland, Annika; Daw, Valerie T S; Badini, Mehboob; Clement, Peter; Mahmoud, Nuha; Williams, Desmond; Gasasira, Alex; Nyenswah, Tolbert G; Fallah, Mosoka
Contact tracing is one of the key response activities necessary for halting Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) transmission. Key elements of contact tracing include identification of persons who have been in contact with confirmed EVD cases and careful monitoring for EVD symptoms, but the details of implementation likely influence their effectiveness. In November 2015, several months after a major Ebola outbreak was controlled in Liberia, three members of a family were confirmed positive for EVD in the Duport Road area of Monrovia. The cluster provided an opportunity to implement and evaluate modified approaches to contact tracing. The approaches employed for improved contact tracing included classification and risk-based management of identified contacts (including facility based isolation of some high risk contacts, provision of support to persons being monitored, and school-based surveillance for some persons with potential exposure but not listed as contacts), use of phone records to help locate missing contacts, and modifications to data management tools. We recorded details about the implementation of these approaches, report the overall outcomes of the contact tracing efforts and the challenges encountered, and provide recommendations for management of future outbreaks. 165 contacts were identified (with over 150 identified within 48 hours of confirmation of the EVD cases) and all initially missing contacts were located. Contacts were closely monitored and promptly tested if symptomatic; no contacts developed disease. Encountered challenges related to knowledge gaps among contact tracing staff, data management, and coordination of contact tracing activities with efforts to offer Ebola vaccine. The Duport Road EVD cluster was promptly controlled. Missing contacts were effectively identified, and identified contacts were effectively monitored and rapidly tested. There is a persistent risk of EVD reemergence in Liberia; the experience controlling each cluster can help
Kozísek, F; Jeligová, H; Dvoráková, A
Despite considerable advances in drinking water safety assurance and adherence to the public health standards, waterborne diaseases outbreaks have still been observed even in industrialized countries. The study objective was to map such outbreaks in the Czech Republic in 1995-2005. In this study, an outbreak is the occurrence of more cases of disease than normally expected within a specific place over a given period of time and a waterborne disease is a disease where water is the vehicle or source of infection. The data on waterborne outbreaks was obtained from the EPIDAT database (national infectious diseases reporting system) information provided by epidemiologists of all regional public health authorities and the National Reference Laboratory for Legionella. In 1995 - 2005, 33 outbreaks with water indicated as the route of transmission were recorded in the Czech Republic. The leading cause was unsafe drinking water (27 outbreaks), mainly from wells (19 outbreaks); nevertheless, the most serious consequences were observed in two outbreaks caused by microbiologically contaminated hot water. Other sources of waterborne infection were mineral water springs, a swimming pool and a brook. The total of reported cases of waterborne diseases was 1655, 356 hospitalisations and ten deaths due to legionellosis were recorded. The highest number of outbreaks (7) as well as the highest number of cases (841) were reported in 1997. Comparison of two five-year periods, i.e. 1996-2000 and 2001-2005, showed a nearly one third decrease in the total of outbreaks and a half reduction in the total of cases in the latter. In view of the limited length of monitoring, it is not possible to say with certainty whether it is a random distribution or an actual trend. Almost two thirds of cases were diagnosed as acute gastroenteritis of probable infectious origin and other frequent waterborne diseases were viral hepatitis A and bacillary dysentery. When analyzing the described outbreaks, it
Hughes, Neil; Rolls, Alistair
In this article, we outline the challenges facing French Studies in regional Australian universities resulting from an increasingly vocational curriculum and doubts about the cost-effectiveness of language learning in higher education. These pressures have resulted in a process of discipline restructuring and significant cuts in the numbers of…
Zeldenryk, Lynne; Bradey, Scott
This study aimed to explore the flexible learning needs and preferences of occupational therapy students from a regional Australian university. Participants ("n"?=?170) were surveyed using a quantitative survey tool. Findings were analysed using SPSS to determine significant differences between variable attributes of the student cohort.…
Hammer, Patricia Cahape
West Virginia's Regional Education Service Agency 6 (RESA 6) serves five districts in the northern panhandle of the state--Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, and Wetzel--which together are home to 51 schools. RESA 6 joined the pilot implementation of the Learning School approach in the summer of 2015, as part of the second cohort. RESA 6's group…
Hammer, Patricia Cahape
West Virginia's Regional Education Service Agency 2 (RESA 2) serves six districts in the southwestern part of the state--Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Wayne--which together have 95 schools. RESA 2 was one of two RESAs to pilot implementation of the Learning School approach, beginning in the summer of 2014. RESA 2's first cohort included…
Pegg, John; Panizzon, Debra
When questioned, secondary mathematics teachers in rural and regional schools in Australia refer to their limited opportunities to engage and share experiences with peers in other schools as an under-utilised and cost-effective mechanism to support their professional learning and enhance their students' learning. The paper reports on the creation and evaluation of a network of learning communities of rural secondary mathematics teachers around a common purpose—enhancement and increased engagement of student learning in mathematics. To achieve this goal, teams of teachers from six rural schools identified an issue hindering improved student learning of mathematics in their school. Working collaboratively with support from university personnel with expertise in curriculum, assessment and quality pedagogy, teachers developed and implemented strategies to address an identified issue in ways that were relevant to their teaching contexts. The research study identifies issues in mathematics of major concern to rural teachers of mathematics, the successes and challenges the teachers faced in working in learning communities on the issue they identified, and the efficacy of the professional learning model.
In this podcast, a team of CDC specialists travels to Uganda and tracks the source of an Ebola outbreak where CDC scientists are studying bats for clues to the Ebola mystery. Created: 4/27/2009 by National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED). Date Released: 4/27/2009.
Dr. Emily Cartwright, Infectious Disease fellow at Emory University and former EIS Officer with CDCâs Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases discusses foodborne Listeria outbreaks. Created: 1/4/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 1/8/2013.
Dr. Aron Hall, a CDC epidemiologist specializing in noroviruses, discusses foodborne norovirus outbreaks. Created: 9/17/2012 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID); National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Date Released: 9/17/2012.
Valdes-Donoso, Pablo; VanderWaal, Kimberly; Jarvis, Lovell S; Wayne, Spencer R; Perez, Andres M
Between-farm animal movement is one of the most important factors influencing the spread of infectious diseases in food animals, including in the US swine industry. Understanding the structural network of contacts in a food animal industry is prerequisite to planning for efficient production strategies and for effective disease control measures. Unfortunately, data regarding between-farm animal movements in the US are not systematically collected and thus, such information is often unavailable. In this paper, we develop a procedure to replicate the structure of a network, making use of partial data available, and subsequently use the model developed to predict animal movements among sites in 34 Minnesota counties. First, we summarized two networks of swine producing facilities in Minnesota, then we used a machine learning technique referred to as random forest, an ensemble of independent classification trees, to estimate the probability of pig movements between farms and/or markets sites located in two counties in Minnesota. The model was calibrated and tested by comparing predicted data and observed data in those two counties for which data were available. Finally, the model was used to predict animal movements in sites located across 34 Minnesota counties. Variables that were important in predicting pig movements included between-site distance, ownership, and production type of the sending and receiving farms and/or markets. Using a weighted-kernel approach to describe spatial variation in the centrality measures of the predicted network, we showed that the south-central region of the study area exhibited high aggregation of predicted pig movements. Our results show an overlap with the distribution of outbreaks of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, which is believed to be transmitted, at least in part, though animal movements. While the correspondence of movements and disease is not a causal test, it suggests that the predicted network may approximate
Nasr Azadani, F.; Jutla, A.; Rahimikolu, J.; Akanda, A. S.; Huq, A.; Colwell, R. R.
Environmental parameters associated with cholera are well documented. However, cholera continues to be a global public health threat. Uncertainty in defining environmental processes affecting growth and multiplication of the cholera bacteria can be affected significantly by changing climate at different temporal and spatial scales, either through amplification of the hydroclimatic cycle or by enhanced variability of large scale geophysical processes. Endemic cholera in the Bengal Delta region of South Asia has a unique pattern of two seasonal peaks and there are associated with asymmetric and episodic variability in river discharge. The first cholera outbreak in spring is related with intrusion of bacteria laden coastal seawater during low river discharge. Cholera occurring during the fall season is hypothesized to be associated with high river discharge related to a cross-contamination of water resources and, therefore, a second wave of disease, a phenomenon characteristic primarily in the inland regions. Because of difficulties in establishing linkage between coarse resolutions of the Global Climate Model (GCM) output and localized disease outbreaks, the impact of climate change on diarrheal disease has not been explored. Here using the downscaling method of Support Vector Machines from HADCM3 and ECHAM models, we show how cholera outbreak patterns are changing in the Bengal Delta. Our preliminary results indicate statistically significant changes in both seasonality and magnitude in the occurrence of cholera over the next century. Endemic cholera is likely to transform into epidemic forms and new geographical areas will be at risk for cholera outbreaks.
Full Text Available This paper introduces the EMuRgency project. The project has the goal to increase awareness and competences regarding the problem of cardiac arrest in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR and to use socio-technical innovations to transfer it into a smart learning region. Based on the conscious competence framework solutions for stakeholders on different levels of the framework are introduced, namely a public display network, mobile learning apps and a volunteer notification system. Finally, a future research outlook is given.
Fitzhenry, Robert; Weiss, Don; Cimini, Dan; Balter, Sharon; Boyd, Christopher; Alleyne, Lisa; Stewart, Renee; McIntosh, Natasha; Econome, Andrea; Lin, Ying; Rubinstein, Inessa; Passaretti, Teresa; Kidney, Anna; Lapierre, Pascal; Kass, Daniel; Varma, Jay K
The incidence of Legionnaires' disease in the United States has been increasing since 2000. Outbreaks and clusters are associated with decorative, recreational, domestic, and industrial water systems, with the largest outbreaks being caused by cooling towers. Since 2006, 6 community-associated Legionnaires' disease outbreaks have occurred in New York City, resulting in 213 cases and 18 deaths. Three outbreaks occurred in 2015, including the largest on record (138 cases). Three outbreaks were linked to cooling towers by molecular comparison of human and environmental Legionella isolates, and the sources for the other 3 outbreaks were undetermined. The evolution of investigation methods and lessons learned from these outbreaks prompted enactment of a new comprehensive law governing the operation and maintenance of New York City cooling towers. Ongoing surveillance and program evaluation will determine if enforcement of the new cooling tower law reduces Legionnaires' disease incidence in New York City.
Eisele, M; Hansen, H; Wagner, H-O; von Leitner, E; Pohontsch, N; Scherer, M
As primary care givers with a coordinating function, general practitioners (GP) play a key role in dealing with epidemics and pandemics. As of yet, there are no studies in Germany describing the difficulties experienced by GPs in patient care during epidemics/pandemics. This study aimed at identifying the problem areas in GPs' patient care during the H1N1 and EHEC (enterohemorrhagic strain of Escherichia coli) outbreaks. With this information, recommendations for guaranteeing proper patient care during future epidemics/pandemics can be derived. In all, 12 qualitative, semi-structured, open guideline interviews with GPs in Hamburg and Lübeck were conducted, transcribed, and evaluated with qualitative content analysis. Five areas in ambulatory patient care were identified in which changes are needed from the primary care perspective: provision of information for GPs, workload, financing of epidemic-related measures, organization of the practices, care of those taken ill. The workload of GPs in particular can and should be reduced through successful, centralized information distribution during epidemics/pandemics. The GP's function as a coordinator should be supported and consolidated, in order to relieve the in-patient sector in cases of an epidemic/pandemic. Secured financing of epidemic-associated measures can help ensure patient care.
Shahram Mirzaie Daryani
Full Text Available This main purpose of this study was to survey the implementation of learning organization characteristics based on Marquardt systematic model in Ardabil Regional Water Company. Two hundred and four staff (164 employees and 40 authorities participated in the study. For data collection Marquardt questionnaire was used which its validity and reliability had been confirmed. The results of the data analysis showed that learning organization characteristics were used more than average level in some subsystems of Marquardt model and there was a significant difference between current position and excellent position based on learning organization characteristic application. The results of this study can be used to improve work processes of organizations and institutions.
Govorov, Michael; Gienko, Gennady; Putrenko, Viktor
In this paper, several supervised machine learning algorithms were explored to define homogeneous regions of con-centration of uranium in surface waters in Ukraine using multiple environmental parameters. The previous study was focused on finding the primary environmental parameters related to uranium in ground waters using several methods of spatial statistics and unsupervised classification. At this step, we refined the regionalization using Artifi-cial Neural Networks (ANN) techniques including Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), Radial Basis Function (RBF), and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). The study is focused on building local ANN models which may significantly improve the prediction results of machine learning algorithms by taking into considerations non-stationarity and autocorrelation in spatial data.
France Fraiha Martins
Full Text Available This article reports results of a qualitative research, in the narrative modality. We investigated the formative experiences of teachers of Mathematics and Science through distance learning in the Amazon region, experienced in a course through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE. We investigated under what conditions this education experience was a catalyst for teachers’ reflections on the Amazonian context of teaching science and mathematics. By using Discursive Textual Analysis some categories e merged: graduating in the Amazon region: obstacles and confrontations; AVA and Technologies: meaning (s of the education experience and the impact of the experience in the perceptions of teachers’ practices and training. The analysis of the results reveals the obstacles to the training in this context. The dynamics experienced by the use of VLE technologies and of the teachers reverberated methodological insights regarding the use of technology in teaching practices, indicating also the VLE as an alternative of (self education on the Amazon reality
This article reports on the evaluation of the first year of a project, which utilized learning sets to support librarians undergoing the accreditation process, in the health libraries in the West Midlands region of the NHS. The West Midlands Health region is divided up into education consortia patches. Each group of patch librarians was allocated a local accreditation facilitator. The groups met regularly to discuss problems and progress relating to their library's accreditation. The results of the evaluation suggest that this is a valuable approach to use. The recommendations state that regular, frequent meetings are needed. Extra training and guidance would help the facilitators to be more effective in their role.
Guillermo Sanchez; Roberto Bisang
This work studies how the set of relationships that gives place to the learning processes is established in the food indus- try in Argentina. A theoretical ad hoc approach is adopted, conjugating the concepts of innovation systems at sector / regional level with some context considerations like the innovative behaviour of the global and local food industry and a description of the public and private S&T in Argentina. The study is focused in two cases: the wine industry, at the Mendoza provinc...
Full Text Available A continuous challenge for education and lifelong learning is to assist individuals in acquiring skills and knowledge for successful work life, especially after the financial crisis which influenced negatively the employment growth in all European Union countries. The paper focuses on finding correlations between employability and lifelong learning in the Danube Region countries of the European Union and more explicitly in the ex-communist ones of this region. As research instruments, two online questionnaires were built based on a thorough literature review and a set of structured interviews and filled in by 390 IT students and 55 IT professors. The surveys’ results revealed a clear positive correlation between the level of education and the opinion about the importance of obtaining a job as a result of the educational endeavors. A special attention in the survey was given to social networks, which were acknowledged as modern facilitators of lifelong learning activities. The conclusions of the current study are particularly important in the Romanian context, as the employment rate of recent graduates is in a decreasing trend, but also for all the Danube Region ex-communist countries, which have to boost their employment rates as well, to assure their economical growth. Identification of factors stimulating employment of young people according with their education contributes at the sustainable economic growth of these countries, at the growth of graduates insertion in the labor market and at the diminution of labor migration.
Maksyutov, R A; Gavrilova, E V; Agafonov, A P; Taranov, O S; Glotov, A G; Miheev, V N; Shchelkunov, S N; Sergeev, A N
In this study, we investigated recent sheep pox outbreaks that occurred in Ononsky and Borzunsky regions of Zabajkalskij kray of Russia. The outbreaks involved in 2756 animals of which 112 were infected and 3 were slaughtered. Samples of injured skin of infected sheep were analysed by electron microscopy and CaPV-specific P32 gene amplification. Following sequence analysis of entire P32 gene showed that both specimens were identical to the sequence of several sheep poxvirus isolates from China and India. The close location of China to the last decade's Russian outbreaks suggest that possible future outbreaks in Russia could occur along the border regions with countries where sheep and goat pox are not controlled. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Eamon B. O’Dea
Full Text Available Infectious disease often occurs in small, independent outbreaks in populations with varying characteristics. Each outbreak by itself may provide too little information for accurate estimation of epidemic model parameters. Here we show that using standard stochastic epidemic models for each outbreak and allowing parameters to vary between outbreaks according to a linear predictor leads to a generalized linear model that accurately estimates parameters from many small and diverse outbreaks. By estimating initial growth rates in addition to transmission rates, we are able to characterize variation in numbers of initially susceptible individuals or contact patterns between outbreaks. With simulation, we find that the estimates are fairly robust to the data being collected at discrete intervals and imputation of about half of all infectious periods. We apply the method by fitting data from 75 norovirus outbreaks in health-care settings. Our baseline regression estimates are 0.0037 transmissions per infective-susceptible day, an initial growth rate of 0.27 transmissions per infective day, and a symptomatic period of 3.35 days. Outbreaks in long-term-care facilities had significantly higher transmission and initial growth rates than outbreaks in hospitals.
Xu, Q; Han, H; Xing, L
Purpose: Dictionary learning based method has attracted more and more attentions in low-dose CT due to the superior performance on suppressing noise and preserving structural details. Considering the structures and noise vary from region to region in one imaging object, we propose a region-specific dictionary learning method to improve the low-dose CT reconstruction. Methods: A set of normal-dose images was used for dictionary learning. Segmentations were performed on these images, so that the training patch sets corresponding to different regions can be extracted out. After that, region-specific dictionaries were learned from these training sets. For the low-dose CT reconstruction, a conventional reconstruction, such as filtered back-projection (FBP), was performed firstly, and then segmentation was followed to segment the image into different regions. Sparsity constraints of each region based on its dictionary were used as regularization terms. The regularization parameters were selected adaptively according to different regions. A low-dose human thorax dataset was used to evaluate the proposed method. The single dictionary based method was performed for comparison. Results: Since the lung region is very different from the other part of thorax, two dictionaries corresponding to lung region and the rest part of thorax respectively were learned to better express the structural details and avoid artifacts. With only one dictionary some artifact appeared in the body region caused by the spot atoms corresponding to the structures in the lung region. And also some structure in the lung regions cannot be recovered well by only one dictionary. The quantitative indices of the result by the proposed method were also improved a little compared to the single dictionary based method. Conclusion: Region-specific dictionary can make the dictionary more adaptive to different region characteristics, which is much desirable for enhancing the performance of dictionary learning
Xu, Q; Han, H; Xing, L [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (United States)
Purpose: Dictionary learning based method has attracted more and more attentions in low-dose CT due to the superior performance on suppressing noise and preserving structural details. Considering the structures and noise vary from region to region in one imaging object, we propose a region-specific dictionary learning method to improve the low-dose CT reconstruction. Methods: A set of normal-dose images was used for dictionary learning. Segmentations were performed on these images, so that the training patch sets corresponding to different regions can be extracted out. After that, region-specific dictionaries were learned from these training sets. For the low-dose CT reconstruction, a conventional reconstruction, such as filtered back-projection (FBP), was performed firstly, and then segmentation was followed to segment the image into different regions. Sparsity constraints of each region based on its dictionary were used as regularization terms. The regularization parameters were selected adaptively according to different regions. A low-dose human thorax dataset was used to evaluate the proposed method. The single dictionary based method was performed for comparison. Results: Since the lung region is very different from the other part of thorax, two dictionaries corresponding to lung region and the rest part of thorax respectively were learned to better express the structural details and avoid artifacts. With only one dictionary some artifact appeared in the body region caused by the spot atoms corresponding to the structures in the lung region. And also some structure in the lung regions cannot be recovered well by only one dictionary. The quantitative indices of the result by the proposed method were also improved a little compared to the single dictionary based method. Conclusion: Region-specific dictionary can make the dictionary more adaptive to different region characteristics, which is much desirable for enhancing the performance of dictionary learning
Hamshire, Claire; Barrett, Neil; Langan, Mark; Harris, Edwin; Wibberley, Christopher
Student experience is an international concern and recent research has focused on initiatives to improve students' learning experiences and ultimately reduce attrition levels. To determine similarities and differences between students' perceptions of their learning experiences between 2011 and 2015 in relation to campus-based learning, placement-based learning and personal circumstances. A repeat online survey in 2011 and 2015; using a questionnaire developed from thematic analysis of narrative interviews with a subsample of the target population. Nine universities in the North West of England. A total of 1080 students completed the survey in 2011 and 1983 students in 2015 from a target population of all students studying on commissioned pre-registration healthcare education programmes. An online survey was made available to all undergraduate students studying on Health Education funded programmes within the region and survey respondents were invited to give demographic information and rate their agreement to statements on four-point Likert-type responses. Responses to a repeat survey of healthcare studying in the North West of England in 2015 were strikingly similar overall to those of an original 2011 survey. Although the students were positive overall about their experiences, a number were dissatisfied with some aspects of their experiences - particularly in relation to initial support on campus and whilst studying on placement. Four years on from the original survey, despite a considerable investment in improving students' experiences across the region, there appears to be little change in students' perceptions of their learning experiences CONCLUSION: In the short-term monitoring of student experience needs to be continued; and links to attrition (potential or actual) noted and acted upon. However, given that attrition from these courses has been a long-term problem and the complexity of its resolution a recurrent finding in the literature; new ways of framing
Leirs, Herwig; Verhagen, Ron; Verheyen, Walter
1. Rainfall data were collated for years preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. 2. Rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry periods. 3. Population dynamics of Mastomys...... natalensis rats in Tanzania are significantly affected by the distribution of rainfall during the rainy season. 4. All previous rodent outbreaks in Tanzania were preceded by abundant rainfall early in the rainy season, i.e, towards the end of the year. 5. A flow chart is constructed to assess the likelihood...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Countries face conflicting incentives to report infectious disease outbreaks. Reports of outbreaks can prompt other countries to impose trade and travel restrictions, which has the potential to discourage reporting. However, reports can also bring medical assistance to contain the outbreak, including access to vaccines. METHODS: We compiled data on reports of meningococcal meningitis to the World Health Organization (WHO from 54 African countries between 1966 and 2002, a period is marked by two events: first, a large outbreak reported from many countries in 1987 associated with the Hajj that resulted in more stringent requirements for meningitis vaccination among pilgrims; and second, another large outbreak in Sub-Saharan Africa in 1996 that led to a new international mechanism to supply vaccines to countries reporting a meningitis outbreak. We used fixed-effects regression modeling to statistically estimate the effect of external forcing events on the number of countries reporting cases of meningitis to WHO. FINDINGS: We find that the Hajj vaccination requirements started in 1988 were associated with reduced reporting, especially among countries with relatively fewer cases reported between 1966 and 1979. After the vaccine provision mechanism was in place in 1996, reporting among countries that had previously not reported meningitis outbreaks increased. INTERPRETATION: These results indicate that countries may respond to changing incentives to report outbreaks when they can do so. In the long term, these incentives are likely to be more important than surveillance assistance in prompt reporting of outbreaks.
Waleed H. BuAli
Full Text Available Purpose: No study had been conducted to assess the hospitals’ environment for learning purposes in multicenter sites in Saudi Arabia. It aims to evaluate the environment of hospitals for learning purposes of pediatric residents. Methods: We applied Postgraduate Hospital Educational Environment Measure (PHEEM to measure the learning environment at six teaching hospitals in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia from September to December 2013. Results: The number of respondents was 104 (86.7% out of 120 residents and 37 females and 67 male residents have responded. The residents’ response scored 100 out of 160 maximum score in rating of PHEEM that showed overall learning environment is favorable for training. There were some items in the social support domain suggesting improvements. There was no significant difference between male and female residents. There was a difference among the participant teaching hospitals (p<0.05. Conclusion: The result pointed an overall positive rating. Individual item scores suggested that their social life during residency could be uninspiring. They have the low satisfactory level and they feel racism, and sexual discrimination. Therefore, there is still a room for improvement.
Full Text Available It is no incident that IRRODL begins the year of 2007 with this regional focus edition on “Changing Faces of Open and Distance Learning in Asia.” Over the recent years, there has been tremendous growth and diversity in open and distance learning (ODL in Asia. With over 56 percent of the global population, Asia has over 70 universities that are dedicated to open access to education, including seven out of 11 of the world's mega universities (universities with over 100,000 active students in degree-level courses serving six million active students all together (Daniel, 1996. Quite a few distance teaching universities or programs such as the Bangladeshi Open University, the Hanoi Open University, the Open University Malaysia, and the Open and Distance Learning Program in Singapore, have been established since the 1990s and now provide tertiary level education to those seeking continuing education opportunities. Virtual universities are growing fast and, with 17 virtual universities in Korea alone! Many conventional, campus-based universities have started to offer e-Learning programs as well. For example, 67 e-Colleges have been established within conventional research universities in China.
Lobell, D. B.
Methods in machine learning, and in particular deep learning, are quickly advancing, in parallel with dramatic increases in the availability of fine resolution satellite data. The combination of both offers the possibility to improve understanding of some of the poorest regions of the world, where traditional data sources are limited. This talk will cover recent applications to track poverty at the village level in Africa, spot the onset of disease outbreaks in agriculture, and identify land use patterns and crop productivity.
Mouchtouri, Varvara A; Verykouki, Eleni; Zamfir, Dumitru
When an increased number of acute gastroenteritis (AG) cases is detected among tourists staying at the same accommodation, outbreak management plans must be activated in a timely manner to prevent large outbreaks. Syndromic surveillance data collected between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2013...
This podcast describes the outbreak of Rickettsia felis in Kenya between August 2006 and June 2008, and in rural Senegal from November 2008 through July 2009. CDC infectious disease pathologist Dr. Chris Paddock discusses what researchers learned about this flea-borne disease and how to prevent infection.
Longoni, Giulia; Rocca, Maria A; Pagani, Elisabetta; Riccitelli, Gianna C; Colombo, Bruno; Rodegher, Mariaemma; Falini, Andrea; Comi, Giancarlo; Filippi, Massimo
The hippocampus has a critical role in episodic memory and visuospatial learning and consolidation. We assessed the patterns of whole and regional hippocampal atrophy in a large group of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and their correlations with neuropsychological impairment. From 103 MS patients and 28 healthy controls (HC), brain dual-echo and high-resolution 3D T1-weighted images were acquired using a 3.0-Tesla scanner. All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment of hippocampal-related cognitive functions, including Paired Associate Word Learning, Short Story, delayed recall of Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure and Paced Auditory Serial Attention tests. The hippocampi were manually segmented and volumes derived. Regional atrophy distribution was assessed using a radial mapping analysis. Correlations between hippocampal atrophy and clinical, neuropsychological and MRI metrics were also evaluated. Hippocampal volume was reduced in MS patients vs HC (p right and hippocampus). In MS patients, radial atrophy affected CA1 subfield and subiculum of posterior hippocampus, bilaterally. The dentate hilus (DG:H) of the right hippocampal head was also affected. Regional hippocampal atrophy correlated with brain T2 and T1 lesion volumes, while no correlation was found with disability. Damage to the CA1 and subiculum was significantly correlated to the performances at hippocampal-targeted neuropsychological tests. These results show that hippocampal subregions have a different vulnerability to MS-related damage, with a relative sparing of the head of the left hippocampus. The assessment of regional hippocampal atrophy may help explain deficits of specific cognitive functions in MS patients, including memory and visuospatial abilities.
Rausch, Vanessa H; Bauch, Eva M; Bunzeck, Nico
In neural systems, information processing can be facilitated by adding an optimal level of white noise. Although this phenomenon, the so-called stochastic resonance, has traditionally been linked with perception, recent evidence indicates that white noise may also exert positive effects on cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. The underlying neural mechanisms, however, remain unclear. Here, on the basis of recent theories, we tested the hypothesis that auditory white noise, when presented during the encoding of scene images, enhances subsequent recognition memory performance and modulates activity within the dopaminergic midbrain (i.e., substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, SN/VTA). Indeed, in a behavioral experiment, we can show in healthy humans that auditory white noise-but not control sounds, such as a sinus tone-slightly improves recognition memory. In an fMRI experiment, white noise selectively enhances stimulus-driven phasic activity in the SN/VTA and auditory cortex. Moreover, it induces stronger connectivity between SN/VTA and right STS, which, in addition, exhibited a positive correlation with subsequent memory improvement by white noise. Our results suggest that the beneficial effects of auditory white noise on learning depend on dopaminergic neuromodulation and enhanced connectivity between midbrain regions and the STS-a key player in attention modulation. Moreover, they indicate that white noise could be particularly useful to facilitate learning in conditions where changes of the mesolimbic system are causally related to memory deficits including healthy and pathological aging.
Maria Isabel de Souza
Full Text Available
Karargyros, Alex; Syeda-Mahmood, Tanveer
Deep learning networks are gaining popularity in many medical image analysis tasks due to their generalized ability to automatically extract relevant features from raw images. However, this can make the learning problem unnecessarily harder requiring network architectures of high complexity. In case of anomaly detection, in particular, there is often sufficient regional difference between the anomaly and the surrounding parenchyma that could be easily highlighted through bottom-up saliency operators. In this paper we propose a new hybrid deep learning network using a combination of raw image and such regional maps to more accurately learn the anomalies using simpler network architectures. Specifically, we modify a deep learning network called U-Net using both the raw and pre-segmented images as input to produce joint encoding (contraction) and expansion paths (decoding) in the U-Net. We present results of successfully delineating subdural and epidural hematomas in brain CT imaging and liver hemangioma in abdominal CT images using such network.
Kim, Guk Bae; Jung, Kyu-Hwan; Lee, Yeha; Kim, Hyun-Jun; Kim, Namkug; Jun, Sanghoon; Seo, Joon Beom; Lynch, David A
This study aimed to compare shallow and deep learning of classifying the patterns of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). Using high-resolution computed tomography images, two experienced radiologists marked 1200 regions of interest (ROIs), in which 600 ROIs were each acquired using a GE or Siemens scanner and each group of 600 ROIs consisted of 100 ROIs for subregions that included normal and five regional pulmonary disease patterns (ground-glass opacity, consolidation, reticular opacity, emphysema, and honeycombing). We employed the convolution neural network (CNN) with six learnable layers that consisted of four convolution layers and two fully connected layers. The classification results were compared with the results classified by a shallow learning of a support vector machine (SVM). The CNN classifier showed significantly better performance for accuracy compared with that of the SVM classifier by 6-9%. As the convolution layer increases, the classification accuracy of the CNN showed better performance from 81.27 to 95.12%. Especially in the cases showing pathological ambiguity such as between normal and emphysema cases or between honeycombing and reticular opacity cases, the increment of the convolution layer greatly drops the misclassification rate between each case. Conclusively, the CNN classifier showed significantly greater accuracy than the SVM classifier, and the results implied structural characteristics that are inherent to the specific ILD patterns.
Fung-Kee-Fung, M; Maziak, D E; Pantarotto, J R; Smylie, J; Taylor, L; Timlin, T; Cacciotti, T; Villeneuve, P J; Dennie, C; Bornais, C; Madore, S; Aquino, J; Wheatley-Price, P; Ozer, R S; Stewart, D J
The Ottawa Hospital (toh) defined delay to timely lung cancer care as a system design problem. Recognizing the patient need for an integrated journey and the need for dynamic alignment of providers, toh used a learning health system (lhs) vision to redesign regional diagnostic processes. A lhs is driven by feedback utilizing operational and clinical information to drive system optimization and innovation. An essential component of a lhs is a collaborative platform that provides connectivity across silos, organizations, and professions. To operationalize a lhs, we developed the Ottawa Health Transformation Model (ohtm) as a consensus approach that addresses process barriers, resistance to change, and conflicting priorities. A regional Community of Practice (cop) was established to engage stakeholders, and a dedicated transformation team supported process improvements and implementation. The project operationalized the lung cancer diagnostic pathway and optimized patient flow from referral to initiation of treatment. Twelve major processes in referral, review, diagnostics, assessment, triage, and consult were redesigned. The Ottawa Hospital now provides a diagnosis to 80% of referrals within the provincial target of 28 days. The median patient journey from referral to initial treatment decreased by 48% from 92 to 47 days. The initiative optimized regional integration from referral to initial treatment. Use of a lhs lens enabled the creation of a system that is standardized to best practice and open to ongoing innovation. Continued transformation initiatives across the continuum of care are needed to incorporate best practice and optimize delivery systems for regional populations.
Yoo, Seung-Schik; Lee, Jong-Hwan; O’Leary, Heather; Panych, Lawrence P.; Jolesz, Ferenc A.
We report the long-term effect of real-time functional MRI (rtfMRI) training on voluntary regulation of the level of activation from a hand motor area. During the performance of a motor imagery task of a right hand, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal originating from a primary motor area was presented back to the subject in real-time. Demographically matched individuals also received the same procedure without valid feedback information. Followed by the initial rtfMRI sessions, both groups underwent two-week long, daily-practice of the task. Off-line data analysis revealed that the individuals in the experimental group were able to increase the level of BOLD signal from the regulatory target to a greater degree compared to the control group. Furthermore, the learned level of activation was maintained after the two-week period, with the recruitment of additional neural circuitries such as the hippocampus and the limbo-thalamo-cortical pathway. The activation obtained from the control group, in the absence of proper feedback, was indifferent across the training conditions. The level of BOLD activity from the target regulatory region was positively correlated with a self evaluative score within the experimental group, while the majority of control subjects had difficulty adopting a strategy to attain the desired level of functional regulation. Our results suggest that rtfMRI helped individuals learn how to increase region-specific cortical activity associated with a motor imagery task, and the level of increased activation in motor areas was consolidated after the two-week self-practice period, with the involvement of neural circuitries implicated in motor skill learning. PMID:19526048
Longmire, Atkinson G; Sims, Seth; Rytsareva, Inna; Campo, David S; Skums, Pavel; Dimitrova, Zoya; Ramachandran, Sumathi; Medrzycki, Magdalena; Thai, Hong; Ganova-Raeva, Lilia; Lin, Yulin; Punkova, Lili T; Sue, Amanda; Mirabito, Massimo; Wang, Silver; Tracy, Robin; Bolet, Victor; Sukalac, Thom; Lynberg, Chris; Khudyakov, Yury
Hepatitis C is a major public health problem in the United States and worldwide. Outbreaks of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections associated with unsafe injection practices, drug diversion, and other exposures to blood are difficult to detect and investigate. Effective HCV outbreak investigation requires comprehensive surveillance and robust case investigation. We previously developed and validated a methodology for the rapid and cost-effective identification of HCV transmission clusters. Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (GHOST) is a cloud-based system enabling users, regardless of computational expertise, to analyze and visualize transmission clusters in an independent, accurate and reproducible way. We present and explore performance of several GHOST implemented algorithms using next-generation sequencing data experimentally obtained from hypervariable region 1 of genetically related and unrelated HCV strains. GHOST processes data from an entire MiSeq run in approximately 3 h. A panel of seven specimens was used for preparation of six repeats of MiSeq libraries. Testing sequence data from these libraries by GHOST showed a consistent transmission linkage detection, testifying to high reproducibility of the system. Lack of linkage among genetically unrelated HCV strains and constant detection of genetic linkage between HCV strains from known transmission pairs and from follow-up specimens at different levels of MiSeq-read sampling indicate high specificity and sensitivity of GHOST in accurate detection of HCV transmission. GHOST enables automatic extraction of timely and relevant public health information suitable for guiding effective intervention measures. It is designed as a virtual diagnostic system intended for use in molecular surveillance and outbreak investigations rather than in research. The system produces accurate and reproducible information on HCV transmission clusters for all users, irrespective of their level of bioinformatics
Full Text Available In June 2006, an outbreak alert regarding cases of acute gastroenteritis in a region in North Eastern Greece (population 100,882 inhabitants, triggered investigations to guide control measures. The outbreak started the first days of June, and peaked in July. A descriptive epidemiological study, a virological characterization of the viral agent identified from cases as well as a phylogenetic analysis was performed. From June 5 to September 3, 2006 (weeks 23–44, 1,640 cases of gastroenteritis (45.2% male and 54.8% female, aged 3 months to 89 years were reported. The overall attack rate for the period was 16.3 cases/1,000 inhabitants. About 57% of cases observed were under the age of 15 years. Αnalysis of faecal samples identified Norovirus GII strains. Fifteen different Norovirus GII strains were recorded, presenting a homology of 94.8% (86–97% to GII strains obtained from GenBank. The long duration of the outbreak suggests an important role of person-to-person transmission, while the emergence of the outbreak was possibly due to contaminated potable water, although no viruses were detected in any tested water samples. This outbreak underscores the need for a national surveillance system for acute non-bacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks.
Aoki, Hideyuki; Kamata, Motohiro; Yamagami, Norihisa
The purpose of my study was to develop of cooperative learning support on Educational Function as Teamwork in Project-based Learning with Regional Cooperation. Analysis of validation of the original method were made using correlation analysis of student satisfaction of relationships among teammate and educational function as teamwork, result of self-diagnose. As a result, we achieved analysis results with a collective creativity were involved in student‧s planning skill. It was shown that educational functions as teamwork plays an important part in the growth of students. Our study revealed that there was method using cooperative learning technique helps to promote improvement of educational function as teamwork.
Rout, Ullash K.; Blesl, Markus; Fahl, Ulrich; Remme, Uwe; Voss, Alfred
The diffusion of promising energy technologies in the market depends on their future energy production-cost development. When analyzing these technologies in an integrated assessment model using endogenous technological learning, the uncertainty in the assumed learning rates (LRs) plays a crucial role in the production-cost development and model outcomes. This study examines the uncertainty in LRs of some energy technologies under endogenous global learning implementation and presents a floor-cost modeling procedure to systematically regulate the uncertainty in LRs of energy technologies. The article narrates the difficulties of data assimilation, as compatible with mixed integer programming segmentations, and comprehensively presents the causes of uncertainty in LRs. This work is executed using a multi-regional and long-horizon energy system model based on 'TIMES' framework. All regions receive an economic advantage to learn in a common domain, and resource-ample regions obtain a marginal advantage for better exploitation of the learning technologies, due to a lower supply-side fuel-cost development. The lowest learning investment associated with the maximum LR mobilizes more deployment of the learning technologies. The uncertainty in LRs has an impact on the diffusion of energy technologies tested, and therefore this study scrutinizes the role of policy support for some of the technologies investigated. (author)
Meng Hsuan Chou
Full Text Available States often pool their sovereignty, capacity and resources to provide regionally specific public goods, such as security or trade rules, and regional organisations play important roles in international relations as institutions that attempt to secure peace and contribute to achieving other similar global policy goals. We observe failures occurring in these arrangements and activities in two areas: substance and image. To analytically account for this, we distinguish four modes of substance and image change and link these to specific types of failure and (lack of learning. To empirically ground and test our assumptions, we examine instances of image failure in ASEAN (political/security policy and substantive policy failure in EU labour migration policy. In so doing, this article contributes to several different fields of study and concepts that have hitherto rarely engaged with one another: analyses of policy failure from public policy, and regional integration concerns from area studies and international relations. We conclude with suggestions for ways forward to further analyse and understand failures at the international and supranational levels.
Kamadjeu, Raoul; Gathenji, Caroline
In April 2013, a case of wild polio virus (WPV) was detected in the Somalia capital Mogadishu. This inaugurated what is now referred to as the 2013-2014 Horn of Africa Polio outbreak with cases reported in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. By the notification of the last polio case in August 2014, 223 cases of WPV had been reported in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia of which 199 in Somalia alone. The outbreak response required timely exchange of information between the outbreak response coordination unit (in Nairobi) and local staff located in multiple locations inside the country. The need to track and timely respond to information requests, to satisfy the information/data needs of polio partners and to track key outbreak response performance indicators dictated the need to urgently set up an online dashboard. The Somalia Polio Room dashboard provided a graphical display of the polio outbreak data to track progress and inform decision making. The system was designed using free and open sources components and seamlessly integrated existing polio surveillance data for real time monitoring of key outbreak response performance indicators. In this article, we describe the design and operation of an electronic dashboard for disease surveillance in an outbreak situation and used the lessons learned to propose key design considerations and functional requirements for online electronic dashboards for disease outbreak response.
