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Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction in its wake, resulting in over 100 deaths and damaging critical infrastructure. During a disaster, public health surveillance is necessary to track emerging illnesses and injuries, identify at-risk populations, and assess the effectiveness of response efforts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Red Cross collaborate on shelter surveillance to monitor the health of the sheltered population and help guide response efforts.
We analyzed data collected from 24 Red Cross shelters between August 25, 2017, and September 14, 2017. We described the aggregate morbidity data collected during Harvey compared with previous hurricanes (Gustav, Ike, and Sandy).
Over one-third (38%) of reasons for visit were for health care maintenance; 33% for acute illnesses, which includes respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal symptoms, and pain; 19% for exacerbation of chronic disease; 7% for mental health; and 4% for injury. The Red Cross treated 41% of clients within the shelters; however, reporting of disposition was often missed. These results are comparable to previous hurricanes.
The capacity of Red Cross shelter staff to address the acute health needs of shelter residents is a critical resource for local public health agencies overwhelmed by the disaster. However, there remains room for improvement because reporting remained inconsistent.
There has been a marked change in the past few years in the incidence of interest in stellar spectra. The great initial task of classification has attained its first objective—though the Henry Draper Extension, and other investigations are still progressing. Perhaps a million stars are still accessible to classification with existing instruments; but more and more time is being spent upon individual spectra, and upon theoretical investigations. In these fields progress has been very rapid, and only some of the more important results may be mentioned here.
Investigation of stellar spectra has been active during the last four years. Without attempting to make a complete survey, some important researches may be mentioned.
The theory of the intensities and contours of absorption lines has been discussed by Eddington, Milne, Pannekoek, Woolley, H. H. Plaskett, and others, and has proved to be difficult. For example, no quantitative theory has yet been developed for the residuai intensity which remains in even the strongest lines, although the physical causes underlying the formation of residual intensities are rather obvious. Study of solar lines with light which has left the surface at different angles shows that the processes which produce the wings and the centre are probably different. The most promising line of attack on this intricate problem appears to be in studies of the solar spectrum, where different regions of the disc may be separately investigated, rather than of integrated starlight. The highest dispersion available, even in solar work, will be none too great.
The president calls attention to the large and increasing membership of Commission 12 and the policy of concentrating in it all matters relating to the sun. The result makes it comparable in breadth of field and in membership to the former Union for Co-operation in Solar Research. The main point in favour of this policy is the increased interest in the meetings of the Commission and the larger number of individuals reached compared with the meetings of small committees. One recalls the general sessions of the Solar Union in which each one present felt himself a part of the Union and in real touch with the work of different sections and after the discussions went away with fuller knowledge of what it was all about. This was a valuable result not attained to the same degree from the general sessions of the present Union, but in a measure it does follow from the meetings of the Solar Physics Committee. On the other hand the question may be raised whether or not the merging of independent commissions into subdivisions of a large commission lessens their interest to an extent not balanced by the advantages. If the present policy holds, it seems to the president that a re-organisation of Commission 12 is advisable by which more responsibility is laid upon the directors of centres. The basis of membership in the Commission may well be considered and recommendations formulated for transmission to the Executive Committee.
In November 1934 the President circulated a letter to the members of the Commission as follows:
Since the 1932 meeting the following projects have been completed, or are nearing completion:
(1)The publication of many lists of trigonometric parallaxes.
(2)The determination of the spectroscopic parallaxes of 4179 stars at Mt Wilson Observatory by Adams, Joy and Humason.
(3)A discussion of systematic errors of trigonometric parallaxes by van Maanen and a re-discussion in the Astrophysical Journal of the same material by Mitchell and by Sterne.
(4)The compilation of a second Yale Catalogue to include parallaxes completed before the end of 1934.
(5)Substantial progress on the proper motions of 32,000 stars by Boss and his associates at the Dudley Observatory.
(6)The publication at the Radcliffe Observatory of the proper motions of 32,000 stars from photographs on 115 Selected Areas.
(7)The completion of the dynamical parallaxes of 2000 stars.
(8)The completion of the proper motions of 18,000 stars derived from parallax plates at the Leander McCormick Observatory.
(9)The publication at the Yale Observatory of the proper motions of 40,000 stars with a probable error less than 0”.010 determined from photographs by re-observing in zones the Astronomische Gesellschaft stars.
(10)The determination of the proper motions of 50,000 stars in the Southern Hemisphere by Luyten from Harvard photographs.
In November 1931 the President circulated a letter to the members of the Commission which in part was as follows:
In view of the fact that it is now over a quarter of a century since Schlesinger by photography began to determine trigonometric parallaxes by a long focus telescope, and fifteen years since Adams and Kohlschütter derived the first spectroscopic parallaxes, it would seem appropriate to take stock of our present position and to make plans for future development.
Will you be good enough, therefore, to furnish such statements concerning the following topics as are appropriate to the work of your observatory?
Mary is a fifty-year-old family physician who has worked for nearly two decades in a large suburban multidisciplinary family medicine clinic with eight other family physicians as well as nurses, pharmacists, and a dietician. Many of her patients and their families have been with her for several years. To better enjoy and support her children and aging parents, she has recently left the clinic to join a group of medical and radiation oncologists in a breast cancer clinic where she will be the only family physician providing primary care and counseling to their patients who don't have a family physician. She wonders how she will adapt to this work environment in which other family physicians are not available on location to discuss cases with and calibrate her work. She is feeling anxious about working exclusively with cancer physicians, given how specialized their work is, and she does not know any other family physicians who have assumed this type of a role in a specialty clinic.
