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Norovirus causes viral gastroenteritis, which is a major problem in health care. The disease causes death in elderly and seriously ill patients, and results in significant health costs each year. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce gastric acidity, which is an important protection against microorganisms. We hypothesised that treatment with PPIs increases the risk of contracting norovirus infection. This has not previously been studied. The study was a retrospective case–control study, in which 192 hospitalised patients positive for norovirus in Örebro County, Sweden, were identified as cases. For each case, a hospitalised patient who did not have the infection was selected as a control, and matched with respect to ward, gender, admission date and age. Details of exposure, i.e. treatment with PPIs, were retrieved from the patient records. Odds ratio (OR) with confidence intervals (CIs) and P-values were calculated using McNemar's test. There was a significantly increased risk of norovirus infection in patients treated with PPIs compared with patients without PPI treatment (OR 1·73, 95% CI 1·07–2·81; P = 0·02). PPIs appear to be a risk factor for norovirus infection, and our results motivate future studies to further examine this association.
This article examines the impact of Chinese textile imports on the organization and politics of women’s textile trading networks in Benin. The incursion of cheap Chinese textiles into markets formerly dominated by imported European fabrics has shifted the balance of power between networks of traders in Benin’s textile market, reconfiguring relations between textile traders, state officials, and international companies. Focusing on political and economic dimensions of trading networks, the article reveals how global linkages transform local economic networks and how local actors structure networks for global economic partners. Far from bypassing state actors, this process is shown to incorporate state officials from above and from below, splintering established trading networks and weaving new ones from emerging configurations of traders, state officials, and global textile exporters.
Although the Hellenistic period has become increasingly popular in research and teaching in recent years, the western Mediterranean is rarely considered part of the 'Hellenistic world'; instead the cities, peoples and kingdoms of the West are usually only discussed insofar as they relate to Rome. This book contends that the rift between the 'Greek East' and the 'Roman West' is more a product of the traditional separation of Roman and Greek history than a reflection of the Hellenistic-period Mediterranean, which was a strongly interconnected cultural and economic zone, with the rising Roman republic just one among many powers in the region, east and west. The contributors argue for a dynamic reading of the economy, politics and history of the central and western Mediterranean beyond Rome, and in doing so problematise the concepts of 'East', 'West' and 'Hellenistic' itself.