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The 2017 solar eclipse was associated with mass gatherings in many of the 14 states along the path of totality. The Kentucky Department for Public Health implemented an enhanced syndromic surveillance system to detect increases in emergency department (ED) visits and other health care needs near Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where the point of greatest eclipse occurred.
EDs flagged visits of patients who participated in eclipse events from August 17–22. Data from 14 area emergency medical services and 26 first-aid stations were also monitored to detect health-related events occurring during the eclipse period.
Forty-four potential eclipse event-related visits were identified, primarily injuries, gastrointestinal illness, and heat-related illness. First-aid stations and emergency medical services commonly attended to patients with pain and heat-related illness.
Kentucky’s experience during the eclipse demonstrated the value of patient visit flagging to describe the disease burden during a mass gathering and to investigate epidemiological links between cases. A close collaboration between public health authorities within and across jurisdictions, health information exchanges, hospitals, and other first-response care providers will optimize health surveillance activities before, during, and after mass gatherings.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether vehicle type based on size (car vs. other = truck/van/SUV) had an impact on the speeding, acceleration, and braking patterns of older male and female drivers (70 years and older) from a Canadian longitudinal study. The primary hypothesis was that older adults driving larger vehicles (e.g., trucks, SUVs, or vans) would be more likely to speed than those driving cars. Participants (n = 493) had a device installed in their vehicles that recorded their everyday driving. The findings suggest that the type of vehicle driven had little or no impact on per cent of time speeding or on the braking and accelerating patterns of older drivers. Given that the propensity for exceeding the speed limit was high among these older drivers, regardless of vehicle type, future research should examine what effect this behaviour has on older-driver road safety.
Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.
To measure transmission frequencies and risk factors for household acquisition of community-associated and healthcare-associated (HA-) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Prospective cohort study from October 4, 2008, through December 3, 2012.
Seven acute care hospitals in or near Toronto, Canada.
Total of 99 MRSA-colonized or MRSA-infected case patients and 183 household contacts.
Baseline interviews were conducted, and surveillance cultures were collected monthly for 3 months from household members, pets, and 8 prespecified high-use environmental locations. Isolates underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec typing.
Overall, of 183 household contacts 89 (49%) were MRSA colonized, with 56 (31%) detected at baseline. MRSA transmission from index case to contacts negative at baseline occurred in 27 (40%) of 68 followed-up households. Strains were identical within households. The transmission risk for HA-MRSA was 39% compared with 40% (P=.95) for community-associated MRSA. HA-MRSA index cases were more likely to be older and not practice infection control measures (P=.002–.03). Household acquisition risk factors included requiring assistance and sharing bath towels (P=.001–.03). Environmental contamination was identified in 78 (79%) of 99 households and was more common in HA-MRSA households.
Household transmission of community-associated and HA-MRSA strains was common and the difference in transmission risk was not statistically significant.
The purpose of this study was to determine if season or weather affected the objectively measured trip distances of older drivers (≥ 70 years; n = 279) at seven Canadian sites. During winter, for all trips taken, trip distance was 7 per cent shorter when controlling for site and whether the trip occurred during the day. In addition, for trips taken within city limits, trip distance was 1 per cent shorter during winter and 5 per cent longer during rain when compared to no precipitation when controlling for weather (or season respectively), time of day, and site. At night, trip distance was about 30 per cent longer when controlling for season and site (and weather), contrary to expectations. Together, these results suggest that older Canadian drivers alter their trip distances based on season, weather conditions, and time of day, although not always in the expected direction.
We report the results of an investigation on the structural evolution of a potential new thermoelectric material, Cu3SbSe3, as a function of temperature from 25 to 390 °C. From high-temperature x-ray diffraction data, the refined lattice parameters were seen to change nonlinearly, but continuously, with temperature, with an increased rate of thermal expansion in the a and b lattice parameters from around 125 °C to 175 °C and negative thermal expansion in the c axis from around 100 °C to 175 °C. Crystallographic charge flipping analysis indicated an increase in the disorder of the copper cations with temperature. This reversible order/disorder phase transition in Cu3SbSe3 affects the transport properties, as evidenced by thermal conductivity measurements, which change from negative to positive slope at the transition temperature. This structural change in Cu3SbSe3 has implications for its potential use in thermoelectric generators.
Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a recovery group intervention based on compassionate mind training, for individuals with psychosis. In particular, the objective was to improve depression, to develop compassion towards self, and to promote help seeking. Method: A within-subjects design was used. Participants were assessed at the start of group, mid-group (5 weeks), the end of the programme and at 6 week follow-up. Three group programmes were run over the course of a year. Nineteen participants commenced the intervention and 18 completed the programme. Results: Significant improvements were found on the Social Comparison Scale; the Beck Depression Inventory; Other As Shamer Scale; the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Inventory and the General Psychopathology Scale from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Conclusions: The results provide initial indications of the effectiveness of a group intervention based on the principles of compassionate focused therapy for this population. The findings of this study, alongside implications of further research are discussed.