Luque-Larena, Juan José; Mougeot, François; Roig, Dolors Vidal; Lambin, Xavier; Rodríguez-Pastor, Ruth; Rodríguez-Valín, Elena; Anda, Pedro; Escudero, Raquel
During the last decades, large tularemia outbreaks in humans have coincided in time and space with population outbreaks of common voles in northwestern Spain, leading us to hypothesize that this rodent species acts as a key spillover agent of Francisella tularensis in the region. Here, we evaluate for the first time a potential link between irruptive vole numbers and human tularemia outbreaks in Spain. We compiled vole abundance estimates obtained through live-trapping monitoring studies and official reports of human tularemia cases during the period 1997-2014. We confirm a significant positive association between yearly cases of tularemia infection in humans and vole abundance. High vole densities during outbreaks (up to 1000 voles/hectare) may therefore enhance disease transmission and spillover contamination in the environment. If this ecological link is further confirmed, the apparent multiannual cyclicity of common vole outbreaks might provide a basis for forecasting the risk of tularemia outbreaks in northwestern Spain.
Grammens, Tine; Maes, Virginie; Hutse, Veronik; Laisnez, Valeska; Schirvel, Carole; Trémérie, Jean Marie; Sabbe, Martine
During the first half of 2016, several outbreaks of measles were reported in the three regions of Belgium. Main challenges for public health were severe complications occurring in adults, nosocomial transmission and infection in healthcare workers. Here, we describe those outbreaks and lessons learnt for public health. PMID:27541858
Mbaeyi, Chukwuma; Ryan, Michael J; Smith, Philip; Mahamud, Abdirahman; Farag, Noha; Haithami, Salah; Sharaf, Magdi; Jorba, Jaume C; Ehrhardt, Derek
As the world advances toward the eradication of polio, outbreaks of wild poliovirus (WPV) in polio-free regions pose a substantial risk to the timeline for global eradication. Countries and regions experiencing active conflict, chronic insecurity, and large-scale displacement of persons are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks because of the disruption of health care and immunization services (1). A polio outbreak occurred in the Middle East, beginning in Syria in 2013 with subsequent spread to Iraq (2). The outbreak occurred 2 years after the onset of the Syrian civil war, resulted in 38 cases, and was the first time WPV was detected in Syria in approximately a decade (3,4). The national governments of eight countries designated the outbreak a public health emergency and collaborated with partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to develop a multiphase outbreak response plan focused on improving the quality of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance* and administering polio vaccines to >27 million children during multiple rounds of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs). † Successful implementation of the response plan led to containment and interruption of the outbreak within 6 months of its identification. The concerted approach adopted in response to this outbreak could serve as a model for responding to polio outbreaks in settings of conflict and political instability.
Full Text Available We present an approach (and a corresponding system design for supporting regionally bound hybrid learning communities (i.e., communities which combine traditional face-to-face elements with web based media such as online community platforms, e-mail and SMS newsletters. The goal of the example community used to illustrate the approach was to support and motivate (especially hard-to-reach underprivileged parents in the education of their young children. The article describes the design process used and the challenges faced during the socio-technical system design. An analysis of the community over more than one year indicates that the hybrid approach works better than the two separated “traditional” approaches separately. Synergy effects like advertising effects from the offline trainings for the online platform and vice versa occurred and regular newsletters turned out to have a noticeable effect on the community.
Ling, J.; Templeton, J.
Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) models are widely used in industry to predict fluid flows, despite their acknowledged deficiencies. Not only do RANS models often produce inaccurate flow predictions, but there are very limited diagnostics available to assess RANS accuracy for a given flow configuration. If experimental or higher fidelity simulation results are not available for RANS validation, there is no reliable method to evaluate RANS accuracy. This paper explores the potential of utilizing machine learning algorithms to identify regions of high RANS uncertainty. Three different machine learning algorithms were evaluated: support vector machines, Adaboost decision trees, and random forests. The algorithms were trained on a database of canonical flow configurations for which validated direct numerical simulation or large eddy simulation results were available, and were used to classify RANS results on a point-by-point basis as having either high or low uncertainty, based on the breakdown of specific RANS modeling assumptions. Classifiers were developed for three different basic RANS eddy viscosity model assumptions: the isotropy of the eddy viscosity, the linearity of the Boussinesq hypothesis, and the non-negativity of the eddy viscosity. It is shown that these classifiers are able to generalize to flows substantially different from those on which they were trained. Feature selection techniques, model evaluation, and extrapolation detection are discussed in the context of turbulence modeling applications.
Full Text Available Success is the result of planning, hard work, determination, foresight, and a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, nobody has thought to pave the road to success. Although failure can be discouraging and time-consuming, it presents incredible learning opportunities-the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who abandon their projects lies in their response to adversity. This article reviews events undertaken by the Regional Student Groups (RSGs in India and Argentina, the problems they encountered, and what can be learned from them. RSG-India attempted to organize an online scientific meeting (also known as a virtual conference with geographically dispersed stakeholders, a totally new concept for them. RSG-Argentina tackled the challenge of organizing a two-day symposium, their first event ever. Some of the complications they faced were easy to fix, others led to the cancellation of activities, and all of them resulted in valuable lessons. The main goal of this article is to highlight, through their experiences, the universal importance of a healthy panel of contingency plans.
Pique, E; Copado, R; Cabrera, A; Olivares, M; Fariña, M C; Escalonilla, P; Soriano, M L; Requena, L
Canary Islands wrestling is a variant of the sport played exclusively in that region, and is associated with close participant contact. An outbreak of a fungal infection, so-called tinea gladiatorum, amongst such wrestlers in Lanzarote, one island in the archipelago is now described. 102 wrestlers from the eight teams on the island were examined; some of the clubs are 50 km apart; 45 wrestlers (44.1% of those examined) were noted to be affected. To our knowledge, this is the largest reported series of patients with tinea gladiatorum and the only one to demonstrate such infection in a variety of geographical locations.
Kovalenko Natalia A.
Full Text Available This article examines key styles of learning English as the second language, particularly for students from Asian-Pacific countries. It deals with the methods of improving their learning skills and abilities. The most traditional and popular ways of learning styles are pointed out. The authors also discuss teaching approaches for matching and interaction of learning styles in different cultures. The authors also discuss teaching approaches to matching and interaction of learning styles in different cultures.
Curran, Evonne T
During outbreaks, decisions must be made without all the required information. People, including infection prevention and control teams (IPCTs), who have to make decisions during uncertainty use heuristics to fill the missing data gaps. Heuristics are mental model short cuts that by-and-large enable us to make good decisions quickly. However, these heuristics contain biases and effects that at times lead to cognitive (thinking) errors. These cognitive errors are not made to deliberately misrepresent any given situation; we are subject to heuristic biases when we are trying to perform optimally. The science of decision making is large; there are over 100 different biases recognised and described. Outbreak Column 16 discusses and relates these heuristics and biases to decision making during outbreak prevention, preparedness and management. Insights as to how we might recognise and avoid them are offered.
Krisher, Lyndsay K; Krisher, Jesse; Ambuludi, Mariano; Arichabala, Ana; Beltrán-Ayala, Efrain; Navarrete, Patricia; Ordoñez, Tania; Polhemus, Mark E; Quintana, Fernando; Rochford, Rosemary; Silva, Mercy; Bazo, Juan; Stewart-Ibarra, Anna M
In recent years, malaria (Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum) has been successfully controlled in the Ecuador-Peru coastal border region. The aim of this study was to document this control effort and to identify the best practices and lessons learned that are applicable to malaria control and to other vector-borne diseases. A proximal outcome evaluation was conducted of the robust elimination programme in El Oro Province, Ecuador, and the Tumbes Region, Peru. Data collection efforts included a series of workshops with local public health experts who played central roles in the elimination effort, review of epidemiological records from Ministries of Health, and a review of national policy documents. Key programmatic and external factors are identified that determined the success of this eradication effort. From the mid 1980s until the early 2000s, the region experienced a surge in malaria transmission, which experts attributed to a combination of ineffective anti-malarial treatment, social-ecological factors (e.g., El Niño, increasing rice farming, construction of a reservoir), and political factors (e.g., reduction in resources and changes in management). In response to the malaria crisis, local public health practitioners from El Oro and Tumbes joined together in the mid-1990s to forge an unofficial binational collaboration for malaria control. Over the next 20 years, they effectively eradicated malaria in the region, by strengthening surveillance and treatment strategies, sharing of resources, operational research to inform policy, and novel interventions. The binational collaboration at the operational level was the fundamental component of the successful malaria elimination programme. This unique relationship created a trusting, open environment that allowed for flexibility, rapid response, innovation and resilience in times of crisis, and ultimately a sustainable control programme. Strong community involvement, an extensive microscopy network and
Luo, Hui-Ming; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Xin-Qi; Yu, Wen-Zhou; Wen, Ning; Yan, Dong-Mei; Wang, Hua-Qing; Wushouer, Fuerhati; Wang, Hai-Bo; Xu, Ai-Qiang; Zheng, Jing-Shan; Li, De-Xin; Cui, Hui; Wang, Jian-Ping; Zhu, Shuang-Li; Feng, Zi-Jian; Cui, Fu-Qiang; Ning, Jing; Hao, Li-Xin; Fan, Chun-Xiang; Ning, Gui-Jun; Yu, Hong-Jie; Wang, Shi-Wen; Liu, Da-Wei; Wang, Dong-Yan; Fu, Jian-Ping; Gou, Ai-li; Zhang, Guo-Min; Huang, Guo-Hong; Chen, Yuan-Sheng; Mi, Sha-Sha; Liu, Yan-Min; Yin, Da-Peng; Zhu, Hui; Fan, Xin-Chun; Li, Xin-Lan; Ji, Yi-Xin; Li, Ke-Li; Tang, Hai-Shu; Xu, Wen-Bo; Wang, Yu; Yang, Wei-Zhong
The last case of infection with wild-type poliovirus indigenous to China was reported in 1994, and China was certified as a poliomyelitis-free region in 2000. In 2011, an outbreak of infection with imported wild-type poliovirus occurred in the province of Xinjiang. We conducted an investigation to guide the response to the outbreak, performed sequence analysis of the poliovirus type 1 capsid protein VP1 to determine the source, and carried out serologic and coverage surveys to assess the risk of viral propagation. Surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis was intensified to enhance case ascertainment. Between July 3 and October 9, 2011, investigators identified 21 cases of infection with wild-type poliovirus and 23 clinically compatible cases in southern Xinjiang. Wild-type poliovirus type 1 was isolated from 14 of 673 contacts of patients with acute flaccid paralysis (2.1%) and from 13 of 491 healthy persons who were not in contact with affected persons (2.6%). Sequence analysis implicated an imported wild-type poliovirus that originated in Pakistan as the cause of the outbreak. A public health emergency was declared in Xinjiang after the outbreak was confirmed. Surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis was enhanced, with daily reporting from all public and private hospitals. Five rounds of vaccination with live, attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) were conducted among children and adults, and 43 million doses of OPV were administered. Trivalent OPV was used in three rounds, and monovalent OPV type 1 was used in two rounds. The outbreak was stopped 1.5 months after laboratory confirmation of the index case. The 2011 outbreak in China showed that poliomyelitis-free countries remain at risk for outbreaks while the poliovirus circulates anywhere in the world. Global eradication of poliomyelitis will benefit all countries, even those that are currently free of poliomyelitis.
Kobayashi, T; Sakurai, T; Sakakibara, M; Watanabe, T
Native insects can become epidemic pests in agro-ecosystems. A population genetics approach was applied to analyze the emergence and spread of outbreak populations of native insect species. Outbreaks of the mirid bug, Stenotus rubrovittatus, have rapidly expanded over Japan within the last two decades. To characterize the outbreak dynamics of this species, the genetic structure of local populations was assessed using polymorphisms of the mtDNA COI gene and six microsatellite loci. Results of the population genetic analysis suggested that S. rubrovittatus populations throughout Japan were genetically isolated by geographic distance and separated into three genetic clusters occupying spatially segregated regions. Phylogeographic analysis indicated that the genetic structure of S. rubrovittatus reflected post-glacial colonization. Early outbreaks of S. rubrovittatus in the 1980s occurred independently of genetically isolated populations. The genetic structure of the populations did not fit the pattern of an outbreak expansion, and therefore the data did not support the hypothesis that extensive outbreaks were caused by the dispersal of specific pestiferous populations. Rather, the historical genetic structure prior to the outbreaks was maintained throughout the increase in abundance of the mirid bug. Our study indicated that changes in the agro-environment induced multiple outbreaks of native pest populations. This implies that, given suitable environmental conditions, local populations may have the potential to outbreak even without invasion of populations from other environmentally degraded areas.
Witruk, Evelin, Ed.; Riha, David, Ed.; Teichert, Alexandra, Ed.; Haase, Norman, Ed.; Stueck, Marcus, Ed.
This book contains selected contributions from the international workshop Learning, "Adjustment and Stress Disorders--with special reference to Tsunami affected Regions" organised by Evelin Witruk and the team of Educational and Rehabilitative Psychology at the University of Leipzig in January 2006. The book contains new results and the…
Ventura, Caterina Gulli
The purpose of the study was to examine hurricane emergency preparedness planning at institutions of higher learning of the Gulf South region following Hurricane Katrina. The problem addressed the impact of Hurricane Katrina on decision-making and policy planning processes. The focus was on individuals that administer the hurricane emergency…
Irvine, W N; Gillespie, I A; Smyth, F B; Rooney, P J; McClenaghan, A; Devine, M J; Tohani, V K
A large outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport infection occurred in Northern Ireland during September and October 2004. Typing of isolates from patients confirmed that this strain was indistinguishable from that in concurrent outbreaks in regions of England, in Scotland and in the Isle of Man. A total of 130 cases were distributed unequally across local government district areas in Northern Ireland. The epidemic curve suggested a continued exposure over about 4 weeks. A matched case-control study of 23 cases and 39 controls found a statistically significant association with a history of having eaten lettuce in a meal outside the home and being a case (odds ratio 23.7, 95% confidence interval 1.4-404.3). This exposure was reported by 57% of cases. Although over 300 food samples were tested, none yielded any Salmonella spp. Complexity and limited traceability in salad vegetable distribution hindered further investigation of the ultimate source of the outbreak.
Jutla, Antarpreet; Khan, Rakibul; Colwell, Rita
Diarrheal diseases remain a serious global public health threat, especially for those populations lacking access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure. Although association of several diarrheal diseases, e.g., cholera, shigellosis, etc., with climatic processes has been documented, the global human population remains at heightened risk of outbreak of diseases after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts. In this review, cholera was selected as a signature diarrheal disease and the role of natural disasters in triggering and transmitting cholera was analyzed. Key observations include identification of an inherent feedback loop that includes societal structure, prevailing climatic processes, and spatio-temporal seasonal variability of natural disasters. Data obtained from satellite-based remote sensing are concluded to have application, although limited, in predicting risks of a cholera outbreak(s). We argue that with the advent of new high spectral and spatial resolution data, earth observation systems should be seamlessly integrated in a decision support mechanism to be mobilize resources when a region suffers a natural disaster. A framework is proposed that can be used to assess the impact of natural disasters with response to outbreak of cholera, providing assessment of short- and long-term influence of climatic processes on disease outbreaks.
Kamadjeu, Raoul; Mahamud, Abdirahman; Webeck, Jenna; Baranyikwa, Marie Therese; Chatterjee, Anirban; Bile, Yassin Nur; Birungi, Julianne; Mbaeyi, Chukwuma; Mulugeta, Abraham
For >2 decades, conflicts and recurrent natural disasters have maintained Somalia in a chronic humanitarian crisis. For nearly 5 years, 1 million children polio once again. A case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) was defined as a child Polio cases were defined as AFP cases with stool specimens positive for WPV. From 9 May to 31 December 2013, 189 cases of WPV type 1 (WPV1) were reported from 46 districts of Somalia; 42% were from Banadir region (Mogadishu), 60% were males, and 93% were polio cases belonged to cluster N5A, which is known to have been circulating in northern Nigeria since 2011. In response to the outbreak, 8 supplementary immunization activities were conducted with oral polio vaccine (OPV; trivalent OPV was used initially, followed subsequently by bivalent OPV) targeting various age groups, including children aged polio outbreak erupted after a polio-free period of >6 years (the last case was reported in March 2007). Somalia interrupted indigenous WPV transmission in 2002, was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries a year later, and has since demonstrated its ability to control polio outbreaks resulting from importation. This outbreak reiterates that the threat of large polio outbreaks resulting from WPV importation will remain constant unless polio transmission is interrupted in the remaining polio-endemic countries. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Kretsinger, Katrina; Strebel, Peter; Kezaala, Robert; Goodson, James L
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has built an extensive infrastructure with capabilities and resources that should be transitioned to measles and rubella elimination efforts. Measles continues to be a major cause of child mortality globally, and rubella continues to be the leading infectious cause of birth defects. Measles and rubella eradication is feasible and cost saving. The obvious similarities in strategies between polio elimination and measles and rubella elimination include the use of an extensive surveillance and laboratory network, outbreak preparedness and response, extensive communications and social mobilization networks, and the need for periodic supplementary immunization activities. Polio staff and resources are already connected with those of measles and rubella, and transitioning existing capabilities to measles and rubella elimination efforts allows for optimized use of resources and the best opportunity to incorporate important lessons learned from polio eradication, and polio resources are concentrated in the countries with the highest burden of measles and rubella. Measles and rubella elimination strategies rely heavily on achieving and maintaining high vaccination coverage through the routine immunization activity infrastructure, thus creating synergies with immunization systems approaches, in what is termed a "diagonal approach." © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Meric, M; Sayan, M; Dundar, D; Willke, A
Tularaemia is an important zoonotic disease that leads to outbreaks. This study aimed to compare the epidemiological characteristics of two tularaemia outbreaks that occurred in the Sakarya region of Turkey, analyse the risk factors for the development of outbreaks and identify Francisella (F.) tularensis in the water samples. Two tularaemia outbreaks occurred in the Kocadongel village in 2005 and 2006. A field investigation and a case-control study with 47 cases and 47 healthy households were performed during the second outbreak. Clinical samples from the patients and filtrated water samples were analysed for F. tularensis via real-time polymerase chain reaction. From the two outbreaks, a total of 58 patients were diagnosed with oropharyngeal tularaemia based on their clinical and serological results. Both outbreaks occurred between the months of January and April, and the number of patients peaked in February. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the consumption of natural spring water was the only significant risk factor for tularaemia infection (odds ratio 3.5, confidence interval 1.23-10.07). F. tularensis was detected in eight clinical samples and in the filtrated natural spring water. This study is the first report of tularaemia from this region. The results show that both tularaemia outbreaks were related to the consumption of untreated natural spring water. To prevent waterborne tularaemia, community water supplies should be treated and checked periodically.
Full Text Available This work studies how the set of relationships that gives place to the learning processes is established in the food industry in Argentina. A theoretical ad hoc approach is adopted, conjugating the concepts of innovation systems at sector / regional level with some context considerations like the innovative behaviour of the global and local food industry and a description of the public and private S&T in Argentina. The study is focused in two cases: the wine industry, at the Mendoza province, and the dairy products industry at the centre of the Santa Fe province, both in Argentina. While the winery industry at the province of Mendoza exports differentiated products the dairy industry, at the central basin of the province of Santa Fe, exports commodities leaving differentiated (functional products for the domestic market. These facts determine different dynamics between them, despite of what the established set of relationships is very complex and knowledge intensive in both cases. Also, in both cases the preponderant contribution of the public institutions of science and technology as knowledge and technology source is flagged.
Verhoef, Linda P B; Kroneman, Annelies; van Duynhoven, Yvonne; Boshuizen, Hendriek; van Pelt, Wilfrid; Koopmans, Marion
Detection of pathogens in the food chain is limited mainly to bacteria, and the globalization of the food industry enables international viral foodborne outbreaks to occur. Outbreaks from 2002 through 2006 recorded in a European norovirus surveillance database were investigated for virologic and epidemiologic indicators of food relatedness. The resulting validated multivariate logistic regression model comparing foodborne (n = 224) and person-to-person (n = 654) outbreaks was used to create a practical web-based tool that can be limited to epidemiologic parameters for nongenotyping countries. Non-genogroup-II.4 outbreaks, higher numbers of cases, and outbreaks in restaurants or households characterized (sensitivity = 0.80, specificity = 0.86) foodborne outbreaks and reduced the percentage of outbreaks requiring source-tracing to 31%. The selection tool enabled prospectively focused follow-up. Use of this tool is likely to improve data quality and strain typing in current surveillance systems, which is necessary for identification of potential international foodborne outbreaks.
... harvested from contaminated water and raspberries irrigated with contaminated water have caused norovirus outbreaks. Norovirus on Cruise Ships Over 90% of diarrheal disease outbreaks on cruise ships are caused by norovirus ( ...
... Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program CDC Feature: Surveillance for Norovirus Outbreaks Top ...
This podcast describes the outbreak of Rickettsia felis in Kenya between August 2006 and June 2008, and in rural Senegal from November 2008 through July 2009. CDC infectious disease pathologist Dr. Chris Paddock discusses what researchers learned about this flea-borne disease and how to prevent infection. Created: 6/9/2010 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 6/24/2010.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) began in 1988. By 2006, indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus (WPV) had been interrupted in all but four countries (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan). However, outbreaks following WPV importations into previously polio-free countries remain an ongoing risk until polio is eradicated. The GPEI Strategic Plan for 2010-2012 set the following two goals for outbreak control: 1) end outbreaks occurring in 2009 by mid-2010 and 2) end outbreaks occurring during 2010 to mid-2012 within 6 months of confirmation. This report describes new outbreaks that have occurred in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region and updates previous reports on the status of outbreaks in Africa and Asia. In 2010, the first WPV importation into the European Region since the region was declared polio-free in 2002 resulted in 476 confirmed cases: 458 in Tajikistan, 14 in Russia, three in Turkmenistan, and one in Kazakhstan. In Africa and Asia, 11 new importations into six countries were observed in 2010; 30 WPV importations that occurred during 2008-2009 resulted in 215 cases in 15 African countries during 2009-2010. An outbreak is considered interrupted if 6 months have elapsed since the latest confirmed case and surveillance performance indicators meet WHO standards. All 2009 outbreaks in Africa appear to have been interrupted, and 2010 outbreaks in three countries appear to have been interrupted. Maintaining high routine vaccination coverage and sensitive surveillance at all times and rapidly instituting additional immunization programs to control outbreaks are key to limiting and stopping the spread of WPV.
Farag Azzedin; Jaweed Yazdani,; Salahadin Adam; Mustafa Ghaleb
Disease outbreak detection, monitoring and notification systems play an important role in assessing threats to public health since disease outbreaks are becoming increasingly common world-wide. There are several systems in use around the world, with coverage of national, international and global disease outbreaks. These systems use different taxonomies and classifications for the detection and prioritization of potential disease outbreaks. In this paper, we study and analyze th...
Mattes, Jannika; Huber, Andreas; Koehrsen, Jens
The prevalent theories in the debate on sustainability transitions have been criticised for not sufficiently addressing energy change processes at the local level. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of local energy reorganisation processes. Drawing on the Regional Innovation Systems (RIS) approach, we argue that local development dynamics result from the interaction of various subsystems: science, politics, public administration, industry, finance, intermediaries and civil society. The analysis of the involved subsystems and their interaction shows how energy transitions are shaped by different individual and organisational actors as well as institutions on the local level. Empirical evidence from case studies on the German cities of Emden and Bottrop illustrates our theoretical conceptualisation of energy transitions. We conclude by presenting characteristic interaction patterns for energy transition drawn from the two cases. - Highlights: • We highlight the importance of spatial and regional aspects for transitions. • We draw upon regional innovation systems’ subsystems to describe energy transitions. • We show how actors and institutions interact in and coordinate transition processes. • We present evidence from two small-scale regions in Germany: Emden and Bottrop
... Address What’s this? Submit What's this? Submit Button Measles Cases and Outbreaks Language: English (US) Español (Spanish) ... Español: Casos y brotes de sarampión Number of measles cases by year since 2010 Measles cases per ...
Lund, Magnus; Raundrup, Katrine; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas
effects of a larval outbreak in 2011 on vegetation productivity and CO2 exchange. We estimate a decreased carbon (C) sink strength in the order of 118–143 g C m−2, corresponding to 1210–1470 tonnes C at the Kobbefjord catchment scale. The decreased C sink was, however, counteracted the following years...
Seon Young Cho
Full Text Available Purpose : Recently, we have noticed an increase in the number of patients with mumps in Incheon, Korea. The aim of this study is to estimate the regional trend in mumps incidence and to evaluate the factors related to the recent increase. Methods : We reviewed the medical records of 66 patients with mumps who had been admitted to Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital from July 1999 to June 2009. We compared the differences in records between “outbreak, 2009” and “nonoutbreak, 2000–2008.” Results : Of the 66 patients, 35 (53% were admitted in 2009, and 31 (47% were admitted between 2000 and 2008. Most of the patients admitted during the outbreak were over 15 years of age (80.0%, were born before 1993 (77.1%, and had received a single dose of mumps vaccine (62.9%. There were no significant differences in contact history, present address, clinical manifestations, and complications, except for orchitis, between the two groups. Conclusion : There was a sharp increase in the number of inpatients with mumps who were born before 1993 and who were over 15 years of age. We recommend that a booster vaccination be considered for adolescents and young adults born before 1993 who are susceptible to mumps infection due to their reduced opportunities for receiving two doses of mumps vaccine.
Jones, Sarah L; Parry, Sharon M; O'Brien, Sarah J; Palmer, Stephen R
Catering businesses continue to be the most common setting for foodborne disease outbreaks. In a study of catering businesses in England and Wales, operational practices relating to the supply, preparation, and service of food in 88 businesses associated with outbreaks were compared with those practices at 88 control businesses. Operational practices did not differ significantly between case and control businesses but larger small medium-size enterprise (SME) businesses were more likely to be associated with foodborne disease outbreaks than were micro-SME businesses. Businesses associated with outbreaks of Salmonella infection were less likely to use local or national suppliers but instead used regional suppliers, especially for eggs. This practice was the only significantly independent operational practice associated with outbreaks of Salmonella infection. Regional egg suppliers also were more likely to be used by businesses associated with outbreaks attributed to food vehicles containing eggs. Businesses associated with egg-associated outbreaks were less likely to use eggs produced under an approved quality assurance scheme, suggesting that the underlying risk associated with using regional suppliers may relate to the use of contaminated eggs.
Thrastarson, H. T.; Teixeira, J.; Serman, E. A.; Parekh, A.; Yeo, E.
Seasonal influenza outbreaks are a major source of illness, mortality and economic burden worldwide. Attributing what drives the seasonality of the outbreaks is still an unsettled problem. But in temperate regions absolute humidity conditions are a strong candidate (Shaman et al., 2010) and some studies have associated temperature conditions with influenza outbreaks. We use humidity and temperature data from NASA's AIRS (Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder) instrument as well as data for influenza incidence in the US and South Africa to explore the connection between weather and influenza seasonality at different spatial scales. We also incorporate influenza surveillance data, satellite data and humidity forecasts into a numerical epidemiological prediction system. Our results give support for the role of local weather conditions as drivers of the seasonality of influenza in temperate regions. This can have implications for public health efforts where forecasting of the timing and intensity of influenza outbreaks has a great potential role (e.g., aiding management and organization of vaccines, drugs and other resources).
McAlarnen, Lindsey; Smith, Katherine; Brownstein, John S; Jerde, Christopher
Global outbreak detection and reporting have generally improved for a variety of infectious diseases and geographic regions in recent decades. Nevertheless, lags in outbreak reporting remain a threat to the global human health and economy. In the time between first occurrence of a novel disease incident and public notification of an outbreak, infected individuals have a greater possibility of traveling and spreading the pathogen to other nations. Shortening outbreak reporting lags has the potential to improve global health by preventing local outbreaks from escalating into global epidemics. Reporting lags between the first record and the first public report of an event were calculated for 318 outbreaks occurring 1996-2009. The influence of freedom of the press, Internet usage, per capita health expenditure, and cell phone subscriptions, on the timeliness of outbreak reporting was evaluated. Freer presses and increasing Internet usage correlate with reduced time between the first record of an outbreak and the public report. Increasing Internet usage reduced the expected reporting lag from more than one month in nations without Internet users to one day in those where 75 of 100 people use the Internet. Advances in technology and the emergence of more open and free governments are associated with to improved global infectious disease surveillance.
Full Text Available Summary: The strong relationship between climate and fascioliasis outbreaks enables the development of climate-based models to estimate the potential risk of fascioliasis outbreaks. This work aims to develop a climate-based risk map of fascioliasis outbreaks in Iran using Ollerenshaw's fascioliasis risk index incorporating geographical information system (GIS. Using this index, a risk map of fascioliasis outbreaks for the entire country was developed. We determined that the country can be divided into 4 fascioliasis outbreak risk categories. Class 1, in which the Mt value is less than 100, includes more than 0.91 of the country's area. The climate in this class is not conducive to fascioliasis outbreaks in any month. Dryness and low temperature in the wet season (December to April are the key barriers against fascioliasis outbreaks in this class. The risk map developed based on climatic factors indicated that only 0.03 of the country's area, including Gilan province in the northern region of Iran, is highly suitable to fascioliasis outbreaks during September to January. The Mt value is greater than 500 in this class. Heavy rainfall in the summer and fall, especially in Rasht, Astara and Bandar Anzaly (≥1000 mm/year, creates more suitable breeding places for snail intermediate hosts. Keywords: Ollerenshaw fascioliasis risk index, Climate, Gilan province, Iran
Halimi, Mansour; Farajzadeh, Manuchehr; Delavari, Mahdi; Arbabi, Mohsen
The strong relationship between climate and fascioliasis outbreaks enables the development of climate-based models to estimate the potential risk of fascioliasis outbreaks. This work aims to develop a climate-based risk map of fascioliasis outbreaks in Iran using Ollerenshaw's fascioliasis risk index incorporating geographical information system (GIS). Using this index, a risk map of fascioliasis outbreaks for the entire country was developed. We determined that the country can be divided into 4 fascioliasis outbreak risk categories. Class 1, in which the Mt value is less than 100, includes more than 0.91 of the country's area. The climate in this class is not conducive to fascioliasis outbreaks in any month. Dryness and low temperature in the wet season (December to April) are the key barriers against fascioliasis outbreaks in this class. The risk map developed based on climatic factors indicated that only 0.03 of the country's area, including Gilan province in the northern region of Iran, is highly suitable to fascioliasis outbreaks during September to January. The Mt value is greater than 500 in this class. Heavy rainfall in the summer and fall, especially in Rasht, Astara and Bandar Anzaly (≥ 1000 mm/year), creates more suitable breeding places for snail intermediate hosts. Copyright © 2015 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sechi, Guido; Borri, Dino; De Lucia, Caterina; Celmins, Viesturs
How do people learn about the environment and behave accordingly? What is the cognitive process at the base of this learning mechanism? The present paper is a pilot work investigating the dynamics of individual environmental knowledge on the basis of social capital theory. Using Tsai and Ghoshal's findings, a well known framework widely accepted…
Yaacob, Yuzita; Wester, Michael; Steinberg, Stanly
This paper presents a prototype of a computer learning assistant ILMEV (Interactive Learning-Mathematica Enhanced Vector calculus) package with the purpose of helping students to understand the theory and applications of integration in vector calculus. The main problem for students using Mathematica is to convert a textbook description of a…
Sutirman; Muhyadi; Surjono, Herman Dwi
This study aims to investigate the learning implementation of electronic filing and problems faced by teachers in learning implementing of electronic filing. This study is a descriptive research with qualitative approach. Collecting data used interview and documentation techniques. The research subjects consisted of 29 teachers who teach Filing…
This paper examines the similarities and differences between two successful programmes of teacher professional learning. Firstly, Lesson Study developed in Japan over 40 years ago. It examines practice either through direct observation or through classroom artefacts and case studies. It assumes that teacher learning will be more meaningful and…
Meeus, M.T.H.; Oerlemans, L.A.G.; Hage, J.
This paper pursues the development of a theoretical framework that explains interactive learning between innovator firms and external actors in both the knowledge infrastructure and the production chain. The research question is: What kinds of factors explain the interactive learning of innovator
Hu, Jiehui; Qi, Song; Becker, Benjamin; Luo, Lizhu; Gao, Shan; Gong, Qiyong; Hurlemann, René; Kendrick, Keith M
In male Caucasian subjects, learning is facilitated by receipt of social compared with non-social feedback, and the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) facilitates this effect. In this study, we have first shown a cultural difference in that male Chinese subjects actually perform significantly worse in the same reinforcement associated learning task with social (emotional faces) compared with non-social feedback. Nevertheless, in two independent double-blind placebo (PLC) controlled between-subject design experiments we found OXT still selectively facilitated learning with social feedback. Similar to Caucasian subjects this OXT effect was strongest with feedback using female rather than male faces. One experiment performed in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that during the response, but not feedback phase of the task, OXT selectively increased activity in the amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and putamen during the social feedback condition, and functional connectivity between the amygdala and insula and caudate. Therefore, OXT may be increasing the salience and reward value of anticipated social feedback. In the PLC group, response times and state anxiety scores during social feedback were associated with signal changes in these same regions but not in the OXT group. OXT may therefore have also facilitated learning by reducing anxiety in the social feedback condition. Overall our results provide the first evidence for cultural differences in social facilitation of learning per se, but a similar selective enhancement of learning with social feedback under OXT. This effect of OXT may be associated with enhanced responses and functional connectivity in emotional memory and reward processing regions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bergmann, Til O; Mölle, Matthias; Diedrichs, Jens
Newly acquired declarative memory traces are believed to be reactivated during NonREM sleep to promote their hippocampo-neocortical transfer for long-term storage. Yet it remains a major challenge to unravel the underlying neuronal mechanisms. Using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG......-coupled reactivation of brain regions representing the specific task stimuli was traced during subsequent NonREM sleep with EEG-informed fMRI. Relative to the control task, learning face-scene associations triggered a stronger combined activation of neocortical and hippocampal regions during subsequent sleep. Notably......) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) recordings in humans, we show that sleep spindles play a key role in the reactivation of memory-related neocortical representations. On separate days, participants either learned face-scene associations or performed a visuomotor control task. Spindle...
Jemberu, W T; Mourits, M C M; Sahle, M; Siraw, B; Vernooij, J C M; Hogeveen, H
This study aimed at determining the incidence, distribution, risk factors, and causal serotypes of foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in Ethiopia based on 5 years of retrospective outbreak data (September 2007 until August 2012). District level outbreak data were collected from 115 randomly selected districts using a questionnaire administered to district animal health officers. The national incidence of FMD outbreaks during the study period was 1.45 outbreaks per five district years. Outbreaks were geographically widespread affecting all major regional states in the country and were more frequent in the central, southern, and southeastern parts of the country. Neither long-term nor seasonal trends were observed in the incidence of outbreaks. A mixed effects logistic regression analysis revealed that the type of production system (market oriented system versus subsistence systems), presence of a major livestock market and/or route, and adjacency to a national parks or wildlife sanctuary were found to be associated with increased risk of outbreaks in the districts. FMD virus serotypes O, A, SAT 2, and SAT 1 were identified as the causal serotypes of the outbreaks during the study period. Whereas O was the dominant serotype, SAT 2 was the serotype that showed increase in relative frequency of occurrence. The estimated incidence of outbreaks is useful in assessing the economic impacts of the disease, and the identified risk factors provide important knowledge to target a progressive FMD control policy for Ethiopia. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Mariwan M M Al-Bajalan
Full Text Available Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL is a neglected worldwide, zoonotic, vector-borne, tropical disease that is a threat to public health. This threat may spread from endemic to non-endemic areas. Current research has exploited epidemiological, molecular and phylogenetical studies to determine the danger of an outbreak of CL in the borderline area between northern and central Iraq from 2014-2017.For the first time, using sequence analysis of the cytochrome b gene, the occurrence of CL in the borderline area between northern and central Iraq was confirmed to be due to Leishmania major. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that it was closely related to the L. major MRHO/IR/75/ER strain in Iran.In conclusion, the genotype confirmation of the L. major strain will improve our understanding of the epidemiology of the disease. This is important for facilitating control programs to prevent the further spread of CL. Furthermore, this area could be considered as a model for further research on the risk of global CL epidemics in other non-endemic countries where both reservoir hosts and sandfly vectors are present.
Al-Bajalan, Mariwan M M; Al-Jaf, Sirwan M A; Niranji, Sherko S; Abdulkareem, Dler R; Al-Kayali, Khudhair K; Kato, Hirotomo
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a neglected worldwide, zoonotic, vector-borne, tropical disease that is a threat to public health. This threat may spread from endemic to non-endemic areas. Current research has exploited epidemiological, molecular and phylogenetical studies to determine the danger of an outbreak of CL in the borderline area between northern and central Iraq from 2014-2017. For the first time, using sequence analysis of the cytochrome b gene, the occurrence of CL in the borderline area between northern and central Iraq was confirmed to be due to Leishmania major. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that it was closely related to the L. major MRHO/IR/75/ER strain in Iran. In conclusion, the genotype confirmation of the L. major strain will improve our understanding of the epidemiology of the disease. This is important for facilitating control programs to prevent the further spread of CL. Furthermore, this area could be considered as a model for further research on the risk of global CL epidemics in other non-endemic countries where both reservoir hosts and sandfly vectors are present.
Full Text Available Abstract An outbreak of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC occurred in Yunnan Province, China between August and September in 2007. A total of 3,597 cases were officially reported and the incidence rate reached 1390.94/100,000. Descriptive epidemiological analysis of the outbreak was conducted using the data from National Disease Supervision Information Management System (NDSIMS. To determine the causative agent for this outbreak and to analyze their genetic features, 30 conjunctival swabs and 19 paired serum specimens of acute and convalescent phase were collected from 30 patients with AHC, and viral isolation, molecular typing, antibody assay and phylogenetic analysis were performed. 11 virus strains were isolated from 30 conjunctival swabs. Amplification and sequencing of the VP4 region of these strains identified that coxsackievirus A24 variant (CA24v could be the causative agent of the AHC outbreak and this was further confirmed by subsequent virus neutralizing antibody test on 19 paired serum specimens. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 3C regions showed that the Yunnan CA24v strains belonged to Group 3 and clustered with the strains isolated from worldwide AHC outbreaks after 2002. Phylogenetic analysis based on the partial VP1 revealed that the Yunnan strains differed from the strains isolated from AHC outbreak in Guangdong of China in 2007 with 2.8 - 3.0% nucleotide divergence, suggesting that two different lineages of CA24v caused the independent AHC outbreaks in Yunnan and Guangdong, respectively.
Full Text Available Hippocrates had described influenza like outbreak in 412 B.C. and since then repeated influenza like epidemics and pandemics have been recorded in recent times. One of the greatest killers of all time was the pandemic of swine flu (Spanish flu of 1918-1919, when 230 million people died. Annual influenza epidemics are estimated to affect 515% of the global population, resulting in severe illness in 35 million patients causing 250,000500,000 deaths worldwide. Severe illness and deaths occur mainly in the high-risk populations of infants, the elderly and chronically ill patients. The 2009 outbreak of swine flu is thought to be a mutation more specifically a reassortment of four known strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1; one endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemic in pigs. WHO officially declared the outbreak to be a pandemic on June 11, 2009, but stressed that the new designation was a result of the global "spread of the virus," not its severity. [Vet World 2009; 2(12.000: 472-474
A. Flower; D. G. Gavin; E. K. Heyerdahl; R. A. Parsons; G. M. Cohn
Douglas-fir forests in the interior Pacific Northwest are subject to sporadic outbreaks of the western spruce budworm, a species widely recognized as the most destructive defoliator in western North America. Outbreaks of the western spruce budworm often occur synchronously over broad regions and lead to widespread loss of leaf area and decrease in growth rates in...
Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Chenet, Stella M.; Arrospide, Nancy; Gutierrez, Sonia; Cabezas, Cesar; Matta, Jose Antonio; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam
In November 2013, a Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak of 11 cases occurred in Cusco, southern Peru, where falciparum malaria had not been reported since 1946. Although initial microscopic diagnosis reported only Plasmodium vivax infection in each of the specimens, subsequent examination by the national reference laboratory confirmed P. falciparum infection in all samples. Molecular typing of four available isolates revealed identity as the B-variant (BV1) strain that was responsible for a malaria outbreak in Tumbes, northern Peru, between 2010 and 2012. The P. falciparum BV1 strain is multidrug resistant, can escape detection by PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests, and has contributed to two malaria outbreaks in Peru. This investigation highlights the importance of accurate species diagnosis given the potential for P. falciparum to be reintroduced to regions where it may have been absent. Similar molecular epidemiological investigations can track the probable source(s) of outbreak parasite strains for malaria surveillance and control purposes. PMID:26483121
Trine M L'Abée-Lund
Full Text Available In 2006, a severe foodborne EHEC outbreak occured in Norway. Seventeen cases were recorded and the HUS frequency was 60%. The causative strain, Esherichia coli O103:H25, is considered to be particularly virulent. Sequencing of the outbreak strain revealed resemblance to the 2011 German outbreak strain E. coli O104:H4, both in genome and Shiga toxin 2-encoding (Stx2 phage sequence. The nucleotide identity between the Stx2 phages from the Norwegian and German outbreak strains was 90%. During the 2006 outbreak, stx(2-positive O103:H25 E. coli was isolated from two patients. All the other outbreak associated isolates, including all food isolates, were stx-negative, and carried a different phage replacing the Stx2 phage. This phage was of similar size to the Stx2 phage, but had a distinctive early phage region and no stx gene. The sequence of the early region of this phage was not retrieved from the bacterial host genome, and the origin of the phage is unknown. The contaminated food most likely contained a mixture of E. coli O103:H25 cells with either one of the phages.
Oliver J. Brady
Full Text Available Infectious diseases rarely exhibit simple dynamics. Outbreaks (defined as excess cases beyond response capabilities have the potential to cause a disproportionately high burden due to overwhelming health care systems. The recommendations of international policy guidelines and research agendas are based on a perceived standardised definition of an outbreak characterised by a prolonged, high-caseload, extra-seasonal surge. In this analysis we apply multiple candidate outbreak definitions to reported dengue case data from Brazil to test this assumption. The methods identify highly heterogeneous outbreak characteristics in terms of frequency, duration and case burden. All definitions identify outbreaks with characteristics that vary over time and space. Further, definitions differ in their timeliness of outbreak onset, and thus may be more or less suitable for early intervention. This raises concerns about the application of current outbreak guidelines for early warning/identification systems. It is clear that quantitatively defining the characteristics of an outbreak is an essential prerequisite for effective reactive response. More work is needed so that definitions of disease outbreaks can take into account the baseline capacities of treatment, surveillance and control. This is essential if outbreak guidelines are to be effective and generalisable across a range of epidemiologically different settings.
Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a toxin-mediated exfoliating skin condition predominated by desquamation and blistering. Neonatal outbreaks have already been reported; however, our outbreak highlights the potential for SSSS following neonatal health promotion measures such as intra-muscular vitamin K administration and metabolic screening (heel prick) as well as effective case containment measures and the value of staff screening. Between February and June 2007, five confirmed cases of neonatal SSSS were identified in full-term neonates born in an Irish regional maternity hospital. All infants were treated successfully. Analysis of contact and environmental screening was undertaken, including family members and healthcare workers. Molecular typing on isolates was carried out. An outbreak control team (OCT) was assembled and took successful prospective steps to prevent further cases. All five Staphylococcus aureus isolates tested positive for exfoliative toxin A, of which two distinct strains were identified on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis. Two cases followed staphylococcal inoculation during preventive measures such as intra-muscular vitamin K administration and metabolic screening (heel prick). None of the neonatal isolates were methicillin resistant. Of 259 hospital staff (70% of staff) screened, 30% were colonised with S. aureus, and 6% were positive for MRSA carriage. This is the first reported outbreak of neonatal SSSS in Ireland. Effective case containment measures and clinical value of OCT is demonstrated. Results of staff screening underlines the need for vigilance and compliance in hand disinfection strategies in maternity hospitals especially during neonatal screening and preventive procedures.
Johansson, Anders; Lärkeryd, Adrian; Widerström, Micael; Mörtberg, Sara; Myrtännäs, Kerstin; Ohrman, Caroline; Birdsell, Dawn; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Forsman, Mats; Larsson, Pär
The bacterium Francisella tularensis is recognized for its virulence, infectivity, genetic homogeneity, and potential as a bioterrorism agent. Outbreaks of respiratory tularemia, caused by inhalation of this bacterium, are poorly understood. Such outbreaks are exceedingly rare, and F. tularensis is seldom recovered from clinical specimens. A localized outbreak of tularemia in Sweden was investigated. Sixty-seven humans contracted laboratory-verified respiratory tularemia. F. tularensis subspecies holarctica was isolated from the blood or pleural fluid of 10 individuals from July to September 2010. Using whole-genome sequencing and analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), outbreak isolates were compared with 110 archived global isolates. There were 757 SNPs among the genomes of the 10 outbreak isolates and the 25 most closely related archival isolates (all from Sweden/Finland). Whole genomes of outbreak isolates were >99.9% similar at the nucleotide level and clustered into 3 distinct genetic clades. Unexpectedly, high-sequence similarity grouped some outbreak and archival isolates that originated from patients from different geographic regions and up to 10 years apart. Outbreak and archival genomes frequently differed by only 1-3 of 1 585 229 examined nucleotides. The outbreak was caused by diverse clones of F. tularensis that occurred concomitantly, were widespread, and apparently persisted in the environment. Multiple independent acquisitions of F. tularensis from the environment over a short time period suggest that natural outbreaks of respiratory tularemia are triggered by environmental cues. The findings additionally caution against interpreting genome sequence identity for this pathogen as proof of a direct epidemiological link. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Benneworth, Paul Stephen; Coenen, Lars; Moodysson, Jerker; Asheim, Björn
Universities are increasingly seen as potential contributors to regional innovative capacity by serving as local knowledge conduits, bringing global state-of-the-art science and technology into the region. In practice, however, more active university engagement with their regional innovation systems
A. K. Goel
Full Text Available The outbreak of waterborne disease cholera has been associated with rainfall and flooding events by contamination of potable water with environmental Vibrio cholerae. The continuation of the epidemic in a region, however, is often due to secondary transmission of the initial outbreak strain through human waste. This paper reports, on the contrary, a rapid shift of genotype from one V. cholerae strain to another one in an epidemic region. V. cholerae isolated from patients during 2005 cholera epidemic in Chennai, India were characterized using PCR identification of toxin genes, antibiogram, and genomic fingerprinting analysis. The results showed that in spite of the similarity of toxin genes and antibiogram, the Vibrio isolates grouped into two different clusters based on the ERIC-PCR fingerprinting. Each cluster corresponded to a distinct peak of cholera outbreak, which occurred after separate heavy rainfall. The results suggest that the rainfall event can bring various genotypes of V. cholerae strains causing multiple outbreaks.
Social epidemiology of a large outbreak of chickenpox in the Colombian sugar cane producer region: a set theory-based analysis Epidemiología social de una gran epidemia de varicela en la región colombiana productora de caña de azúcar: un análisis basado en teoría de conjuntos
Alvaro J. Idrovo
Full Text Available There are few social epidemiologic studies on chickenpox outbreaks, although previous findings suggested the important role of social determinants. This study describes the context of a large outbreak of chickenpox in the Cauca Valley region, Colombia (2003 to 2007, with an emphasis on macro-determinants. We explored the temporal trends in chickenpox incidence in 42 municipalities to identify the places with higher occurrences. We analyzed municipal characteristics (education quality, vaccination coverage, performance of health care services, violence-related immigration, and area size of planted sugar cane through analyses based on set theory. Edwards-Venn diagrams were used to present the main findings. The results indicated that three municipalities had higher incidences and that poor quality education was the attribute most prone to a higher incidence. Potential use of set theory for exploratory outbreak analyses is discussed. It is a tool potentially useful to contrast units when only small sample sizes are available.Hay pocos estudios de epidemiología social sobre epidemias de varicela, aunque resultados previos sugieren un importante rol de los determinantes sociales. Este estudio describe el contexto de una gran epidemia de varicela en la región del Valle del Cauca, Colombia (2003 a 2007, con énfasis en algunos macro-determinantes. Exploramos las tendencias temporales de la incidencia de varicela en 42 municipios para identificar los lugares con mayor ocurrencia. Analizamos las características municipales (calidad de educación, cobertura de vacunación, desempeño de los servicios de salud, inmigración relacionada con violencia, y área cultivada con caña de azúcar mediante análisis basados en teoría de conjuntos. Diagramas de Venn de Edward fueron usados para presentar los principales hallazgos. Los resultados indicaron que tres municipios tuvieron las mayores incidencias y que la educación de pobre calidad fue el atributo m
Outbreaks of defoliating insects periodically cause mass mortality of trees, thereby generating pulses of dead wood resources for saproxylic (i.e. dead-wood dependent) organisms. This study investigated the responses of saproxylic beetles to a dead wood resource pulse caused by recent (2001-2009) outbreaks of geometrid moths in the subarctic mountain birch forest of the Varanger region in northern Norway. A large scale (20 km) transect design, implementing window (flight interception) traps a...
Rauno Ilmari Pirinen
Full Text Available In this study, the concept of Learning by Research and Development (R&D is furthered to the world of more resilient learning in the setting of security related R&D projects for development of co-creative products, services and action competence. The background of this study includes an interdisciplinary combination of service science, security, computer science, pedagogy, engineering, and management science. The interdisciplinary combination involves researchers, learners, teachers, and other participants connecting and integrating the academic disciplines, professions, and technologies, along with their methods and perspectives for co-creation of a common goal. This goal emphasizes results as high-value impacts, as well as the value of products, services, and innovations as “deliverables” of the integrative learning process. Until recently, the Learning by R&D model is clear and transparent; as such, it can be adopted by learning and R&D integration of other sciences and higher education institutions. The structure of the model is also easy to adapt and renew in case of a change, which means that it can develop from the inside on the one hand, and produce interactions, adaptions, resilience and innovations on the other.
Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects up to a third of the world′s population. Infection is mainly acquired by ingestion of food that is contaminated with oocysts. We report an outbreak of ocular toxoplasmosis, which is an acute acquired type rather than reactivation of congenital toxoplasmosis. Our preliminary investigation points to municipal water contamination. This outbreak only proves the need of an effective public health system and health education in curtailing any outbreak.
Yifan He; Jihong Zhu; Fang Huang; Liu Qin; Wenguo Fan; Hongwen He
The tooth belongs to the trigeminal sensory pathway. Dental damage has been associated with impairments in the central nervous system that may be mediated by injury to the trigeminal nerve. In the present study, we investigated the effects of damage to the inferior alveolar nerve, an important peripheral nerve in the trigeminal sensory pathway, on learning and memory be-haviors and structural changes in related brain regions, in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Inferior alveolar nerve transection or sham surgery was performed in middle-aged (4-month-old) or elderly (7-month-old) senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice. When the middle-aged mice reached 8 months (middle-aged group 1) or 11 months (middle-aged group 2), and the elderly group reached 11 months, step-down passive avoidance and Y-maze tests of learn-ing and memory were performed, and the cholinergic system was examined in the hippocampus (Nissl staining and acetylcholinesterase histochemistry) and basal forebrain (choline acetyltrans-ferase immunohistochemistry). In the elderly group, animals that underwent nerve transection had fewer pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions, fewer cholinergic ifbers in the CA1 and dentate gyrus, and fewer cholinergic neurons in the medial septal nucleus and vertical limb of the diagonal band, compared with sham-operated animals, as well as showing impairments in learning and memory. Conversely, no signiifcant differences in histology or be-havior were observed between middle-aged group 1 or group 2 transected mice and age-matched sham-operated mice. The present ifndings suggest that trigeminal nerve damage in old age, but not middle age, can induce degeneration of the septal-hippocampal cholinergic system and loss of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, and ultimately impair learning ability. Our results highlight the importance of active treatment of trigeminal nerve damage in elderly patients and those with Alzheimer’s disease, and
Michael G Walsh
Full Text Available Rift Valley fever (RVF is an emerging, vector-borne viral zoonosis that has significantly impacted public health, livestock health and production, and food security over the last three decades across large regions of the African continent and the Arabian Peninsula. The potential for expansion of RVF outbreaks within and beyond the range of previous occurrence is unknown. Despite many large national and international epidemics, the landscape epidemiology of RVF remains obscure, particularly with respect to the ecological roles of wildlife reservoirs and surface water features. The current investigation modeled RVF risk throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as a function of a suite of biotic and abiotic landscape features using machine learning methods. Intermittent wetland, wild Bovidae species richness and sheep density were associated with increased landscape suitability to RVF outbreaks. These results suggest the role of wildlife hosts and distinct hydrogeographic landscapes in RVF virus circulation and subsequent outbreaks may be underestimated. These results await validation by studies employing a deeper, field-based interrogation of potential wildlife hosts within high risk taxa.
Kessler, J.; Marhofer, P.; Hopkins, P. M.; Hollmann, M. W.
Our aim was to review the recent evidence for the efficacy of peripheral regional anaesthesia. Following a systematic literature search and selection of publications based on prospectively agreed upon criteria, we produced a narrative review of the most commonly performed peripheral regional
Synopis The urban transformation and the increasing inter-urban competition pose new challenges for city-regions. Cities have extended far into their hinterlands and the social and economic relations within city-regions are much less concentrated on the urban core than some decades ago. In fact,
Xu, Zhenggang; Zhao, Yunlin; Li, Bo; Zhang, Meiwen; Shen, Guo; Wang, Yong
Rodent pests severely damage agricultural crops. Outbreak risk models of rodent pests often do not include sufficient information regarding geographic variation. Habitat plays an important role in rodent-pest outbreak risk, and more information about the relationship between habitat and crop protection is urgently needed. The goal of the present study was to provide an outbreak risk map for the Dongting Lake region and to understand the relationship between rodent-pest outbreak variation and habitat distribution. The main rodent pests in the Dongting Lake region are Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis). These pests cause massive damage in outbreak years, most notably in 2007. Habitat evaluation and ecological details were obtained by analyzing the correlation between habitat suitability and outbreak risk, as indicated by population density and historical events. For the source-sink population, 96.18% of Yangtze vole disaster regions were covered by a 10-km buffer zone of suitable habitat in 2007. Historical outbreak frequency and peak population density were significantly correlated with the proportion of land covered by suitable habitat (r = 0.68, P = 0.04 and r = 0.76, P = 0.03, respectively). The Yangtze vole population tends to migrate approximately 10 km in outbreak years. Here, we propose a practical method for habitat evaluation that can be used to create integrated pest management plans for rodent pests when combined with basic information on the biology, ecology and behavior of the target species. © 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Full Text Available Dichroplus maculipennis is one of the most characteristic and damaging grasshopper species of Argentina, mainly in areas of the Pampas and Patagonia regions. We estimated and compared the longevity and fecundity of adult female D. maculipennis under controlled conditions (30ºC, 14L:10D, 40% RH from individuals collected as last instar nymphs (VI in the field and with a known recent history of low and high density conditions. Densities of D. maculipennis at the collecting sites were 0.95 individuals per m² in 2006 and 46 ind/m² in 2009, representing non-outbreaking and outbreaking situations, respectively. Adult female longevity in 2006 (67.96 ± 3.2 days was significantly higher (p 0.05. The fecundity curves showed that the highest values were at weeks 11 and 13 for the 2006 females, and at week 6 for those of 2009. Since the daily oviposition rate at low and high densities was not significantly different, the diminished fecundity rate at high density is attributable to their reduced longevity.
Full Text Available In some Latin American countries the exporting activity starts at a regional level, with producers only later venturing into more competitive markets. The implicit risk is that a country might never progress from the regional stage to a more global market. This article compares the experiences of Brazil, China and India. It is shown that Brazil relied on the regional market far more intensely than these Asian countries. There were clear gains accruing to China and India for having exploited more sophisticated markets from the very beginning of their export drive.
Mizutani, Eiji; Demmel, James W
This paper briefly introduces our numerical linear algebra approaches for solving structured nonlinear least squares problems arising from 'multiple-output' neural-network (NN) models. Our algorithms feature trust-region regularization, and exploit sparsity of either the 'block-angular' residual Jacobian matrix or the 'block-arrow' Gauss-Newton Hessian (or Fisher information matrix in statistical sense) depending on problem scale so as to render a large class of NN-learning algorithms 'efficient' in both memory and operation costs. Using a relatively large real-world nonlinear regression application, we shall explain algorithmic strengths and weaknesses, analyzing simulation results obtained by both direct and iterative trust-region algorithms with two distinct NN models: 'multilayer perceptrons' (MLP) and 'complementary mixtures of MLP-experts' (or neuro-fuzzy modular networks).
Full Text Available Abstract Background Noroviruses are highly infectious pathogens that cause gastroenteritis in the community and in semi-closed institutions such as hospitals. During outbreaks, multiple units within a hospital are often affected, and a major question for control programs is: are the affected units part of the same outbreak or are they unrelated transmission events? In practice, investigators often assume a transmission link based on epidemiological observations, rather than a systematic approach to tracing transmission. Here, we present a combined molecular and statistical method for assessing: 1 whether observed clusters provide evidence of local transmission and 2 the probability that anecdotally|linked outbreaks truly shared a transmission event. Methods 76 healthcare associated outbreaks were observed in an active and prospective surveillance scheme of 15 hospitals in the county of Avon, England from April 2002 to March 2003. Viral RNA from 64 out of 76 specimens from distinct outbreaks was amplified by reverse transcription-PCR and was sequenced in the polymerase (ORF 1 and capsid (ORF 2 regions. The genetic diversity, at the nucleotide level, was analysed in relation to the epidemiological patterns. Results Two out of four genetic and epidemiological clusters of outbreaks were unlikely to have occurred by chance alone, thus suggesting local transmission. There was anecdotal epidemiological evidence of a transmission link among 5 outbreaks pairs. By combining this epidemiological observation with viral sequence data, the evidence of a link remained convincing in 3 of these pairs. These results are sensitive to prior beliefs of the strength of epidemiological evidence especially when the outbreak strains are common in the background population. Conclusion The evidence suggests that transmission between hospitals units does occur. Using the proposed criteria, certain hypothesized transmission links between outbreaks were supported while
ASEAN. ASEAN’s Path to Regional Autonomy 12 Both the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and ASEAN expansion to Myanmar made it clear that something...From - To) 04/04/2016 Master’s of Military Studies SEP 2015 -APR 2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER ASEAN’s Path to Regional Autonomy ...greater autonomy by enhancing military interoperability, making ASEAN the primary hub for diplomatic arrangements with non-members, transitioning to a
Morsink, M. C.; Dekter, H. E.; Dirks-Mulder, A.; van Leeuwen, W. B.
In the current laboratory assignment, technical aspects of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are integrated in the context of six different bacterial outbreak scenarios. The "Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus Sequence" (ERIC) PCR was used to analyze different outbreak scenarios. First, groups of 2-4 students determined optimal…
Full Text Available Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA infections frequently complicate the post-operative course of transplant recipients, and despite nasal carriage and endemic colonization, MRSA outbreaks are not commonly described. This study reports a case of MRSA outbreak and discusses infection control measures and recommendations for this situation.
Ragettli, S.; Zhou, J.; Wang, H.; Liu, C.; Guo, L.
Flash floods in small mountain catchments are one of the most frequent causes of loss of life and property from natural hazards in China. Hydrological models can be a useful tool for the anticipation of these events and the issuing of timely warnings. One of the main challenges of setting up such a system is finding appropriate model parameter values for ungauged catchments. Previous studies have shown that the transfer of parameter sets from hydrologically similar gauged catchments is one of the best performing regionalization methods. However, a remaining key issue is the identification of suitable descriptors of similarity. In this study, we use decision tree learning to explore parameter set transferability in the full space of catchment descriptors. For this purpose, a semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model is set up for 35 catchments in ten Chinese provinces. Hourly runoff data from in total 858 storm events are used to calibrate the model and to evaluate the performance of parameter set transfers between catchments. We then present a novel technique that uses the splitting rules of classification and regression trees (CART) for finding suitable donor catchments for ungauged target catchments. The ability of the model to detect flood events in assumed ungauged catchments is evaluated in series of leave-one-out tests. We show that CART analysis increases the probability of detection of 10-year flood events in comparison to a conventional measure of physiographic-climatic similarity by up to 20%. Decision tree learning can outperform other regionalization approaches because it generates rules that optimally consider spatial proximity and physical similarity. Spatial proximity can be used as a selection criteria but is skipped in the case where no similar gauged catchments are in the vicinity. We conclude that the CART regionalization concept is particularly suitable for implementation in sparsely gauged and topographically complex environments where a proximity
Spengler, Jessica R; Ervin, Elizabeth D; Towner, Jonathan S; Rollin, Pierre E; Nichol, Stuart T
The variety of factors that contributed to the initial undetected spread of Ebola virus disease in West Africa during 2013-2016 and the difficulty controlling the outbreak once the etiology was identified highlight priorities for disease prevention, detection, and response. These factors include occurrence in a region recovering from civil instability and lacking experience with Ebola response; inadequate surveillance, recognition of suspected cases, and Ebola diagnosis; mobile populations and extensive urban transmission; and the community's insufficient general understanding about the disease. The magnitude of the outbreak was not attributable to a substantial change of the virus. Continued efforts during the outbreak and in preparation for future outbreak response should involve identifying the reservoir, improving in-country detection and response capacity, conducting survivor studies and supporting survivors, engaging in culturally appropriate public education and risk communication, building productive interagency relationships, and continuing support for basic research.
Pires, Sara Monteiro; Vigre, Håkan; Makela, Pia
% of campylobacteriosis cases were attributed to chicken. Results also revealed regional differences in the relative importance of specific sources. We assessed the method to be of limited value to attribute human campylobacteriosis due to the limited number of outbreaks. Nevertheless, the presented source attribution...... are observed at the public health endpoint and can therefore be a direct measure of attribution at the point of exposure. An analysis or summary of outbreak investigations is useful for attributing illnesses to foods, but often the implicated foods in reported outbreaks are complex foods, containing several...... food items, many of which could be the specific source of the infection. We describe a method that is able to attribute human cases to specific food items contained in complex foods. The model is based on data from investigations of Salmonella and Campylobacter outbreaks in the European Union in 2005...
Full Text Available Four large outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF occurred in Mauritania in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012 which caused lots of animal and several human deaths. We investigated rainfall and vegetation conditions that might have impacted on RVF transmission over the affected regions. Our results corroborate that RVF transmission generally occurs during the months of September and October in Mauritania, similarly to Senegal. The four outbreaks were preceded by a rainless period lasting at least a week followed by heavy precipitation that took place during the second half of the rainy season. First human infections were generally reported three to five weeks later. By bridging the gap between meteorological forecasting centers and veterinary services, an early warning system might be developed in Senegal and Mauritania to warn decision makers and health services about the upcoming RVF risk.
Horwood, Paul F; Karl, Stephan; Mueller, Ivo; Jonduo, Marinjho H; Pavlin, Boris I; Dagina, Rosheila; Ropa, Berry; Bieb, Sibauk; Rosewell, Alexander; Umezaki, Masahiro; Siba, Peter M; Greenhill, Andrew R
Cholera continues to be a devastating disease in many developing countries where inadequate safe water supply and poor sanitation facilitate spread. From July 2009 until late 2011 Papua New Guinea experienced the first outbreak of cholera recorded in the country, resulting in >15,500 cases and >500 deaths. Using the national cholera database, we analysed the spatio-temporal distribution and clustering of the Papua New Guinea cholera outbreak. The Kulldorff space-time permutation scan statistic, contained in the software package SatScan v9.2 was used to describe the first 8 weeks of the outbreak in Morobe Province before cholera cases spread throughout other regions of the country. Data were aggregated at the provincial level to describe the spread of the disease to other affected provinces. Spatio-temporal and cluster analyses revealed that the outbreak was characterized by three distinct phases punctuated by explosive propagation of cases when the outbreak spread to a new region. The lack of road networks across most of Papua New Guinea is likely to have had a major influence on the slow spread of the disease during this outbreak. Identification of high risk areas and the likely mode of spread can guide government health authorities to formulate public health strategies to mitigate the spread of the disease through education campaigns, vaccination, increased surveillance in targeted areas and interventions to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.
Daikhin, Luba; Ahissar, Merav
Introducing simple stimulus regularities facilitates learning of both simple and complex tasks. This facilitation may reflect an implicit change in the strategies used to solve the task when successful predictions regarding incoming stimuli can be formed. We studied the modifications in brain activity associated with fast perceptual learning based on regularity detection. We administered a two-tone frequency discrimination task and measured brain activation (fMRI) under two conditions: with and without a repeated reference tone. Although participants could not explicitly tell the difference between these two conditions, the introduced regularity affected both performance and the pattern of brain activation. The "No-Reference" condition induced a larger activation in frontoparietal areas known to be part of the working memory network. However, only the condition with a reference showed fast learning, which was accompanied by a reduction of activity in two regions: the left intraparietal area, involved in stimulus retention, and the posterior superior-temporal area, involved in representing auditory regularities. We propose that this joint reduction reflects a reduction in the need for online storage of the compared tones. We further suggest that this change reflects an implicit strategic shift "backwards" from reliance mainly on working memory networks in the "No-Reference" condition to increased reliance on detected regularities stored in high-level auditory networks.
A widespread outbreak by Salmonella infantis, infecting a total of 226 people, occurred in Finland at the beginning of August 1986. Of those infected, 107 were railway passengers, 91 were airline passengers and 28 were employed in a food processing establishment. The outbreak among the railway passengers was caused by egg sandwiches, the airline passengers were infected by a meal served on board and the catering employees by the breakfast served in the establishment. The outbreak was caused by food prepared in the establishment's kitchen. The employees' breakfasts had probably been contaminated by an employee who was a symptom-free Salmonella infantis carrier, and a number of the employees subsequently became infected, leading to widespread contamination of the food prepared in the establishment. The spread of the outbreak was further influenced by a heatwave at the time and by shortcomings in the cold storage facilities. The kitchen's hygiene supervision and the quality control of its output were reorganized after the outbreak.
Grissom, Elin M; Hawley, Wayne R; Hodges, Kelly S; Fawcett-Patel, Jessica M; Dohanich, Gary P
According to the theory of multiple memory systems, specific brain regions interact to determine how the locations of goals are learned when rodents navigate a spatial environment. A number of factors influence the type of strategy used by rodents to remember the location of a given goal in space, including the biological sex of the learner. We recently found that prior to puberty male rats preferred a striatum-dependent stimulus-response strategy over a hippocampus-dependent place strategy when solving a dual-solution task, while age-matched females showed no strategy preference. Because the cholinergic system has been implicated in learning strategy and is known to be sexually dimorphic prior to puberty, we explored the relationship between learning strategy and muscarinic receptor binding in specific brain regions of prepubertal males and female rats. We confirmed our previous finding that at 28 days of age a significantly higher proportion of prepubertal males preferred a stimulus-response learning strategy than a place strategy to solve a dual-solution visible platform water maze task. Equal proportions of prepubertal females preferred stimulus-response or place strategies. Profiles of muscarinic receptor binding as assessed by autoradiography varied according to strategy preference. Regardless of biological sex, prepubertal rats that preferred stimulus-response strategy exhibited lower ratios of muscarinic receptor binding in the hippocampus relative to the dorsolateral striatum compared to rats that preferred place strategy. Importantly, much of the variance in this ratio was related to differences in the ventral hippocampus to a greater extent than the dorsal hippocampus. The ratios of muscarinic receptors in the hippocampus relative to the basolateral amygdala also were lower in rats that preferred stimulus-response strategy over place strategy. Results confirm that learning strategy preference varies with biological sex in prepubertal rats with males
Li, S.; Rupp, D. E.; Hawkins, L.; Mote, P.; McNeall, D. J.; Sarah, S.; Wallom, D.; Betts, R. A.
This study investigates the potential to reduce known summer hot/dry biases over Pacific Northwest in the UK Met Office's atmospheric model (HadAM3P) by simultaneously varying multiple model parameters. The bias-reduction process is done through a series of steps: 1) Generation of perturbed physics ensemble (PPE) through the volunteer computing network weather@home; 2) Using machine learning to train "cheap" and fast statistical emulators of climate model, to rule out regions of parameter spaces that lead to model variants that do not satisfy observational constraints, where the observational constraints (e.g., top-of-atmosphere energy flux, magnitude of annual temperature cycle, summer/winter temperature and precipitation) are introduced sequentially; 3) Designing a new PPE by "pre-filtering" using the emulator results. Steps 1) through 3) are repeated until results are considered to be satisfactory (3 times in our case). The process includes a sensitivity analysis to find dominant parameters for various model output metrics, which reduces the number of parameters to be perturbed with each new PPE. Relative to observational uncertainty, we achieve regional improvements without introducing large biases in other parts of the globe. Our results illustrate the potential of using machine learning to train cheap and fast statistical emulators of climate model, in combination with PPEs in systematic model improvement.
Moradi, Ghobad; Rasouli, Mohammad Aziz; Mohammadi, Parvin; Elahi, Elham; Barati, Hojatollah
A total of 229 confirmed cholera cases were reported in Alborz Province during an outbreak that lasted from June 2011 to August 2011. This study aimed to identify potential sources of transmission in order to determine suitable interventions in similar outbreaks. In other words, the lessons learned from this retrospective study can be utilized to manage future similar outbreaks. An age-matched and sex-matched case-control study was conducted during the outbreak. For each case, two control subjects were selected from the neighborhood. A case of cholera was defined as a bacteriologically confirmed case with signs and symptoms of cholera. This study was conducted from June 14, 2011 through August 23, 2011. The data were analyzed by calculating odds ratios (ORs) using the logistic regression method. In this outbreak, 229 confirmed cholera cases were diagnosed. The following risk factors were found to be associated with cholera: consumption of unrefrigerated leftover food (OR, 3.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72 to 5.41), consumption of vegetables and fruits in the previous three days (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.95 to 3.89), and a history of traveling in the previous five days (OR, 5.31; 95% CI, 2.21 to 9.72). Consumption of vegetables and fruits has remained an unresolved risk factor in cholera outbreaks in Iran in recent years. In order to reduce the risk of cholera, sanitary standards for fruits and vegetables should be observed at all points from production to consumption, the population should be educated regarding hygienic food storage during outbreaks, and sanitary standards should be maintained when traveling during cholera outbreaks.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: A total of 229 confirmed cholera cases were reported in Alborz Province during an outbreak that lasted from June 2011 to August 2011. This study aimed to identify potential sources of transmission in order to determine suitable interventions in similar outbreaks. In other words, the lessons learned from this retrospective study can be utilized to manage future similar outbreaks. METHODS: An age-matched and sex-matched case-control study was conducted during the outbreak. For each case, two control subjects were selected from the neighborhood. A case of cholera was defined as a bacteriologically confirmed case with signs and symptoms of cholera. This study was conducted from June 14, 2011 through August 23, 2011. The data were analyzed by calculating odds ratios (ORs using the logistic regression method. RESULTS: In this outbreak, 229 confirmed cholera cases were diagnosed. The following risk factors were found to be associated with cholera: consumption of unrefrigerated leftover food (OR, 3.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72 to 5.41, consumption of vegetables and fruits in the previous three days (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.95 to 3.89, and a history of traveling in the previous five days (OR, 5.31; 95% CI, 2.21 to 9.72. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of vegetables and fruits has remained an unresolved risk factor in cholera outbreaks in Iran in recent years. In order to reduce the risk of cholera, sanitary standards for fruits and vegetables should be observed at all points from production to consumption, the population should be educated regarding hygienic food storage during outbreaks, and sanitary standards should be maintained when traveling during cholera outbreaks.
Saha, Moumita; Mitra, Pabitra; Nanjundiah, Ravi S.
Indian monsoon varies in its nature over the geographical regions. Predicting the rainfall not just at the national level, but at the regional level is an important task. In this article, we used a deep neural network, namely, the stacked autoencoder to automatically identify climatic factors that are capable of predicting the rainfall over the homogeneous regions of India. An ensemble regression tree model is used for monsoon prediction using the identified climatic predictors. The proposed model provides forecast of the monsoon at a long lead time which supports the government to implement appropriate policies for the economic growth of the country. The monsoon of the central, north-east, north-west, and south-peninsular India regions are predicted with errors of 4.1%, 5.1%, 5.5%, and 6.4%, respectively. The identified predictors show high skill in predicting the regional monsoon having high variability. The proposed model is observed to be competitive with the state-of-the-art prediction models.
Gilberto Santos Andrade
Full Text Available Spodoptera eridania Cramer (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae has been reported in various crops in recent years in Brazil. The outbreaks of S. eridania were observed in regions of tomato production in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The chemical control used as the main method of control pests, without the agronomic observations of integrated pest management, is a probable cause of such outbreaks in tomato in these regions.
Introduction: measles is a highly contagious viral infection with high mortality in poorly vaccinated regions. We sought to establish the trend in mortality and the factors that favoured the recent measles outbreak that occurred in Benakuma, in the North west region of Cameroon from the 21/06/2015 to 26/09/2015. Methods: we ...
Zamir, C Stein; Schroeder, H; Shoob, H; Abramson, N; Zentner, G
In recent years, large mumps outbreaks, involving mainly adolescents and young adults, have re-emerged in several countries. We investigated a large mumps outbreak, evaluated the association between mumps clinical severity (complications, hospitalization) and vaccination status (number of previous measles, mumps and rubella - MMR vaccine doses), and assessed vaccine effectiveness. The first mumps cases emerged in an ultra-orthodox boys' school in Jerusalem and were epidemiologically linked to the mumps outbreak in New York. Overall, 3130 mumps cases were notified in the Jerusalem district during September 2009-August 2011 (median age 13y, 64% males). Most cases were reported from community clinics. Patients with systemic symptoms and/or complications (419, 13.4%) were either hospitalized (n = 79) or treated in an emergency medical center (n = 340). The main complications included orchitis (3.8% males> age 12y) and meningoencephalitis (0.5%). The mumps virus genotype was G5. The distribution of previous MMR vaccine doses (n = 0,1,2) was: 24.8%, 28.3% and 46.9%, respectively. The number of previous vaccine doses was inversely associated with clinical severity. Adjusted values for MMR vaccine effectiveness against complications were estimated as 52.1% (95% CI -4 -78%) for one vaccine dose and 62.7% (95% CI 25.7-81.3%) for 2 doses. The outbreak was characterized by predominance of male students; the majority of whom had been previously vaccinated. The reported complication rate was relatively low. Vaccination status was associated with age and disease severity. The combination of limited mumps vaccine effectiveness and the specific school setting (dense learning and living conditions) probably contributed to the disease spread.
Lau, Kwok Chi
The study has integrated the data from PISA 2006 to 2012 to give an overall picture of the cognitive and affective performances and pedagogy of East Asian regions on PISA scientific literacy. Attempts are made to account for their performances based on the PISA data and cultural characteristics. The cognitive science performance of East Asian…
Lemieux, Christopher J.; Thompson, Jessica; Slocombe, D. Scott; Schuster, Rudy
It has been argued that regional collaboration can facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts through integrated planning and management. In an attempt to understand the underlying institutional factors that either support or contest this assumption, this paper explores the institutional factors influencing adaptation to climate change at the regional scale, where multiple public land and natural resource management jurisdictions are involved. Insights from two mid-western US case studies reveal that several challenges to collaboration persist and prevent fully integrative multi-jurisdictional adaptation planning at a regional scale. We propose that some of these challenges, such as lack of adequate time, funding and communication channels, be reframed as opportunities to build interdependence, identify issue-linkages and collaboratively explore the nature and extent of organisational trade-offs with respect to regional climate change adaptation efforts. Such a reframing can better facilitate multi-jurisdictional adaptation planning and management of shared biophysical resources generally while simultaneously enhancing organisational capacity to mitigate negative effects and take advantage of potentially favourable future conditions in an era characterised by rapid climate change.
Kelly, Kiesa; Jones, Linda; Brinthaupt, Thomas M.; Hart, Wendy
This paper describes the development of a regional psychology teaching organisation, Psychology Educators of Tennessee (PET). PET is designed to enhance collaboration among teachers from local colleges, universities, and high schools. We discuss the history of PET, the themes and pragmatics associated with our annual conference, plans for…
Nicholas A. Povak; Paul F. Hessburg; Keith M. Reynolds; Timothy J. Sullivan; Todd C. McDonnell; R. Brion Salter
In many industrialized regions of the world, atmospherically deposited sulfur derived from industrial, nonpoint air pollution sources reduces stream water quality and results in acidic conditions that threaten aquatic resources. Accurate maps of predicted stream water acidity are an essential aid to managers who must identify acid-sensitive streams, potentially...
In 2011, the Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany (ZI) published the website http://www.versorgungsatlas.de, a portal that presents research results from regional health services in Germany. The Web portal provides a publicly accessible source of information and a growing number of selected analyses focusing on regional variation in health care. Each topic is presented in terms of interactive maps, tables, and diagrams and is supplemented by a paper that examines the results in detail and provides an explanation of the findings. The portal has been designed to provide a forum on which health service researchers can publish their results derived from various data sources of different institutions in Germany and can comment on results already available on http://www.versorgungsatlas.de. For health policy actors, the discussion of regional differences offers a new, previously unavailable basis for determining the region-specific treatment needs and for providing health-care management with the goal of high-quality care for each resident.
John B. Fournier
Full Text Available Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to a wide variety of foods, including recent nationwide outbreaks. Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus, also known as cuy or cobayo, has long been a popular delicacy and ceremonial food in the Andean region in South America. This case report describes three family outbreaks of nontyphoidal salmonellosis, each occurring after a meal of guinea pigs. We believe this case report is the first to describe a probable association between the consumption of guinea pig meat and human salmonellosis. Physicians should be aware of the association of Salmonella and the consumption of guinea pigs, given the increasing immigration of people from the Andean region of South America and the increasing travel to this region.
