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We present a scintillator-based detector able to measure the proton energy and the spatial distribution with a relatively simple design. It has been designed and built at the Spanish Center for Pulsed Lasers (CLPU) in Salamanca and tested in the proton accelerator at the Centro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM) in Madrid. The detector is capable of being set in the high repetition rate (HRR) mode and reproduces the performance of the radiochromic film detector. It represents a new class of online detectors for laser–plasma physics experiments in the newly emerging high power laser laboratories working at HRR.
Usutu virus (USUV) is an emerging arbovirus that was first isolated in South Africa in 1959. This Flavivirus is maintained in the environment through a typical enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes and birds. USUV has spread to a large part of the European continent over the two decades mainly leading to substantial avian mortalities with a significant recrudescence of bird infections recorded throughout Europe within the few last years. USUV infection in humans is considered to be most often asymptomatic or to cause mild clinical signs. Nonetheless, a few cases of neurological complications such as encephalitis or meningoencephalitis have been reported. USUV and West Nile virus (WNV) share many features, like a close phylogenetic relatedness and a similar ecology, with co-circulation frequently observed in nature. However, USUV has been much less studied and in-depth comparisons of the biology of these viruses are yet rare. In this review, we discuss the main body of knowledge regarding USUV and compare it with the literature on WNV, addressing in particular virological and clinical aspects, and pointing data gaps.
Neighbourhood greenness or vegetative presence has been associated with indicators of health and well-being, but its relationship to depression in older adults has been less studied. Understanding the role of environmental factors in depression may inform and complement traditional depression interventions, including both prevention and treatment.
This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood greenness and depression diagnoses among older adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA.
Analyses examined 249 405 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, a USA federal health insurance programme for older adults. Participants were 65 years and older, living in the same Miami location across 2 years (2010–2011). Multilevel analyses assessed the relationship between neighbourhood greenness, assessed by average block-level normalised difference vegetative index via satellite imagery, and depression diagnosis using USA Medicare claims data. Covariates were individual age, gender, race/ethnicity, number of comorbid health conditions and neighbourhood median household income.
Over 9% of beneficiaries had a depression diagnosis. Higher levels of greenness were associated with lower odds of depression, even after adjusting for demographics and health comorbidities. When compared with individuals residing in the lowest tertile of greenness, individuals from the middle tertile (medium greenness) had 8% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.92; 95% CI 0.88, 0.96; P = 0.0004) and those from the high tertile (high greenness) had 16% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.84; 95% CI 0.79, 0.88; P < 0.0001).
Higher levels of greenness may reduce depression odds among older adults. Increasing greenery – even to moderate levels – may enhance individual-level approaches to promoting wellness.
The aim of this study was the construction and validation of a novel research instrument to quantify the degree of post-hurricane trauma and distress in an affected population. The Post-Hurricane Distress Scale (PHDS) has quantitative measures of both acute and prolonged distress, attributable to meteorological and hydrological disasters.
A careful evaluation of existing questionnaires, as well as extensive canvasing of the post-Maria population of Puerto Rico, availed the construction of the PHDS. The PHDS consists of 20 items, organized into 4 subscales. The PHDS was pre-validated (n=79), revised, and then distributed to a broad sampling of the post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rican population (n=597). Validation, including factor analysis, analyses of concurrent validity, discriminant validity, and internal reliability, was performed.
After comparing various scales, factor loading profiles, concurrent validities, and models of fit, we show that the PHDS is best scored as a single 0–6 distress scale. When compared with the Traumatic Exposure Severity Scale, the PHDS shows superior concurrent validity, more accurately predicting scores for the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, Impact of Event Scale – Revised, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 Scale. The PHDS shows good internal reliability and discriminant validity.
The PHDS represents a novel, useful instrument for disaster first-responders and researchers. The prompt identification of high-risk populations is possible using this instrument. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:82-89)
This work presents a study about synthesis of polypyrrole films electrochemically doped with iodine by luminescent discharge plasma in aqueous sodium sulfate solution, and its structural, morphological and electrical characterization. The synthesis is carried out at atmospheric pressure with square pulse from -1.06 to 1.16 V for 120 minutes. Doping times of the films are 10, 30 and 50 minutes. The films have thicknesses of 6, 12.7, 20.32 and 25.4 μm, and linear growth trend according to the time exposure of their synthesis. The main chemical groups exhibited in the films are C-H, N-H and CH2I, which are characteristics of film doped with Iodine. The electrical conductivity calculated of polypyrrole films is in the range 10-5-10-3 S/cm, and its activation energy is between 0.052 and 1.77 eV.
