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The prevalence of many diseases in pigs displays seasonal distributions. Despite growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, we do not yet have a good understanding of the role that weather factors play in explaining such seasonal patterns. In this study, national and county-level aggregated abattoir inspection data were assessed for England and Wales during 2010–2015. Seasonally-adjusted relationships were characterised between weekly ambient maximum temperature and the prevalence of both respiratory conditions and tail biting detected at slaughter. The prevalence of respiratory conditions showed cyclical annual patterns with peaks in the summer months and troughs in the winter months each year. However, there were no obvious associations with either high or low temperatures. The prevalence of tail biting generally increased as temperatures decreased, but associations were not supported by statistical evidence: across all counties there was a relative risk of 1.028 (95% CI 0.776–1.363) for every 1 °C fall in temperature. Whilst the seasonal patterns observed in this study are similar to those reported in previous studies, the lack of statistical evidence for an explicit association with ambient temperature may possibly be explained by the lack of information on date of disease onset. There is also the possibility that other time-varying factors not investigated here may be driving some of the seasonal patterns.
In Sweden, leishmaniasis is an imported disease and its epidemiology and incidence were not known until now. We conducted a retrospective, nationwide, epidemiological study from 1993 to 2016. Probable cases were patients with leishmaniasis diagnoses reported to the Swedish Patient registry, collecting data on admitted patients in Swedish healthcare since 1993 and out-patient visits since 2001. Confirmed cases were those with a laboratory test positive for leishmaniasis during 1993–2016. 299 probable cases and 182 confirmed cases were identified. Annual incidence ranged from 0.023 to 0.35 per 100 000 with a rapid increase in the last 4 years. Of 182 laboratory-verified cases, 96 were diagnosed from 2013 to 2016, and in this group, almost half of the patients were children under 18 years. Patients presented in different healthcare settings in all regions of Sweden. Cutaneous leishmaniasis was the most common clinical manifestation and the majority of infections were acquired in Asia including the Middle East, specifically Syria and Afghanistan. Leishmania tropica was responsible for the majority of cases (42%). A combination of laboratory methods increased the sensitivity of diagnosis among confirmed cases. In 2016, one-tenth of the Swedish population were born in Leishmania-endemic countries and many Swedes travel to these countries for work or vacation. Swedish residents who have spent time in Leishmania-endemic areas, could be at risk of developing disease some time during their lives. Increased awareness and knowledge are needed for correct diagnosis and management of leishmaniasis in Sweden.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
In every era of communications technology - whether print, radio, television, or Internet - some form of government censorship follows to regulate the medium and its messages. Today we are seeing the phenomenon of 'machine speech' enhanced by the development of sophisticated artificial intelligence. Ronald K. L. Collins and David M. Skover argue that the First Amendment must provide defenses and justifications for covering and protecting robotic expression. It is irrelevant that a robot is not human and cannot have intentions; what matters is that a human experiences robotic speech as meaningful. This is the constitutional recognition of 'intentionless free speech' at the interface of the robot and receiver. Robotica is the first book to develop the legal arguments for these purposes. Aimed at law and communication scholars, lawyers, and free speech activists, this work explores important new problems and solutions at the interface of law and technology.