Fournier, John B; Knox, Kimberly; Harris, Maureen; Newstein, Michael
Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to a wide variety of foods, including recent nationwide outbreaks. Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cuy or cobayo, has long been a popular delicacy and ceremonial food in the Andean region in South America. This case report describes three family outbreaks of nontyphoidal salmonellosis, each occurring after a meal of guinea pigs. We believe this case report is the first to describe a probable association between the consumption of guinea pig meat and human salmonellosis. Physicians should be aware of the association of Salmonella and the consumption of guinea pigs, given the increasing immigration of people from the Andean region of South America and the increasing travel to this region.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Dengue, a mosquito-borne febrile viral disease, is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Since the first occurrence of dengue was confirmed in Guangdong, China in 1978, dengue outbreaks have been reported sequentially in different provinces in South China transmitted by.peridomestic Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, diplaying Ae. aegypti, a fully domestic vector that transmits dengue worldwide. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization is a characteristic change in developing countries, which impacts greatly on vector habitat, human lifestyle and transmission dynamics on dengue epidemics. In September 2010, an outbreak of dengue was detected in Dongguan, a city in Guangdong province characterized by its fast urbanization. An investigation was initiated to identify the cause, to describe the epidemical characteristics of the outbreak, and to implement control measures to stop the outbreak. This is the first report of dengue outbreak in Dongguan, even though dengue cases were documented before in this city. Methods Epidemiological data were obtained from local Center of Disease Control and prevention (CDC. Laboratory tests such as real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR, the virus cDNA sequencing, and Enzyme-Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA were employed to identify the virus infection and molecular phylogenetic analysis was performed with MEGA5. The febrile cases were reported every day by the fever surveillance system. Vector control measures including insecticidal fogging and elimination of habitats of Ae. albopictus were used to control the dengue outbreak. Results The epidemiological studies results showed that this dengue outbreak was initiated by an imported case from Southeast Asia. The outbreak was characterized by 31 cases reported with an attack rate of 50.63 out of a population of 100,000. Ae. albopictus was the only vector species responsible for the outbreak. The virus c
Ohene, Sally-Ann; Klenyuie, Wisdom; Sarpeh, Mark
Despite recurring outbreaks of cholera in Ghana, very little has been reported on assessments of outbreak response activities undertaken in affected areas. This study assessed the response activities undertaken in two districts, Akatsi District in Volta Region and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipal in Central Region during the 2012 cholera epidemic in Ghana. We conducted a retrospective assessment of the events, strengths and weaknesses of the cholera outbreak response activities in the two districts making use of the WHO cholera evaluation tool. Information sources included surveillance and facility records, reports and interviews with relevant health personnel involved in the outbreak response from both district health directorates and health facilities. We collected data on age, sex, area of residence, date of reporting to health facility of cholera cases, district population data and information on the outbreak response activities and performed descriptive analyses of the outbreak data by person, time and place. The cholera outbreak in Akatsi was explosive with a high attack rate (AR) of 374/100,000 and case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.2 % while that in KEEA was on a relatively smaller scale AR of 23/100,000 but with a high case fatality rate of 18.8 %. For both districts, we identified multiple strengths in the response to the outbreak including timely notification of the district health officials which triggered prompt investigation of the suspected outbreak facilitating confirmation of cholera and initiation of public health response activities. Others were coordination of the activities by multi-sectoral committees, instituting water, sanitation and hygiene measures and appropriate case management at health facilities. We also found areas that needed improvement in both districts including incomplete surveillance data, sub-optimal community based surveillance considering the late reporting and the deaths in the community and the inadequate
Full Text Available This article is concerned with regional development and its dimension of (unsustainability: it analyses conditions for the success or failure of environmental or SD strategies from a social point of view. The authors share their experience acquired within the process of compiling a database of case studies from different regions of the Czech Republic and from abroad, and subsequently provide a brief analytical overview of cases in this special issue. The analytical perspective focuses on the roles of actors in a dialogue about regional sustainability issues within cooperative or conflict situations, and a description of the communication processes at play, especially within the science – policy interface. An analytical tool (actor analysis is employed to explore network characteristics, the relationships of the actors involved and the process of deliberation itself where different approaches to “nature”, “environment”, and/or “sustainable development” were conceived but often not agreed upon. A comparative meta-analysis of different cases helped to formulate several hypotheses: for a successful sustainability transition on a regional level, future visions are necessary and should be discussed and shared by stakeholders. Necessary innovation is often the result of the involvement of experts and might be provided from outside the region. Dialogue should be based on respect for actor diversity and their viewpoints (this is a condition for social learning, as well as a commitment to contribute to the “common good”. Where local actors had only to choose between controversial extant solutions, a deadlock in communication often resulted. The establishment of a communication framework for actor involvement appeared to be beneficial, which is also an opportunity for facilitation of these processes in practice.
outsourcing effects of military maintenance depots. They found maintenance depots were not working at full capacity and in some cases privatizing the...need to look at the impact of the consolidated departments and if a common goal can be achieved. Funding differences can also affect regionalization...therefore be out of service until fixed. Mitchell & Pasch  added that there could be a customer service impact consolidating local facilities into
Morgan, D.; Pennington, M.R.
The two photon couplings of hadronic states are believed to be key pointers to their parton constituents. With the aim of studying these, a method is presented of analysing data on γγ → ππ (and KKbar), which embodies the constraints of unitarity and analyticity while respecting the QED low energy theorem required by gauge invariance. This analysis is applied to presently available data on ππ production and it is found that within the existing uncertainties few definitive conclusions can yet be drawn in the resonance region. In the near threshold region, the authors confirm the overwhelming dominance of the QED Born amplitude modified by final state interactions, in contradiction with several recent data-sets on the π + π - channel. It is shown how the new Crystal Ball experiment on πsup(O)πsup(O) production not only confirms this conclusion on the near threshold cross-section, but angular analysis of their data with its better statistics using the method the authors present should shed light on the nature of the scalar mesons in the 1 GeV region. (author)
Ragettli, S.; Zhou, J.; Wang, H.; Liu, C.
Flash floods in small mountain catchments are one of the most frequent causes of loss of life and property from natural hazards in China. Hydrological models can be a useful tool for the anticipation of these events and the issuing of timely warnings. Since sub-daily streamflow information is unavailable for most small basins in China, one of the main challenges is finding appropriate parameter values for simulating flash floods in ungauged catchments. In this study, we use decision tree learning to explore parameter set transferability between different catchments. For this purpose, the physically-based, semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model PRMS-OMS is set up for 35 catchments in ten Chinese provinces. Hourly data from more than 800 storm runoff events are used to calibrate the model and evaluate the performance of parameter set transfers between catchments. For each catchment, 58 catchment attributes are extracted from several data sets available for whole China. We then use a data mining technique (decision tree learning) to identify catchment similarities that can be related to good transfer performance. Finally, we use the splitting rules of decision trees for finding suitable donor catchments for ungauged target catchments. We show that decision tree learning allows to optimally utilize the information content of available catchment descriptors and outperforms regionalization based on a conventional measure of physiographic-climatic similarity by 15%-20%. Similar performance can be achieved with a regionalization method based on spatial proximity, but decision trees offer flexible rules for selecting suitable donor catchments, not relying on the vicinity of gauged catchments. This flexibility makes the method particularly suitable for implementation in sparsely gauged environments. We evaluate the probability to detect flood events exceeding a given return period, considering measured discharge and PRMS-OMS simulated flows with regionalized parameters
Full Text Available During 2010 several massive salp outbreaks of the Subantarctic species Ihlea magalhanica were recorded in the inner sea of Chiloé Island (ISCh, Southern Chile, affecting both phytoplankton abundance and salmon farmers by causing high fish mortality. First outbreaks were recorded during February 2010 when Ihlea magalhanica reached up to 654,000 ind m-3 close to the net pens in Maillen Island and consecutive outbreaks could be followed during March and from October to November 2010. One month prior to the first recorded salp outbreak, the adjacent oceanic region and ISCh showed a sharp decline of ca. 1.0°C in sea surface temperature and an atypical pattern of oceanic sea surface currents, changing from a predominantly meridional (northward to a zonal (eastward direction, probably causing a massive Subantarctic Water parcel to enter the ISCh. During the outbreaks, surface chlorophyll concentration decreased from an historical mean of 13.8 to less than 4 mg Chl-a m-3, and did not return to normal conditions throughout the entire year, and similar results were also observed in phytoplankton abundance. The abundance of salp aggregations were highest close to the salmon net pens, which acted as physical barriers, and may have favored the successful reproduction and persistence of the outbreaks during 2010. The possible impact of these outbreaks on phytoplankton quality and quantity, as well as potential scenarios for the development of further outbreaks is discussed.
Full Text Available Abstract Although chickenpox is a generally mild, self-limited illness of children, it can cause fatal disease in adults. Accumulating reports from tropical countries showed a high prevalence of seronegativity among the adults, implying that varicella diseases could become a heavy burden in tropical countries. However, in the situation of humanitarian emergencies in tropical areas, chickenpox has largely been ignored as a serious communicable disease, due to lack of data regarding varicella mortality and hospital admissions in such a context. This is the first report describing an outbreak of chickenpox in a refugee camp of tropical region. In 2008, we experienced a varicella outbreak in ethnic Lao Hmong refugee camp in Phetchabun Province, northern Thailand. The attack rate was 4.0% (309/7,815 and this caused 3 hospitalizations including one who developed severe varicella pneumonia with respiratory failure. All hospitalizations were exclusively seen in adults, and the proportion of patients ≥15 years old was 13.6% (42/309. Because less exposure to varicella-zoster virus due to low population density has previously been suggested to be one of the reasons behind higher prevalence of susceptible adults in tropics, the influx of displaced people from rural areas to a densely populated asylum might result in many severe adult cases once a varicella outbreak occurs. Control interventions such as vaccination should be considered even in refugee camp, if the confluence of the risk factors present in this situation.
Full Text Available Abstract The paper analyses the epidemic pattern of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV outbreaks in children in Croatia. Over a period of 11 consecutive winter seasons (1994–2005 3,435 inpatients from Zagreb County aged from infancy to 10 years who were hospitalised with acute respiratory tract infections were tested for RSV-infection. RSV was identified in nasopharyngeal secretions of patients by virus isolation in cell culture and by detection of viral antigen with monoclonal antibodies. In the Zagreb area, RSV outbreaks were proven to vary in a two-year cycle, which was repeated every 23–25 months. This biennial cycle comprised one larger and one smaller season. Climate factors correlated significantly with the number of RSV cases identified only in the large seasons, which suggests that the biennial cycle is likely to continue regardless of meteorological conditions. Knowledge of this biennial pattern should be useful in predicting the onset of RSV outbreaks in Croatia, and would facilitate planning for the prevention and control of RSV infections in the region.
Anyamba, Assaf; Linthicum, Kenneth J.; Small, Jennifer L.; Collins, Katherine M.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pak, Edwin W.; Britch, Seth C.; Eastman, James Ronald; Pinzon, Jorge E.; Russell, Kevin L.
Recent clusters of outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases (Rift Valley fever and chikungunya) in Africa and parts of the Indian Ocean islands illustrate how interannual climate variability influences the changing risk patterns of disease outbreaks. Extremes in rainfall (drought and flood) during the period 2004 - 2009 have privileged different disease vectors. Chikungunya outbreaks occurred during the severe drought from late 2004 to 2006 over coastal East Africa and the western Indian Ocean islands and in the later years India and Southeast Asia. The chikungunya pandemic was caused by a Central/East African genotype that appears to have been precipitated and then enhanced by global-scale and regional climate conditions in these regions. Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever occurred following excessive rainfall period from late 2006 to late 2007 in East Africa and Sudan, and then in 2008 - 2009 in Southern Africa. The shift in the outbreak patterns of Rift Valley fever from East Africa to Southern Africa followed a transition of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena from the warm El Nino phase (2006-2007) to the cold La Nina phase (2007-2009) and associated patterns of variability in the greater Indian Ocean basin that result in the displacement of the centres of above normal rainfall from Eastern to Southern Africa. Understanding the background patterns of climate variability both at global and regional scale and their impacts on ecological drivers of vector borne-diseases is critical in long-range planning of appropriate response and mitigation measures.
George, Francisco; Valente, João; Augusto, Gonçalo F; Silva, Andreia J; Pereira, Natália; Fernandes, Teresa; Palminha, Paula; Aguiar, Bárbara A; Martins, António; Santos, Estêvão; Valente, Paula; Calé, Etelvina; Leça, Ana; Nogueira, Paulo J
We report a measles outbreak in two Portuguese health regions (Algarve and Lisbon and the Tagus Valley) since February 2017, and which by 31 May resulted in 28 confirmed cases, of which 16 were unvaccinated. Thirteen cases were healthcare workers. One unvaccinated teenager died. Genotype B3 was identified in 14 cases from both regions. This outbreak occurs after 12 years without endemic measles transmission, and in a context of high measles vaccination coverage and immunity. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2017.
Bernard, H; Faber, M; Wilking, H; Haller, S; Höhle, M; Schielke, A; Ducomble, T; Siffczyk, C; Merbecks, S S; Fricke, G; Hamouda, O; Stark, K; Werber, D
From 20 September through 5 October 2012, the largest recorded food-borne outbreak in Germany occurred. Norovirus was identified as the causative agent. We conducted four analytical epidemiological studies, two case–control studies and two surveys (in total 150 cases) in secondary schools in three different federal states. Overall, 390 institutions in five federal states reported nearly 11,000 cases of gastroenteritis. They were predominantly schools and childcare facilities and were supplied almost exclusively by one large catering company. The analytical epidemiological studies consistently identified dishes containing strawberries as the most likely vehicle, with estimated odds ratios ranging from 2.6 to 45.4. The dishes had been prepared in different regional kitchens of the catering company and were served in the schools two days before the peaks of the respective outbreaks. All affected institutions had received strawberries of one lot, imported frozen from China. The outbreak vehicle was identified within a week, which led to a timely recall and prevented more than half of the lot from reaching the consumer. This outbreak exemplifies the risk of large outbreaks in the era of global food trade. It underlines the importance of timely surveillance and epidemiological outbreak investigations for food safety.
Full Text Available Renewal in extinction learning describes the recovery of an extinguished response if the extinction context differs from the context present during acquisition and recall. Attention may have a role in contextual modulation of behavior and contribute to the renewal effect, while noradrenaline is involved in attentional processing. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study we investigated the role of the noradrenergic system for behavioral and brain activation correlates of contextual extinction and renewal, with a particular focus upon hippocampus and ventromedial PFC, which have crucial roles in processing of renewal. Healthy human volunteers received a single dose of the NA reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine prior to extinction learning. During extinction of previously acquired cue-outcome associations, cues were presented in a novel context (ABA or in the acquisition context (AAA. In recall, all cues were again presented in the acquisition context. Atomoxetine participants (ATO showed significantly faster extinction compared to placebo (PLAC. However, atomoxetine did not affect renewal. Hippocampal activation was higher in ATO during extinction and recall, as was ventromedial PFC activation, except for ABA recall. Moreover, ATO showed stronger recruitment of insula, anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral/orbitofrontal PFC. Across groups, cingulate, hippocampus and vmPFC activity during ABA extinction correlated with recall performance, suggesting high relevance of these regions for processing the renewal effect. In summary, the noradrenergic system appears to be involved in the modification of established associations during extinction learning and thus has a role in behavioral flexibility. The assignment of an association to a context and the subsequent decision on an adequate response, however, presumably operate largely independently of noradrenergic mechanisms.
Cunli Xu; Wenhua Wu; Lingbin Kong
Objective:To study the effects of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) perfusion on learning and memory function in special brain areas and its molecular mechanism in rat. Methods: Sixty-four adult male healthy Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into two groups: Afalse operation group and an operation group. The false operation group was randomly divided into four subgroups (A0, B0, C0, and D0) and the operation group was randomly divided into four subgroups (A, B, C, and D), with eight rats in each subgroup. The operation group underwent bilateral common carotid artery permanent ligation, while the other group only underwent a skin incision without the bilateral common carotid artery permanent ligation. Learning memory function of rats in each subgroup was measured using a Y-maze at 4 h, 8 h, 24 h, and 3 days after surgery. The rCBF in the right frontal lobe and hippocampus was detected using the Periflux PF model laser Doppler flowmetry and c-fos, c-jun, Bcl-2, and Bax protein expression in the right frontal lobe and hippocampus was measured using immunohistochemistry. Results: The rCBF in the right frontal lobule division and right hippocampus division was significantly lower in the operation group than in the false operation group (P Conclusions:rCBF decrease can impair learning and memory function in rats, which may be related to the increased expression of c-fos, c-jun, Bcl-2, and Bax proteins in the frontal cortex and hippocampus.
Full Text Available Abstract Background For a regional project in four low-incidence states, we designed a customizable tuberculosis outbreak response plan. Prior to dissemination of the plan, a tuberculosis outbreak occurred, presenting an opportunity to perform a field assessment of the plan. The purpose of the assessment was to ensure that the plan included essential elements to help public health professionals recognize and respond to outbreaks. Methods We designed a semi-structured questionnaire and interviewed all key stakeholders involved in the response. We used common themes to assess validity of and identify gaps in the plan. A subset of participants provided structured feedback on the plan. Results We interviewed 11 public health and six community stakeholders. The assessment demonstrated that (1 almost all of the main response activities were reflected in the plan; (2 the plan added value by providing a definition of a tuberculosis outbreak and guidelines for communication and evaluation. These were areas that lacked written protocols during the actual outbreak response; and (3 basic education about tuberculosis and the interpretation and use of genotyping data were important needs. Stakeholders also suggested adding to the plan questions for evaluation and a section for specific steps to take when an outbreak is suspected. Conclusion An interactive field assessment of a programmatic tool revealed the value of a systematic outbreak response plan with a standard definition of a tuberculosis outbreak, guidelines for communication and evaluation, and response steps. The assessment highlighted the importance of education and training for tuberculosis in low-incidence areas.
Rosewell, Alexander; Bieb, Sibauk; Clark, Geoff; Miller, Geoff; MacIntyre, Raina; Zwi, Anthony
Papua New Guinea is striving to achieve the minimum core requirements under the International Health Regulations in surveillance and outbreak response, and has experienced challenges in the availability and distribution of health professionals. Since mid-2009, a large cholera outbreak spread across lowland regions of the country and has been associated with more than 15 500 notifications at a case fatality ratio of 3.2%. The outbreak placed significant pressure on clinical and public health services. We describe some of the challenges to cholera preparedness and response in this human resource-limited setting, the strategies used to ensure effective cholera management and lessons learnt. Cholera task forces were useful to establish a clear system of leadership and accountability for cholera outbreak response and ensure efficiencies in each technical area. Cholera outbreak preparedness and response was strongest when human resource and health systems functioned well before the outbreak. Communication relied on coordination of existing networks and methods for empowering local leaders and villagers to modify behaviours of the population. In line with the national health emergencies plan, the successes of human resource strategies during the cholera outbreak should be built upon through emergency exercises, especially in non-affected provinces. Population needs for all public health professionals involved in health emergency preparedness and response should be mapped, and planning should be implemented to increase the numbers in relevant areas. Human resource planning should be integrated with health emergency planning. It is essential to maintain and strengthen the human resource capacities and experiences gained during the cholera outbreak to ensure a more effective response to the next health emergency.
Salerno, Rosina; Salvatella, Roberto; Issa, Julie; Anzola, Maria Carolina
To identify the intangible elements that characterize the successful effort to fight Chagas disease in the Americas, determine how they contributed to the overall success of the partnership, and learn lessons from the experience that could be applied to other programs. This study was based on the Partnership Assessment Tool (PAT) developed by the Nuffield Institute for Health ("the Institute") at the University of Leeds (London). The PAT draws heavily on scientific literature and the extensive experience of sociologists and health experts working for the Institute. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) modified the tool slightly to adapt it to its needs and provide a general structure for the study. The six key principles of the PAT framework were applied in the design of the research questionnaires. The findings show that a successful collaboration requires a clear objective; a good-quality pool of data; and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative knowledge of the problem, its dimensions, and its impact. The collaboration was elaborated from a common idea and a shared, quantified plan based on data gathered by independent scientists plus a strategy with explicit milestones. The clarity of purpose allowed for an improved synergy of efforts and made it possible to resolve differences in opinions and approaches. PAHO's experience with effective collaborations such as the joint initiative to fight Chagas disease provides a rich knowledge base for analysis of the advantages, limitations, and paradigms of community involvement, collaborative practices, and partnerships.
Full Text Available Objective. To identify the intangible elements that characterize the successful effort to fight Chagas disease in the Americas, determine how they contributed to the overall success of the partnership, and learn lessons from the experience that could be applied to other programs. Methods. This study was based on the Partnership Assessment Tool (PAT developed by the Nuffield Institute for Health ("the Institute" at the University of Leeds (London. The PAT draws heavily on scientific literature and the extensive experience of sociologists and health experts working for the Institute. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO modified the tool slightly to adapt it to its needs and provide a general structure for the study. The six key principles of the PAT framework were applied in the design of the research questionnaires. Results. The findings show that a successful collaboration requires a clear objective; a good-quality pool of data; and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative knowledge of the problem, its dimensions, and its impact. The collaboration was elaborated from a common idea and a shared, quantified plan based on data gathered by independent scientists plus a strategy with explicit milestones. The clarity of purpose allowed for an improved synergy of efforts and made it possible to resolve differences in opinions and approaches. Conclusions. PAHO's experience with effective collaborations such as the joint initiative to fight Chagas disease provides a rich knowledge base for analysis of the advantages, limitations, and paradigms of community involvement, collaborative practices, and partnerships.
Full Text Available Ebola is an infectious disease, which is caused by a virus belonging to the Filoviridae group. The outbreak of the disease in the African countries in 2015 caused massive death and contamination of the healthcare personnel those who were engaged in treating the infected patients and caused irreparable damage to the healthcare system. In this study, the vulnerability of the team of health service providers during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is studied. The article also proposes solutions that can be learned as a lesson, help in increasing their resilience in similar biological hazards and planning management strategies for similar events in the future. Long before the outbreak took place, West African countries were already facing acute problems in terms of access to health services and health infrastructure. The most important shortcomings for the same were identified as insufficient number of health personnel and capacity shortage that prevented the people from being ready to deal with such uncalled events viz. accidents and epidemic disease outbreak. The Ebola epidemic exacerbated the persisting problems caused due to a shortage of personnel in these countries and caused the death of a large number of common people as well as healthcare personnel. Generally, the vulnerability of the health team working during the Ebola outbreak could be divided into five general dimensions: 1. Management weakness; 2. Lack of engineering and environmental control; 3. Obstacles in the use of personal protective equipment; 4. Not having enough skills and practice exercises; and 5. Ignoring the social factors and satisfaction of the healthcare personnel. The main theme of the study was failure to understand the risk of personnel in accidents and disasters. Findings revealed building capacity and reducing vulnerability of the healthcare personnel against disasters and epidemics depends upon the perceived risk, which is a decisive factor
This 60 second public service announcement is based on the June 2014 CDC Vital Signs report. Norovirus infects about 20 million Americans each year. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from this very contagious, potentially serious illness.
Aberg, Kristoffer Carl; Doell, Kimberly C; Schwartz, Sophie
Some individuals are better at learning about rewarding situations, whereas others are inclined to avoid punishments (i.e., enhanced approach or avoidance learning, respectively). In reinforcement learning, action values are increased when outcomes are better than predicted (positive prediction errors [PEs]) and decreased for worse than predicted outcomes (negative PEs). Because actions with high and low values are approached and avoided, respectively, individual differences in the neural encoding of PEs may influence the balance between approach-avoidance learning. Recent correlational approaches also indicate that biases in approach-avoidance learning involve hemispheric asymmetries in dopamine function. However, the computational and neural mechanisms underpinning such learning biases remain unknown. Here we assessed hemispheric reward asymmetry in striatal activity in 34 human participants who performed a task involving rewards and punishments. We show that the relative difference in reward response between hemispheres relates to individual biases in approach-avoidance learning. Moreover, using a computational modeling approach, we demonstrate that better encoding of positive (vs negative) PEs in dopaminergic midbrain regions is associated with better approach (vs avoidance) learning, specifically in participants with larger reward responses in the left (vs right) ventral striatum. Thus, individual dispositions or traits may be determined by neural processes acting to constrain learning about specific aspects of the world. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3514491-10$15.00/0.
Habib, E. H.; Tarboton, D. G.; Lall, U.; Bodin, M.; Rahill-Marier, B.; Chimmula, S.; Meselhe, E. A.; Ali, A.; Williams, D.; Ma, Y.
server-based system. Open source web technologies and community-based tools are used to facilitate wide dissemination and adaptation by diverse, independent institutions. The new hydrologic learning modules are based on recent developments in hydrologic modeling, data, and resources. The modules are embedded in three regional-scale ecosystems, Coastal Louisiana, Florida Everglades, and Utah Great Salt Lake Basin. These sites provide a wealth of hydrologic concepts and scenarios that can be used in most water resource and hydrology curricula. The study develops several learning modules based on the three hydro-systems covering subjects such as: water-budget analysis, effects of human and natural changes, climate-hydrology teleconnections, and water-resource management scenarios. The new developments include an instructional interface to give critical guidance and support to the learner and an instructor's guide containing adaptation and implementation procedures to assist instructors in adopting and integrating the material into courses and provide a consistent experience. The design of the new hydrologic education developments will be transferable to independent institutions and adaptable both instructionally and technically through a server system capable of supporting additional developments by the educational community.
Torner, Núria; Anton, Andres; Barrabeig, Irene; Lafuente, Sara; Parron, Ignasi; Arias, César; Camps, Neus; Costa, Josep; Martínez, Ana; Torra, Roser; Godoy, Pere; Minguell, Sofia; Ferrús, Glòria; Cabezas, Carmen; Domínguez, Ángela; Elimination Program Surveillance Network of Spain, the Measles
Measles cases in the European Region have been increasing in the last decade; this illustrates the challenge of what we are now encountering in the form of pediatric preventable diseases. In Catalonia, autochthonous measles was declared eliminated in the year 2000 as the result of high measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) coverage for first and second dose (15 mo and 4 y) since the mid-1990s. From then on, sporadic imported cases and small outbreaks appeared, until in 2006–2007 a large measles outbreak affecting mostly unvaccinated toddlers hit the Barcelona Health Region. Consequently, in January 2008, first dose administration of MMR was lowered from 15 to 12 mo of age. A new honeymoon period went by until the end of 2010, when several importations of cases triggered new sustained transmission of different wild measles virus genotypes, but this time striking young adults. The aim of this study is to show the effect of a change in MMR vaccination schedule policy, and the difference in age incidence and hospitalization rates of affected individuals between both outbreaks. Epidemiologic data were obtained by case interviews and review of medical records. Samples for virological confirmation and genotyping of cases were collected as established in the Measles Elimination plan guidelines. Incidence rate (IR), rate ratio (RR) and their 95% CI and hospitalization rate (HR) by age group were determined. Statistic z was used for comparing proportions. Total number of confirmed cases was 305 in the 2010 outbreak and 381 in the 2006–2007 outbreak; mean age 20 y (SD 14.8 y; 3 mo to 51 y) vs. 15 mo (SD 13.1 y; 1 mo to 50 y). Highest proportion of cases was set in ≥ 25 y (47%) vs. 24.2% in 2006 (p < 0.001). Differences in IR for ≤ 15 mo (49/100,000 vs. 278.2/100,000; RR: 3,9; 95%CI 2,9–5.4) and in overall HR 29.8% vs. 15.7% were all statistically significant (p < 0.001). The change of the month of age for the administration of the first MMR dose proved successful to
77 No. 7 July 2000. EPIDEMIOLOGY OF CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN KAMPALA, UGANDA ... spread much (106 cases in 1995), resulting in a low level of immunity ... An intensive social ... development of a network of community health workers,.
This page on Avian Influenza (AI) describes carcass management during Avian Flu outbreaks, including who oversees carcass management, how they're managed, environmental concerns from carcass management, and disinfection. The page also describes what AI is.
Full Text Available This article discusses a business-school collaborative learning partnership in the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD in Greater Sendai. This partnership is further linked to a broader context of multi-stakeholder public participation in the RCE that was set up to advance the ESD agenda in the region. The authors propose a conceptual framework for multi-stakeholder, ESD-based social learning within the RCE with the aim of enabling the creation of a sustainability-literate society. This proposal is based on the results of students’ prior experience in ESD activities, optimal age for ESD learning and future job choices presented in this paper, together with a reported article that the levels of sustainability of the two sectoral organizations were mixed and hence need improvement. The paper argues that it will be good to focus on bridging the business and education sectors by building ESD capacity of the children and youth in the formal education sector. It contends this could be done through collaborative learning using the government-mandated “Period of Integrated Studies” (PIS in the Japanese primary and secondary school curriculum. Additionally, it will be appropriate for the RCE Greater Sendai Steering Committee to facilitate and coordinate the learning processes and also promote networking and cooperative interactions among the actors and stakeholders in the region. Recommendations for improvement of the learning partnerships in RCE Greater Sendai are made for consideration at the local and national policy levels.
Background Giardia lamblia is a common cause of waterborne disease. It is endemic in many parts of the world, especially where sanitation is poor, but in Europe and North America it is most often encountered in outbreaks following contamination of drinking water. The first registered outbreak of giardiasis affecting a large community in Norway happened in Bergen in the autumn of 2004. The reservoir “Svartediket” was the source, and the water probably held Giardia cysts for s...
Cunli Xu; Wenhua Wu; Lingbin Kong
Objective:To study the effects of regional cerebral blood flow（r CBF）perfusion on learning and memory function in special brain areas and its molecular mechanism in rat.Methods:Sixty-four adult male healthy Sprague-Dawley（SD）rats were randomly divided into two groups:A false operation group and an operation group.The false operation group was randomly divided into four subgroups（A0,B0,C0,and D0）and the operation group was randomly divided into four subgroups（A,B,C,and D）,with eight rats in each subgroup.The operation group underwent bilateral common carotid artery permanent ligation,while the other group only underwent a skin incision without the bilateral common carotid artery permanent ligation.Learning memory function of rats in each subgroup was measured using a Y-maze at 4 h,8 h,24 h,and 3 days after surgery.The r CBF in the right frontal lobe and hippocampus was detected using the Periflux PF model laser Doppler flowmetry and c-fos,c-jun,Bcl-2,and Bax protein expression in the right frontal lobe and hippocampus was measured using immunohistochemistry.Results:The r CBF in the right frontal lobule division and right hippocampus division was significantly lower in the operation group than in the false operation group（P<0.05）.The error number（EN）,time to reach the target,and total reaction time（TRT）for the learning index using the Y-type labyrinth test in the operation group were significantly higher than that in the false operation group（P<0.05）;however,the active avoid rate in the operation group was significantly lower than that of the false operation group.Expression of c-fos and c-jun as well as the average absorbency in the right frontal lobule division and right hippocampus division in the operation group were significantly higher than those in the false operation group（P<0.05）.The number of Bax and Bcl-2-positive cells was significantly higher in the operation group,and the expression ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 in the operation
Harwood, Jared L; LaVan, Joseph T; Brand, George J
The USS George Washington (GW) and the USS Ronald Reagan (RR), 2 US Navy aircraft carriers, experienced almost simultaneous outbreaks of novel H1N1 influenza A in the summer of 2009. We compared the respective epidemic control measures taken and subsequent lessons learned. Data were collated from both outbreaks to assess various elements including attack rate, isolation/quarantine protocols, and treatment methods. The respective duration of each outbreak was compared with survival curve analysis. The number of personnel affected in each outbreak was compared using χ2 analysis. Differences were found in the protocols used on the 2 ships. The GW treated about two-thirds of the patients with oseltamivir through day 14 and quarantined all patients meeting case definition throughout the outbreak. Face masks were used throughout. The RR used oseltamivir and quarantined many fewer patients (through days 5 and 3, respectively). No face masks were used after day 5. The outbreaks were similar in duration (GW = 25 days, RR = 27 days, P = .38), but the RR had significantly more cases (n = 253 vs 142, P < .0001). A portion of each group had samples that were confirmed H1N1 by polymerase chain reaction. GW's protocol, including aggressive oseltamivir treatment of two-thirds of the cases and quarantine throughout the duration decreased the overall number of personnel affected, likely reducing the overall control reproduction number. Both outbreaks were similar in duration. Even though the GW expended significantly more resources than the RR, if the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain had been as clinically severe as the 1918 pandemic, a more stringent treatment protocol may have been the only way to prevent significant operational impact.
Berryman, E.; Frank, J. M.; Speckman, H. N.; Bradford, J. B.; Ryan, M. G.; Massman, W. J.; Hawbaker, T. J.
Bark beetle outbreaks in Western North American forests are often considered a high-severity disturbance from a carbon (C) cycling perspective, but field measurements that quantify impacts on C dynamics are very limited. Often, factors out of the researcher's control complicate the separation of beetle impacts from other drivers of C cycling variability and restrict statistical inference. Fortuitously, we had four years of pre-spruce beetle outbreak C cycle measurements in a subalpine forest in southeastern Wyoming (Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site, or GLEES) and sustained intermittent monitoring for nearly a decade after the outbreak. Here, we synthesize published and unpublished pre- and post-outbreak measurements of key C cycle stocks and fluxes at GLEES. Multiple lines of evidence, including chamber measurements, eddy covariance measurements, and tracking of soil and forest floor C pools over time, point to the GLEES outbreak as a moderate-severity disturbance for C loss to the atmosphere, despite 70% to 80% of overstory tree death. Reductions in NEE were short-lived and the forest quickly returned to a carbon-neutral state, likely driven by an uptick in understory growth. Effect of mortality on the C cycle was asymmetrical, with a 50% reduction in net carbon uptake (NEE) two years into the outbreak, yet no measureable change in either ecosystem or growing season soil respiration. A small pulse in soil respiration occurred but was only detectable during the winter and amounted to < 10% of NEE. Possible reasons for the lack of measureable respiration response are discussed with emphasis on lessons learned for monitoring and modeling future outbreaks. We suggest a comprehensive assessment and definition of "moderate-severity" disturbances for Western forests and suggest that all tree mortality events may not be high-severity when it comes to C fluxes.
Rulli, Maria Cristina; Santini, Monia; Hayman, David T. S.; D'Odorico, Paolo
Tropical forests are undergoing land use change in many regions of the world, including the African continent. Human populations living close to forest margins fragmented and disturbed by deforestation may be particularly exposed to zoonotic infections because of the higher likelihood for humans to be in contact with disease reservoirs. Quantitative analysis of the nexus between deforestation and the emergence of Ebola virus disease (EVD), however, is still missing. Here we use land cover change data in conjunction with EVD outbreak records to investigate the association between recent (2004-2014) outbreaks in West and Central Africa, and patterns of land use change in the region. We show how in these EVD outbreaks the index cases in humans (i.e. spillover from wildlife reservoirs) occurred mostly in hotspots of forest fragmentation.
Chen, Qiu-Feng; Chen, Hua-Jun; Liu, Jun; Sun, Tao; Shen, Qun-Tai
Machine learning-based approaches play an important role in examining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in a multivariate manner and extracting features predictive of group membership. This study was performed to assess the potential for measuring brain intrinsic activity to identify minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) in cirrhotic patients, using the support vector machine (SVM) method. Resting-state fMRI data were acquired in 16 cirrhotic patients with MHE and 19 cirrhotic patients without MHE. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) method was used to investigate the local synchrony of intrinsic brain activity. Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES) was used to define MHE condition. SVM-classifier was then applied using leave-one-out cross-validation, to determine the discriminative ReHo-map for MHE. The discrimination map highlights a set of regions, including the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insular cortex, inferior parietal lobule, precentral and postcentral gyri, superior and medial temporal cortices, and middle and inferior occipital gyri. The optimized discriminative model showed total accuracy of 82.9% and sensitivity of 81.3%. Our results suggested that a combination of the SVM approach and brain intrinsic activity measurement could be helpful for detection of MHE in cirrhotic patients.
Full Text Available Very high resolution (VHR image change detection is challenging due to the low discriminative ability of change feature and the difficulty of change decision in utilizing the multilevel contextual information. Most change feature extraction techniques put emphasis on the change degree description (i.e., in what degree the changes have happened, while they ignore the change pattern description (i.e., how the changes changed, which is of equal importance in characterizing the change signatures. Moreover, the simultaneous consideration of the classification robust to the registration noise and the multiscale region-consistent fusion is often neglected in change decision. To overcome such drawbacks, in this paper, a novel VHR image change detection method is proposed based on sparse change descriptor and robust discriminative dictionary learning. Sparse change descriptor combines the change degree component and the change pattern component, which are encoded by the sparse representation error and the morphological profile feature, respectively. Robust change decision is conducted by multiscale region-consistent fusion, which is implemented by the superpixel-level cosparse representation with robust discriminative dictionary and the conditional random field model. Experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed change detection technique.
Effati, Meysam; Thill, Jean-Claude; Shabani, Shahin
The contention of this paper is that many social science research problems are too "wicked" to be suitably studied using conventional statistical and regression-based methods of data analysis. This paper argues that an integrated geospatial approach based on methods of machine learning is well suited to this purpose. Recognizing the intrinsic wickedness of traffic safety issues, such approach is used to unravel the complexity of traffic crash severity on highway corridors as an example of such problems. The support vector machine (SVM) and coactive neuro-fuzzy inference system (CANFIS) algorithms are tested as inferential engines to predict crash severity and uncover spatial and non-spatial factors that systematically relate to crash severity, while a sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine the relative influence of crash severity factors. Different specifications of the two methods are implemented, trained, and evaluated against crash events recorded over a 4-year period on a regional highway corridor in Northern Iran. Overall, the SVM model outperforms CANFIS by a notable margin. The combined use of spatial analysis and artificial intelligence is effective at identifying leading factors of crash severity, while explicitly accounting for spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity effects. Thanks to the demonstrated effectiveness of a sensitivity analysis, this approach produces comprehensive results that are consistent with existing traffic safety theories and supports the prioritization of effective safety measures that are geographically targeted and behaviorally sound on regional highway corridors.
Sombié, Issiaka; Aidam, Jude; Montorzi, Gabriela
Since the Commission on Health Research for Development (COHRED) published its flagship report, more attention has been focused on strengthening national health research systems (NHRS). This paper evaluates the contribution of a regional project that used a participatory approach to strengthen NHRS in four post-conflict West African countries - Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali. The data from the situation analysis conducted at the start of the project was compared to data from the project's final evaluation, using a hybrid conceptual framework built around four key areas identified through the analysis of existing frameworks. The four areas are governance and management, capacities, funding, and dissemination/use of research findings. The project helped improve the countries' governance and management mechanisms without strengthening the entire NHRS. In the four countries, at least one policy, plan or research agenda was developed. One country put in place a national health research ethics committee, while all four countries could adopt a research information management system. The participatory approach and support from the West African Health Organisation and COHRED were all determining factors. The lessons learned from this project show that the fragile context of these countries requires long-term engagement and that support from a regional institution is needed to address existing challenges and successfully strengthen the entire NHRS.
Newkirk, Ryan; Hedberg, Craig; Bender, Jeff
The main objectives of this study were to establish baseline characteristics for milkborne outbreaks, establish an expected milkborne outbreak profile, and identify potential indicators of food terrorism. This study used 1990-2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Annual Listings of Disease Outbreaks and the Foodborne Outbreak Database (FOOD) to establish epidemiologic baseline characteristics for disease outbreaks associated with fluid milk. FOOD data from 2007 were used to qualitatively validate the potential of the baseline characteristics and the expected outbreak profile. Eighty-three fluid milkborne outbreaks were reported between 1990 and 2006, resulting in 3621 illnesses. The mean number of illnesses per outbreak was 43.6 (illness range: 2-1644). Consumption of unpasteurized milk was associated with 55.4% of reported outbreaks. Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, and Salmonella spp. caused 51.2%, 10.8%, and 9.6% of reported outbreaks, respectively. Private homes accounted for 41.0% of outbreak locations. Number ill, outbreak location, and etiology were the primary characteristics which could signal a potential intentional contamination event. In 2007, one pasteurized milk outbreak caused by Listeria was flagged as aberrative compared with the expected outbreak profile. The creation and dissemination of expected outbreak profiles and epidemiologic baseline characteristics allow public health and Homeland Security officials to quickly assess the potential of intentional food contamination. A faster public health and medical system response can result in decreased morbidity and mortality.