Composites from carbon nanotubes and polymers have been synthesized and studied. The composites were obtained joining carbon nanotubes with polymethyl methacrylate, nylon-6 and polystyrene. The materials were observed through scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the carbon nanotubes dispersion in the polymeric matrices. FTIR and Raman spectroscopies were used to analyze the interactions among functionalized and non-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and polymers, demonstrating affinity and peculiar spectra behaviors for each composite with different carbon nanotubes loads.
Sepsis – syndrome of infection complicated by organ dysfunction – is responsible for over 750 000 hospitalisations and 200 000 deaths in the USA annually. Despite potential nutritional benefits, the association of diet and sepsis is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine the association between adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (Med-style diet) and long-term risk of sepsis in the REasons for Geographic Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort. We analysed data from REGARDS, a population-based cohort of 30 239 community-dwelling adults age ≥45 years. We determined dietary patterns from a baseline FFQ. We defined Med-style diet as a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, cereal and low consumption of meat, dairy products, fat and alcohol categorising participants into Med-style diet tertiles (low: 0–3, moderate: 4–5, high: 6–9). We defined sepsis events as hospital admission for serious infection and at least two systematic inflammatory response syndrome criteria. We used Cox proportional hazard models to determine the association between Med-style diet tertiles and first sepsis events, adjusting for socio-demographics, lifestyle factors, and co-morbidities. We included 21 256 participants with complete dietary data. Dietary patterns were: low Med-style diet 32·0 %, moderate Med-style diet 42·1 % and high Med-style diet 26·0 %. There were 1109 (5·2 %) first sepsis events. High Med-style diet was independently associated with sepsis risk; low Med-style diet referent, moderate Med-style diet adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0·93 (95 % CI 0·81, 1·08), high Med-style diet adjusted HR=0·74 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·88). High Med-style diet adherence is associated with lower risk of sepsis. Dietary modification may potentially provide an option for reducing sepsis risk.
PA6 and PMMA polymers with different MWCNTs addition (5, 7 and 9 wt %) were synthetized through casting solution, resulting in improvement properties in contrast to pristine polymers. SEM images showed the MWCNTs embedded into polymeric matrices. D, G and G´ bands of MWCNTs were confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and functional groups observed in both nanocomposites by FTIR demonstrated a strong interaction. A significant increasing in electrical conductivity and microhardness was observed in all the nanocomposites. Major microhardness values were obtained in MWCNTs/PA6 (50 HV) however the MWCNTs/PMMA nanocomposites showed the highest electrical conductivity value (6.4×10-4 S/cm).
Research is needed to identify the factors that explain the link between prior and future suicidality. This study evaluated possible mediators of the relationship between: (1) the severity of prior suicidality and (2) suicidal ideation severity at 3-month follow-up among a sample of high-risk military personnel.
US military service members referred to or seeking care for suicide risk (N = 624) completed self-report psychiatric domain measures and a clinician interview assessing prior suicidality severity at baseline. Three months later, participants completed a self-report measure of suicidal ideation severity. Three separate percentile bootstrap mediation models were used to examine psychiatric factors (i.e. alcohol abuse, anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, insomnia, posttraumatic stress symptoms, suicidal ideation, and thwarted belongingness) as parallel mediators of the relationship between prior suicidality severity (specifically, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and overall suicidality – i.e. ideation/attempt severity combined) at baseline and suicidal ideation severity at follow-up.
Hopelessness, specifically, and the total effect of all mediators, each significantly accounted for the relationship between prior suicidality severity and subsequent ideation severity across models. In the models with attempt severity and overall suicidality severity as predictors, thwarted belongingness was also a significant mediator.
Hopelessness, thwarted belongingness, and overall severity of psychiatric indices may explain the relationship between prior suicidality severity and future suicidal ideation severity among service members at elevated suicide risk. Research is needed to replicate these findings and examine other possible mediators.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
We determined the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis isolates to evaluate its potential impact on pertussis reemergence in a population of Mexico. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cases were included. Pertussis infection was confirmed by culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected B. pertussis isolates were further analysed; i.e. clonality was analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ptxP-ptxA, prn, fim2 and fim3 typing was performed by PCR and sequencing. Out of 11 864 analysed samples, 687 (5.8%) were positive for pertussis, with 244 (36%) confirmed by both culture and PCR whereas 115 (17%) were positive only by culture and 328 (48%) were positive only by PCR. One predominant clone (clone A, n = 62/113; 55%) and three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) were identified by PFGE. All 113 selected isolates had the allelic combination ptxP3-ptxA1. The predominant clone A and the three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) corresponded to the emerging genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1. In conclusion, the presence of an endemic clone and three predominant subtypes belonging to the genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1 were detected. This finding supports the global spread/expansion reported for these outbreaks associated genotypes.