John is a forty-six-year-old MD-PhD working in a medical school. He has just been promoted to professor in his medical school based on the quality of his work as judged by peers within the medical school and internationally. However, he struggles to combine clinical work, teaching, research, and committee work. He frequently works twelve to fourteen-hour days to fulfill the responsibilities of his various roles and succeeds partly by compartmentalizing his work. When he is on clinical service, he tries to focus on being a physician and clinician educator to the medical students and residents on his service. When he is in the lab, he tries to focus on his research, getting grants, running the lab and ensuring graduate students are making progress. As a professor, he is now expected to bring in larger, more complex grants from international agencies and to support postdoctoral fellows as well as graduate students. Many days are difficult as he finds himself pulled with questions from his lab or from the clinic when he is not there. Hospital meetings occur regularly and he is expected to actively participate in quality assurance committee work. Dealing with the new expectations associated with the promotion has been difficult; he feels pulled in too many directions and is not staying on top of his work.
Timely morbidity surveillance of sheltered populations is crucial for identifying and addressing their immediate needs, and accurate surveillance allows us to better prepare for future disasters. However, disasters often create travel and communication challenges that complicate the collection and transmission of surveillance data. We describe a surveillance project conducted in New Jersey shelters after Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in November 2012, that successfully used cellular phones for remote real-time reporting. This project demonstrated that, when supported with just-in-time morbidity surveillance training, cellular phone reporting was a successful, sustainable, and less labor-intensive methodology than in-person shelter visits to capture morbidity data from multiple locations and opened a two-way communication channel with shelters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;10:525–528)
Literature relating to Indigenous Australian students in higher education highlights the need for improving the retention rates of Indigenous students in Australian universities. A cause for concern has been the increasing numbers of Indigenous Australian people experiencing lower progress and completion rates in comparison to non-Indigenous students. The literature suggests that flexible course delivery is a strategy for improving retention rates and participation. This research extends knowledge relating to the effectiveness of providing courses in flexible delivery mode as a retention strategy in Indigenous higher education. It investigates the “reverse block visit” component of a flexi-mode course delivered by the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia. Initial findings suggest that this community based support strategy may be impacting positively on risk factors contributing to students withdrawing from their studies. Further research is required to explore the validity of this initial data and how the “reverse block visit” from Centre staff may be working to help students to decide to continue studying.
The leaves of the olive plant (Olea europaea) are rich in polyphenols, of which oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol (HT) are most characteristic. Such polyphenols have been demonstrated to favourably modify a variety of cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of the present intervention was to investigate the influence of olive leaf extract (OLE) on vascular function and inflammation in a postprandial setting and to link physiological outcomes with absorbed phenolics. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over, acute intervention trial was conducted with eighteen healthy volunteers (nine male, nine female), who consumed either OLE (51 mg oleuropein; 10 mg HT), or a matched control (separated by a 4-week wash out) on a single occasion. Vascular function was measured by digital volume pulse (DVP), while blood collected at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 h was cultured for 24 h in the presence of lipopolysaccharide in order to investigate effects on cytokine production. Urine was analysed for phenolic metabolites by HPLC. DVP-stiffness index and ex vivo IL-8 production were significantly reduced (P< 0·05) after consumption of OLE compared to the control. These effects were accompanied by the excretion of several phenolic metabolites, namely HT and oleuropein derivatives, which peaked in urine after 8–24 h. The present study provides the first evidence that OLE positively modulates vascular function and IL-8 production in vivo, adding to growing evidence that olive phenolics could be beneficial for health.
We briefly describe 2 systems that provided disaster-related mortality surveillance during and after Hurricane Sandy in New York City, namely, the New York City Health Department Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) and the American Red Cross paper-based tracking system.
Red Cross fatality data were linked with New York City EDRS records by using decedent name and date of birth. We analyzed cases identified by both systems for completeness and agreement across selected variables and the time interval between death and reporting in the system.
Red Cross captured 93% (41/44) of all Sandy-related deaths; the completeness and quality varied by item, and timeliness was difficult to determine. The circumstances leading to death captured by Red Cross were particularly useful for identifying reasons individuals stayed in evacuation zones. EDRS variables were nearly 100% complete, and the median interval between date of death and reporting was 6 days (range: 0-43 days).
Our findings indicate that a number of steps have the potential to improve disaster-related mortality surveillance, including updating Red Cross surveillance forms and electronic databases to enhance timeliness assessments, greater collaboration across agencies to share and use data for public health preparedness, and continued expansion of electronic death registration systems. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;8:489-491)
Humans, despite the country they inhabit, the social structures they constitute, and the forms of governments they live under, universally possess political attitudes; that is, those attitudes towards sexual norms, out-groups, resource allocation, cooperation and fairness. It has been proposed that this near universal manifestation across societies remains ingrained in the psychological architecture of humans because of human evolution. However, there is enormous variation in political attitudes within and across populations, and this variation is not merely a function of social differences but derives, in part, through neurobiological differences within human populations. Thus, there is great confusion on the difference between what has evolved as universal, and what is due to individual variation. This confusion, results, in part on the lack of integration of the theoretical mechanisms that addresses how humans vary within evolutionarily adaptive universals. Here we seek to fill this lacuna by explicating how evolutionary biology and psychology account for the universal need for humans to have political attitudes while neurobiological differences account for variation within those evolved structures.