Stephens, Scott L; Moritz, Max A; Adams, Mark A; Handmer, John; Kearns, Faith R; Leicester, Bob; Leonard, Justin
Most urban-wildland interface (UWI) fires in California and the other regions of the US are managed in a similar fashion: fire agencies anticipate the spread of fire, mandatory evacuations are ordered, and professional fire services move in and attempt to suppress the fires. This approach has not reduced building losses in California. Conversely, losses and the associated suite of environmental impacts, including reduced air quality, have dramatically increased over the last three decades. In contrast to California, Australia has developed a more effective 'Prepare, stay and defend, or leave early' policy. Using this approach, trained residents decide whether they will stay and actively defend their well-prepared property or leave early before a fire threatens them. Australian strategies have the distinct advantage of engaging and preparing those most affected by such fires: homeowners. Investing more in fire suppression alone, the common response after large UWI fires in California, will not reduce losses. US society has attempted to accommodate many of the natural hazards inherent to the landscapes that we inhabit; by examining the Australian model, we may approach a more sustainable coexistence with fire as well. However, it should be noted that some California communities are so vulnerable that a 'Prepare and leave early' strategy may be the only option.
Zhang, T. H.; Ji, H. W.; Hu, Y.; Ye, Q.; Lin, Y.
Remote Sensing (RS) and Geography Information System (GIS) technologies are widely used in ecological analysis and regional planning. With the advantages of large scale monitoring, combination of point and area, multiple time-phases and repeated observation, they are suitable for monitoring and analysis of environmental information in a large range. In this study, support vector machine (SVM) classification algorithm is used to monitor the land use and land cover change (LUCC), and then to perform the ecological evaluation for Chaohu lake tourism area quantitatively. The automatic classification and the quantitative spatial-temporal analysis for the Chaohu Lake basin are realized by the analysis of multi-temporal and multispectral satellite images, DEM data and slope information data. Furthermore, the ecological buffer zone analysis is also studied to set up the buffer width for each catchment area surrounding Chaohu Lake. The results of LUCC monitoring from 1992 to 2015 has shown obvious affections by human activities. Since the construction of the Chaohu Lake basin is in the crucial stage of the rapid development of urbanization, the application of RS and GIS technique can effectively provide scientific basis for land use planning, ecological management, environmental protection and tourism resources development in the Chaohu Lake Basin.
Lauritsen, T.; Hackman, G.; Khoo, T.L.; Carpenter, M.P.; Janssens, R.V.F.; Ackermann, D.; Ahmad, I.; Blumenthal, D.J.; Lopez-Martens, A.
One-step decay transitions linking the superdeformed (SD) bands 1 and 3 in 194 Hg to yrast levels are discussed. Inter-band transitions between bands 1 and 3 have also been identified. For the first time, the spin, parity and excitation energy have been determined for two SD bands in the same nucleus. The low excitation energy of the excited band supports the view that it is based on an octupole excitation. It is believed that Porter-Thomas fluctuations play a major role in determining the strength of the one-step transitions as suggested by the fact that only one other SD band has been linked in the A = 190 mass region ( 194 Pb) at the present time. When Porter-Thomas fluctuations prevent the observation of one-step or two-step linking transitions, as e.g. in the case of 192 Hg, the analysis of the quasi-continuous part of the decay-out spectrum provides an alternative method for the determination of the excitation energy and spin of an SD band. This method is discussed in detail. (author)
Seung Won Park
Full Text Available Purpose: In outbreaks of infectious disease, medical students are easily overlooked in the management of healthcare personnel protection although they serve in clinical clerkships in hospitals. In the early summer of 2015, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS struck South Korea, and students of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (SKKUSOM were at risk of contracting the disease. The purpose of this report is to share SKKUSOM’s experience against the MERS outbreak and provide suggestions for medical schools to consider in the face of similar challenges. Methods: Through a process of reflection-on-action, we examined SKKUSOM’s efforts to avoid student infection during the MERS outbreak and derived a few practical guidelines that medical schools can adopt to ensure student safety in outbreaks of infectious disease. Results: The school leadership conducted ongoing risk assessment and developed contingency plans to balance student safety and continuity in medical education. They rearranged the clerkships to another hospital and offered distant lectures and tutorials. Five suggestions are extracted for medical schools to consider in infection outbreaks: instant cessation of clinical clerkships; rational decision making on a school closure; use of information technology; constant communication with hospitals; and open communication with faculty, staff, and students. Conclusion: Medical schools need to take the initiative and actively seek countermeasures against student infection. It is essential that medical schools keep constant communication with their index hospitals and the involved personnel. In order to assure student learning, medical schools may consider offering distant education with online technology.
Park, Seung Won; Jang, Hye Won; Choe, Yon Ho; Lee, Kyung Soo; Ahn, Yong Chan; Chung, Myung Jin; Lee, Kyu-Sung; Lee, Kyunghoon; Han, Taehee
In outbreaks of infectious disease, medical students are easily overlooked in the management of healthcare personnel protection although they serve in clinical clerkships in hospitals. In the early summer of 2015, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) struck South Korea, and students of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (SKKUSOM) were at risk of contracting the disease. The purpose of this report is to share SKKUSOM's experience against the MERS outbreak and provide suggestions for medical schools to consider in the face of similar challenges. Through a process of reflection-on-action, we examined SKKUSOM's efforts to avoid student infection during the MERS outbreak and derived a few practical guidelines that medical schools can adopt to ensure student safety in outbreaks of infectious disease. The school leadership conducted ongoing risk assessment and developed contingency plans to balance student safety and continuity in medical education. They rearranged the clerkships to another hospital and offered distant lectures and tutorials. Five suggestions are extracted for medical schools to consider in infection outbreaks: instant cessation of clinical clerkships; rational decision making on a school closure; use of information technology; constant communication with hospitals; and open communication with faculty, staff, and students. Medical schools need to take the initiative and actively seek countermeasures against student infection. It is essential that medical schools keep constant communication with their index hospitals and the involved personnel. In order to assure student learning, medical schools may consider offering distant education with online technology.
Fan, Yunzhou; Yang, Mei; Jiang, Hongbo; Wang, Ying; Yang, Wenwen; Zhang, Zhixia; Yan, Weirong; Diwan, Vinod K; Xu, Biao; Dong, Hengjin; Palm, Lars; Liu, Li; Nie, Shaofa
School absenteeism is a common data source in syndromic surveillance, which allows for the detection of outbreaks at an early stage. Previous studies focused on its correlation with other data sources. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of control measures based on early warning signals from school absenteeism surveillance in rural Chinese schools. A school absenteeism surveillance system was established in all 17 primary schools in 3 adjacent towns in the Chinese region of Hubei. Three outbreaks (varicella, mumps, and influenza-like illness) were detected and controlled successfully from April 1, 2012, to January 15, 2014. An impulse susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered model was used to fit the epidemics of these three outbreaks. Moreover, it simulated the potential epidemics under interventions resulting from traditional surveillance signals. The effectiveness of the absenteeism-based control measures was evaluated by comparing the simulated datasets. The school absenteeism system generated 52 signals. Three outbreaks were verified through epidemiological investigation. Compared to traditional surveillance, the school absenteeism system generated simultaneous signals for the varicella outbreak, but 3 days in advance for the mumps outbreak and 2-4 days in advance for the influenza-like illness outbreak. The estimated excess protection rates of control measures based on early signals were 0.0%, 19.0-44.1%, and 29.0-37.0% for the three outbreaks, respectively. Although not all outbreak control measures can benefit from early signals through school absenteeism surveillance, the effectiveness of early signal-based interventions is obvious. School absenteeism surveillance plays an important role in reducing outbreak spread.
Jepsen, Jane U; Hagen, Snorre B; Karlsen, Stein-Rune; Ims, Rolf A
Climatically driven Moran effects have often been invoked as the most likely cause of regionally synchronized outbreaks of insect herbivores without identifying the exact mechanism. However, the degree of match between host plant and larval phenology is crucial for the growth and survival of many spring-feeding pest insects, suggesting that a phenological match/mismatch-driven Moran effect may act as a synchronizing agent. We analyse the phase-dependent spatial dynamics of defoliation caused by cyclically outbreaking geometrid moths in northern boreal birch forest in Fennoscandia through the most recent massive outbreak (2000-2008). We use satellite-derived time series of the prevalence of moth defoliation and the onset of the growing season for the entire region to investigate the link between the patterns of defoliation and outbreak spread. In addition, we examine whether a phase-dependent coherence in the pattern of spatial synchrony exists between defoliation and onset of the growing season, in order to evaluate if the degree of matching phenology between the moth and their host plant could be the mechanism behind a Moran effect. The strength of regional spatial synchrony in defoliation and the pattern of defoliation spread were both highly phase-dependent. The incipient phase of the outbreak was characterized by high regional synchrony in defoliation and long spread distances, compared with the epidemic and crash phase. Defoliation spread was best described using a two-scale stratified spread model, suggesting that defoliation spread is governed by two processes operating at different spatial scale. The pattern of phase-dependent spatial synchrony was coherent in both defoliation and onset of the growing season. This suggests that the timing of spring phenology plays a role in the large-scale synchronization of birch forest moth outbreaks.
Vaidya, Sunil R.; Kamble, Madhukar B.; Chowdhury, Deepika T.; Kumbhar, Neelakshi S.
Background & objectives: Under the outbreak-based measles surveillance in Maharashtra State the National Institute of Virology at Pune receives 3-5 serum samples from each outbreak and samples from the local hospitals in Pune for laboratory diagnosis. This report describes one year data on the measles and rubella serology, virus isolation and genotyping. Methods: Maharashtra State Health Agencies investigated 98 suspected outbreaks between January-December 2013 in the 20 districts. Altogether, 491 serum samples were received from 20 districts and 126 suspected cases from local hospitals. Samples were tested for the measles and rubella IgM antibodies by commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA). To understand the diagnostic utility, a subset of serum samples (n=53) was tested by measles focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT). Further, 37 throat swabs and 32 urine specimens were tested by measles reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and positive products were sequenced. Virus isolation was performed in Vero hSLAM cells. Results: Of the 98 suspected measles outbreaks, 61 were confirmed as measles, 12 as rubella and 21 confirmed as the mixed outbreaks. Four outbreaks remained unconfirmed. Of the 126 cases from the local hospitals, 91 were confirmed for measles and three for rubella. Overall, 93.6 per cent (383/409) confirmed measles cases were in the age group of 0-15 yr. Measles virus was detected in 18 of 38 specimens obtained from the suspected cases. Sequencing of PCR products revealed circulation of D4 (n=9) and D8 (n=9) strains. Four measles viruses (three D4 & one D8) were isolated. Interpretation & conclusions: Altogether, 94 measles and rubella outbreaks were confirmed in 2013 in the State of Maharasthra indicating the necessity to increase measles vaccine coverage in the State. PMID:27121521
Cees C van den Wijngaard
Full Text Available Although syndromic surveillance is increasingly used to detect unusual illness, there is a debate whether it is useful for detecting local outbreaks. We evaluated whether syndromic surveillance detects local outbreaks of lower-respiratory infections (LRIs without swamping true signals by false alarms.Using retrospective hospitalization data, we simulated prospective surveillance for LRI-elevations. Between 1999-2006, a total of 290762 LRIs were included by date of hospitalization and patients place of residence (>80% coverage, 16 million population. Two large outbreaks of Legionnaires disease in the Netherlands were used as positive controls to test whether these outbreaks could have been detected as local LRI elevations. We used a space-time permutation scan statistic to detect LRI clusters. We evaluated how many LRI-clusters were detected in 1999-2006 and assessed likely causes for the cluster-signals by looking for significantly higher proportions of specific hospital discharge diagnoses (e.g. Legionnaires disease and overlap with regional influenza elevations. We also evaluated whether the number of space-time signals can be reduced by restricting the scan statistic in space or time. In 1999-2006 the scan-statistic detected 35 local LRI clusters, representing on average 5 clusters per year. The known Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in 1999 and 2006 were detected as LRI-clusters, since cluster-signals were generated with an increased proportion of Legionnaires disease patients (p:<0.0001. 21 other clusters coincided with local influenza and/or respiratory syncytial virus activity, and 1 cluster appeared to be a data artifact. For 11 clusters no likely cause was defined, some possibly representing as yet undetected LRI-outbreaks. With restrictions on time and spatial windows the scan statistic still detected the Legionnaires' disease outbreaks, without loss of timeliness and with less signals generated in time (up to 42% decline.To our
Nwobi, Anthonia; Ngozi, Ugwuoke; Rufina, Nwachukwu; Ogbonnaya, Kingsley A.
This study examines the implementation of information technology in the teaching/learning process for sustainable development of adults in West Africa Sub Sahara Region (WASSR). Three research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The population for the study was 3071 participants and instructors drawn from 10 education centres that were…
Dalsgaard, Inger; Høi, L.; Siebeling, R.J.
Vibrio vulnificus was isolated in 1996 from 2 disease outbreaks on a Danish eel farm which used brackish water. A characteristic clinical sign was extensive, deep muscle necrosis in the head region. V. vulnificus was isolated from kidney, mucus, spleen, gill and intestine of diseased eels. Thirty...
M. L. Gumpertz; C.-T. Wu; John M. Pye
Regional outbreaks of southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm.) show marked spatial and temporal patterns. While these patterns are of interest in themselves, we focus on statistical methods for estimating the effects of underlying environmental factors in the presence of spatial and temporal autocorrelation. The most comprehensive available information on...
Jones, Forrest K; Ko, Albert I; Becha, Chris; Joshua, Cynthia; Musto, Jennie; Thomas, Sarah; Ronsse, Axelle; Kirkwood, Carl D; Sio, Alison; Aumua, Audrey; Nilles, Eric J
Flooding on 1 of the Solomon Islands precipitated a nationwide epidemic of diarrhea that spread to regions unaffected by flooding and caused >6,000 cases and 27 deaths. Rotavirus was identified in 38% of case-patients tested in the city with the most flooding. Outbreak potential related to weather reinforces the need for global rotavirus vaccination.
Background: Seasonal outbreaks of an acute neurologic illness with high mortality among young children occur annually in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, the largest litchi (lychee) fruit cultivation region in India. A wide range of infectious and non-infectious etiologies, including an association with litchi...
Kerwat, Klaus; Wulf, Hinnerk
According to §6, section 3 of the German Protection against Infections Act [Infektionsschutzgesetz (IfSG)] an outbreak is defined as the occurrence in large numbers of nosocomial infections for which an epidemiological relationship is probable or can be assumed. About 2-10% of nosocomial infections in hospitals (about 5% in intensive care wards) occur within the framework of an outbreak. The heaped occurrence of nosocomial infections can be declared according to the prescribed surveillance of nosocomial infections (§23 IfSG) when, in the course of this assessment, a statistically significant increase in the rate of infections becomes apparent. On the other hand, the occurrence of an outbreak can also be recognized through the vigilance of all involved personnel and a general sensibilization towards this subject. The names of patients involved in outbreaks need not be reported to the responsible health authorities. As a consequence of the report the health authorities become involved in the investigation to determine the cause and its elimination, and to provide support and advice. The outbreak management should be oriented on the respective recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute. © Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York.
Full Text Available The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS is a major predator of hard corals. Repeated COTS outbreaks in the Cairns and Central sections of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR have been responsible for greater declines in coral cover than any other type of disturbance, including cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching. Knowledge of the precise timing and location of primary outbreaks could reveal the initial drivers of outbreaks and so could indicate possible management measures. In the central GBR, COTS outbreaks appear to follow major flooding events, but despite many years of observations, no primary outbreak has ever been unequivocally identified in the central and northern GBR. Here we locate a primary outbreak of COTS on the southern GBR which is not correlated with flooding. Instead it appears to have been the result of a combination of life history traits of COTS and prevailing oceanographic conditions. The hydrodynamic setting implies that the outbreak could disperse larvae to other reefs in the region.
Li, Xingguang; Zai, Junjie; Liu, Haizhou; Feng, Yi; Li, Fan; Wei, Jing; Zou, Sen; Yuan, Zhiming; Shao, Yiming
Following its immergence in December 2013, the recent Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa has spread and persisted for more than two years, making it the largest EBOV epidemic in both scale and geographical region to date. In this study, a total of 726 glycoprotein (GP) gene sequences of the EBOV full-length genome obtained from West Africa from the 2014 outbreak, combined with 30 from earlier outbreaks between 1976 and 2008 were used to investigate the genetic divergence, evolutionary history, population dynamics, and selection pressure of EBOV among distinct epidemic waves. Results from our dataset showed that no non-synonymous substitutions occurred on the GP gene coding sequences of EBOV that were likely to have affected protein structure or function in any way. Furthermore, the significantly different dN/dS ratios observed between the 2014 West African outbreak and earlier outbreaks were more likely due to the confounding presence of segregating polymorphisms. Our results highlight no robust evidence that the 2014 EBOV outbreak is fast-evolving and adapting to humans. Therefore, the unprecedented nature of the 2014 EBOV outbreak might be more likely related to non-virological elements, such as environmental and sociological factors.
Liu, Si-Qing; Deng, Cheng-Lin; Yuan, Zhi-Ming; Rayner, Simon; Zhang, Bo
The current Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic has killed more than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined and, even as efforts appear to be bringing the outbreak under control, the threat of reemergence remains. The availability of new whole-genome sequences from West Africa in 2014 outbreak, together with those from the earlier outbreaks, provide an opportunity to investigate the genetic characteristics, the epidemiological dynamics and the evolutionary history for Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV). To investigate the evolutionary properties of ZEBOV in this outbreak, we examined amino acid mutations, positive selection, and evolutionary rates on the basis of 123 ZEBOV genome sequences. The estimated phylogenetic relationships within ZEBOV revealed that viral sequences from the same period or location formed a distinct cluster. The West Africa viruses probably derived from Middle Africa, consistent with results from previous studies. Analysis of the seven protein regions of ZEBOV revealed evidence of positive selection acting on the GP and L genes. Interestingly, all putatively positive-selected sites identified in the GP are located within the mucin-like domain of the solved structure of the protein, suggesting a possible role in the immune evasion properties of ZEBOV. Compared with earlier outbreaks, the evolutionary rate of GP gene was estimated to significantly accelerate in the 2014 outbreak, suggesting that more ZEBOV variants are generated for human to human transmission during this sweeping epidemic. However, a more balanced sample set and next generation sequencing datasets would help achieve a clearer understanding at the genetic level of how the virus is evolving and adapting to new conditions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recent clusters of outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases (Rift Valley fever and chikungunya in Africa and parts of the Indian Ocean islands illustrate how interannual climate variability influences the changing risk patterns of disease outbreaks. Although Rift Valley fever outbreaks have been known to follow periods of above-normal rainfall, the timing of the outbreak events has largely been unknown. Similarly, there is inadequate knowledge on climate drivers of chikungunya outbreaks. We analyze a variety of climate and satellite-derived vegetation measurements to explain the coupling between patterns of climate variability and disease outbreaks of Rift Valley fever and chikungunya.We derived a teleconnections map by correlating long-term monthly global precipitation data with the NINO3.4 sea surface temperature (SST anomaly index. This map identifies regional hot-spots where rainfall variability may have an influence on the ecology of vector borne disease. Among the regions are Eastern and Southern Africa where outbreaks of chikungunya and Rift Valley fever occurred 2004-2009. Chikungunya and Rift Valley fever case locations were mapped to corresponding climate data anomalies to understand associations between specific anomaly patterns in ecological and climate variables and disease outbreak patterns through space and time. From these maps we explored associations among Rift Valley fever disease occurrence locations and cumulative rainfall and vegetation index anomalies. We illustrated the time lag between the driving climate conditions and the timing of the first case of Rift Valley fever. Results showed that reported outbreaks of Rift Valley fever occurred after ∼3-4 months of sustained above-normal rainfall and associated green-up in vegetation, conditions ideal for Rift Valley fever mosquito vectors. For chikungunya we explored associations among surface air temperature, precipitation anomalies, and chikungunya outbreak locations. We found
Ellis, Bronwyn J.
Constant change necessitates lifelong learning for those in the workforce, if they are not to fall behind in the skills and knowledge needed as their occupations evolve. Learning new skills and knowledge remains a part of life for those no longer in paid employment. Not only is learning essential in order to keep up with changing needs and…
management agencies, especially the World Health ... (GMPs). 1Department of Laboratory Sciences and Pathology, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University, ... comprising an area of 100 cm2 lean meat were collected ...
Ypma, Rolf J F; van Ballegooijen, W Marijn; Wallinga, Jacco
Transmission events are the fundamental building blocks of the dynamics of any infectious disease. Much about the epidemiology of a disease can be learned when these individual transmission events are known or can be estimated. Such estimations are difficult and generally feasible only when detailed epidemiological data are available. The genealogy estimated from genetic sequences of sampled pathogens is another rich source of information on transmission history. Optimal inference of transmission events calls for the combination of genetic data and epidemiological data into one joint analysis. A key difficulty is that the transmission tree, which describes the transmission events between infected hosts, differs from the phylogenetic tree, which describes the ancestral relationships between pathogens sampled from these hosts. The trees differ both in timing of the internal nodes and in topology. These differences become more pronounced when a higher fraction of infected hosts is sampled. We show how the phylogenetic tree of sampled pathogens is related to the transmission tree of an outbreak of an infectious disease, by the within-host dynamics of pathogens. We provide a statistical framework to infer key epidemiological and mutational parameters by simultaneously estimating the phylogenetic tree and the transmission tree. We test the approach using simulations and illustrate its use on an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The approach unifies existing methods in the emerging field of phylodynamics with transmission tree reconstruction methods that are used in infectious disease epidemiology.
Dabrowska, A. E.
Regional Teacher Training Centre (RTTC) in Skierniewice is one of 49 public, accredited institutions in Poland carrying out it statutory goals at the regional level. It has been operating since 1989 and is responsible for organizing of support of schools, institutions, networks of teachers for cooperation and self-education, organizing various forms of in-service training and disseminating examples of good practice. It also has rich experience in teaching by using modern Interactive Computer Technology (ICT) tools and e-learning platform. I present examples about teaching of Astronomical issues through teacher training both as hands on workshops as well as through e-learning. E-learning is playing an important role in organizing educational activities not only in the field of modern didactic but also in learning Science subjects. Teachers find e-learning as a very economical, easy and convenient way of learning and developing their knowledge and skills. Moreover, they are no longer afraid of using new ICT tools and programs which help them to cooperate with students effectively. Since 2011 RTTC in Skierniewice has been an organizer of many on-line in-service programs for teachers, in learning Science. Some of them are organized as blended-learning programs which allow teachers to participate first in hands on activities then continue learning on the Moodle platform. These courses include two 15 and 30-hours of Astronomical topics. Teachers have the opportunity to gain knowledge and receive materials not only about the Universe and the Solar System but also can learn to use tools like Stellarium, Celestia, WorldWide Telescope, Your Sky and other tools. E-learning modules consist of both publishing learning materials in various forms, eg. PowerPoint Presentations, Word & PDF materials, web sites, publications, working sheets as well as practical duties like participation in chats, forums, tasks, Wiki, group workshop. Teachers use these materials for extending their
This 60 second public service announcement is based on the June 2014 CDC Vital Signs report. Norovirus infects about 20 million Americans each year. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from this very contagious, potentially serious illness. Created: 6/3/2014 by National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Date Released: 6/3/2014.
Narendran Pradeep Kumar
Full Text Available India was affected by a major outbreak of chikungunya fever caused by Chikungunya virus (CHIKV during 2006-2007. Kerala was the worst affected state during 2007 with a contribution of 55.8% suspected cases in the country. However, except for clinically reported case records, no systematic information is available on infection status of CHIKV in the region. Hence, we carried out a post-epidemic survey to estimate seroprevalence status [immunoglobulin G (IgG] in the community using commercially available indirect immunofluorescence test. This methodology had been reported to be highly specific and sensitive for CHIKV infection. The study area selected was the worst affected mid-highlands region of Kerala which harbour vast area of rubber plantations. The study evidenced 68% of the population to be seropositive for CHIKV IgG. Males were found more affected than females (χ2 = 9.86; p = 0.002. Among males, prevalence was significantly higher in the age classes 21-30 (χ2 = 5.46; p = 0.019 and 31-40 (χ2 = 5.84; p = 0.016 years. This may be due to high occupational risk of the male population engaged in plantation activities exposed to infective bites of Aedes albopictus. The current study provides an insight into the magnitude of CHIKV outbreak in Kerala.
Kathleen M O'Reilly
Full Text Available Outbreaks of poliomyelitis in African countries that were previously free of wild-type poliovirus cost the Global Polio Eradication Initiative US$850 million during 2003-2009, and have limited the ability of the program to focus on endemic countries. A quantitative understanding of the factors that predict the distribution and timing of outbreaks will enable their prevention and facilitate the completion of global eradication.Children with poliomyelitis in Africa from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2010 were identified through routine surveillance of cases of acute flaccid paralysis, and separate outbreaks associated with importation of wild-type poliovirus were defined using the genetic relatedness of these viruses in the VP1/2A region. Potential explanatory variables were examined for their association with the number, size, and duration of poliomyelitis outbreaks in 6-mo periods using multivariable regression analysis. The predictive ability of 6-mo-ahead forecasts of poliomyelitis outbreaks in each country based on the regression model was assessed. A total of 142 genetically distinct outbreaks of poliomyelitis were recorded in 25 African countries, resulting in 1-228 cases (median of two cases. The estimated number of people arriving from infected countries and <5-y childhood mortality were independently associated with the number of outbreaks. Immunisation coverage based on the reported vaccination history of children with non-polio acute flaccid paralysis was associated with the duration and size of each outbreak, as well as the number of outbreaks. Six-month-ahead forecasts of the number of outbreaks in a country or region changed over time and had a predictive ability of 82%.Outbreaks of poliomyelitis resulted primarily from continued transmission in Nigeria and the poor immunisation status of populations in neighbouring countries. From 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2011, reduced transmission in Nigeria and increased incidence in reinfected
Full Text Available New outbreaks of Zika in the U.S. are imminent. Human nature dictates that many individuals will continue to revisit affected ‘Ground Zero’ patches, whether out of choice, work or family reasons − yet this feature is missing from traditional epidemiological analyses. Here we show that this missing visit-revisit mechanism is by itself capable of explaining quantitatively the 2016 human Zika outbreaks in all three Ground Zero patches. Our findings reveal counterintuitive ways in which this human flow can be managed to tailor any future outbreak’s duration, severity and time-to-peak. Effective public health planning can leverage these results to impact the evolution of future outbreaks via soft control of the overall human flow, as well as to suggest best-practice visitation behavior for local residents.
Svensson, Kerstin; Bäck, Erik; Eliasson, Henrik; Berglund, Lennart; Granberg, Malin; Karlsson, Linda; Larsson, Pär; Forsman, Mats
Summer outbreaks of tularemia that occurred from 1995 through 2005 in 2 locations in Sweden affected 441 persons. We performed an epidemiologic investigation of these outbreaks using a novel strategy, involving high-resolution genotyping of Francisella tularensis isolates obtained from 136 patients (using 18 genetic markers developed from 6 F. tularensis genome sequences) and interviews with the patients. Strong spatial associations were found between F. tularensis subpopulations and the places of disease transmission; infection by some subpopulations occurred within areas as small as 2 km2, indicating unidentified environmental point sources of tularemia. In both locations, disease clusters were associated with recreational areas beside water, and genetic subpopulations were present throughout the tularemia season and persisted over years. High-resolution genotyping in combination with patients’ statements about geographic places of disease transmission provided valuable indications of likely sources of infection and the causal genotypes during these tularemia outbreaks. PMID:19961673
Mona R Loutfy
Full Text Available Botulism is a rare paralytic illness resulting from a potent neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism in Canada is predominately due to C botulinum type E and affects mainly the First Nations and Inuit populations. The most recent outbreak of botulism in Ontario was in Ottawa in 1991 and was caused by C botulinum type A. We report an outbreak of foodborne type B botulism in Ontario, which implicated home-canned tomatoes. The outbreak was characterized by mild symptoms in two cases and moderately severe illness in one case. The investigation shows the importance of considering the diagnosis of botulism in patients presenting with cranial nerve and autonomic dysfunction, especially when combined with gastrointestinal complaints; it also highlights the importance of proper home canning technique.
Guillaume Constantin de Magny
Full Text Available Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by Vibrio cholerae and occurs as widespread epidemics in Africa. In 2005, there were 31,719 cholera cases, with 458 deaths in the Republic of Senegal. We retrospectively investigated the climate origin of the devastating floods in mid-August 2005, in the Dakar Region of Senegal and the subsequent outbreak of cholera along with the pattern of cholera outbreaks in three other regions of that country. We compared rainfall patterns between 2002 and 2005 and the relationship between the sea surface temperature (SST gradient in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and precipitation over Senegal for 2005. Results showed a specific pattern of rainfall throughout the Dakar region during August, 2005, and the associated rainfall anomaly coincided with an exacerbation of the cholera epidemic. Comparison of rainfall and epidemiological patterns revealed that the temporal dynamics of precipitation, which was abrupt and heavy, was presumably the determining factor. Analysis of the SST gradient showed that the Atlantic Ocean SST variability in 2005 differed from that of 2002 to 2004, a result of a prominent Atlantic meridional mode. The influence of this intense precipitation on cholera transmission over a densely populated and crowded region was detectable for both Dakar and Thiès, Senegal. Thus, high resolution rainfall forecasts at subseasonal time scales should provide a way forward for an early warning system in Africa for cholera and, thereby, trigger epidemic preparedness. Clearly, attention must be paid to both natural and human induced environmental factors to devise appropriate action to prevent cholera and other waterborne disease epidemics in the region.
Full Text Available Background. Dengue outbreaks are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity. Evidence-based epidemic preparedness and effective response are now a matter of urgency. Therefore, we have analysed national and municipal dengue outbreak response plans. Methods. Thirteen country plans from Asia, Latin America and Australia, and one international plan were obtained from the World Health Organization. The information was transferred to a data analysis matrix where information was extracted according to predefined and emerging themes and analysed for scope, inconsistencies, omissions, and usefulness. Findings. Outbreak response planning currently has a considerable number of flaws. Outbreak governance was weak with a lack of clarity of stakeholder roles. Late timing of responses due to poor surveillance, a lack of combining routine data with additional alerts, and lack of triggers for initiating the response weakened the functionality of plans. Frequently an outbreak was not defined, and early response mechanisms based on alert signals were neglected. There was a distinct lack of consideration of contextual influences which can affect how an outbreak detection and response is managed. Conclusion. A model contingency plan for dengue outbreak prediction, detection, and response may help national disease control authorities to develop their own more detailed and functional context specific plans.
Shako, Jean-Christophe; Gaudart, Jean; Sudre, Bertrand; Ilunga, Benoit Kebela; Shamamba, Stomy Karhemere Bi; Diatta, Georges; Davoust, Bernard; Tamfum, Jean-Jacques Muyembe; Piarroux, Renaud; Piarroux, Martine
During 2004–2014, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared 54% of plague cases worldwide. Using national data, we characterized the epidemiology of human plague in DRC for this period. All 4,630 suspected human plague cases and 349 deaths recorded in DRC came from Orientale Province. Pneumonic plague cases (8.8% of total) occurred during 2 major outbreaks in mining camps in the equatorial forest, and some limited outbreaks occurred in the Ituri highlands. Epidemics originated in 5 health zones clustered in Ituri, where sporadic bubonic cases were recorded throughout every year. Classification and regression tree characterized this cluster by the dominance of ecosystem 40 (mountain tropical climate). In conclusion, a small, stable, endemic focus of plague in the highlands of the Ituri tropical region persisted, acting as a source of outbreaks in DRC. PMID:29350136
Sophia Shi-Huei Ho
Full Text Available Previous studies in the relationship of learning motivation and outcome were mostly conducted on research samples in Asia from the perspective of oriental culture; however, under the same cultural background, different social systems might lead to different teaching and learning outcomes. Therefore, this study examines the learning motivation patterns of Taiwan and Mainland China college students from the perspectives on psychological motivation, and investigates the relationship between learning modes and learning outcomes. Adopting judgmental sampling, a total of 651 valid questionnaires were collected from cross-strait business college sophomore, junior, and senior students. The measurement scales were developed by Li et al. (2007, Nasir et al. (2009, Philip et al. (2008, Pike et al. (2011, White et al. (2008, and all measures were 5-point Likert-type scales. The path relationship of the two groups was examined through structural equation modeling (SEM using AMOS. The results showed that exploitative learning was perceived as more effective by the college students in Taiwan as compared to those in Mainland China. In terms of academic identity, the contrary is the case. However, in path analysis, Taiwanese students were superior to Chinese students in regard to the positive influence of role identity on exploitative and explorative learning and the positive influence of exploitative learning on cognitive and non-cognitive gains.
Full Text Available Summary: Listeria monocytogenes infection is an important cause of illness and hospitalization in vulnerable individuals. In the present study, we describe a community outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in the North-East region of Scotland, which was epidemiologically, environmentally and microbiologically linked to a local meat product and ready-to-eat product manufacturer. Infected individuals were interviewed, and an environmental investigation was conducted. Clinical and environmental samples were tested by culture, and isolates were typed by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (fAFLP. Three cases of Listeria monocytogenes were linked geographically, had the same serotype (1/2a and were indistinguishable by fAFLP type XII.6. The human, food and environmental isolates were of the same serotype and were indistinguishable by molecular typing.This is the first community outbreak of L. monocytogenes reported in Scotland since the current outbreak surveillance was established in 1996. Epidemiological and laboratory evidence indicated poor hand hygiene, unhygienic practices and cross-contamination throughout the manufacturing process of ready-to-eat foods as a possible cause of the outbreak. More stringent control of commercial food establishments that provide ready-to-eat food and the need to advise specifically vulnerable groups, e.g., pregnant women, of the risk of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food is urgently needed. Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes, Outbreak, Foodborne, Community acquired infection, Listeriosis
Hedican, Erin; Miller, Ben; Ziemer, Brian; LeMaster, Pam; Jawahir, Selina; Leano, Fe; Smith, Kirk
Salmonella is the most common bacterial cause of foodborne outbreaks in the United States. Starting in June 2007, investigation of a cluster of Salmonella Montevideo cases with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns resulted in the identification of an outbreak associated with contact with chickens purchased from a single hatchery. Nine Minnesota cases from May through August 2007 were part of this outbreak. Cases with the outbreak PFGE pattern of Salmonella Montevideo continued to occur in Minnesota after August, but none of these cases reported chicken contact. The majority of these cases resided in the same town in rural Minnesota. Routine interviews revealed that all cases from these counties purchased groceries from the same local grocery store, with two specifically reporting consuming items from the grocery store delicatessen in the week before illness. As a result, an investigation into the delicatessen was initiated. Illness histories and stool samples were collected from all delicatessen employees, and food and environmental samples were collected. None of the employees reported experiencing recent gastrointestinal symptoms, but the outbreak PFGE subtype of Salmonella Montevideo was identified from stool from two food workers. Food and environmental samples collected tested negative for Salmonella. One of the positive employees reported having chickens at home, but the animals did not test positive for Salmonella. The positive food workers were excluded from work until they had two consecutive negative stool cultures for Salmonella. There was no evidence of ongoing transmission thereafter. This was an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections that began as an animal-contact-associated outbreak which subsequently resulted in a foodborne outbreak associated with infected food workers. These outbreaks illustrate the complex epidemiology of salmonellosis.
Miura, Yasuhiko; Fukuda, Kazuhiro; Ochi, Eiji
JNFL is planning to construct a facility for enclosing the hull and end pieces produced due to reprocessing of spent fuel into stainless canisters after compressing, while those hull and end pieces enclosed into the stainless canisters are called 'compressed hulls'. Since the compressed hulls contain moisture absorbent Zirconium Molybdate Hihydrate accompanying hull and end pieces, there is a risk of outbreak of radiolysisradiolysis gas such as hydrogen, etc. by radiolysisradiolysis. This report intends to state the result of radiation irradiation experiment with the purpose of examining the volume of hydrogen outbreak from Zirconium Molybdate Hihydrate of the compressed hulls. (author)
Tronel, Sophie; Sara, Susan J
Although there is growing knowledge about intracellular mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and memory consolidation and reconsolidation after retrieval, information concerning the interaction among brain areas during formation and retrieval of memory is relatively sparse and fragmented. Addressing this question requires simultaneous monitoring of activity in multiple brain regions during learning, the post-acquisition consolidation period, and retrieval and subsequent reconsolidation. Immunoreaction to the immediate early gene c-fos is a powerful tool to mark neuronal activation of specific populations of neurons. Using this method, we are able to report, for the first time, post-training activation of a network of closely related brain regions, particularly in the frontal cortex and the basolateral amygdala (BLA), that is specific to the learning of an odor-reward association. On the other hand, retrieval of a well-established associative memory trace does not seem to differentially activate the same regions. The amygdala, in particular, is not engaged after retrieval, whereas the lateral habenula (LHab) shows strong activation that is restricted to animals having previously learned the association. Although intracellular mechanisms may be similar during consolidation and reconsolidation, this study indicates that different brain circuits are involved in the two processes, at least with respect to a rapidly learned olfactory task.
González-Candelas, Fernando; Bracho, María Alma; Wróbel, Borys; Moya, Andrés
Molecular phylogenetic analyses are used increasingly in the epidemiological investigation of outbreaks and transmission cases involving rapidly evolving RNA viruses. Here, we present the results of such an analysis that contributed to the conviction of an anesthetist as being responsible for the infection of 275 of his patients with hepatitis C virus. We obtained sequences of the NS5B and E1-E2 regions in the viral genome for 322 patients suspected to have been infected by the doctor, and for 44 local, unrelated controls. The analysis of 4,184 cloned sequences of the E1-E2 region allowed us to exclude 47 patients from the outbreak. A subset of patients had known dates of infection. We used these data to calibrate a relaxed molecular clock and to determine a rough estimate of the time of infection for each patient. A similar analysis led to an estimate for the time of infection of the source. The date turned out to be 10 years before the detection of the outbreak. The number of patients infected was small at first, but it increased substantially in the months before the detection of the outbreak. We have developed a procedure to integrate molecular phylogenetic reconstructions of rapidly evolving viral populations into a forensic setting adequate for molecular epidemiological analysis of outbreaks and transmission events. We applied this procedure to a large outbreak of hepatitis C virus caused by a single source and the results obtained played a key role in the trial that led to the conviction of the suspected source.
Full Text Available A severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreak correlates with a high demand of specific supplies and specialized personnel to hold it back in a wide region or set of regions; these supplies would be beds, storage areas, hemodynamic monitors, and mechanical ventilators, as well as physicians, respiratory technicians, and specialized nurses. We describe an online cumulative sum based model named Overcrowd-Severe-Respiratory-Disease-Index based on the Modified Overcrowd Index that simultaneously monitors and informs the demand of those supplies and personnel in a healthcare network generating early warnings of severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreaks through the interpretation of such variables. A post hoc historical archive is generated, helping physicians in charge to improve the transit and future allocation of supplies in the entire hospital network during the outbreak. The model was thoroughly verified in a virtual scenario, generating multiple epidemic outbreaks in a 6-year span for a 13-hospital network. When it was superimposed over the H1N1 influenza outbreak census (2008–2010 taken by the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City, it showed that it is an effective algorithm to notify early warnings of severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreaks with a minimal rate of false alerts.