Perovskites solar cells have reached impressive efficiencies (22%) in recent years. Because certain environmental concerns are raised by the use of lead halides, there is an interest to seek out lead-free alternatives, featuring bismuth or antimony. Alongside, one of the major drawbacks displayed by MAPbI3 is their low stability at ambient conditions. In this work, (RP4)xBiyIz were synthesized, using different types of tetra-alkylphosphoniums (R4PI) were R = ethyl, butyl, hexyl, and octyl, to assess their stability. Afterwards, they were characterized to study their morphology and crystal structure, as well as their optical properties.
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is an emergent worldwide public health problem. Historically, 84 countries have reported vector-borne ZIKV transmission, 61 of which report on-going transmission. It is a Flavivirus transmitted through arthropods belonging to the Aedes genus. Since 2015, ZIKV infections have increased dramatically; with 1.3 million people infected during 2015 in Brazil alone. This paper's objective is to highlight the conjectural epidemiological points of the virus’ dissemination. The digital archives Pubmed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane were searched for papers that assessed aspects of ZIKV transmission and epidemiology. The first isolation occurred in Uganda in 1947. Since then, important outbreaks were documented globally. Consequently, an emergent public health problem arose from a rapidly increasing incidence and its association with the development of neurological diseases such as microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Key factors in the successful containment of outbreaks include surveillance of mosquitos in the neighbourhood, an early mosquito control treatment, an assertive information campaign, and the involvement of the local population and healthcare workers. As such, while ZIKV seems to be spreading globally in a similar manner to other arboviruses, such as Dengue and Chikungunya viruses, it can also be rapidly contained due to the pre-existing availability of necessary resources and regulatory tools as control measures. This review aims to provide a description of those characteristics of ZIKV infection that may be useful in the construction of effective outbreak control strategies.
The aim of this research is to ameliorate the dispersion of pristine and functionalized Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) into polystyrene with hydroxyl end groups (PSOH) matrices using low magnetic fields. The Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using benzene as carbon source; to produce CNTs with and without functional groups two catalysts were used (stainless steel and ferrocene). The obtained nanotubes contained iron nanoparticles inside. PSOH were synthesized using styrene as monomer, azobisisobutyronitrile as initiator and 2-MeOH as chain transfer agent. The MWCNTs-PSOH matrices were formed using 1.6 wt % of carbon nanotubes into PSOH and ultrasonic mixing for 30 min. The mixing materials were poured into containers and dry at room temperature. While the material was drying, constant magnetic fields of 0.24 T were being applied for 50 min. The MWCNTs-PSOH composites were analysed by SEM, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. SEM micrographs showed that MWCNTs without functional groups were incorporated in the middle of PSOH. The MWCNTs functionalized perform differently; a better dispersion through the entire polymer matrix was achieved, because the polymer embedded the CNTs. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy showed chemical interaction between PSOH and MWCNTs functionalized. The CNTs dispersion into PSOH was ameliorated through the use of low magnetic fields and functionalization.
The Spanish National Network (REDETS) is a group of eight agencies, units and services, depending on National and Regional Governments that coordinate their work within a common methodological framework, guided by the principles of mutual recognition and cooperation. The necessity of considering a Quality Management System has been detected and, consequently, a common tool for all the members needs to be developed. We describe in this study the process to achieve that goal.
Based on both a review of previous literature and the proposal for a self-evaluating tool, a group of experts from each agency through consensus have developed a tool for self-evaluation in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies. Through the structure described in the handbook of the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality (ACSA), each standard should have a statement or proposal that needs to also include evidence or good practices, and the corresponding evaluation questions. In separate workgroups, the definition of these proposals, evidence and evaluation questions were developed. One face-to-face meeting and two meetings via teleconference were necessary to achieve a final document with all the quality standards.
From a proposed structure of sixty-six standards, the titles, definitions, statements and evidence as well as good practices and evaluation questions were established in workgroups with consensus among all of the members (1 - 3). The final version of the self-assessment tool was composed of sixty-eight standards, grouped in twelve quality criteria structured in four dimensions: I Responsibility, II Clients and Stakeholders, III Production Process, and IV Resources.
Quality management requires an evaluation tool and this version, based on a systematic review and consensus, is a useful and practical instrument for developing a handbook by each member of REDETS. An online version of the tool is in process of development.
Observers say that drug production fuels violence in Colombia, but does coca production explain different levels of violence? This article examines the relationship between coca production and guerrilla violence by reviewing national-level data over time and studying Colombia by department, exploring the interactions among guerrilla violence, exports, development, and displacement. It uses historical analysis, cartographic visualization, and analysis of the trends in four high coca-producing and four violent Colombian departments, along with a department-level fixed effects model. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the department-level analysis suggests that coca production is not the driving force of contemporary Colombian guerrilla violence. Instead, economic factors and coca eradication emerge as prominent explanatory factors.