Castañón-González, Jorge Alberto; Macías, Alejandro E.; Samaniego, José Lino; Buhse, Thomas; Villanueva-Martínez, Sebastián
A severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreak correlates with a high demand of specific supplies and specialized personnel to hold it back in a wide region or set of regions; these supplies would be beds, storage areas, hemodynamic monitors, and mechanical ventilators, as well as physicians, respiratory technicians, and specialized nurses. We describe an online cumulative sum based model named Overcrowd-Severe-Respiratory-Disease-Index based on the Modified Overcrowd Index that simultaneously monitors and informs the demand of those supplies and personnel in a healthcare network generating early warnings of severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreaks through the interpretation of such variables. A post hoc historical archive is generated, helping physicians in charge to improve the transit and future allocation of supplies in the entire hospital network during the outbreak. The model was thoroughly verified in a virtual scenario, generating multiple epidemic outbreaks in a 6-year span for a 13-hospital network. When it was superimposed over the H1N1 influenza outbreak census (2008–2010) taken by the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City, it showed that it is an effective algorithm to notify early warnings of severe respiratory disease epidemic outbreaks with a minimal rate of false alerts. PMID:24069063
Freedman, Michael; Jackson, Brendan R; McCotter, Orion; Benedict, Kaitlin
Coccidioidomycosis causes substantial illness and death in the United States each year. Although most cases are sporadic, outbreaks provide insight into the clinical and environmental features of coccidioidomycosis, high-risk activities, and the geographic range of Coccidioides fungi. We identified reports published in English of 47 coccidioidomycosis outbreaks worldwide that resulted in 1,464 cases during 1940-2015. Most (85%) outbreaks were associated with environmental exposures; the 2 largest outbreaks resulted from an earthquake and a large dust storm. More than one third of outbreaks occurred in areas where the fungus was not previously known to be endemic, and more than half of outbreaks involved occupational exposures. Coccidioidomycosis outbreaks can be difficult to detect and challenging to prevent given the unknown effectiveness of environmental control methods and personal protective equipment; therefore, increased awareness of coccidioidomycosis outbreaks is needed among public health professionals, healthcare providers, and the public.
Mohammad Mehdi Soltan Dallal
Conclusion: The knowledge of bacterial agent of foodborne diseases and determination of antimicrobial resistance pattern are helpful to reduce the rate of foodborne outbreaks, the cost of treatment. The prevention control of outbreaks is also very important.
Full Text Available Nowadays learning technologies transformed educational systems with impressive progress of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT. Furthermore, when these technologies are available, affordable and accessible, they represent more than a transformation for people with disabilities. They represent real opportunities with access to an inclusive education and help to overcome the obstacles they met in classical educational systems. In this paper, we will cover basic concepts of e-accessibility, universal design and assistive technologies, with a special focus on accessible e-learning systems. Then, we will present recent research works conducted in our research Laboratory LaTICE toward the development of an accessible online learning environment for persons with disabilities from the design and specification step to the implementation. We will present, in particular, the accessible version “MoodleAcc+” of the well known e-learning platform Moodle as well as new elaborated generic models and a range of tools for authoring and evaluating accessible educational content.
Markus Brückner; Antonio Ciccone
To learn more about the effect of economic conditions on civil war, we examine whether Sub-Saharan civil wars are more likely to start following downturns in the international price of countries’ main export commodities. The data show a robust effect of commodity price downturns on the outbreak of civil wars. We also find that Sub-Saharan countries are more likely to see civil wars following economic downturns in their main OECD export destinations.
Markus Brückner; Antonio Ciccone
To learn more about the effect of economic conditions on civil war, we examine whether Sub-Saharan civil wars are more likely to start following downturns in the international price of countries main export commodities. The data show a robust effect of commodity price downturns on the outbreak of civil wars. We also find that Sub-Saharan countries are more likely to see civil wars following economic downturns in their main OECD export destinations.
Alcabes, P; O'Sullivan, B; Nadal, E; Mouzon, M
An outbreak of gastroenteritis in New York City's largest jail involved 145 cases over a two-month period. The outbreak was unusual in that two Salmonella strains (serogroups B and D) were involved. Management of the outbreak involved screening kitchen workers by culture of stool samples, and education regarding personal hygiene. Obstacles to investigation and management of the outbreak arose out of the special nature of the jail environment; these included jurisdictional problems and high turnover of the inmate population.
Charette, Margot; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Llanos-Cuentas, Elmer Alejandro; Cárcamo, César; Kulkarni, Manisha
Dengue is highly endemic in Peru, with increases in transmission particularly since vector re-infestation of the country in the 1980s. Pucallpa, the second largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, experienced a large outbreak in 2012 that caused more than 10,000 cases and 13 deaths. To date, there has been limited research on dengue in the Peruvian Amazon outside of Iquitos, and no published review or critical analysis of the 2012 Pucallpa dengue outbreak. This study describes the incidence, surveillance, and control of dengue in Ucayali to understand the factors that contributed to the 2012 Pucallpa outbreak. We employed a socio-ecological autopsy approach to consider distal and proximal contributing factors, drawing on existing literature and interviews with key personnel involved in dengue control, surveillance and treatment in Ucayali. Spatio-temporal analysis showed that relative risk of dengue was higher in the northern districts of Calleria (RR = 2.18), Manantay (RR = 1.49) and Yarinacocha (RR = 1.25) compared to all other districts between 2004 and 2014. The seasonal occurrence of the 2012 outbreak is consistent with typical seasonal patterns for dengue incidence in the region. Our assessment suggests that the outbreak was proximally triggered by the introduction of a new virus serotype (DENV-2 Asian/America) to the region. Increased travel, rapid urbanization, and inadequate water management facilitated the potential for virus spread and transmission, both within Pucallpa and regionally. These triggers occurred within the context of failures in surveillance and control programming, including underfunded and ad hoc vector control. These findings have implications for future prevention and control of dengue in Ucayali as new diseases such as chikungunya and Zika threaten the region. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In this article we present the parents‘ opinions about the contemporary sources in the field of early foreign language teaching and learning and their influence on the decisions parents make about including/excluding their child into the program of early foreign language learning. We found out, on the one hand, that parents are poorly informed about the current state of early foreign language learning both in Slovenia and abroad. On the other hand, parents reported positive attitudes about early foreign language teaching, a remarkable sense of right approach in early foreign language learning and, above all, their desire to know more about the subject.
Little is known about how grasshopper species abundances shift during and following severe outbreaks, as sampling efforts usually end when outbreaks subside. Grasshopper densities, species composition and vegetation have infrequently been sampled during and after a severe outbreak in the western U.S...
Jungbauer, Frank H. W.; Veenstra-Kyuchukova, Yanka K.; Koeze, Jacqueline; KruijtSpanjer, Martijn R.; Kardaun, Sylvia H.
Background The optimal approach to managing institutional scabies outbreaks has yet to be defined. We report on outbreak managements are needed. Methods We report on a large outbreak of scabies in three acute care wards in a tertiary university teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Results The
Lisa Y. Maeng
Full Text Available Women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, indicating that many females are especially vulnerable to stressful life experience. A profound sex difference in the response to stress is also observed in laboratory animals. Acute exposure to an uncontrollable stressful event disrupts associative learning during classical eyeblink conditioning in female rats but enhances this same type of learning process in males. These sex differences in response to stress are dependent on neuronal activity in similar but also different brain regions. Neuronal activity in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA is necessary in both males and females. However, neuronal activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC during the stressor is necessary to modify learning in females but not in males. The mPFC is often divided into its prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subregions, which differ both in structure and function. Through its connections to the BLA, we hypothesized that neuronal activity within the PL, but not IL, during the stressor is necessary to suppress learning in females. To test this hypothesis, either the PL or IL of adult female rats was bilaterally inactivated with GABAA agonist muscimol during acute inescapable swim stress. 24h later, all subjects were trained with classical eyeblink conditioning. Though stressed, females without neuronal activity in the PL learned well. In contrast, females with IL inactivation during the stressor did not learn well, behaving similar to stressed vehicle-treated females. These data suggest that exposure to a stressful event critically engages the PL, but not IL, to disrupt associative learning in females. Together with previous studies, these data indicate that the PL communicates with the BLA to suppress learning after a stressful experience in females. This circuit may be similarly engaged in women who become cognitively impaired after stressful
Presents a literature review of disease outbreaks related to fish and shellfish, covering publications of 1976-77. This review covers the chemical, bacterial, and viral diseases that are transmitted by fish and shellfish. A list of 50 references is also presented. (HM)
Qiu, Wei; Zheng, Ying; Zhang, Shoufeng; Fan, Quanshui; Liu, Hua; Zhang, Fuqiang; Wang, Wei; Liao, Guoyang; Hu, Rongliang
Since 2006, canine distemper outbreaks have occurred in rhesus monkeys at a breeding farm in Guangxi, People's Republic of China. Approximately 10,000 animals were infected (25%-60% disease incidence); 5%-30% of infected animals died. The epidemic was controlled by vaccination. Amino acid sequence analysis of the virus indicated a unique strain.
McKinney, Mary D.
One strain of E. coli is not usually found in foods, but has been related to consumption of undercooked ground beef. Symptoms are stomach cramps and diarrhea, and 2-7% of infections lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is life threatening. Camps can prevent outbreaks by avoiding uncooked meat on overnight campouts and requiring appropriate…
Pneumonia in calves and finishers. Ovarian tumour in a calf . Abortion associated with bovine herpesvirus 1 in a suckler herd. Parasitic gastroenteritis causing illthrift and death in sheep. Outbreaks of acute fasciolosis in sheep. These are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for December 2015 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS). British Veterinary Association.
In November 2012, 23 cases of ciguatera with typical combinations of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms occurred in Germany after consumption of imported tropical fish (Lutjanus spp.). A questionnaire was used to gather information on the disease course and fish consumption. All patients suffered from pathognomonic cold allodynia. Aside from two severe courses of illness, all other cases showed symptoms of moderate intensity. During a three-year follow-up, seven patients reported prolonged paresthesia for more than one year. Two of them reported further neuropathies over almost three years. This is the first time that long-term persistence of symptoms has been documented in detail. Outbreak cases were allocated to eight clusters in seven German cities. A further cluster was prevented by the successful recall of ciguatoxic fish. Three clusters were confirmed by the detection of ciguatoxin in samples of suspicious and recalled fish. An extrapolation on the basis of ciguatoxic samples revealed twenty prevented cases of ciguatera. Further officially unknown cases should be assumed. During the outbreak investigations, inadvertently falsely labelled fish species and fishing capture areas on import and retail level documents were observed. The ascertainment of cases and the outbreak investigations proved to be difficult due to inconsistent case reports to poisons centers, local health and veterinary authorities. In Germany, many physicians are unaware of the disease pattern of ciguatera and the risks caused by tropical fish. The occurrence of further outbreaks during the following years emphasizes the increasing significance of ciguatera in Germany.
Ravn, Pernille; Lundgren, Jens Dilling; Kjaeldgaard, P
admitted as inpatients during the transmission period of the outbreak (20 June-14 August), of whom 18 (17 with AIDS, one with AIDS related complex), developed cryptosporidiosis. Two further HIV negative subjects (one departmental secretary, one visiting relative) developed cryptosporidiosis. MAIN OUTCOME...
This podcast gives an overview of the October 2012 multistate fungal meningitis outbreak, including symptoms to watch for and a website for up-to-date information. Created: 10/17/2012 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 10/17/2012.
This article discusses the things college leaders should know and do in case of a pandemic influenza outbreak. The author talks about four principles that will guide college leaders in developing a pandemic influenza plan and presents the 10 elements of an effective college pandemic planning process.
Qiu, Wei; Zheng, Ying; Zhang, Shoufeng; Fan, Quanshui; Liu, Hua; Zhang, Fuqiang; Wang, Wei; Liao, Guoyang
Since 2006, canine distemper outbreaks have occurred in rhesus monkeys at a breeding farm in Guangxi, People’s Republic of China. Approximately 10,000 animals were infected (25%–60% disease incidence); 5%–30% of infected animals died. The epidemic was controlled by vaccination. Amino acid sequence analysis of the virus indicated a unique strain. PMID:21801646
Bonačić Marinović, Axel; Swaan, Corien; van Steenbergen, Jim; Kretzschmar, MEE
The extent to which reporting delays should be reduced to gain substantial improvement in outbreak control is unclear. We developed a model to quantitatively assess reporting timeliness. Using reporting speed data for 6 infectious diseases in the notification system in the Netherlands, we calculated
Jacobsen, Peter; Ebbehøj, Niels Erik
BACKGROUND: Hospitals are rarely reported as settings for mass psychogenic illness (MPI). The present report scrutinizes an outbreak of probable MPI among hospital staff, with medical intervention reinforcing the course of the illness. CASE REPORT: Four of seven staff members in an emergency...
Lessons in Outbreak a Consumer perspective. Arnout Fischer Consumer risk perceptions is not necessarily the same as an economic weighing of risks and benefits. Consumers tend to be risk averse, tend to estimate catastrophic, unnatural or involuntary risks as larger, while personal lifestyle risks
Longevity and fecundity of Dichroplus maculipennis (Orthoptera, Acrididae at non-outbreaking and outbreaking situations Longevidade e fecundidade de Dichroplus maculipennis (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae em situações de "non-outbreaking" e "outbreaking"
Full Text Available Dichroplus maculipennis is one of the most characteristic and damaging grasshopper species of Argentina, mainly in areas of the Pampas and Patagonia regions. We estimated and compared the longevity and fecundity of adult female D. maculipennis under controlled conditions (30ºC, 14L:10D, 40% RH from individuals collected as last instar nymphs (VI in the field and with a known recent history of low and high density conditions. Densities of D. maculipennis at the collecting sites were 0.95 individuals per m² in 2006 and 46 ind/m² in 2009, representing non-outbreaking and outbreaking situations, respectively. Adult female longevity in 2006 (67.96 ± 3.2 days was significantly higher (p 0.05. The fecundity curves showed that the highest values were at weeks 11 and 13 for the 2006 females, and at week 6 for those of 2009. Since the daily oviposition rate at low and high densities was not significantly different, the diminished fecundity rate at high density is attributable to their reduced longevity.O gafanhoto Dichroplus maculipennis é um dos mais característicos e prejudiciales da Argentina, principalmente nas regiões das Pampas e da Patagonia. O objetivo deste estudo foi estimar e comparar a longevidade e fecundidade das fêmeas adultas do D. maculipennis sob condições controladas (30ºC, 14 luz: 10 obscuridad, 40% RH a partir do indivíduos coletados em campo como ultimo estadio ninfal (VI e con historia recente conocida de baixas e altas densidades. As densidades de D. maculipennis nos locais de coleta foram de 0.95 indivíduos por m² em 2006 e 46 indivíduos/m² em 2009, representando situações de "non-outbreaking" e "outbreaking", respectivamente. A longevidade das fêmeas adultas em 2006 (67.96 ± 3.2 dias foi significamente maior (p 0.05. No entanto, as baixas taxas de fecundidade das fêmeas em densidades elevadas, se devem, provavelmente à longevidade reduzida.
Currie, Jonny; Davies, Llion; McCarthy, Joanne; Perry, Malorie; Moore, Catherine; Cottrell, Simon; Bowley, Mererid; Williams, Chris; Shankar, Ananda Giri; Stiff, Rhianwen
The United Kingdom achieved interrupted endemic measles transmission for 36 months in 2016. Despite this, ongoing challenges from sporadic measles cases typically imported from abroad remain. We summarise a B3 measles genotype outbreak in south-east Wales occurring between May and September 2017, linked with other European outbreaks, and lessons learnt. Seventeen confirmed cases and one probable case occurred principally in education and healthcare-settings. Six confirmed cases attended healthcare settings when infectious, without being isolated.
Anniballi, Fabrizio; Fiore, Alfonsina; Löfström, Charlotta
and economic concern because of its high mortality rate. Moreover, meat or other products from affected animals entering the food chain may result in a public health problem. To this end, early diagnosis is crucial to define and apply appropriate veterinary public health measures. Clinical diagnosis is based...... outbreaks. In this article we outline all phases of management of animal botulism outbreaks occurring in wet wild birds, poultry, cattle, horses, and fur farm animals....
Sharif, T.B.; Tariq, W.U.Z.
Hepatitis E virus is an RNA virus. It results in epidemics/outbreaks in geographical areas lacking clean water and sanitation. It is excreted in stools and is enterically transmitted (faeco-oral route). The clinical picture resembles other acute hepatitis and diagnosis is clinched by detecting anti-HEV IgM in infected individuals. It is a self-limiting disease and does not progress to chronicity. There is no vaccine available so far, to confer immunity against HEV infection. HEV is endemic in many parts of the world and has resulted in many epidemics / outbreaks worldwide. It is also endemic in Pakistan and epidemics / outbreaks have generally been under reported. To establish the cause of outbreak Blood samples of the patients (n=195), admitted in isolation ward were collected aseptically for routine baseline investigations and hepatitis screening. Separate blood samples were sent to Armed Forces Institute of pathology (AFIP), Rawalpindi for detection of antibodies to hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV IgM). Water samples collected during the outbreak were tested by multiple tube technique. MPN (Most Probable Number) method was used to determine faecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml of water sample. All the patients (n=195) on admission had raised ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) levels along with hyperbilirubinemia, 37% had raised TLC with polymorphonuclear response. None had HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface antign) or anti-HCV (antibodies to hepatitis C virus), 23% had prolonged PT (Prothrombin Time). Samples despatched to AFIP Rawalpindi confirmed the presence of anti-HEV IgM. Follow up analysis revealed many fold increase in ALT levels. Average stay in the Hospital was 23.6 days per patient. All the water samples were declared unfit for drinking due to high coliform count. At present, no vaccine is available to protect against HEV infection. Mainstay for prevention and occurrence is to formulate cost-effective strategies for improvement of self/environmental hygiene and
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several angiostrongyliasis outbreaks have been reported in recent years but the disease continues to be neglected in public health circles. We describe an outbreak in Dali, southwest China in order to highlight some key problems for the control of this helminth infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: All available medical records of suspected angiostrongyliasis patients visiting hospitals in Dali in the period 1 October 2007-31 March 2008 were reviewed, and tentative diagnoses of varying strengths were reached according to given sets of criteria. Snails collected from local markets, restaurants and natural habitats were also screened for the presence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis. A total of 33 patients met criteria for infection, and 11 among them were classified as clinically confirmed. An additional eight patients were identified through a surveillance system put in operation in response to the outbreak. The epidemic lasted for 8 months with its peak in February 2008. Of the 33 patients, 97.0% complained of severe headache. 84.8% patients had high eosinophil cell counts either in the peripheral blood or in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF. Three-quarters of the patients were treated with a combination of albendazole and corticosteroids, resulting in significantly improved overall conditions. Twenty-two patients reported the consumption of raw or undercooked snails prior to the onset of the symptoms, and approximately 1.0% of the Pomacea canaliculata snails on sale were found to be infected with A. cantonensis. The snails were also found in certain habitats around Dali but no parasites were detected in these populations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The import and sale of infected P. canaliculata is the likely trigger for this angiostrongyliasis outbreak. Awareness of angiostrongyliasis must be raised, and standardized diagnosis and treatment are needed in order to provide clinicians with a guide to address this disease. Health education
Haque, Farhana; Hossain, M Jahangir; Kundu, Subodh Kumar; Naser, Abu Mohd; Rahman, Mahmudur; Luby, Stephen P
In 2011, a multidisciplinary team investigated two diarrhoea outbreaks affecting urban Bangladeshi communities from the districts of Bogra and Kishorganj to identify etiology, pathways of transmission, and factors contributing to these outbreaks. We defined case-patients with severe diarrhoea as residents from affected communities admitted with ≥3 loose stools per day. We listed case-patients, interviewed and examined them, and collected rectal swabs. We visited the affected communities to explore the water and sanitation infrastructure. We tested the microbial load of water samples from selected case household taps, tube wells, and pump stations. We conducted anthropological investigations to understand community perceptions regarding the outbreaks. We identified 21 case-patients from Bogra and 84 from Kishorganj. The median age in Bogra was 23 years, and 21 years in Kishorganj. There were no reported deaths. We isolated Vibrio in 29% (5/17) of rectal swabs from Bogra and in 40% (8/20) from Kishorganj. We found Vibrio in 1/8 tap water samples from Bogra and in both of the samples from Kishorganj. We did not find Vibrio in water samples from pumps or tube wells in either outbreak. Ground water extracted through deep tube wells was supplied intermittently through interconnected pipes without treatment in both areas. We found leakages in the water pipes in Bogra, and in Kishorganj water pipes passed through open sewers. The rapid onset of severe diarrhoea predominantly affecting adults and the isolation of cholera in rectal swabs confirmed that these outbreaks were caused by Vibrio cholerae . The detection of Vibrio in water samples organisms from taps but not from pumps or tube wells, suggested contamination within the pipes. Safe water provision is difficult in municipalities where supply is intermittent, and where pipes commonly leak. Research to develop and evaluate water purification strategies could identify appropriate approaches for ensuring safe drinking
Lv, Shan; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Shao-Rong; Wang, Li-Bo; Fang, Wen; Chen, Feng; Jiang, Jin-Yong; Li, Yuan-Lin; Du, Zun-Wei; Zhou, Xiao-Nong
Several angiostrongyliasis outbreaks have been reported in recent years but the disease continues to be neglected in public health circles. We describe an outbreak in Dali, southwest China in order to highlight some key problems for the control of this helminth infection. All available medical records of suspected angiostrongyliasis patients visiting hospitals in Dali in the period 1 October 2007-31 March 2008 were reviewed, and tentative diagnoses of varying strengths were reached according to given sets of criteria. Snails collected from local markets, restaurants and natural habitats were also screened for the presence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis. A total of 33 patients met criteria for infection, and 11 among them were classified as clinically confirmed. An additional eight patients were identified through a surveillance system put in operation in response to the outbreak. The epidemic lasted for 8 months with its peak in February 2008. Of the 33 patients, 97.0% complained of severe headache. 84.8% patients had high eosinophil cell counts either in the peripheral blood or in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Three-quarters of the patients were treated with a combination of albendazole and corticosteroids, resulting in significantly improved overall conditions. Twenty-two patients reported the consumption of raw or undercooked snails prior to the onset of the symptoms, and approximately 1.0% of the Pomacea canaliculata snails on sale were found to be infected with A. cantonensis. The snails were also found in certain habitats around Dali but no parasites were detected in these populations. The import and sale of infected P. canaliculata is the likely trigger for this angiostrongyliasis outbreak. Awareness of angiostrongyliasis must be raised, and standardized diagnosis and treatment are needed in order to provide clinicians with a guide to address this disease. Health education campaigns could limit the risk, and a hospital-based surveillance system should be
Full Text Available The frequency, magnitude, and size of forest disturbances are increasing globally. Much recent research has focused on how the occurrence of one disturbance may affect susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. While much has been learned about such linked disturbances, the strength of the interactions is likely to be contingent on the severity of disturbances as well as climatic conditions, both of which can affect disturbance intensity and tree resistance to disturbances. Subalpine forests in western Colorado were affected by extensive and severe wildfires in the late 19th century and an extensive and severe outbreak of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis in the 1940s. Previous research found that most, but not all, of the stands that burned and established following the late 19th century fires were not susceptible to the 1940s outbreak as beetles preferentially attack larger trees and stands in advanced stages of development. However, previous research also left open the possibility that some stands that burned and established following the 19th century fires may have been attacked during the 1940s outbreak. Understanding how strongly stand structure, as shaped by disturbances of varying severity, affected susceptibility to past outbreaks is important to provide a baseline for assessing the degree to which recent climate change may be relaxing the preferences of beetles for larger trees and for stands in latter stages of structural development and thereby changing the nature of linked disturbances. Here, dendroecological methods were used to study disturbance history and tree age of stands in the White River National Forest in Western Colorado that were identified in historical documents or remotely-sensed images as having burned in the 19th century and having been attacked by spruce beetle in the 1940s. Dendroecological reconstructions indicate that in young post-fire stands only old remnant trees that survived the otherwise stand
Ramos, Fernanda; Salem, Thomas
The National Weather Service office in Memphis, Tennessee has aimed their efforts to improve severe tornado forecasting. Everything is not known about tornadogenesis, but one thing is: tornadoes tend to form within supercell thunderstorms. Hence, 27 April 2011 and 25 May 2011 were days when a Tornado Outbreak was expected to arise. Although 22 tornadoes struck the region on 27 April 2011, only 1 impacted the area on 25 May 2011. In order to understand both events, comparisons of their physical features were made. These parameters were studied using the Weather Event Simulator system and the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction database. This research concentrated on the Surface Frontal Analysis, NAM40 700mb Dew-Points, NAM80 250mb Wind Speed and NAM20 500mb Vorticity images as well as 0-6 km Shear, MUCAPE and VGP mesoscale patterns. As result of this research a Dry-Line ahead of a Cold Front, Dew-points 5C and higher, and high Vorticity values^ were synoptic patterns that influenced to the formation of supercell tornadoes. Finally, MUCAPE and VGP favored the possibility of tornadoes occurrence on 25 May 2011, but shear was the factor that made 27 April 2011 a day for a Tornado Outbreak weather event.
Sanchotene, Karine Ortiz; Madrid, Isabel Martins; Klafke, Gabriel Baracy; Bergamashi, Mariana; Della Terra, Paula Portella; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Xavier, Melissa Orzechowski
Sporotrichosis is the main subcutaneous mycosis in Brazil, and is caused by Sporothrix schenckii and allied species. Sporothrix propagules present on soil and plant debris may be traumatically inoculated into the cutaneous/ subcutaneous tissues of the warm-blooded host. An alternative route involves direct animal-animal and animal-human transmissions through deep scratches and bites of diseased cats. Sporotrichosis is much more common than previously appreciated with several cases emerging over the years especially in South and Southeast Brazil. We conducted an epidemiological surveillance in endemic areas of feline sporotrichosis in the southern region of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Over the last 5-year period the number of feline sporotrichosis in Rio Grande increased from 0.75 new cases per month in 2010 to 3.33 cases per month in 2014. The wide geographic distribution of diagnosed cases highlights the dynamics of Sporothrix transmission across urban areas with high population density. Molecular identification down to species level by PCR-RFLP of cat-transmitted Sporothrix revealed the emergence of the clonal offshoot S. brasiliensis during feline outbreaks; this scenario is similar to the epidemics taking place in the metropolitan areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Controlling and preventing sporotrichosis outbreaks are essential steps to managing the disease among humans and animals. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Olabode, Abayomi S; Jiang, Xiaowei; Robertson, David L; Lovell, Simon C
The 2014 epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has had a devastating impact in West Africa. Sequencing of ebolavirus (EBOV) from infected individuals has revealed extensive genetic variation, leading to speculation that the virus may be adapting to humans, accounting for the scale of the 2014 outbreak. We computationally analyze the variation associated with all EVD outbreaks, and find none of the amino acid replacements lead to identifiable functional changes. These changes have minimal effect on protein structure, being neither stabilizing nor destabilizing, are not found in regions of the proteins associated with known functions and tend to cluster in poorly constrained regions of proteins, specifically intrinsically disordered regions. We find no evidence that the difference between the current and previous outbreaks is due to evolutionary changes associated with transmission to humans. Instead, epidemiological factors are likely to be responsible for the unprecedented spread of EVD. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Farley, Helen; Murphy, Angela; Johnson, Chris; Carter, Brad; Lane, Michael; Midgley, Warren; Hafeez-Baig, Abdul; Dekeyser, Stijn; Koronios, Andy
Though universities are eager to leverage the potential of mobile learning to provide learning flexibly, most balk at the cost of providing students with mobile hardware. The practice of "bring your own device" (BYOD) is often mooted as a cost-effective alternative. This paper provides a snapshot of student ownership of mobile devices at…
Hosp, J A; Mann, S; Wegenast-Braun, B M; Calhoun, M E; Luft, A R
Motor learning requires protein synthesis within the primary motor cortex (M1). Here, we show that the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1 is specifically induced in M1 by learning a motor skill. Arc mRNA was quantified using a fluorescent in situ hybridization assay in adult Long-Evans rats learning a skilled reaching task (SRT), in rats performing reaching-like forelimb movement without learning (ACT) and in rats that were trained in the operant but not the motor elements of the task (controls). Apart from M1, Arc expression was assessed within the rostral motor area (RMA), primary somatosensory cortex (S1), striatum (ST) and cerebellum. In SRT animals, Arc mRNA levels in M1 contralateral to the trained limb were 31% higher than ipsilateral (pmotor skill learning in rats. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jacobsen, Kathryn H; Aguirre, A Alonso; Bailey, Charles L; Baranova, Ancha V; Crooks, Andrew T; Croitoru, Arie; Delamater, Paul L; Gupta, Jhumka; Kehn-Hall, Kylene; Narayanan, Aarthi; Pierobon, Mariaelena; Rowan, Katherine E; Schwebach, J Reid; Seshaiyer, Padmanabhan; Sklarew, Dann M; Stefanidis, Anthony; Agouris, Peggy
As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa wanes, it is time for the international scientific community to reflect on how to improve the detection of and coordinated response to future epidemics. Our interdisciplinary team identified key lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak that can be clustered into three areas: environmental conditions related to early warning systems, host characteristics related to public health, and agent issues that can be addressed through the laboratory sciences. In particular, we need to increase zoonotic surveillance activities, implement more effective ecological health interventions, expand prediction modeling, support medical and public health systems in order to improve local and international responses to epidemics, improve risk communication, better understand the role of social media in outbreak awareness and response, produce better diagnostic tools, create better therapeutic medications, and design better vaccines. This list highlights research priorities and policy actions the global community can take now to be better prepared for future emerging infectious disease outbreaks that threaten global public health and security.
McDonald, C.; Usmani, M.; Colwell, R. R.; Jutla, A.
Dengue and Zika virus are becoming global health threats. With a recent resurgence of Zika virus in the Americas, there is a renewed interest to understand the physical pathways on interactions of vectors with human population. However, the challenge is in the availability of the vectors and viruses in regions that have suffered from outbreaks of these infections. Aedes spp. mosquitoes are the primary vectors of both Zika and Dengue viruses. The critical question is how one species of mosquito is able to transmit two different infections. Therefore, there is a need to understand the coherence and co-emergence behavior of Dengue and Zika infections. Our dominant hypothesis is that Dengue precedes Zika viruses. Here, we will show a global chronological trend of Dengue and Zika virus, or how an outbreak of dengue may lead to an outbreak of Zika virus, as regions with Zika virus outbreaks had demonstrated peak dengue incidences in prior months. We will also present global trends on key climatological and weather processes as a function of the emergence of these two viruses. We anticipate that this information can be used concurrently with geographical and meteorological information to more accurately predict the spread of Zika virus.
In 2012, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency. Indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission remains uninterrupted in Nigeria (in the WHO African Region [AFR]) and in Afghanistan and Pakistan (in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region [EMR]). In the WHO AFR, multiple WPV outbreaks have occurred since 2003 after importation of indigenous West African WPV into 21 previously polio-free countries in a "WPV importation belt"* that extends across the continent. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and WHO regional offices have used indicators of population immunity, surveillance quality, and other factors (e.g., high-risk subpopulations and proximity to WPV-affected countries) to assess the risk for outbreaks in polio-free countries and guide the implementation of risk mitigation measures to limit poliovirus transmission after WPV importation and prevent the emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV). Despite risk mitigation efforts, a polio outbreak, first confirmed in May 2013, is ongoing; as of September 10, a total of 178 WPV type 1 (WPV1) cases have been reported in Somalia† (163 cases), Kenya (14 cases) and Ethiopia (1 case), after importation of WPV1 of West African origin. This report summarizes steps taken by the GPEI to assess and mitigate the risks for outbreaks after WPV importation or the emergence of cVDPV in polio-free countries within the WHO AFR's "WPV importation belt." All countries will continue to have some level of risk for WPV outbreaks as long as endemic circulation continues in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Background We consider the potential for infection to spread in a farm population from the primary outbreak farm via livestock movements prior to disease detection. We analyse how this depends on the time of the year infection occurs, the species transmitting, the length of infectious period on the primary outbreak farm, location of the primary outbreak, and whether a livestock market becomes involved. We consider short infectious periods of 1 week, 2 weeks and 4 weeks, characteristic of acute contagious livestock diseases. The analysis is based on farms in Scotland from 1 January 2003 to 31 July 2007. Results The proportion of primary outbreaks from which an acute contagious disease would spread via movement of livestock is generally low, but exhibits distinct annual cyclicity with peaks in May and August. The distance that livestock are moved varies similarly: at the time of the year when the potential for spread via movements is highest, the geographical spread via movements is largest. The seasonal patterns for cattle differ from those for sheep whilst there is no obvious seasonality for pigs. When spread via movements does occur, there is a high risk of infection reaching a livestock market; infection of markets can amplify disease spread. The proportion of primary outbreaks that would spread infection via livestock movements varies significantly between geographical regions. Conclusions In this paper we introduce a set-up for analysis of movement data that allows for a generalized assessment of the risk associated with infection spreading from a primary outbreak farm via livestock movements, applying this to Scotland, we assess how this risk depends upon the time of the year, species transmitting, location of the farm and other factors. PMID:22115121
Otshudiema, John O; Ndakala, Nestor G; Mawanda, Elande-Taty K; Tshapenda, Gaston P; Kimfuta, Jacques M; Nsibu, Loupy-Régence N; Gueye, Abdou S; Dee, Jacob; Philen, Rossanne M; Giese, Coralie; Murrill, Christopher S; Arthur, Ray R; Kebela, Benoit I
On April 23, 2016, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC's) Ministry of Health declared a yellow fever outbreak. As of May 24, 2016, approximately 90% of suspected yellow fever cases (n = 459) and deaths (45) were reported in a single province, Kongo Central Province, that borders Angola, where a large yellow fever outbreak had begun in December 2015. Two yellow fever mass vaccination campaigns were conducted in Kongo Central Province during May 25-June 7, 2016 and August 17-28, 2016. In June 2016, the DRC Ministry of Health requested assistance from CDC to control the outbreak. As of August 18, 2016, a total of 410 suspected yellow fever cases and 42 deaths were reported in Kongo Central Province. Thirty seven of the 393 specimens tested in the laboratory were confirmed as positive for yellow fever virus (local outbreak threshold is one laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever). Although not well-documented for this outbreak, malaria, viral hepatitis, and typhoid fever are common differential diagnoses among suspected yellow fever cases in this region. Other possible diagnoses include Zika, West Nile, or dengue viruses; however, no laboratory-confirmed cases of these viruses were reported. Thirty five of the 37 cases of yellow fever were imported from Angola. Two-thirds of confirmed cases occurred in persons who crossed the DRC-Angola border at one market city on the DRC side, where ≤40,000 travelers cross the border each week on market day. Strategies to improve coordination between health surveillance and cross-border trade activities at land borders and to enhance laboratory and case-based surveillance and health border screening capacity are needed to prevent and control future yellow fever outbreaks.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In October 2009, the first case of pandemic influenza A(H1N1pdm09 (pH1N1 was confirmed in Kigali, Rwanda and countrywide dissemination occurred within several weeks. We describe clinical and epidemiological characteristics of this epidemic. METHODS: From October 2009 through May 2010, we undertook epidemiologic investigations and response to pH1N1. Respiratory specimens were collected from all patients meeting the WHO case definition for pH1N1, which were tested using CDC's real time RT-PCR protocol at the Rwandan National Reference Laboratory (NRL. Following documented viral transmission in the community, testing focused on clinically severe and high-risk group suspect cases. RESULTS: From October 9, 2009 through May 31, 2010, NRL tested 2,045 specimens. In total, 26% (n = 532 of specimens tested influenza positive; of these 96% (n = 510 were influenza A and 4% (n = 22 were influenza B. Of cases testing influenza A positive, 96.8% (n = 494, 3% (n = 15, and 0.2% (n = 1 were A(H1N1pdm09, Seasonal A(H3 and Seasonal A(non-subtyped, respectively. Among laboratory-confirmed cases, 263 (53.2% were children <15 years and 275 (52% were female. In total, 58 (12% cases were hospitalized with mean duration of hospitalization of 5 days (Range: 2-15 days. All cases recovered and there were no deaths. Overall, 339 (68% confirmed cases received oseltamivir in any setting. Among all positive cases, 26.9% (143/532 were among groups known to be at high risk of influenza-associated complications, including age <5 years 23% (122/532, asthma 0.8% (4/532, cardiac disease 1.5% (8/532, pregnancy 0.6% (3/532, diabetes mellitus 0.4% (2/532, and chronic malnutrition 0.8% (4/532. CONCLUSIONS: Rwanda experienced a PH1N1 outbreak which was epidemiologically similar to PH1N1 outbreaks in the region. Unlike seasonal influenza, children <15 years were the most affected by pH1N1. Lessons learned from the outbreak response included the need to
Blake, Isobel M; Chenoweth, Paul; Okayasu, Hiro; Donnelly, Christl A; Aylward, R Bruce; Grassly, Nicholas C
As the global eradication of poliomyelitis approaches the final stages, prompt detection of new outbreaks is critical to enable a fast and effective outbreak response. Surveillance relies on reporting of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases and laboratory confirmation through isolation of poliovirus from stool. However, delayed sample collection and testing can delay outbreak detection. We investigated whether weekly testing for clusters of AFP by location and time, using the Kulldorff scan statistic, could provide an early warning for outbreaks in 20 countries. A mixed-effects regression model was used to predict background rates of nonpolio AFP at the district level. In Tajikistan and Congo, testing for AFP clusters would have resulted in an outbreak warning 39 and 11 days, respectively, before official confirmation of large outbreaks. This method has relatively high specificity and could be integrated into the current polio information system to support rapid outbreak response activities.
Makamure, Miranda; Makamure, Muriel; Mendiola, Williane; Renteria, Daisy; Repp, Melissa; Willden, Azshwee
The impact of disease outbreaks continues to increase globally. As frontline staff, critical care nurses (CCNs) are more likely to be confronted with the need to care for affected patients. With different pathological diseases emerging, CCNs play an integral role in disease outbreaks. The advanced skill set of CCNs is pivotal in the management and care of patients during an outbreak. Lack of planning and preparation before disease outbreaks leads to detrimental patient outcomes. Panic, chaos, and fear for personal safety cause stress and anxiety for unprepared nurses. However, this problem can be resolved. Comprehensive planning, training, and education can better prepare intensive care unit nurses for disease outbreaks. This article reviews some of the current literature on intensive care unit nurse preparedness for disease outbreaks in the United States. This article also offers strategies that may be used to better prepare CCNs for disease outbreaks.
Taylor, Robert; Jung, Joanne; Loewen, Peter; Spencer, Carrie; Dossa, Anar; de Lemos, Jane
The prevalence of online modules for continuing education in the health professions has been increasing in recent years. However, the effectiveness of online modules for pharmacist learning has not been thoroughly studied. The primary aim of this study was to determine if providing education to pharmacists through a self-paced enhanced online module was non-inferior to a face-to-face learning module with respect to knowledge application on the topic of postoperative insulin dosing. Secondary aims were to determine pharmacists' knowledge gain and retention, as well as their satisfaction with the modules. The participants in this prospective, randomized, parallel-group non-inferiority trial were pharmacists in a large multicentre health region. Outcomes were measured by comparing scores obtained on pre- and post-module knowledge-assessment questionnaires. A between-group difference in change on knowledge application scores of less than 25 percentage points was the predetermined non-inferiority margin. A total of 74 pharmacists consented to participate, 38 randomly assigned to use the enhanced online module and 36 to attend the face-to-face learning session. For questions examining knowledge application, the mean improvement achieved by the online learning group was 26 percentage points greater than that achieved by the face-to-face learning group (95% confidence interval [CI] 25 to 27; p online learning group was 7 percentage points less than that achieved by the face-to-face learning group (95% CI 2 to 12; p = 0.008). Therefore, the enhanced online module was deemed to be non-inferior to the face-to-face learning session in terms of knowledge application and knowledge gain. Insufficient data were available to analyze the secondary outcome of knowledge retention over time. Participant satisfaction was similar for the 2 groups (p = 0.62). The self-paced enhanced online module was non-inferior to facilitated face-to-face learning in terms of improving application and
Callejón, Raquel M; Rodríguez-Naranjo, M Isabel; Ubeda, Cristina; Hornedo-Ortega, Ruth; Garcia-Parrilla, M Carmen; Troncoso, Ana M
The consumption of fruit and vegetables continues to rise in the United States and European Union due to healthy lifestyle recommendations. Meanwhile, the rate of foodborne illness caused by the consumption of these products remains high in both regions, representing a significant public health and financial issue. This study addresses the occurrence of reported foodborne outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables consumption in the United States and European Union during the period 2004-2012, where data are available. Special attention is paid to those pathogens responsible for these outbreaks, the mechanisms of contamination, and the fresh produce vehicles involved. Norovirus is shown to be responsible for most of the produce-related outbreaks, followed by Salmonella. Norovirus is mainly linked with the consumption of salad in the United States and of berries in the European Union, as demonstrated by the Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). Salmonella was the leading cause of multistate produce outbreaks in the United States and was the pathogen involved in the majority of sprouts-associated outbreaks. As is reflected in the MCA, the pattern of fresh produce outbreaks differed in the United States and European Union by the type of microorganism and the food vehicle involved.
Gibbs, R A; Nanyonjo, R; Pingault, N M; Combs, B G; Mazzucchelli, T; Armstrong, P; Tarling, G; Dowse, G K
In 2010, an outbreak of cyclosporiasis affected passengers and crew on two successive voyages of a cruise ship that departed from and returned to Fremantle, Australia. There were 73 laboratory-confirmed and 241 suspected cases of Cyclospora infection reported in passengers and crew from the combined cruises. A case-control study performed in crew members found that illness was associated with eating items of fresh produce served onboard the ship, but the study was unable conclusively to identify the responsible food(s). It is likely that one or more of the fresh produce items taken onboard at a south-east Asian port during the first cruise was contaminated. If fresh produce supplied to cruise ships is sourced from countries or regions where Cyclospora is endemic, robust standards of food production and hygiene should be applied to the supply chain.
Full Text Available Enteroviruses cause common infections with various clinical course and forms, such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease (Boston exanthem disease, herpangina, myocarditis and pericarditis, widespread myositis (epidemic pleurodynia, Bornholm disease, or aseptic inflammation of the nervous system, among children and adolescents. An increase in aseptic meningitis cases of enteroviral aetiology, including the E30 virus, was occasionally observed in various European countries. In 2014, an outbreak of aseptic meningitis was reported in Podlaskie Voivodeship. A total of 640 cases were reported between June 1 and November 30, 2014, of which 228 had confirmed enteroviral aetiology. Summer and autumn seasons favour the incidence of viral infections of the central nervous system. Symptomatic infections are more common in males than females. Infections with enterovirus show the tendency to form endemic regions.
Ravn, Pernille; Lundgren, Jens Dilling; Kjaeldgaard, P
OBJECTIVE--To describe a nosocomial outbreak of cryptosporidiosis during four months after June 1989. SETTING--A department of infectious diseases in Copenhagen, seeing about half the patients with AIDS in Denmark. SUBJECTS--73 HIV antibody negative subjects and 60 antibody positive subjects...... admitted as inpatients during the transmission period of the outbreak (20 June-14 August), of whom 18 (17 with AIDS, one with AIDS related complex), developed cryptosporidiosis. Two further HIV negative subjects (one departmental secretary, one visiting relative) developed cryptosporidiosis. MAIN OUTCOME...... out ice for cold drinks. The mean incubation time was at least 13 days-that is, twice that in HIV-negative patients. Of the 18 patients with AIDS who developed cryptosporidiosis, five recovered, two were symptomless carriers, three died of unrelated causes, and eight died after prolonged diarrhoea...
Wang, Sheng-Fan; Wang, Wen-Hung; Chang, Ko; Chen, Yen-Hsu; Tseng, Sung-Pin; Yen, Chia-Hung; Wu, Deng-Chyang; Chen, Yi-Ming Arthur
Dengue fever (DF) is a vector-borne disease caused by dengue viruses (DENVs). Epidemic dengue occurs intermittently in Taiwan. In 2014, Taiwan experienced its largest DF outbreak. There were 15,732 DF cases reported. There were a total of 136 dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases, of which 20 resulted in death. Most DF cases were reported in southern Taiwan. A total of 15,043 (96%) cases were from Kaohsiung, a modern city in southern Taiwan. This report reviews DF epidemics in Taiwan during 2005-2014. The correlation between DF and DHF along with temperature and precipitation were conjointly examined. We conclude that most dengue epidemics in Taiwan resulted from imported DF cases. Results indicate three main factors that may have been associated with this DF outbreak in Kaohsiung: an underground pipeline explosion combined with subsequent rainfall and higher temperature. These factors may have enhanced mosquito breeding activity, facilitating DENV transmission. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Full Text Available Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%. The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other in a remote area of Sudan. The origin of the virus is unknown but fruit bats (Pteropodidae are considered the likely host of the Ebola virus, based on available evidence. In the current outbreak in West Africa, the majority of cases in humans have occurred as a result of human-to-human transmission. Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen of infected people.
Stochasticity and spatial heterogeneity are of great interest recently in studying the spread of an infectious disease. The presented method solves an inverse problem to discover the effectively decisive topology of a heterogeneous network and reveal the transmission parameters which govern the stochastic spreads over the network from a dataset on an infectious disease outbreak in the early growth phase. Populations in a combination of epidemiological compartment models and a meta-population network model are described by stochastic differential equations. Probability density functions are derived from the equations and used for the maximal likelihood estimation of the topology and parameters. The method is tested with computationally synthesized datasets and the WHO dataset on the SARS outbreak.
Full Text Available Aim: In this study, it was aimed to research by means of qualitative research methods the contact of individuals living in the region with mice and wild animals during the examination of Hantavirus epidemic to produce. Materials and Methods: In the interviews, the contact of participants with mice and wild animals, their opinions about the climate change and their symptom history pertaining to Hantavirus infections in themselves or relatives were discussed. Results: The participants stated that they didn’t see any mouse or mouse excretion, however that they encountered such cases in areas such as woodbin, roof, terrace, forest, etc. all interviews, the increase in the number of wild boars and jackals was especially stated. In all interviews, it was stated that this year was more rainy and warmer compared to previous years. Conclusion: The findings of the study give the impression that the participant group is under the risk of Hantavirus infection. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2012; 11(1.000: 81-86
Mateos, I; Valencia, R; Torres, M J; Cantos, A; Conde, M; Aznar, J
We describe an outbreak of nosocomial endophthalmitis due to a common source, which was determined to be trypan blue solution prepared in the hospital's pharmacy service. We assume that viable bacteria probably gained access to the trypan blue stock solution during cooling after autoclaving. The temporal cluster of Pseudomonas aeruginosa endophthalmitis was readily perceived on the basis of clinical and microbiological findings, and an exogenous source of contamination was unequivocally identified by means of DNA fingerprinting.
Ahmad, Rohani; Suzilah, Ismail; Wan Najdah, Wan Mohamad Ali; Topek, Omar; Mustafakamal, Ibrahim; Lee, Han Lim
A large scale study was conducted to elucidate the true relationship among entomological, epidemiological and environmental factors that contributed to dengue outbreak in Malaysia. Two large areas (Selayang and Bandar Baru Bangi) were selected in this study based on five consecutive years of high dengue cases. Entomological data were collected using ovitraps where the number of larvae was used to reflect Aedes mosquito population size; followed by RT-PCR screening to detect and serotype dengue virus in mosquitoes. Notified cases, date of disease onset, and number and type of the interventions were used as epidemiological endpoint, while rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and air pollution index (API) were indicators for environmental data. The field study was conducted during 81 weeks of data collection. Correlation and Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model were used to determine the relationship. The study showed that, notified cases were indirectly related with the environmental data, but shifted one week, i.e. last 3 weeks positive PCR; last 4 weeks rainfall; last 3 weeks maximum relative humidity; last 3 weeks minimum and maximum temperature; and last 4 weeks air pollution index (API), respectively. Notified cases were also related with next week intervention, while conventional intervention only happened 4 weeks after larvae were found, indicating ample time for dengue transmission. Based on a significant relationship among the three factors (epidemiological, entomological and environmental), estimated Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ADL) model for both locations produced high accuracy 84.9% for Selayang and 84.1% for Bandar Baru Bangi in predicting the actual notified cases. Hence, such model can be used in forestalling dengue outbreak and acts as an early warning system. The existence of relationships among the entomological, epidemiological and environmental factors can be used to build an early warning system for the prediction of dengue outbreak so
Brockmann, Dirk; Morales-Gallardo, Alejandro; Geisel, Theo
The dynamics of epidemic outbreaks have been investigated in recent years within two alternative theoretical paradigms. The key parameter of mean field type of models such as the SIR model is the basic reproduction number R0, the average number of secondary infections caused by one infected individual. Recently, scale free network models have received much attention as they account for the high variability in the number of social contacts involved. These models predict an infinite basic reproduction number in some cases. We investigate the impact of heterogeneities of contact rates in a generic model for epidemic outbreaks. We present a system in which both the time periods of being infectious and the time periods between transmissions are Poissonian processes. The heterogeneities are introduced by means of strongly variable contact rates. In contrast to scale free network models we observe a finite basic reproduction number and, counterintuitively a smaller overall epidemic outbreak as compared to the homogeneous system. Our study thus reveals that heterogeneities in contact rates do not necessarily facilitate the spread to infectious disease but may well attenuate it.
Full Text Available Objective: Enterovirus 71(EV 71 causes wide spectrum of infections ranging from asymptomatic conditions to clinical syndromes like diarrhea, rash, hand-foot-and mouth disease (HFMD, herpangina, aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, myocarditis, acute flaccid paralysis, bulbar and brainstem encephalitis Guillain Barre syndrome, pulmonary haemorrhage. This study deals with an outbreak of aseptic meningitis in children caused by EV 71 virus. Methods: The authors report an outbreak of aseptic meningitis in children in and around Calicut in June 2008. Clinical and laboratory study was done in collaboration with National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi. 149 children with aseptic meningitis were studied and followed up from June 2008 to May 2009. Result: All children had clinical features suggestive of aseptic meningitis and serology showed the rising antibody titre against EV 71 virus infection. CSF analysis also showed four fold rise in antibodies in one and ≥ 1:2 neutralising antibodies titer against EV- 71 in four samples indicating meningitis due to EV-71. Conclusion: EV 71 was identified as the causative agent of the outbreak of aseptic meningitis in the study and the fact that the EV 71 infection has evolved from minor illness like HFMD to major illness like aseptic meningitis from the same locality is truly alarming.
Cai, Weiran; Chen, Li; Ghanbarnejad, Fakhteh; Grassberger, Peter
The spreading of contagions can exhibit a percolation transition, which separates transitory prevalence from outbreaks that reach a finite fraction of the population. Such transitions are commonly believed to be continuous, but empirical studies have shown more violent spreading modes when the participating agents are not limited to one type. Striking examples include the co-epidemic of the Spanish flu and pneumonia that occurred in 1918 (refs , ), and, more recently, the concurrent prevalence of HIV/AIDS and a host of diseases. It remains unclear to what extent an outbreak in the presence of interacting pathogens differs from that due to an ordinary single-agent process. Here we study a mechanistic model for understanding contagion processes involving inter-agent cooperation. Our stochastic simulations reveal the possible emergence of a massive avalanche-like outbreak right at the threshold, which is manifested as a discontinuous phase transition. Such an abrupt change arises only if the underlying network topology supports a bottleneck for cascaded mutual infections. Surprisingly, all these discontinuous transitions are accompanied by non-trivial critical behaviours, presenting a rare case of hybrid transition. The findings may imply the origin of catastrophic occurrences in many realistic systems, from co-epidemics to financial contagions.
Steele, S. J.; van der Vink, G.
In April and May of 1979 an Anthrax epidemic broke out in the city of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the former Soviet Union. Sixty-four people were reported to have died from the outbreak, although there is still debate concerning the actual number of victims. While Soviet officials initially attributed this outbreak to contaminated meat, the US Government maintained that the outbreak was due to a leakage from a biological weapons facility. We have created and implemented an undergraduate educational exercise based on the forensic analysis of this event. Students were provided case data of the victims, area satellite images and meteorological data. One goal of the exercise was for students to reconstruct the most probable scenario of events through valid inference based on the limited information and uncertainties associated with the data set. Another goal was to make students sensitive to issues of biological weapons and bioterrorism. The exercise was highly rated by students even before the events of September 11. There is a clear need to educate students, particularly in the sciences, to be aware of the signatures of terrorist activities. Evidence of terrorist activities is more likely to appear from unintended discoveries than from active intelligence gathering. We believe our national security can be enhanced by sensitizing those that monitor the natural environment to the signatures of terrorist activities through the types of educational exercises that we have developed.
Olofsson, E. (Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Entomology)
During outbreaks, Microdiprion pallipes (Fall.) is the most destructive of the pine sawflies in Sweden. Its distribution includes most provinces, but damaging outbreaks have until recently occurred only in two inland areas in northern Sweden. These areas are characterised by high elevation, a harsh climate, and slow tree growth. The four recorded outbreak periods showed a 10 year periodicity. Outside these areas, a lesser outbreak occurred in 1988 to 1990, on the east coast (province of Uppland). Outbreak patterns, life history variation, and mortality factors were studied. Factors that may explain the distribution of outbreaks and the population patterns were identified.Experimental and observational evidence on the potential of various factors to influence fecundity, dispersal, and survival was evaluated. In the outbreak areas, there were few major population factors. Parasitism by Rhorus substitutor (Thunb.) was the largest cause of larval mortality and the only important density-dependent mortality factor. The different diapause strategies of M. pallipes and R. substitutor may contribute to stabilize this system. Different flight periods of the host and the parasitoid may explain a possible correlation between weather and outbreaks. Elsewhere in Sweden, where low population densities prevail, there may be similarities in population processes between M. pallipes and the other widely distributed diprionids with solitary larvae, which never have attained outbreak densities in Sweden. Interactions with other diprionids through shared natural enemies may be an important population process and may influence the distribution of outbreaks. 37 refs, 4 figs, 11 tabs
Kulakowski, Dominik; Veblen, Thomas T; Bebi, Peter
The frequency, magnitude, and size of forest disturbances are increasing globally. Much recent research has focused on how the occurrence of one disturbance may affect susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. While much has been learned about such linked disturbances, the strength of the interactions is likely to be contingent on the severity of disturbances as well as climatic conditions, both of which can affect disturbance intensity and tree resistance to disturbances. Subalpine forests in western Colorado were affected by extensive and severe wildfires in the late 19th century and an extensive and severe outbreak of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) in the 1940s. Previous research found that most, but not all, of the stands that burned and established following the late 19th century fires were not susceptible to the 1940s outbreak as beetles preferentially attack larger trees and stands in advanced stages of development. However, previous research also left open the possibility that some stands that burned and established following the 19th century fires may have been attacked during the 1940s outbreak. Understanding how strongly stand structure, as shaped by disturbances of varying severity, affected susceptibility to past outbreaks is important to provide a baseline for assessing the degree to which recent climate change may be relaxing the preferences of beetles for larger trees and for stands in latter stages of structural development and thereby changing the nature of linked disturbances. Here, dendroecological methods were used to study disturbance history and tree age of stands in the White River National Forest in Western Colorado that were identified in historical documents or remotely-sensed images as having burned in the 19th century and having been attacked by spruce beetle in the 1940s. Dendroecological reconstructions indicate that in young post-fire stands only old remnant trees that survived the otherwise stand-replacing fires were
Yakovenko, M L; Gmyl, A P; Ivanova, O E; Eremeeva, T P; Ivanov, A P; Prostova, M A; Baykova, O Y; Isaeva, O V; Lipskaya, G Y; Shakaryan, A K; Kew, O M; Deshpande, J M; Agol, V I
A large outbreak of poliomyelitis, with 463 laboratory-confirmed and 47 polio-compatible cases, took place in 2010 in Tajikistan. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral VP1 gene suggested a single importation of wild poliovirus type 1 from India in late 2009, its further circulation in Tajikistan and expansion into neighbouring countries, namely Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Whole-genome sequencing of 14 isolates revealed recombination events with enterovirus C with cross-overs within the P2 region. Viruses with one class of recombinant genomes co-circulated with the parental virus, and representatives of both caused paralytic poliomyelitis. Serological analysis of 327 sera from acute flaccid paralysis cases as well as from patients with other diagnoses and from healthy people demonstrated inadequate immunity against polio in the years preceding the outbreak. Evidence was obtained suggesting that vaccination against poliomyelitis, in rare cases, may not prevent the disease. Factors contributing to the peculiarities of this outbreak are discussed. The outbreak emphasises the necessity of continued vaccination against polio and the need, at least in risk areas, of quality control of this vaccination through well planned serological surveillance.
Zhou, Xuewei; Friedrich, Alexander W; Bathoorn, Erik
Highly resistant microorganisms (HRMOs) may evade screening strategies used in routine diagnostics. Bacteria that have evolved to evade diagnostic tests may have a selective advantage in the nosocomial environment. Evasion of resistance detection can result from the following mechanisms: low-level expression of resistance genes not resulting in detectable resistance, slow growing variants, mimicry of wild-type-resistance, and resistance mechanisms that are only detected if induced by antibiotic pressure. We reviewed reports on hospital outbreaks in the Netherlands over the past 5 years. Remarkably, many outbreaks including major nation-wide outbreaks were caused by microorganisms able to evade resistance detection by diagnostic screening tests. We describe various examples of diagnostic evasion by several HRMOs and discuss this in a broad and international perspective. The epidemiology of hospital-associated bacteria may strongly be affected by diagnostic screening strategies. This may result in an increasing reservoir of resistance genes in hospital populations that is unnoticed. The resistance elements may horizontally transfer to hosts with systems for high-level expression, resulting in a clinically significant resistance problem. We advise to communicate the identification of HRMOs that evade diagnostics within national and regional networks. Such signaling networks may prevent inter-hospital outbreaks, and allow collaborative development of adapted diagnostic tests.
Begier, Elizabeth M; Backer, Lorraine C; Weisman, Richard S; Hammond, Roberta M; Fleming, Lora E; Blythe, Donna
Ciguatera fish poisoning is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by eating coral reef fish contaminated with ciguatoxins and is the most common marine poisoning. However, existing surveillance systems capture few cases. To improve regional ciguatera surveillance in South Florida, this study compared ciguatera illnesses in the Florida Poison Information Center-Miami (FPICM) call database to ciguatera cases in the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) disease surveillance systems. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify predictors of when FPICM reported ciguatera illnesses to FDOH and whether FDOH confirmed reported ciguatera cases. FPICM staff preferentially reported ciguatera illnesses that were of shorter duration (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.84 per additional illness day; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74, 0.97); outbreak-associated (AOR = 7.0; 95% CI 2.5, 19.5); and clinically more severe (AOR = 21.6; 95% CI 2.3, 198.5). Among ciguatera illnesses reported to FDOH, outbreak-associated illnesses were more likely than single, sporadic illnesses to become confirmed surveillance cases (crude OR = 11.1; 95% CI 2.0, 62.5). The over-representation of outbreak-associated ciguatera cases underestimates the true contribution of sporadic illnesses to ciguatera disease burden. This bias should be considered when evaluating surveillance systems that include both outbreak-associated and sporadic illness reports.
Alroy-Preis, Sharon; Daly, Elizabeth R; Adamski, Christine; Dionne-Odom, Jodie; Talbot, Elizabeth A; Gao, Fengxiang; Cavallo, Steffany J; Hansen, Katrina; Mahoney, Jennifer C; Metcalf, Erin; Loring, Carol; Bean, Christine; Drobeniuc, Jan; Xia, Guo-Liang; Kamili, Saleem; Montero, José T
In May 2012, the New Hampshire (NH) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) was notified of 4 persons with newly diagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection at hospital X. Initial investigation suggested a common link to the hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory (CCL) because the infected persons included 3 CCL patients and a CCL technician. NH DPHS initiated an investigation to determine the source and control the outbreak. NH DPHS conducted site visits, case patient and employee interviews, medical record and medication use review, and employee and patient HCV testing using enzyme immunoassay for anti-HCV, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for HCV RNA, nonstructural 5B (NS5B) and hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) sequencing, and quasispecies analysis. HCV HVR1 analysis of the first 4 cases confirmed a common source of infection. HCV testing identified 32 of 1074 CCL patients infected with the outbreak strain, including 3 patients coinfected with >1 HCV strain. The epidemiologic investigation revealed evidence of drug diversion by the HCV-infected technician, evidenced by gaps in controlled medication control, higher fentanyl use during procedures for confirmed cases, and building card key access records documenting the presence of the technician during days when transmission occurred. The employee's status as a traveling technician led to a multistate investigation, which identified additional cases at prior employment sites. This is the largest laboratory-confirmed drug diversion-associated HCV outbreak published to date. Recommendations to reduce drug diversion risk and to conduct outbreak investigations are provided.
Okpo, Emmanuel; Leith, Jayne; Smith-Palmer, Alison; Bell, John; Parks, Duncan; Browning, Fiona; Byers, Lynn; Corrigan, Helen; Webster, Diana; Karcher, Anne M; Murray, Andrew; Storey, Tom
Listeria monocytogenes infection is an important cause of illness and hospitalization in vulnerable individuals. In the present study, we describe a community outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in the North-East region of Scotland, which was epidemiologically, environmentally and microbiologically linked to a local meat product and ready-to-eat product manufacturer. Infected individuals were interviewed, and an environmental investigation was conducted. Clinical and environmental samples were tested by culture, and isolates were typed by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (fAFLP). Three cases of Listeria monocytogenes were linked geographically, had the same serotype (1/2a) and were indistinguishable by fAFLP type XII.6. The human, food and environmental isolates were of the same serotype and were indistinguishable by molecular typing. This is the first community outbreak of L. monocytogenes reported in Scotland since the current outbreak surveillance was established in 1996. Epidemiological and laboratory evidence indicated poor hand hygiene, unhygienic practices and cross-contamination throughout the manufacturing process of ready-to-eat foods as a possible cause of the outbreak. More stringent control of commercial food establishments that provide ready-to-eat food and the need to advise specifically vulnerable groups, e.g., pregnant women, of the risk of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food is urgently needed. Copyright © 2015 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Estudo sobre o diagnóstico laboratorial e sintomas do dengue, durante epidemia ocorrida na região de Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil Laboratory diagnosis and symptoms of dengue studied during an outbreak in the Ribeirao Preto Region, SP, Brazil
Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo
Full Text Available Uma epidemia de dengue tipo 1 se iniciou em Novembro de 1990 na Região de Ribeirão Preto, Norte do Estado de São Paulo. Foram confirmados por exames laboratoriais cerca de 3.500 casos até fevereiro de 1991. A Unidade de Pesquisa em Virologia da Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto - USP, estudou soros de 502 pessoas suspeitas de apresentarem dengue. Fez-se o diagnóstico sorológico através do método da inibição da hemaglutinação (HAI para dengue tipo 1 em 19% dos analisados. Passou-se a utlilizar um teste imuno-enzimático para dengue em culturas celulares infectadas (EIA-ICC, que permite identificação simultânea de IgG e IgM. O EIA-ICC embora menos sensível quando comparado ao HAI (89%, mostrou-se mais eficiente, porque: dispensou a obtenção de segundas amostras séricas para o diagnóstico; trata-se de técnica simples, podendo ser efetuada em apenas 5 horas. O vírus dengue tipo 1 foi isolado do sangue de 21 pacientes, por inoculação em células de mosquitos C6/36. Fez-se a identificação dos vírus isolados por método de imunofluorescência indireta, utilizando anti-soro contra todos os flavivirus e anticorpos monoclonais tipo-específicos de dengue. Os sintomas mais freqüentemente observados em 71 indivíduos com diagnóstico de dengue confirmado foram febre (90% dos casos, mialgias (57% e artralgias (41%A dengue type 1 outbreak started in the Ribeirao Preto Region, North of Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in November of 1990. About 3500 dengue cases were confirmed by blood tests until February of 1991. The Virus Research Unit of The Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto - Sao Paulo State University, studied 502 dengue suspect cases. The Serologic diagnosis of dengue type 1 was confirmed by haemmaglutination inhibition test (HAI in 19% of the cases. Diagnosis was done later by using an enzyme immuno assay on infected cultured cells (EIA-ICC which discriminated IgG and IgM dengue, antibodies. EIA-ICC was less sensitive (89
extracted from the USDA Production, Supply, and Distribution Online (PSD) electronic database (http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/) for the focal regions...Precipitation Climatology Project  (Table 1). Various publicly-available databases were surveyed to develop maps of outbreak locations of dengue, Rift...rates of leaf photosynthesis and severely reduced the development of floral buds thus reducing yields . Direct losses from the drought approached $10
This paper discusses the role of learned societies in knowledge exchange and dissemination. It attempts to "map" the organisations that are considered to reside under the term and discusses how they have developed through history. In doing so, it seeks to highlight that whilst several types of organisations inhabit the landscape of…
The field of regional development blossomed in the last decade, as researchers and practitioners increasingly asserted that the region was the most effective geographic unit for supporting the excellence and innovation of entrepreneurs. See, for example, the many studies by the European Union and the work by Michael Porter.
Collister, David; Duff, Graham; Palatnick, Wesley; Komenda, Paul; Tangri, Navdeep; Hingwala, Jay
Single-patient methanol intoxications are a common clinical presentation, but outbreaks are rare and usually occur in settings in which there is limited access to ethanol and methanol is consumed as a substitute. In this case report, we describe an outbreak of methanol intoxications that was challenging from a public health perspective and discuss strategies for managing such an outbreak. Copyright © 2016 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Diana Cortes Carvalho Garcia
Full Text Available Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD can lead to sanitary barriers to international trade and involves high investments for control and great losses in the event of an outbreak. This study investigated the impacts caused by FMD on the exports of fresh beef from Brazil after the 2005 outbreak and the observance of the regionalization principle of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS by countries member of the WTO that were listed as the top 10 beef importing countries in 2004. The FMD outbreak that began in 2005 did not limit the increase in exports of fresh beef from Brazil, but impacted negatively on exports from Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná States. The disease did not impact exports to the United States, Japan or Mexico, since these markets were closed to Brazil. Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran were not members of the WTO in October 2005 and therefore had no obligation to respect the principle of regionalization, though Russia respected it. Among the other major importers of 2004, the Netherlands, Egypt, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain respected the principle of regionalization of the SPS Agreement. Chile did not respect the principle and the occurrence of the disease closed the market to Brazilian fresh beef.
Baggesen, Dorte Lau; Wegener, Henrik Caspar; Christensen, J.P.
factor, antibiogram typing, plasmid profiling, ribotyping and pulsed field gel electrophoresis, in order to identify the most probable source of infection. After typing, the source of the investigated outbreak remains obscure because so far no isolates with traits of the outbreak strain have been...... explanation for the failure to find isolates with traits of the outbreak strain could be the presence of a third, but so far unidentified, source. The present investigation illustrates the necessity of using more than one epidemiological typing method for outbreak investigation. This is especially important...
Typhoid outbreak investigation in Dzivaresekwa, suburb of Harare City, Zimbabwe, 2011. Monica Muti, Notion Gombe, Mufuta Tshimanga, Lucia Takundwa, Donewell Bangure, Stanley Mungofa, Prosper Chonzi ...
Specific patterns in the initiation and spread of reef-wide outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish are important, both to understand potential causes (or triggers) of outbreaks and to develop more effective and highly targeted management and containment responses. Using analyses of genetic diversity and structure (based on 17 microsatellite loci), this study attempted to resolve the specific origin for recent outbreaks of crown-of-thorns on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We assessed the genetic structure amongst 2705 starfish collected from 13 coral reefs in four regions that spanned ~1000 km of the GBR. Our results indicate that populations sampled across the full length of the GBR are genetically homogeneous (G’ST = −0.001; p = 0.948) with no apparent genetic structure between regions. Approximate Bayesian computational analyses suggest that all sampled populations had a common origin and that current outbreaking populations of crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) in the Swains are not independent of outbreak populations in the northern GBR. Despite hierarchical sampling and large numbers of CoTS genotyped from individual reefs and regions, limited genetic structure meant we were unable to determine a putative source population for the current outbreak of CoTS on the GBR. The very high genetic homogeneity of sampled populations and limited evidence of inbreeding indicate rapid expansion in population size from multiple, undifferentiated latent populations.
Harrison, Hugo; Pratchett, Morgan; Messmer, Vanessa; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.
Specific patterns in the initiation and spread of reef-wide outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish are important, both to understand potential causes (or triggers) of outbreaks and to develop more effective and highly targeted management and containment responses. Using analyses of genetic diversity and structure (based on 17 microsatellite loci), this study attempted to resolve the specific origin for recent outbreaks of crown-of-thorns on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We assessed the genetic structure amongst 2705 starfish collected from 13 coral reefs in four regions that spanned ~1000 km of the GBR. Our results indicate that populations sampled across the full length of the GBR are genetically homogeneous (G’ST = −0.001; p = 0.948) with no apparent genetic structure between regions. Approximate Bayesian computational analyses suggest that all sampled populations had a common origin and that current outbreaking populations of crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) in the Swains are not independent of outbreak populations in the northern GBR. Despite hierarchical sampling and large numbers of CoTS genotyped from individual reefs and regions, limited genetic structure meant we were unable to determine a putative source population for the current outbreak of CoTS on the GBR. The very high genetic homogeneity of sampled populations and limited evidence of inbreeding indicate rapid expansion in population size from multiple, undifferentiated latent populations.
Chen, Yi; Gonzalez-Escalona, Narjol; Hammack, Thomas S; Allard, Marc W; Strain, Errol A; Brown, Eric W
schemes can be used for the simultaneous identification of clonal groups and the differentiation of individual outbreak strains and epidemiologically unrelated strains of the same clonal group. We further developed lineage-specific cgMLST schemes that targeted more genomic regions than the species-specific cgMLST schemes. Our data revealed the genome-level diversity of clonal groups defined by classic MLST schemes. Our identification of U.S. and international outbreaks caused by major clonal groups can contribute to further understanding of the global epidemiology of L. monocytogenes. Copyright © 2016 Chen et al.
Lévy Pierre P
Full Text Available Abstract Background Statistical algorithms are routinely used to detect outbreaks of well-defined syndromes, such as influenza-like illness. These methods cannot be applied to the detection of emerging diseases for which no preexisting information is available. This paper presents a method aimed at facilitating the detection of outbreaks, when there is no a priori knowledge of the clinical presentation of cases. Methods The method uses a visual representation of the symptoms and diseases coded during a patient consultation according to the International Classification of Primary Care 2nd version (ICPC-2. The surveillance data are transformed into color-coded cells, ranging from white to red, reflecting the increasing frequency of observed signs. They are placed in a graphic reference frame mimicking body anatomy. Simple visual observation of color-change patterns over time, concerning a single code or a combination of codes, enables detection in the setting of interest. Results The method is demonstrated through retrospective analyses of two data sets: description of the patients referred to the hospital by their general practitioners (GPs participating in the French Sentinel Network and description of patients directly consulting at a hospital emergency department (HED. Informative image color-change alert patterns emerged in both cases: the health consequences of the August 2003 heat wave were visualized with GPs' data (but passed unnoticed with conventional surveillance systems, and the flu epidemics, which are routinely detected by standard statistical techniques, were recognized visually with HED data. Conclusion Using human visual pattern-recognition capacities to detect the onset of unexpected health events implies a convenient image representation of epidemiological surveillance and well-trained "epidemiology watchers". Once these two conditions are met, one could imagine that the epidemiology watchers could signal epidemiological alerts
Gillesberg Lassen, S.; Ethelberg, S.; Björkman, J. T.
low-intensity, extended time-period outbreaks and link them to food products from two different contaminated production facilities with sufficient strength for food authorities to intervene on. Cold smoked and gravad fish constitute risk products and may be responsible for more listeriosis cases than......Listeria monocytogenes may contaminate and persist in food production facilities and cause repeated, seemingly sporadic, illnesses over extended periods of time. We report on the investigation of two such concurrent outbreaks. We compared patient isolates and available isolates from foods and food...... polymorphism differences. We performed routine food consumption interviews of L. monocytogenes patients and compared outbreak cases with sporadic cases. Two outbreaks were defined, each consisting of ten outbreak cases in the period 2013-15. Seven outbreak cases and a fetus in gestational week 38 died...
van Alphen, Lieke B.; Dorleans, Frederique; Schultz, Anna Charlotte
in order to control the outbreak. Norovirus GII.4 New Orleans 2009 variant was detected in 15 of 17 individual stool samples from 14 households. Norovirus genomic material from water samples was detected and quantified and sequencing of longer parts of the viral capsid region (>1000 nt) were applied...
Rees, Peter W.; Legates, Margaret
World regional geography textbooks rarely focus on the process of region formation, despite frequent calls to reincorporate a regional approach to teaching global geography. An instructional strategy using problem-based learning in a small honors section of a large world regional geography course is described. Using a hypothetical scenario…
Sood, Akshay; Ghani, Khurshid R; Ahlawat, Rajesh; Modi, Pranjal; Abaza, Ronney; Jeong, Wooju; Sammon, Jesse D; Diaz, Mireya; Kher, Vijay; Menon, Mani; Bhandari, Mahendra
Traditional evaluation of the learning curve (LC) of an operation has been retrospective. Furthermore, LC analysis does not permit patient safety monitoring. To prospectively monitor patient safety during the learning phase of robotic kidney transplantation (RKT) and determine when it could be considered learned using the techniques of statistical process control (SPC). From January through May 2013, 41 patients with end-stage renal disease underwent RKT with regional hypothermia at one of two tertiary referral centers adopting RKT. Transplant recipients were classified into three groups based on the robotic training and kidney transplant experience of the surgeons: group 1, robot trained with limited kidney transplant experience (n=7); group 2, robot trained and kidney transplant experienced (n=20); and group 3, kidney transplant experienced with limited robot training (n=14). We employed prospective monitoring using SPC techniques, including cumulative summation (CUSUM) and Shewhart control charts, to perform LC analysis and patient safety monitoring, respectively. Outcomes assessed included post-transplant graft function and measures of surgical process (anastomotic and ischemic times). CUSUM and Shewhart control charts are time trend analytic techniques that allow comparative assessment of outcomes following a new intervention (RKT) relative to those achieved with established techniques (open kidney transplant; target value) in a prospective fashion. CUSUM analysis revealed an initial learning phase for group 3, whereas groups 1 and 2 had no to minimal learning time. The learning phase for group 3 varied depending on the parameter assessed. Shewhart control charts demonstrated no compromise in functional outcomes for groups 1 and 2. Graft function was compromised in one patient in group 3 (pcontrol chart analytic techniques. These methods allow determination of the duration of mentorship and identification of adverse events in a timely manner. A new operation
Nyström, M E; Höög, E; Garvare, R; Andersson Bäck, M; Terris, D D; Hansson, J
Eldercare and care of people with functional impairments is organized by the municipalities in Sweden. Improving care in these areas is complex, with multiple stakeholders and organizations. Appropriate strategies to develop capability for continuing organizational improvement and learning (COIL) are needed. The purpose of our study was to develop and pilot-test a flexible, multilevel approach for COIL capability building and to identify what it takes to achieve changes in key actors' approaches to COIL. The approach, named "Sustainable Improvement and Development through Strategic and Systematic Approaches" (SIDSSA), was applied through an action-research and action-learning intervention. The SIDSSA approach was tested in a regional research and development (R&D) unit, and in two municipalities handling care of the elderly and people with functional impairments. Our approach included a multilevel strategy, development loops of five flexible phases, and an action-learning loop. The approach was designed to support systems understanding, strategic focus, methodological practices, and change process knowledge - all of which required double-loop learning. Multiple qualitative methods, i.e., repeated interviews, process diaries, and documents, provided data for conventional content analyses. The new approach was successfully tested on all cases and adopted and sustained by the R&D unit. Participants reported new insights and skills. The development loop facilitated a sense of coherence and control during uncertainty, improved planning and problem analysis, enhanced mapping of context and conditions, and supported problem-solving at both the individual and unit levels. The systems-level view and structured approach helped participants to explain, motivate, and implement change initiatives, especially after working more systematically with mapping, analyses, and goal setting. An easily understood and generalizable model internalized by key organizational actors is an
Reiter, P; Cordellier, R; Ouma, J O; Cropp, C B; Savage, H M; Sanders, E J; Marfin, A A; Tukei, P M; Agata, N N; Gitau, L G; Rapuoda, B A; Gubler, D J
The first recorded outbreak of yellow fever in Kenya occurred from mid-1992 through March 1993 in the south Kerio Valley, Rift Valley Province. We conducted entomologic studies in February-March 1993 to identify the likely vectors and determine the potential for transmission in the surrounding rural and urban areas. Mosquitoes were collected by landing capture and processed for virus isolation. Container surveys were conducted around human habitation. Transmission was mainly in woodland of varying density, at altitudes of 1,300-1,800 m. The abundance of Aedes africanus in this biotope, and two isolations of virus from pools of this species, suggest that it was the principal vector in the main period of the outbreak. A third isolate was made from a pool of Ae. keniensis, a little-known species that was collected in the same biotope. Other known yellow fever vectors that were collected in the arid parts of the valley may have been involved at an earlier stage of the epidemic. Vervet monkeys and baboons were present in the outbreak area. Peridomestic mosquito species were absent but abundant at urban sites outside the outbreak area. The entomologic and epidemiologic evidence indicate that this was a sylvatic outbreak in which human cases were directly linked to the epizootic and were independent of other human cases. The region of the Kerio Valley is probably subject to recurrent wandering epizootics of yellow fever, although previous episodes of scattered human infection have gone unrecorded. The risk that the disease could emerge as an urban problem in Kenya should not be ignored.
McGuinness, Sarah L; Boyd, Rowena; Kidd, Sarah; McLeod, Charlie; Krause, Vicki L; Ralph, Anna P
An outbreak of cutaneous sporotrichosis occurred in the Darwin region of the Northern Territory (NT) in 2014. We aimed to determine the source and risk factors associated with the outbreak and describe the clinical spectrum of cases seen. Epidemiological investigation of cases of cutaneous sporotrichosis identified through the Royal Darwin Hospital was undertaken to investigate risk factors and potential sources of infection. Data were collected through chart review and individual patient interviews. Environmental investigation followed identification of a common risk factor. Nine confirmed cases of cutaneous sporotrichosis caused by Sporothrix schenckii were identified with onset of symptoms between April and July 2014. Patients were aged 29 to 70 years and seven were male (78%). Two strains of S. schenckii were identified, neither of which have been previously documented. One common risk factor was identified: all patients were occupational or recreational gardeners, with each reporting exposure to mulching hay, originating from a single NT farm. Local environmental health officers visited the farm and the owners confirmed that the implicated hay had been stored over the monsoon season and had been affected by rain. Storage of hay over the wet season was a new practice. This constitutes the third reported outbreak of S. schenckii sporotrichosis attributable to contaminated hay in Australia and the first outbreak of sporotrichosis in the NT. This outbreak prompted public health interventions, including distribution of information to general practitioners, farmers and suppliers in the Top End. Media reporting led to the identification and treatment of an additional case. Local practitioners should remain alert to the possibility of further occurrences of sporotrichosis.
Full Text Available Objectives: An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis due to Shigella flexneri occurred in August 2012 in the catchment area of the Wadi Sahtan Health Center in Rustaq, Al Batinah South Governorate, Oman. The aim of this study was to discover possible causes of this outbreak in the villages of Fassa, Rogh and Amk and to measure the risk of exposure among cases and controls. Methods: A case-control study was conducted in September 2012 in Fassa, Rogh and Amk. All households in the three villages were interviewed. Case and control households were compared to determine possible exposure avenues, including place of residence, source of drinking water, hand hygiene levels and practices related to drinking water, food preparation and environmental sanitation. Results: Residing in Fassa (P <0.0001; odds ratio [OR] = 4.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.22–10.63 and average hand hygiene practices (P = 0.008; OR = 13.97, 95% CI = 1.58–123.36 were associated with an increased risk of contracting shigellosis. No significant differences were found with regards to the other exposure avenues. Conclusion: This was the first study conducted in Oman regarding an outbreak of shigellosis in a community setting. The only variables that significantly impacted the risk of acute gastroenteritis were residing in Fassa and average hand hygiene practices. The source of the outbreak could not be identified. However, septic tank sanitation and water and food consumption practices were not satisfactory in the studied villages. These need to be addressed to prevent similar outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in this region in the future.
Barker, E N; Tasker, S; Gruffydd-Jones, T J; Tuplin, C K; Burton, K; Porter, E; Day, M J; Harley, R; Fews, D; Helps, C R; Siddell, S G
Feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection is common. In a small percentage of cats, FCoV infection is associated with the fatal disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Genetically distinct virulent and avirulent strains of FCoV might coexist within a cat population. To determine whether the strains of FCoV in FIP-affected cats are closely related or genetically distinct from the fecally derived strains of FCoV in contemporary-asymptomatic cats during an epizootic outbreak of FIP. Four cats euthanized because of FIP and 16 asymptomatic cats. This prospective outbreak investigation was initiated during an outbreak of FIP in cats within or rehomed from a rescue/rehoming center. Postmortem samples were collected from cats with FIP and contemporaneous fecal samples from asymptomatic cats. RNA was purified from tissue and fecal samples, FCoV gene fragments were reverse transcribed, PCR-amplified using novel primers, and sequenced. Sequences were aligned with ClustalW and compared with published FCoV sequences. FCoV RNA was detected in all 4 FIP cat postmortem samples and in 9 of the 16 fecal samples from contemporary-asymptomatic cats. Novel primers successfully amplified fragments from 4 regions of the genome for all FCoV-positive samples. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the FIP-associated strains of FCoV from the outbreak were very closely related to the fecally derived strains of FCoV from contemporary-asymptomatic cats. Sequence analysis provided no evidence that genetically distinct virulent and avirulent strains of FCoV were present during this FIP outbreak. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Lesens, O; Baud, O; Henquell, C; Lhermet Nurse, A; Beytout, J
We describe an outbreak of varicella in 31 Sudanese refugees (all except one were male, mean age: 26 ± 1), from the Calais migrant camp and sheltered in a French transit area. The attack rate was 39%. Adults are scantly immunized against varicella zoster virus in East Africa and may be exposed to epidemics once in France. © International Society of Travel Medicine, 2016. All rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gesser-Edelsburg, Anat; Shir-Raz, Yaffa; Bar-Lev, Oshrat Sassoni; James, James J; Green, Manfred S
Our aim was to examine in what terms leading newspapers' online sites described the current Ebola crisis. We employed a quantitative content analysis of terms attributed to Ebola. We found and analyzed 582 articles published between March 23 and September 30, 2014, on the online websites of 3 newspapers: The New York Times, Daily Mail, and Ynet. Our theoretical framework drew from the fields of health communication and emerging infectious disease communication, including such concepts as framing media literacy, risk signatures, and mental models. We found that outbreak and epidemic were used interchangeably in the articles. From September 16, 2014, onward, epidemic predominated, corresponding to when President Barack Obama explicitly referred to Ebola as an epidemic. Prior to Obama's speech, 86.8% of the articles (323) used the term outbreak and only 8.6% (32) used the term epidemic. Subsequently, both terms were used almost the same amount: 53.8% of the articles (113) used the term outbreak and 53.3% (112) used the term epidemic. Effective communication is crucial during public health emergencies such as Ebola, because language framing affects the decision-making process of social judgments and actions. The choice of one term (outbreak) over another (epidemic) can create different conceptualizations of the disease, thereby influencing the risk signature. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:669-673).
Scott H. Newman
Full Text Available Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious concern for both poultry and human health. Wild waterfowl are considered to be the reservoir for low pathogenic avian influenza viruses; however, relatively little is known about their movement ecology in regions where HPAI H5N1 outbreaks regularly occur. We studied movements of the ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea, a wild migratory waterfowl species that was infected in the 2005 Qinghai Lake outbreak. We defined their migration with Brownian Bridge utilization distribution models and their breeding and wintering grounds with fixed kernel home ranges. We correlated their movements with HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, poultry density, land cover, and latitude in the Central Asian Flyway. Our Akaike Information Criterion analysis indicated that outbreaks were correlated with land cover, latitude, and poultry density. Although shelduck movements were included in the top two models, they were not a top parameter selected in AICc stepwise regression results. However, timing of outbreaks suggested that outbreaks in the flyway began during the winter in poultry with spillover to wild birds during the spring migration. Thus, studies of the movement ecology of wild birds in areas with persistent HPAI H5N1 outbreaks may contribute to understanding their role in transmission of this disease.
Takekawa, John Y.; Prosser, Diann J.; Collins, Bridget M.; Douglas, David C.; Perry, William M.; Baoping, Yan; Luo, Ze; Hou, Yuansheng; Lei, Fumin; Li, Tianxian; Li, Yongdong; Newman, Scott H.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious concern for both poultry and human health. Wild waterfowl are considered to be the reservoir for low pathogenic avian influenza viruses; however, relatively little is known about their movement ecology in regions where HPAI H5N1 outbreaks regularly occur. We studied movements of the ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), a wild migratory waterfowl species that was infected in the 2005 Qinghai Lake outbreak. We defined their migration with Brownian Bridge utilization distribution models and their breeding and wintering grounds with fixed kernel home ranges. We correlated their movements with HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, poultry density, land cover, and latitude in the Central Asian Flyway. Our Akaike Information Criterion analysis indicated that outbreaks were correlated with land cover, latitude, and poultry density. Although shelduck movements were included in the top two models, they were not a top parameter selected in AICc stepwise regression results. However, timing of outbreaks suggested that outbreaks in the flyway began during the winter in poultry with spillover to wild birds during the spring migration. Thus, studies of the movement ecology of wild birds in areas with persistent HPAI H5N1 outbreaks may contribute to understanding their role in transmission of this disease.
Derrough, Tarik; Salekeen, Alexandra
Between 1973 and 2013, 12 outbreaks of paralytic poliomyelitis with a cumulative total of 660 cases were reported in the European Union, European Economic Area and candidate countries. Outbreaks lasted seven to 90 weeks (median: 24 weeks) and were identified through the diagnosis of cases of acute flaccid paralysis, for which infection with wild poliovirus was subsequently identified. In two countries, environmental surveillance was in place before the outbreaks, but did not detect any wild strain before the occurrence of clinical cases. This surveillance nonetheless provided useful information to monitor the outbreaks and their geographical spread. Outbreaks were predominantly caused by poliovirus type 1 and typically involved unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated groups within highly immunised communities. Oral polio vaccine was primarily used to respond to the outbreaks with catch-up campaigns implemented either nationwide or in restricted geographical areas or age groups. The introduction of supplementary immunisation contained the outbreaks. In 2002, the European region of the World Health Organization was declared polio-free and it has maintained this status since. However, as long as there are non-vaccinated or under-vaccinated groups in European countries and poliomyelitis is not eradicated, countries remain continuously at risk of reintroduction and establishment of the virus. Continued efforts to reach these groups are needed in order to ensure a uniform and high vaccination coverage.
Vanderhoof, Melanie; Williams, Christopher
The current extent and high severity (percent tree mortality) of mountain pine beetle outbreaks across western North America have been attributed to regional climate change, specifically warmer summer and winter temperatures and drier summers. These outbreaks are widespread and have potentially persistent impacts on forest evapotranspiration. The few data-driven studies have largely been restricted by the temporal availability of remote sensing products. This study utilized multiple mountain pine beetle outbreak location datasets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains. The full seasonal evapotranspiration impact of outbreak events for decades after outbreak (0 to 60 years) and the role of outbreak severity in determining that impact were quantified. We found a 30% reduction in evapotranspiration peaking at 14-20 years post-outbreak during the spring snowmelt period, when water was not limited, but a minimal reduction in evapotranspiration during the remainder of the growing season (June - August). We also found a significant increase in evapotranspiration, relative to non-attacked stands, in intermediate aged stands (20-40 years post-disturbance) corresponding with a peak in LAI and therefore transpiration. During the snow-cover months evapotranspiration initially increased with needle fall and snag fall and corresponding increases in albedo and shortwave transmission to the surface. We found that changes in evapotranspiration during all seasons dissipated by 60 years post-attack. MODIS evapotranspiration values responded most strongly to mountain pine beetle driven changes in net radiation or available energy, and vegetation cover (e.g. LAI, fPAR and EVI). It also appears that the post-attack response of evapotranspiration may be sensitive to precipitation patterns and thus the consequences of a disturbance event may depend on the directionality of climate change conditions.
Dietzel, Erik; Schudt, Gordian; Krähling, Verena; Matrosovich, Mikhail; Becker, Stephan
The Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa started in December 2013, claimed more than 11,000 lives, threatened to destabilize a whole region, and showed how easily health crises can turn into humanitarian disasters. EBOV genomic sequences of the West African outbreak revealed nonsynonymous mutations, which induced considerable public attention, but their role in virus spread and disease remains obscure. In this study, we investigated the functional significance of three nonsynonymous mutations that emerged early during the West African EBOV outbreak. Almost 90% of more than 1,000 EBOV genomes sequenced during the outbreak carried the signature of three mutations: a D759G substitution in the active center of the L polymerase, an A82V substitution in the receptor binding domain of surface glycoprotein GP, and an R111C substitution in the self-assembly domain of RNA-encapsidating nucleoprotein NP. Using a newly developed virus-like particle system and reverse genetics, we found that the mutations have an impact on the functions of the respective viral proteins and on the growth of recombinant EBOVs. The mutation in L increased viral transcription and replication, whereas the mutation in NP decreased viral transcription and replication. The mutation in the receptor binding domain of the glycoprotein GP improved the efficiency of GP-mediated viral entry into target cells. Recombinant EBOVs with combinations of the three mutations showed a growth advantage over the prototype isolate Makona C7 lacking the mutations. This study showed that virus variants with improved fitness emerged early during the West African EBOV outbreak. The dimension of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented. Amino acid substitutions in the viral L polymerase, surface glycoprotein GP, and nucleocapsid protein NP emerged, were fixed early in the outbreak, and were found in almost 90% of the sequences. Here we showed that these mutations affected the functional activity of
Crespo, Inma; Broner, Sonia; Soldevila, Núria; Martínez, Ana; Godoy, Pere; Sala-Farré, Maria-Rosa; Company, Maria; Rius, Cristina; Domínguez, Angela; Group Of Catalonia, The Pertussis Working
In Catalonia, pertussis outbreaks must be reported to the Department of Health. This study analyzed pertussis outbreaks between 1997 and 2010 in general and according to the characteristics of the index cases. The outbreak rate, hospitalization rate and incidence of associated cases and their 95%CI were calculated. Index cases were classified in two groups according to age (<15 years and ≥15 years) and the vaccine type received: whole cell vaccine (DTwP) or acellular vaccine (DTaP). During the study period, 230 outbreaks were reported. The outbreak rate was 2.43 × 10(-6) persons-year, and outbreaks ranged from 2 to 32 cases, with a median duration of 18 days. There were 771 associated cases, with an incidence rate of 0.8 × 10(-5) persons-year. After classifying outbreaks according to the age of the index case, 126 outbreaks (1.3 × 10(-6) persons-year) had an index case aged <15 y and 87 (0.87 × 10(-6) person-year) had an index case aged ≥15 y (RR = 1.44, 95%CI 1.10-1.90; P = 0.007). Between 2003 and 2010, after the introduction of the acellular vaccine, the index case was vaccinated with DTwP vaccine in 25 outbreaks (0.43 × 10(-6) persons-year) and with DTaP vaccine in 32 outbreaks (0.55 × 10(-6) person-year) (RR = 0.78, 95%CI 0.46-1.31; P = 0.35). Of cases, 37.2% were correctly vaccinated, suggesting waning immunity of pertussis vaccine protection and endogenous circulation of pertussis. A greater number of outbreaks had an index case aged <15 y. No changes in the disease incidence, associated cases and hospitalization rate were observed after the introduction of DTaP.
Full Text Available The direct radiative effect (DRE during 20 intense and widespread dust outbreaks, which affected the broader Mediterranean basin over the period March 2000–February 2013, has been calculated with the NMMB-MONARCH model at regional (Sahara and European continent and short-term temporal (84 h scales. According to model simulations, the maximum dust aerosol optical depths (AODs range from ∼ 2.5 to ∼ 5.5 among the identified cases. At midday, dust outbreaks locally induce a NET (shortwave plus longwave strong atmospheric warming (DREATM values up to 285 W m−2; Niger–Chad; dust AODs up to ∼ 5.5 and a strong surface cooling (DRENETSURF values down to −337 W m−2, whereas they strongly reduce the downward radiation at the ground level (DRESURF values down to −589 W m−2 over the Eastern Mediterranean, for extremely high dust AODs, 4.5–5. During night-time, reverse effects of smaller magnitude are found. At the top of the atmosphere (TOA, positive (planetary warming DREs up to 85 W m−2 are found over highly reflective surfaces (Niger–Chad; dust AODs up to ∼ 5.5 while negative (planetary cooling DREs down to −184 W m−2 (Eastern Mediterranean; dust AODs 4.5–5 are computed over dark surfaces at noon. Dust outbreaks significantly affect the mean regional radiation budget, with NET DREs ranging from −8.5 to 0.5 W m−2, from −31.6 to 2.1 W m−2, from −22.2 to 2.2 W m−2 and from −1.7 to 20.4 W m−2 for TOA, SURF, NETSURF and ATM, respectively. Although the shortwave DREs are larger than the longwave ones, the latter are comparable or even larger at TOA, particularly over the Sahara at midday. As a response to the strong surface day-time cooling, dust outbreaks cause a reduction in the regional sensible and latent heat fluxes by up to 45 and 4 W m−2, respectively, averaged over land areas of the simulation domain. Dust outbreaks reduce the
Paauw, A.; Caspers, M.P.M.; Leverstein-van Hall, M.A.; Schuren, F.H.J.; Montijn, R.C.; Verhoef, J.; Fluit, A.C.
Bacterial strains differ in their ability to cause hospital outbreaks. Using comparative genomic hybridization, Enterobacter cloacae complex isolates were studied to identify genetic markers specific for Enterobacter cloacae complex outbreak strains. No outbreak-specific genes were found that were
Blatny, Janet M.; Olsen, Jaran S.; Andreassen, Øyvind; Waagen, Viggo; Reif, Bjørn Anders P.
Two outbreaks of legionellosis occurred in the Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad region southeast of Norway in 2005 and 2008 where more than 60 exposed individuals were infected and 10 case patients died. The air scrubber at Borregaard, a wood-based chemical factory, was identified as the outbreak source. High concentration levels of Legionella species, including the etiological agent L. pneumophila SG1 was found in the aeration ponds, which belongs to Borregaard's biological treatment plant. Results showed that these ponds were able to generate Legionella-containing aerosols that were transported by the wind as such aerosols were measured up to 200 meters downwind of the pond. Our studies did not detect L. pneumophila SG1 isolates, only L. pneumophila SG4 during the air sampling measurement campaign. Furthermore, the operational conditions of the air scrubber proved to be harsh for Legionella growth as the outbreak L. pneumophila strains were not able to grow at 45ºC and pH8 (conditions during the outbreaks). These results, together, lead us to suggest that the aeration pond should be regarded as the primary amplifier and disseminator of Legionella and L. pneumophila and thereby most likely being the outbreak source.
Deborah P. Shutt
Full Text Available As South and Central American countries prepare for increased birth defects from Zika virus outbreaks and plan for mitigation strategies to minimize ongoing and future outbreaks, understanding important characteristics of Zika outbreaks and how they vary across regions is a challenging and important problem. We developed a mathematical model for the 2015/2016 Zika virus outbreak dynamics in Colombia, El Salvador, and Suriname. We fit the model to publicly available data provided by the Pan American Health Organization, using Approximate Bayesian Computation to estimate parameter distributions and provide uncertainty quantification. The model indicated that a country-level analysis was not appropriate for Colombia. We then estimated the basic reproduction number to range between 4 and 6 for El Salvador and Suriname with a median of 4.3 and 5.3, respectively. We estimated the reporting rate to be around 16% in El Salvador and 18% in Suriname with estimated total outbreak sizes of 73,395 and 21,647 people, respectively. The uncertainty in parameter estimates highlights a need for research and data collection that will better constrain parameter ranges.
Shutt, Deborah P; Manore, Carrie A; Pankavich, Stephen; Porter, Aaron T; Del Valle, Sara Y
As South and Central American countries prepare for increased birth defects from Zika virus outbreaks and plan for mitigation strategies to minimize ongoing and future outbreaks, understanding important characteristics of Zika outbreaks and how they vary across regions is a challenging and important problem. We developed a mathematical model for the 2015/2016 Zika virus outbreak dynamics in Colombia, El Salvador, and Suriname. We fit the model to publicly available data provided by the Pan American Health Organization, using Approximate Bayesian Computation to estimate parameter distributions and provide uncertainty quantification. The model indicated that a country-level analysis was not appropriate for Colombia. We then estimated the basic reproduction number to range between 4 and 6 for El Salvador and Suriname with a median of 4.3 and 5.3, respectively. We estimated the reporting rate to be around 16% in El Salvador and 18% in Suriname with estimated total outbreak sizes of 73,395 and 21,647 people, respectively. The uncertainty in parameter estimates highlights a need for research and data collection that will better constrain parameter ranges. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Dengue is an arthropod-borne infectious disease caused by dengue virus (DENV infection and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Approximately 50–100 million people are infected with DENV each year, resulting in a high economic burden on both governments and individuals. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize information regarding the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and serotype distribution and risk factors for global dengue outbreaks occurring from 1990 to 2015. We searched the PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases through December 2016 using the term “dengue outbreak.” In total, 3,853 studies were identified, of which 243 studies describing 262 dengue outbreaks met our inclusion criteria. The majority of outbreak-associated dengue cases were reported in the Western Pacific Region, particularly after the year 2010; these cases were primarily identified in China, Singapore and Malaysia. The pooled mean age of dengue-infected individuals was 30.1 years; of the included patients, 54.5% were male, 23.2% had DHF, 62.0% had secondary infections, and 1.3% died. The mean age of dengue patients reported after 2010 was older than that of patients reported before 2010 (34.0 vs. 27.2 years; however, the proportions of patients who had DHF, had secondary infections and died significantly decreased after 2010. Fever, malaise, headache, and asthenia were the most frequently reported clinical symptoms and signs among dengue patients. In addition, among the identified clinical symptoms and signs, positive tourniquet test (OR = 4.86, ascites (OR = 13.91 and shock (OR = 308.09 were identified as the best predictors of dengue infection, DHF and mortality, respectively (both P < 0.05. The main risk factors for dengue infection, DHF and mortality were living with uncovered water container (OR = 1.65, suffering from hypotension (OR = 6.18 and suffering from diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.53, respectively (all P < 0.05. The
in the Blue Nile State was caused by mixed infection of two or more Trypanosoma species and the conventional parasitological examinations were not reliable in identifying all the species of Trypanosoma involved in the outbreak. It is difficult to determine the cause of the disease for the reason that the current enzootic situation in the resident cattle in the region is poorly understood. The study concluded that there are at least four species of trypanosomes that caused this outbreak in the Blue Nile State. The presence of mixed infections might have exacerbated the severity of the disease. It is hypothesized that variant parasite type(s might have been introduced to Sudanese cattle when they crossed to Ethiopia, a tsetse belt region.
Full Text Available Dengue, a vector-borne viral disease of increasing global importance, is classically associated with tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Urbanisation, globalisation and climate trends, however, are facilitating the geographic spread of its mosquito vectors, thereby increasing the risk of the virus establishing itself in previously unaffected areas and causing large-scale epidemics. On 3 October 2012, two autochthonous dengue infections were reported within the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Portugal. During the following seven months, this first 'European' dengue outbreak caused more than 2000 local cases and 81 exported cases to mainland Europe. Here, using an ento-epidemiological mathematical framework, we estimate that the introduction of dengue to Madeira occurred around a month before the first official cases, during the period of maximum influx of airline travel, and that the naturally declining temperatures of autumn were the determining factor for the outbreak's demise in early December 2012. Using key estimates, together with local climate data, we further propose that there is little support for dengue endemicity on this island, but a high potential for future epidemic outbreaks when seeded between May and August-a period when detection of imported cases is crucial for Madeira's public health planning.
Full Text Available Human cases of West Nile virus (WNV disease have been reported in Italy since 2008. So far, most cases have been identified in north-eastern Italy, where, in 2012, the largest outbreak of WNV infection ever recorded in Italy occurred. Most cases of the 2012 outbreak were identified in the Veneto region, where a special surveillance plan for West Nile fever was in place. In this outbreak, 25 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease and 17 cases of fever were confirmed. In addition, 14 WNV RNA-positive blood donors were identified by screening of blood and organ donations and two cases of asymptomatic infection were diagnosed by active surveillance of subjects at risk of WNV exposure. Two cases of death due to WNND were reported. Molecular testing demonstrated the presence of WNV lineage 1 in all WNV RNA-positive patients and, in 15 cases, infection by the novel Livenza strain was ascertained. Surveillance in other Italian regions notified one case of neuroinvasive disease in the south of Italy and two cases in Sardinia. Integrated surveillance for WNV infection remains a public health priority in Italy and vector control activities have been strengthened in areas of WNV circulation.
Lourenço, José; Recker, Mario
Dengue, a vector-borne viral disease of increasing global importance, is classically associated with tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Urbanisation, globalisation and climate trends, however, are facilitating the geographic spread of its mosquito vectors, thereby increasing the risk of the virus establishing itself in previously unaffected areas and causing large-scale epidemics. On 3 October 2012, two autochthonous dengue infections were reported within the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Portugal. During the following seven months, this first 'European' dengue outbreak caused more than 2000 local cases and 81 exported cases to mainland Europe. Here, using an ento-epidemiological mathematical framework, we estimate that the introduction of dengue to Madeira occurred around a month before the first official cases, during the period of maximum influx of airline travel, and that the naturally declining temperatures of autumn were the determining factor for the outbreak's demise in early December 2012. Using key estimates, together with local climate data, we further propose that there is little support for dengue endemicity on this island, but a high potential for future epidemic outbreaks when seeded between May and August-a period when detection of imported cases is crucial for Madeira's public health planning.
Hayes, Marshall L.; Bonaventura, Joseph; Mitchell, Todd P.; Prospero, Joseph M.; Shinn, Eugene A.; Van Dolah, Frances; Barber, Richard T.
Since the mid-1970s, large-scale episodic events such as disease epidemics, mass mortalities, harmful algal blooms and other population explosions have been occurring in marine environments at an historically unprecedented rate. The variety of organisms involved (host, pathogens and other opportunists) and the absolute number of episodes have also increased during this period. Are these changes coincidental? Between 1972 and 1976, a global climate regime shift took place, and it is manifest most clearly by a change in strength of the North Pacific and North Atlantic pressure systems. Consequences of this regime shift are: (1) prolonged drought conditions in the Sahel region of Africa; (2) increased dust supply to the global atmosphere, by a factor of approximately four; (3) increased easterly trade winds across the Atlantic; (4) increased eolian transport of dust to the Atlantic and Caribbean basins; and (5) increased deposition of iron-rich eolian dust to typically iron-poor marine regions. On the basis of well-documented climate and dust observations and the widely accepted increase in marine outbreak rates, this paper proposes that the increased iron supply has altered the micronutrient factors limiting growth of opportunistic organisms and virulence of pathogenic microbes, particularly in macronutrient-rich coastal systems.
Colavita, Francesca; Biava, Mirella; Castilletti, Concetta; Quartu, Serena; Vairo, Francesco; Caglioti, Claudia; Agrati, Chiara; Lalle, Eleonora; Bordi, Licia; Lanini, Simone; Guanti, Michela Delli; Miccio, Rossella; Ippolito, Giuseppe; Capobianchi, Maria R; Di Caro, Antonino
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa caused breakdowns in public health systems, which might have caused outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. We tested 80 patients admitted to an Ebola treatment center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for measles. These patients were negative for Ebola virus. Measles virus IgM was detected in 13 (16%) of the patients.
Ethelberg, S.; Wingstrand, Anne; Jensen, T.
An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium phage type U292 has been ongoing in Denmark since 1 April, with 1,054 cases registered until 23 October 2008. Extensive investigations including hypothesis-generating interviews, matched case-control studies, cohort studies in embedded outbreaks, shopping list...
Introduction: Cholera is a disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera and has been an important public health problem since its first pandemic in 1817. Kenya has had numerous outbreaks of cholera ever since it was first detected there during 1971. In August 2010 an outbreak of cholera occurred in Kuria West District ...
In this podcast, Dr Kiren Mitruka, medical officer with CDC's Tuberculosis Outbreak Investigations team, discusses tuberculosis outbreak investigations in the U.S. from 2002-2008. Created: 2/22/2011 by National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Date Released: 3/22/2011.
Full Text Available Despite explicit warning from the National Institute of Health, Pakistan experienced its first chikungunya outbreak in the metropolis of Karachi. We underscore the attention of health authorities and healthcare professionals towards contributing factors associated with this outbreak and the measures required to combat this viral disease.
Gonzalez-Escalona, Narjol; Gavilan, Ronnie G; Toro, Magaly; Zamudio, Maria L; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime
In 2009, an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus occurred in Piura, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, and Lima, Peru. Whole-genome sequencing of clinical and environmental samples from the outbreak revealed a new V. parahaemolyticus clone. All the isolates identified belonged to a single clonal complex described exclusively in Asia before its emergence in Peru.
Ethelberg, S.; Lisby, M.; Bottiger, B.
At least 11 linked outbreaks of gastroenteritis with a total of 260 cases have occurred in Denmark in mid January 2010. Investigations showed that the outbreaks were caused by norovirus of several genotypes and by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Lettuce of the lollo bionda type grown in France...
Wong, Emmy M. Y.; Cheng, May M. H.; Lo, S.K.
The outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus has led to numerous precautionary school closures in several countries. No research is available on the school teachers' perceptions as a health protective resource in controlling communicable disease outbreaks. The purposes of this study were to examine the risk perception, the perceived understanding…
Cassady, Joslyn D.; Kirschke, David L.; Jones, Timothy F.; Craig, Allen S.; Bermudez, Ovidio B.; Schaffner, William
Objective: Outbreak investigations are challenging in a cross-cultural context, and outbreaks of psychiatric disease are rare in any community. We investigated a cluster of unexplained debilitating illness among Amish girls. Method: We reviewed the medical records of cases, consulted with health care providers, performed active case finding,…
Abstract. Introduction: Cholera is a disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera and has been an important public health problem since its first pandemic in 1817. Kenya has had numerous outbreaks of cholera ever since it was first detected there during 1971. In August 2010 an outbreak of cholera occurred in Kuria ...
Objectives. To describe an outbreak of food. poisoning at a major international sports event in Johannesburg and to determine the likely cause and source of the outbreak. Design. A descriptive, case-control study. Setting. An international sports event in Johannesburg. Methods. A questionnaire survey of involved children ...
Tan, Kim-Kee; Zulkifle, Nurul-Izzani; Abd-Jamil, Juraina; Sulaiman, Syuhaida; Yaacob, Che Norainon; Azizan, Noor Syahida; Che Mat Seri, Nurul Asma Anati; Samsudin, Nur Izyan; Mahfodz, Nur Hidayana; AbuBakar, Sazaly
Dengue is hyperendemic in most of Southeast Asia. In this region, all four dengue virus serotypes are persistently present. Major dengue outbreak cycle occurs in a cyclical pattern involving the different dengue virus serotypes. In Malaysia, since the 1980s, the major outbreak cycles have involved dengue virus type 3 (DENV3), dengue virus type 1 (DENV1) and dengue virus type 2 (DENV2), occurring in that order (DENV3/DENV1/DENV2). Only limited information on the DENV3 cycles, however, have been described. In the current study, we examined the major outbreak cycle involving DENV3 using data from 1985 to 2016. We examined the genetic diversity of DENV3 isolates obtained during the period when DENV3 was the dominant serotype and during the inter-dominant transmission period. Results obtained suggest that the typical DENV3/DENV1/DENV2 cyclical outbreak cycle in Malaysia has recently been disrupted. The last recorded major outbreak cycle involving DENV3 occurred in 2002, and the expected major outbreak cycle involving DENV3 in 2006-2012 did not materialize. DENV genome analyses revealed that DENV3 genotype II (DENV3/II) was the predominant DENV3 genotype (67%-100%) recovered between 1987 and 2002. DENV3 genotype I (DENV3/I) emerged in 2002 followed by the introduction of DENV3 genotype III (DENV3/III) in 2008. These newly emerged DENV3 genotypes replaced DENV3/II, but there was no major upsurge of DENV3 cases that accompanied the emergence of these viruses. DENV3 remained in the background of DENV1 and DENV2 until now. Virus genome sequence analysis suggested that intrinsic differences within the different dengue virus genotypes could have influenced the transmission efficiency of DENV3. Further studies and continuous monitoring of the virus are needed for better understanding of the DENV transmission dynamics in hyperendemic regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Markus Bruckner; Antonio Ciccone
To learn more about the effect of economic conditions on civil war, we examine whether Sub-Saharan civil wars are more likely to start following downturns in the international price of countriesââ‚¬â„¢ main export commodities. The data show a robust effect of commodity price downturns on the outbreak of civil wars. We also find that Sub-Saharan countries are more likely to see civil wars following economic downturns in their main OECD export destinations.
He, Daihai; Wang, Xueying; Gao, Daozhou; Wang, Jin
We present a mathematical model to investigate the transmission dynamics of the 2016-2017 Yemen Cholera Outbreak. Our model describes the interaction between the human hosts and the pathogenic bacteria, under the impact of limited medical resources. We fit our model to Yemen epidemic data published by the World Health Organization, at both the country and regional levels. We find that the Yemen cholera outbreak is shaped by the interplay of environmental, socioeconomic, and climatic factors. Our results suggest that improvement of the public health system and strategic implementation of control measures with respect to time and location are key to future cholera prevention and intervention in Yemen. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available This paper investigates cold outbreaks that form offshore density currents within the whole mesoscale over the Western Mediterranean basin. Reflectivity radar and satellite images are used to detect clouds and precipitation that are associated with these density currents in the meso-α, meso-β, and meso-γ over the Western Mediterranean basin (WMB. Version 3.3 of the WRF-ARW model is used to describe the formation and evolution of these density currents and to estimate their lifetime as well as horizontal and vertical scales. Based on the observations and simulations, this paper suggests that a new perspective could effectively be adopted regarding the WMB region delineated by the Balearic Islands, the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, and the Gulf of Lion, where inland cold outbreaks develop into density currents that move offshore and can produce precipitation ranging from raincells to rainbands at the whole mesoscale.
Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Arrospide, Nancy; Gonzalez, Rommell V.; Sánchez, Juan F.; Macedo, Silvia; Conde, Silvia; Tapia, L. Lorena; Salas, Carola; Gamboa, Dionicia; Herrera, Yeni; Edgel, Kimberly A.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lescano, Andrés G.
During 2010–2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998–2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events. PMID:25897626
Baldeviano, G Christian; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Arrospide, Nancy; Gonzalez, Rommell V; Sánchez, Juan F; Macedo, Silvia; Conde, Silvia; Tapia, L Lorena; Salas, Carola; Gamboa, Dionicia; Herrera, Yeni; Edgel, Kimberly A; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Lescano, Andrés G
During 2010-2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998-2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events.
Mendonça, Fábio S; Nascimento, Naiara C F; Almeida, Valdir M; Braga, Thaiza C; Ribeiro, Daniele P; Chaves, Hisadora A S; Silva Filho, Givaldo B; Riet-Correa, Franklin
In the world, Kalanchoe species are primarily ornamentals and houseplants, but some have escaped cultivation and can be found in the field. In Latin America, there are no reports of spontaneous poisoning by Kalanchoe species in animals. This study aimed to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and pathological aspects of an outbreak of poisoning by Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in cattle in the semiarid region of Pernambuco, Brazil. Epidemiological and clinical data were obtained from the owner and veterinarian during technical visits. Prunings of this plant were disposed of in a pasture with a shortness of forage. Seventeen cattle had clinical signs, and thirteen died 4-5 days after the first clinical signs were observed. Clinical signs and gross and histological lesions include gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular disorders. Kalanchoe spp. contain cardiotoxic glycosides, and the clinical signs and lesions in cattle of this outbreak were consistent with poisoning by plants that contain these toxins.
Stahl, Hans-Christian; Butenschoen, Vicki Marie; Tran, Hien Tinh; Gozzer, Ernesto; Skewes, Ronald; Mahendradhata, Yodi; Runge-Ranzinger, Silvia; Kroeger, Axel; Farlow, Andrew
Dengue disease surveillance and vector surveillance are presumed to detect dengue outbreaks at an early stage and to save--through early response activities--resources, and reduce the social and economic impact of outbreaks on individuals, health systems and economies. The aim of this study is to unveil evidence on the cost of dengue outbreaks. Economic evidence on dengue outbreaks was gathered by conducting a literature review and collecting information on the costs of recent dengue outbreaks in 4 countries: Peru, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The literature review distinguished between costs of dengue illness including cost of dengue outbreaks, cost of interventions and cost-effectiveness of interventions. Seventeen publications on cost of dengue showed a large range of costs from 0.2 Million US$ in Venezuela to 135.2 Million US$ in Brazil. However, these figures were not standardized to make them comparable. Furthermore, dengue outbreak costs are calculated differently across the publications, and cost of dengue illness is used interchangeably with cost of dengue outbreaks. Only one paper from Australia analysed the resources saved through active dengue surveillance. Costs of vector control interventions have been reported in 4 studies, indicating that the costs of such interventions are lower than those of actual outbreaks. Nine papers focussed on the cost-effectiveness of dengue vaccines or dengue vector control; they do not provide any direct information on cost of dengue outbreaks, but their modelling methodologies could guide future research on cost-effectiveness of national surveillance systems.The country case studies--conducted in very different geographic and health system settings - unveiled rough estimates for 2011 outbreak costs of: 12 million US$ in Vietnam, 6.75 million US$ in Indonesia, 4.5 million US$ in Peru and 2.8 million US$ in Dominican Republic (all in 2012 US$). The proportions of the different cost components (vector control
Background Dengue disease surveillance and vector surveillance are presumed to detect dengue outbreaks at an early stage and to save – through early response activities – resources, and reduce the social and economic impact of outbreaks on individuals, health systems and economies. The aim of this study is to unveil evidence on the cost of dengue outbreaks. Methods Economic evidence on dengue outbreaks was gathered by conducting a literature review and collecting information on the costs of recent dengue outbreaks in 4 countries: Peru, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The literature review distinguished between costs of dengue illness including cost of dengue outbreaks, cost of interventions and cost-effectiveness of interventions. Results Seventeen publications on cost of dengue showed a large range of costs from 0.2 Million US$ in Venezuela to 135.2 Million US$ in Brazil. However, these figures were not standardized to make them comparable. Furthermore, dengue outbreak costs are calculated differently across the publications, and cost of dengue illness is used interchangeably with cost of dengue outbreaks. Only one paper from Australia analysed the resources saved through active dengue surveillance. Costs of vector control interventions have been reported in 4 studies, indicating that the costs of such interventions are lower than those of actual outbreaks. Nine papers focussed on the cost-effectiveness of dengue vaccines or dengue vector control; they do not provide any direct information on cost of dengue outbreaks, but their modelling methodologies could guide future research on cost-effectiveness of national surveillance systems. The country case studies – conducted in very different geographic and health system settings - unveiled rough estimates for 2011 outbreak costs of: 12 million US$ in Vietnam, 6.75 million US$ in Indonesia, 4.5 million US$ in Peru and 2.8 million US$ in Dominican Republic (all in 2012 US$). The proportions of the
Sol, J.; Beers, P.J.; Oosting, S.J.; Geerling-Eiff, F.A.
The educational experimental project ‘Bridge to the Future’, which took place between 2002 and 2007, aimed primarily at supporting the regional development process by action- oriented student research. The second aim was to develop students’ roles as boundary workers in the co-creation of knowledge
Voss, Joel L.; Galvan, Ashley; Gonsalves, Brian D.
Memory retrieval can involve activity in the same sensory cortical regions involved in perception of the original event, and this neural "reactivation" has been suggested as an important mechanism of memory retrieval. However, it is still unclear if fragments of experience other than sensory information are retained and later reactivated during…
Wojtowicz, Dominika Maria; Kupiec, Tomasz
For many European Union (EU) member states, the Cohesion Policy (CP) was the channel through which the practice of evaluation was transmitted into domestic administration. Studies have shown that the EU member countries differ in terms of their evaluation capacity and activity. None of those studies, however, addresses regional governments, which…
Trmal, Josef; Pavlík, Ivo; Vasícková, Petra; Matejícková, Ladislava; Simůnková, Lenka; Luks, Stanislav; Pazderková, Jana
Until recently, viral hepatitis E (VHE) has typically been an imported infection, related to travel to developing countries. A number of travel-unrelated VHE cases currently diagnosed in the Czech Republic. Outcomes of the epidemiological investigations of two VHE outbreaks associated with the consumption of pork and pork products at pig-slaughtering feasts are presented. Thirteen cases have been reported in the first outbreak and eight cases in the second outbreak. The epidemiological investigations are described and the experience gained in analysing suspected biological specimens is presented. The source of infection has not been identified in the first outbreak while in the other one, a link between human cases and infection in farm pigs was revealed for the first time. Although the epidemiological investigation may not always lead to the detection of the VHE source, it must be conducted in any outbreak and can only be successful when done in cooperation of the public health authorities with the veterinary health agency.
Ariza-Miguel, Jaime; Johansson, Anders; Fernández-Natal, María Isabel; Martínez-Nistal, Carmen; Orduña, Antonio; Rodríguez-Ferri, Elías F.; Hernández, Marta
Tularemia outbreaks occurred in northwestern Spain in 1997–1998 and 2007–2008 and affected >1,000 persons. We assessed isolates involved in these outbreaks by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis with 2 restriction enzymes and multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis of 16 genomic loci of Francisella tularensis, the cause of this disease. Isolates were divided into 3 pulsotypes by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and 8 allelic profiles by multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis. Isolates obtained from the second tularemia outbreak had the same genotypes as isolates obtained from the first outbreak. Both outbreaks were caused by genotypes of genetic subclade B.Br:FTNF002–00, which is widely distributed in countries in central and western Europe. Thus, reemergence of tularemia in Spain was not caused by the reintroduction of exotic strains, but probably by persistence of local reservoirs of infection. PMID:24750848
Soto-Garita, Claudio; Somogyi, Teresita; Vicente-Santos, Amanda; Corrales-Aguilar, Eugenia
Dengue virus (DENV) (Flavivirus, Flaviviridae) is a reemerging arthropod-borne virus with a worldwide circulation, transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Since the first detection of its main transmitting vector in 1992 and the invasion of DENV-1 in 1993, Costa Rica has faced dengue outbreaks yearly. In 2007 and 2013, Costa Rica experienced two of the largest outbreaks in terms of total and severe cases. To provide genetic information about the etiologic agents producing these outbreaks, we conducted phylogenetic analysis of viruses isolated from human samples. A total of 23 DENV-1 and DENV-2 sequences were characterized. These analyses signaled that DENV-1 genotype V and DENV-2 American/Asian genotype were circulating in those outbreaks. Our results suggest that the 2007 and 2013 outbreak viral strains of DENV-1 and DENV-2 originated from nearby countries and underwent in situ microevolution. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.